In 1992, Harvard professor Samuel Huntington published his landmark book The Clash of Civilizations. He describes the world not as a collection of 196 independent nations, but as 7 conglomerates he calls “civilizations.” These civilizations are roughly organized around religion or religious heritage — Christian, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Islamic and so on. In his view, these civilization vie for world influence.
On Wednesday, the so-called clash of civilizations heightened to yet a new level of intensity. The attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo killed 12 in execution style. It was carried out by two men defending the honor of Mohammed.
While this tragedy has grabbed international headlines, it really is nothing more than a continuation of a rising tide of terror and intimidation coming out of the Islamic world. Here is a sample of what we have seen in recent months:
1. Just before Christmas, Taliban gunmen stormed a school in Pakistan killing 141 children. Purpose: to intimidate the Pakistani government into submission to the Taliban’s version of Islamic rule.
2. This week, the trial began of Dzhokar Tsarnaev for his part in the Boston Marathon bombing of April 15, 2013. He and his now dead brother, Tamerlan, are accused of killing 3 and injuring 264 in that horrendous act.
3. Regular be-headings have passed before us: James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, Alan Henning, Peter Kassig, the list goes on and on — at least 15 we know of plus an unknown number of Syrian nationals.
4. Back in November 2004, filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot to death on the street of Amsterdam by Mohammed Bouyeri. His killer then attempted to decapitate him. A note was “pinned” to the chest of van Gogh with a large knife. The note contained a death threat to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who has written about the atrocities of radical Islam.
Of course, we add to this short list the events of September 11, 2001.
Liberal elements within American culture continue to refuse to face the facts. Former Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean said in the wake of the Paris shootings, “…stop calling these people Muslim terrorists. They’re about as Muslim as I am.” Editorial offices throughout America are struggling to paint this terrorism as something apart from Koranic Islam.
But, USA Today ran an editorial today, Thursday, January 8, that is shockingly straight-forward. London Muslim cleric Anjem Choudary was allowed to print his defense of the Islamic position.
He states, “Islam does not mean peace but rather submission to the commands of Allah alone.” He adds, quoting Muhammed himself, “Whoever insults a Prophet, kill him.” That is Koranic Islam. The Paris murderers were doing nothing more than obeying Muhammed. That’s why they shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) throughout the attack.
This same cleric was quoted in October of last year saying, “Iraq and Syria are only the beginning. The Islamic State’s signature flag will fly over 10 Downing Street, not the mention the White House. And it won’t happen peacefully, but only after a great battle that is now underway.” He declares that which we all know: Muslims “believe there will be complete domination of the world by Islam.”
Jesus described the signs of the end of the age to include “false christs and false prophets.” (Matt. 24:24) Massive deception accompanied by wars and rumors of wars. The Book of Revelation tells us about a “false prophet” that wreaks devastation (Rev. 13:11 and 19:20). We are witnessing this in the actions of militant Islam.