Platitudes and Hashtags Won’t Stop Terrorism
Time to break the cycle of mourning and take action.
Once again, international landmarks are lit up brightly in solidarity with victims of Islamic barbarism, and social media are festooned with hashtags of sympathy for the butchered. Enough. Such safe and easy displays are well-meaning but they serve little purpose beyond making us feel good about our compassion; then we settle back into being comfortably numb (pace Pink Floyd) about the ongoing threat until the next time dozens are killed. It’s long past time we broke the cycle of mourning our dead and started taking concrete actions to prevent more fatalities.
After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, the social media slogan “Je Suis Charlie” went viral. After the ghastly Paris attacks last November, Facebook supporters swathed their profile pics in the French flag. The victims of the San Bernardino jihadist assault in December got short shrift because the city unfortunately doesn’t have a flag to make virtue-signaling convenient. But after the Brussels slaughter in March, the French tricoleur was swapped out for Belgium’s black, yellow, and red. Now that fifty Orlando gay clubgoers are dead and another fifty+ wounded, rainbows abound.
These are the touching but ultimately empty gestures of a culture that is already resigned to losing the clash of civilizations. They will do nothing to save lives the next time around – and there will continue to be many more “next times” throughout the West until we say no more, until we refuse to accept that suffering terrorist savagery is our new normal. We must reverse our mindset, think like conquerors instead of the conquered, and deal aggressively with the source of all this misery: Islam.
In the wake of the Orlando massacre, the calls to fight this relentless evil with love were legion. Shark Tank co-host Robert Herjavec’s tweet exemplifies their sincere but impotent heartache: “There are just no words,” he wrote. “Nothing seems appropriate enough. Just choose Love. Love Wins #PrayersForOrlando” With all due respect to Herjavec, my favorite TV entrepreneur, choosing love isn’t enough when someone else has chosen to kill you. In the face of such a merciless enemy, it is not love we must choose but life, and we do that by choosing not to be a victim, by choosing to fight back, by choosing to kill if necessary. Choosing life by taking another’s may seem like a contradiction or hypocrisy to the morally confused, but that is often the choice we are given in the eternal clash of good and evil. And if we are unwilling and unprepared to make that choice, the enemy will make it for us.
Big Government harpy Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted a similarly high-minded message. “That’s the message of Pride,” she wrote. “That’s who we are. That’s how we’ll defeat hate, & how we protect America.” She closed with the meaningless hashtag “#loveislove,” a bland sentiment that is sure to soften the stony hearts of ISIS killers, if only they would take a break from videotaping gruesome snuff films long enough to read Warren’s Twitter feed. Sorry, Fauxcahontas, we will not defeat “hate” and protect America through pride; it’s going to take going to war with fundamentalist Islam, and that’s a bridge too far for leftists who are already locked into what David Horowitz calls an unholy alliance with radical Islam.
For some reason Nashville Mayor Megan Barry felt compelled to issue a similar statement about the Orlando massacre. She momentarily hit the right note, calling the killings “pure evil”; but then she kicked the legs out from under that assertion with this gag-inducing solution: “We must meet that evil with an overwhelming show of love.” No, we must meet evil with an overwhelming show of righteous force.
The cast of the Tony-winning historical musical Hamilton symbolically acknowledged the Orlando terrorism by performing that Sunday evening without muskets – a pathetic misfire of a gesture which did not target jihad at all but rather steered the issue toward the left’s foremost obsession (well, second only to transgender bathrooms): gun confiscation.
Speaking of Tonys, host James Corden opened Sunday night’s Tony Awards in New York City with a somber announcement about “the horrific events” in Orlando (Islam was never mentioned, of course, nor was the word “terrorism”). “Your tragedy is our tragedy,” he intoned, referring to the audience behind him who apparently were so traumatized by the Orlando atrocity that they could find healing only by attending a black tie event of Broadway theater entertainment. “Hate will never win,” Corden promised, to an explosion of applause.
I have news for Mr. Corden and everyone on Twitter who feels that an abundance of #LoveWins hashtags will somehow crush ISIS: jihadist hate most certainly will win if we, all of us, don’t drop the mushy platitudes and begin fighting in a very literal sense for our lives, our families, our country, and our civilization.
The very first step is acknowledging that the root cause of all this butchery is Islam – not the AR-15, not the NRA, not “easy access to guns,” not colonialism, not “Islamophobia,” not the alienation of Muslims from society, not global warming, not poverty, not the Tea Party, not “a tiny minority of extremists,” not the Israeli “occupation” of “Palestine,” not some amorphous “hate,” but the racist, violent, theocratic, supremacist ideology of Islam. Our leaders from the White House on down must be unafraid to state that the world has a jihad problem, and to express a determination of Churchillian magnitude to defeat it.
Beyond that, there are some glaringly obvious concrete steps we must take. In no particular order, here are a few for a good start: vote the radical left and RINOs out of office; fight to your last breath for your 1st and 2nd Amendment rights; marginalize or better yet shut down all the Muslim Brotherhood legacy groups, whose mission is to destroy us from within – from CAIR to the Islamic Society of North America to the Muslim Students Association and all the rest; shut down imams who foster radicalism; get serious about our borders and our immigration policies; make a thorough housecleaning of every security-sensitive position from Homeland Security to airport baggage handling; lay merciless waste to ISIS.
Don’t get me wrong. Gestures of solidarity can be psychologically empowering, though it’s doubtful they will demoralize the fanatical enemy we are facing. Hashtags, as silly as they often are, can spread awareness. The power of love is unquestionably transformative. But love can change only one willing soul at a time; it cannot in one fell swoop erase the cruelty and hatred from the hearts of ISIS or from generations of fundamentalist Muslims brainwashed to love death more than life and to despise infidels with a murderous fury. Changing the enemy through love sounds beautiful but in reality is an incremental – sometimes even generational – process and not a strategy of strength to reverse the tide of evil now.
Mourning the victims of violent jihad brings us all together as Americans. Enough. Now it’s time that we are just as united by our resolve to eradicate this scourge.
Mark Tapson is the editor of TruthRevolt.org and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.