In a memorable moment the White Queen in Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ declares that she used to believe ‘six impossible things before breakfast’. This line has always been regarded as a bit of fun, a contribution to the quirkiness of the story. Now, however, it can almost be seen as a description of the Western cultural landscape at the beginning of the 21st century.
Decades of ‘deconstructionism’, cultural relativism and wishful thinking has brought us to the point where millions out there are convinced that reality is something that we simply make up as we go along. You probably do not need me to point out what strange and bitter fruit this is bearing. We are being subjected on a daily basis to the apocalyptic rantings of those who assure us (for more than 30 years running) that we have ’12 months to save the planet’. Biological realities are ignored in favor of an alphabet soup of identities and pronouns. In short we are speeding towards the point of civilizational disintegration described in WB Yeates’ prophetic poem ‘The Second Coming’: “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold/Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.”
What does this have to do with Islam, and its dreams of world domination?
Asymmetrical Conceptions of Truth: The first thing to note is that even if I interpret the world through a fuzzy lens it does not mean that others will follow suit. We have to acknowledge that the vast majority of Muslims view their faith as True with a capital ‘T’. That is not going to change because many Westerners have misty notions about what constitutes reality. We cannot hopefully believe that ‘Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them’ (Qur’an 9:29) means exactly the same thing as ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ and expect the followers of Islam to follow suit. When relativism meets rock solid conviction it always comes out second best. If Islam is going to be challenged it will have to be done by people who are convinced that it is untrue and dangerous. If that statement seems harsh, it is perhaps only because we have drunk too deeply from the relativist sea in which we swim. The fact is, however, that feel-good ‘true for you but not for me’ notions will not do when confronted by an ideology whose adherents are utterly convinced of its truth.
Wishful Thinking as the Basis for Policy: Recently we had yet another statement by a high-profile politician describing Islam as he wished it was. Jeremy Corbyn, UK leader of the opposition, piously described Islam as a ‘religion of peace and love’. We were, of course, not treated to any kind of objective basis for this claim. Wishing it was so seemed to be enough. In my book ‘Nothing to do with Islam?’ I present a long list of similar statements. All made, with great conviction, by people who do not have the foggiest idea of the fundamental teachings of Islam. Still, because they sincerely hope and wish that Islam was a ‘religion of peace’ they confidently declare it to be one. And why not? Truth is what we decide it is after all.
There is, of course, a problem. Whether it is in the area of gender confusion, climate alarmism or Islam: Reality is not suspended when we choose to ignore or deny it. Instead, reality always bites back. If we care about our civilization we need to help this process along as much as possible. This means that we should choose, in all circumstances, to be truth-tellers. Even if this means making unpalatable statements about the world’s second largest religion. Never accepting the sugar coated, feel-good, denials of the plain truth but instead choosing to present the facts of how things really are. Will, it cause you to be called names (denier, bigot, Islamophobe)? Almost certainly. It will, however, also grant you the satisfaction of knowing that you did not bow at the altar of unreality.