Editors commentary: Test for the West

west-threatWEBIn the last month or so we have entered a crucial phase in the struggle between the West and extremist Islam.

This has become clear both at home and abroad. At home we have seen not only the so-called Trojan Horse project where Muslim governors tried to Islamise Birmingham schools but also the immense tragedy of gangs of largely Pakistani Muslim men targeting and trading children for under-age sex in Rotherham and across the North. They used threats and violence while the police and local authorities turned a blind eye. The report by Professor Alexis Jay said that more than 1,400 children were sexually abused over a period of 16 years.

Meanwhile, abroad we have been shocked by the totalitarian horrors of ISIL (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) as its jihadi well-equipped volunteers have captured large areas of Iraq and Syria, driving out or massacring those who refuse their particular brand of Islam. Western journalists and aid workers taken hostage by this group have been beheaded and footage of the executions – seemingly carried out by a British jihadi – posted on the internet for all to see. The response to all this so far has been weak and confused, especially from the UK.

Corrupt liberalism

It was interesting to see how the media reacted to Rotherham. As usual they looked for someone to blame. But the BBC did not focus at all on the perpetrators of these foul crimes or the influences on them. They concentrated solely on the failings of the authorities.

I have no wish to exonerate those charged with protecting children. The police should not have dismissed what was reported to them. But in a politically-correct land like ours, where the threat of being labelled racist or Islamophobic is deadly for one’s career and where under-age sex is positively promoted in our schools and young women are more or less expected to dress provocatively, one can see why, perhaps, such reports were not taken as seriously as they ought to have been. And of course it is the ‘slut chic’ fashions so beloved by many young people which invite some Muslim men, who already believe that non-Muslims are a lesser species (the Dhimmi), to indulge in such gross abuse. These abused girls, whose lives have been wrecked, have been let down not just by the police and local authorities but by our whole sexualised Western liberal culture.

To die for?

When it comes to the jihad in Syria and Iraq one has to ask whether or not the West can defend itself in the long term. Our leaders are falling into a pattern of talking tough and doing little. This is seen as a sign of weakness by ISIL (and incidentally by the Russians in Ukraine) Ultimately, secularism, which believes only in this life, has nothing it is prepared to die for. Under pressure from the liberal press Western governments are very reluctant to put boots on the ground and risk being accused of wasting young soldiers’ lives. Our problem is that, being a secular liberal society, we do not believe in absolute moral values. That being the case it is not hard to see why we lack moral fibre.

As history has often proved, it takes more than superior technology to defeat a determined enemy prepared to die for what they see as a greater good. How is the West to recover its moral backbone? I’m afraid that neither the politicians nor the church in its present state has the answer to that. But thankfully the LORD is still on the throne.


John Benton

This article was first published in the October 2014 issue of Evangelicals Now. For more news, artciles or reviews, visit our website or subscribe to en for monthly updates