If you’re one of those “kill the messenger” types, skip this column and go straight to the funnies because I’ve got disturbing news. We Americans — all of us — are in the crosshairs. Determined enemies around the world are taking aim at us, our way of life, our fundamental beliefs and the legacy we hope to leave our children and grandchildren. I don’t know how you’re processing events taking place across the Muslim world, but take a minute and consider how others are seeing things.
Earlier this week I received a startling email containing a news item, titled, “Welcome to Belgistan,” aired by CBN (The Christian Broadcast Network). The feature addressed the growing influence of the Muslim community in Belgium. According to the story, Muslims are the fastest-growing minority in Belgium’s major cities. For the last four years, the most common name for baby boys born in Brussels is “Mohammed.” Up to 40 percent of students attending schools in Belgium’s larger cities are Muslim. The reporter covering the story interviewed Abu Imran, the leader of a vocal group called “Sharia4Belgium.” Imran insists democracy and Islam are incompatible. In democracy, the majority rules. In Islam, it is Allah who rules. Imran believes the world is destined to be governed by sharia law. With a sparkle in his eye, he admonishes “the West” to be prepared for “a wave of sharia and Islam.”
The feature closes with Imran’s prophecy, “The victory of Allah is very near.”
Why should Americans take notice of the grandiose musings of a minor Muslim activist in faraway Belgium? Imran’s vision is not confined to Belgium. It’s shared by a growing number of anti-American activists operating on a global level. What evidence would Imran and his more violent co-religionists point to in support of their certainty that the West is ripe to be brought to its knees before the banner of Islam?
In the eyes of militant Islamists around the world, America is on the run. They believe America was driven out of Iraq by the staunch resistance of Muslim fighters. They boast that, at this very moment, America is retreating from Afghanistan. The radicals claim that indecisive, irresolute Americans could not stand against the righteous determination of Muslim fighters who flocked to Iraq and Afghanistan from around the world. They say that a weakened America has emboldened the previously compliant leaders of Pakistan to betray, insult and disdain American power without fear of meaningful response.
They point to uprisings in Indonesia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan and Egypt as evidence that Muslims worldwide are coming together to focus their rage on America, Islam’s great enemy. They applaud Iran’s rising power and defiance of America as proof that Islam is on the ascendency and the west is in decline.
They boast that, for the first time since the 1600s, Islam is on the march and the West has lost all will and skill for prolonged resistance.
They point to financial headlines as evidence that America’s extended battles in Iraq and Afghanistan have weakened to the point that America can no longer respond militarily if Islam opens battle fronts in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia, in Europe and ultimately America itself.
They argue that victory is assured because America has become financially impoverished due to foolish squandering of its resources and short-sighted piling of ridiculous debt levels. They rejoice in their belief that America is collapsing politically, militarily and morally before their very eyes.
They point with glee to the embarrassing array of headlines exposing the shameful acts of sexual excess committed by American politicians occupying some of the highest offices in the land. They point to highly publicized squandering of tax money in the most frivolous, disgraceful and wasteful of activities.
Our enemies point with pleasure to the petty sniping that characterizes America’s political discourse. They gloat in face of reports about America’s totally ineffective legislative fiascos leaving the country unable to address its mounting problems. They cheer America’s decision to withdraw diplomatic personnel from Muslim countries and they see this as yet another indicator of America’s fear and retreat.
The visceral response is to protest that these anti-American agitators are wrong and we are safe within the walls of “Fortress America.”
But let’s face an unsettling truth. America is teetering on the edge of a precipice. If we don’t get our house in order — morally, militarily, politically and economically — two outcomes are possible. We may blunder over the cliff ourselves or someone else will gladly push us. Even your weakest enemy can defeat you if you yourself provide them the weapons to do it. I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.
MIKE HINKLE is an Edmond resident and retired attorney.