Masked gunman stormed the offices of a satirical French magazine, Charlie Hebdo (The Weekly Charlie), and slaughtered 12 people in cold blood. Their perceived “crime” was to have published caricatures of Muhammad. And let’s be clear, this was no act of the deranged. The terrorist gunmen were heard screaming, “Allahu Akbar” as they shot, with one assailant shouting, “The Prophet has been avenged,” as they escaped the scene. This was a terrorist act carried out by ideological barbarians over a cartoon.
Aside from the deadly serious problem Islamists have with invoking violence at every turn – in protest, in conquest, in celebration of their “religion” – this incident stands as a pointed reminder that Islamists purposefully calculate these murderous actions; plotting them meticulously down to the second. But even in the perfection of their plans one thing is always a constant for the Islamist. They are willing to wait a lifetime to affect the moment, a concept antithetical to the Western “sitcom attention span” culture. To wit, the management of Charlie Hebdo was first warned of reprisals for their publishing of the Muhammad cartoons eight years ago.
As Daesh (the Islamic State) continues its conquest of the Middles East – leaving fathers crucified and dismembered, mothers sold into slavery or used as concubines and children’s heads left on pikes as warnings against any refusal of subjugation, Yemeni suicide bombers kill scores each day. As Boko Haram kidnaps, rapes and slaughters Christian girls in Africa, axe wielding “lone wolf” Islamists slash people on subway platforms in New York and “home grown” terrorists are routinely thwarted in their murderous plans, but for the grace of God, by law enforcement around the world. Myriad evidence is provided every day that the Islamic ideology has a potent, malignant and metastasizing cancer for which the patient itself must seek treatment. Yet, but for a very few brave voices, the Islamic community does nothing to address the problem. There is no defense for their inaction or their deafening silence.
One excuse given for Muslim inaction – and “excuse” is an accurate portrayal of the abdication of responsibility practiced by many Muslims around the world, is that the Quran is the literal word of Allah; scripture from which deviation is forbidden. Of course, this contention is absurd for the fact that Muhammad was not literate – he could not read nor write:
“According to the traditional narrative, several companions of Muhammad served as scribes and were responsible for writing down the revelations. Shortly after Muhammad’s death, the Quran was compiled by his companions who wrote down and memorized parts of it. These codices had differences that motivated the Caliph Uthman to establish a standard version now known as Uthman’s codex, which is generally considered the archetype of the Quran we have today. However, the existence of variant readings, with mostly minor and some significant variations, and the early unvocalized Arabic script mean the relationship between Uthman’s codex to both the text of today’s Quran and to the revelations of Muhammad’s time is still unclear.”
For an edict to be literal the transcription can have no variance between versions; no competing narratives. By virtue of the competing narratives between Muhammad’s scribes, and even the Uthman’s codex, the “literal word of Allah,” narrative stands as a patently false one. Yet, the excuse emanating from the Muslim community remains. The facts don’t matter.
It is well past time that true leaders within the Islamic community emerge to brave the slings and arrows – or more accurately the suicide bombings and beheadings – of the Islamist fanatics in order to affect a radical and historical transformation of their beliefs; a reformation of Islam. This reformation can only commence from within the Islamic community for the movement to have any legitimacy.
The declaration of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi calling for a “religious revolution” within Islam is a promising event. And the work of people like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and Dr. Walid Phares to motivate and educate is noble. But until rank and file Muslims take to the streets by the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, around the world in protest; until Muslims of every class, sect and faction start rooting out the violent amongst them for punishment and ridicule; until the Muslim community itself starts teaching their children – all over the world – that martyrdom and violent jihad send them to Hell and not to virgins, nothing will change. Islamist conquest will continue. Innocent blood will continue to run in the streets. Liberty and freedom will continue to be denied.
As we contemplate the slaughter in France – a slaughter that happened in the name of Muhammad and because of a cartoon, let’s also contemplate the concept of “enough.” We, as a people emanating from the free world, must say, “enough.” No more excuses. No more “religion of peace.” Enough. Enough.