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Lack of imagination

Reader comment on item: In Defense of Europe's So-called Far Right
in response to reader comment: Defense Cannot be Appropriated Through Placating the Enemy

Submitted by Warren D Peace (Switzerland), Feb 1, 2015 at 10:10

Hello, Mr. Tovey.

Some years ago we had quite a few great exchanges which I very much enjoyed. I posted then under my real name, while nowadays, being known on quite a few websites (RealClear, Politico, NZZ and NewsMax) as a harsh critic of Islam, I have become a bit more prudent. You may remember the Swiss-American from California.

Anyway - I have a little story for you, which made me more scared about our Western Civilization, than all the beheadings and violence we read so much about in the news.

Last winter, being in Switzerland, I waddled along the mainstreet in some unknown rural town during a snow&rain storm. The sun was setting early and the streets empty, as no one in his right mind would be out and about in this nasty weather without a pressing reason.

All of a sudden a cargo van stopped next to a side street, and several men got out with pieces of an old card box. They laid these on the ground of the sidewalk, grabbed prayer rugs and put them on top of them and then proceeded to pray, while the rain was pouring down upon them. I stood there, shivering in my thick coat, 30 feet away, with my stupid umbrella and in utter amazement. What devotion! What a sense of faith and duty. The toughness. They did not care about what any onlooker might think. They didn't care about the cold and the wetness. And, they didn't care, whether they were in some middle eastern desert or in a backalley in some backwater town in Switzerland.

That was the moment I realized that these people, in terms of mental toughness, will, devotion, faith, which can so easily be channeled into dangerous expressions, could easily pose a grave danger to our degenerate, weak, disillusioned, secular, pessimistic, self-absorbed society which has lost its will to fight or stand up for our hard-fought principles. If they say that they want to institute a worldwide Caliphate, starting with increasingly modifying and changing our own society towards that end, we better believe it. And, by the way, those individuals were not some radical Salafists, distributing Qu'rans in the streets of Berlin or radicalized students of the Birmningham mosque or Choudary's disciples - no. These were the typical, average "moderate" Muslims, likely non-violent and non-radical. And yet, the idea of such people making it into our governments or legislatures, voting and deciding upon any bills or legislation impacting me or mine, scared the living daylight out of me. Like wolves running loose in a corrall full of sheep. Yes, maybe tame and trained, but who would possibly wanna take that risk? I couldn't help myself thinking about the infamous scorpion and the fox who was to carry him across a river, only to be stung by it right in the middle. Both drowning, the fox asks the scorpion, why he stung him, since now, both would be drowning, and the scorpion answered him laconically - it's in my nature.

The scorpions we debate about celebrate death and the afterlife. Time and again they prove this to us all with suicide attacks. And time and again, we lack the imagination necessary to anticipate true evil. If on Sept.10, 2001 I would have warned about terrorists flying airplanes into skyscrapers, I would have been institutionalized, as we did not have the imagination to foreseeing evil on such a scale. Then came the belt-way sniper and proved to us all, that soft target terror is as devastating as any symbolic act of gigantomanism, yet so much easier to perpetrate.

Today, I fear most a biological act of terror - the soft target version of a nuclear bomb, proliferated by for instance Iran to some org like Hezbollah.... Once again, considering the helpless, confused policy vs. Iran, the West seems to lack the mentioned imagination again, as they might well waggle the finger of the left hand (nuclear development), while performing like a magician a sleigh of hand with the right (bio weaponry, which is so much easier, cheaper and with less chatter to do).

And we are still sleeping with no respective and wide-reaching emergency protocols developed, let alone in place - albeit heatedly debating PEGIDA and Islamophobia.....

It is not so much ISIS and Al Quaeda I fear. I fear our own lack of imagination.


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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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