I dare say it: Je ne suis pas Nice. This is not because this writer is insensitive to the victims and their bereaved. Nor is it because I am a generally cynical and cold individual. It is because the “Je suis” movements have become an expression of passivity and denial, which poses a threat to Western culture as serious as terrorism itself.Images of people lighting candles, hugging teddy bears, people of all races holding hands, hashtags. Solidarity demonstrations are actually entirely oblivious to evil. The passivity and denial they generate will doubtless cost many more lives in the near future.
In spite of repeated attacks inside France committed by French nationals – of Arab ethnicity and Muslim identity – Tunisian Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, who had a well-documented criminal record, succeeded in getting past roadblocks and police checkpoints driving a large truck, which he proceeded to plough through a crowd of thousands of defenceless people at high speed, leaving 84 dead and many more injured. If anyone had bothered to inspect the cargo hold of the truck, it would have revealed a load of ammunition and hand grenades. He deceived the police simply by telling them he was delivering ice cream, a chilling and revealing fact.
The ingenious element of his terrorist attack was he had understood the extent to which the French lie to themselves. His act is a symbolic reflection of France. Rather eat ice cream and have fun than acknowledge the war conducted against France on her own soil, as well as in other European countries, by people driven by an ideology of hatred.
The next day French President Francois Hollande spoke on the attack, which he very reluctantly labeled “terrorism”. His explanation of the terrorist’s reason for striking precisely Nice provides a stunning illustration of France’s complete divorce from reality. The president said:
“Why Nice? Because Nice is one of the most beautiful cities on Earth. Why 14 July? Because this day celebrates freedom and it harms France.”
This is the alleged reason why this individual committed this terrorist atrocity.
It is an alarming display of impotence when a president reduces an act of terrorism to a matter of a “lone individual”, a sociopath, who just does not like beautiful cities and celebration, disregarding any political implications of his act.
The same divorce from reality characterised Pope Francis’s reference to the Nice attack as “blind violence”.
With all due respect to the Holy Father, Mohamed Bouhlel did not commit “blind violence” when he executed a carefully planned atrocity. He had filled the truck with weapons and selected, very specifically, 14 July for his atrocity, perpetrated in the name of his god. His religious convictions provided the driving force and motivation. The Pope’s open border policy and his statement about “blind violence” show that he is in denial as to the real problems including violent assaults occurring as a direct consequence of mass immigration, such as new year’s eve in Cologne.
France’s inability to protect her citizens adequately, most recently highlighted in Nice, is neither rooted in a shortage of military hardware, nor police or intelligence resources in the West. Impotence springs from a lack of resolve. And in particular: absence of values.
The West denies not merely the legitimate security needs of their own populations. The West also refuses to protect its own culture and civilisation.
The most remarkable element in the entire debate on terrorism, mass immigration and European values is that the West is devoid of any resolve to protect its own culture. A highly civilized and developed culture is succumbing to a fundamentalist, backwards, barbaric ideology, which only the other day burned 20 women to death because they refused to have sex with them, behead infidels and execute people using methods that were otherwise long abandoned. Why has the West become so signally impotent?
The root cause is an absence of moral authority, inability to declare that ISIS and its adherents are wrong and identify them as evil. We do hear politicians condemning ISIS, but it is one thing to talk and quite another to believe that this is actually so.
From this moral vacuum springs the vacuous narratives about mere “lone gunmen” afflicted by psychological problems and criminal propensities. They may possess these traits, but radicalisation is precisely the straw they can clutch to give meaning to their garbage heap of a life. Radical adherence to the Quran offers them an opportunity to turn losers into heroes by perpetrating a deed that offers status, recognition and meaning – if not in this world, at least in the world to come.
They believe in something. The West and its leaders have abandoned faith and no longer know what that is.
Although presidents and politicians praise Western values like freedom, human rights and democracy in their rhetorically vetted speeches, they sound like they are not entirely certain why they must
defend these values. Frequently, they are preoccupied by heaping shame on themselves and any other who might have breathed a word of criticism against Islamism, as this is reviled as a condemning attitude.
Terrorists share belief in a message they are willing to die for and they find it expedient that others must die for as well. Westerners have no belief they are willing to die for. Nothing in the West is
worth dying for, so Westerners are victimised by their vacuity and impotence.
In his speech following the attack in Nice, Hollande reminded his audience that the Bastille Day is a celebration of freedom. This is true, but it is also an anti-clerical celebration.
The core of the French Revolution was rebellion against the church and marked the beginning of the West’s rejection of its Christian identity. A bloodbath of decapitated priests and bishops expressed the belief that rejection of the faith and the church was the way to bring freedom to France. The revolutionary rallying cry of “liberty, equality and fraternity” mimicked Christian confession of faith but emptied it of spiritual contents.
For more than 200 years, the godless modernity created by the French revolution prospered by being a parasite sucking life from the riches Christianity had created over centuries. The inheritance and its riches have been exhausted, entirely depleted. We are witnessing France reaping its whirlwind. No capital is left to shore up her defences.
Freedom has been replaced by surveillance. Most impose censorship on themselves despite self-congratulatory lip service to the freedom of speech. Political correctness muzzles statements based on reality and dictates selective opinions. Equality has been changed by right-wing calls for national sovereignty and clear boundaries, in order to cope with the dissolution caused by extreme diversity. Political power and economics are no longer subject to the popular influence exercised through any real democratic process, power is exercised solely by multinational corporations and banks. Fraternity, or brotherhood, has been supplanted by individualism and isolation.
By merely tearing down established values and building on negative foundations, post-modernity has not produced cultural progress but rather decay which have now turned into self hatred. All precepts of liberal democracy have been eroded and remain as a thin varnish to conceal Western society’s loss of faith, loss of belief in own values, history and Christian identity. This loss of faith and the vacuum it generates is the force that sucks in and nurtures Islamism and terrorism.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.