Religion is a very ancient phenomenon. Among psychologists and social scientists, there is a consensus that it once served a useful purpose among our ancestors, e.g. in terms of social cohesion. Today, however, it can be well-argued that religion is the single greatest impediment to our species’ well-being. This is not difficult to understand, given the sectarian divisions that fuel so much of the death and destruction around us. Indeed, it is estimated that over a million Muslims and Hindus died during the partition of India – a clear-cut example of separation along religious lines. Like the human appendix, it would be foolish to take the usefulness of religion for granted simply because it continues to exist. To quote Sam Harris in this regard:
As a biological phenomenon, religion is the product of cognitive processes that have deep roots in our evolutionary past. Some researchers have speculated that religion itself may have played an important role in getting large groups of prehistoric humans to socially cohere. If this is true, we can say that religion has served an important purpose. This does not suggest, however, that it serves an important purpose now. There is, after all, nothing more natural than rape. But no one would argue that rape is good, or compatible with a civil society, because it may have had evolutionary advantages for our ancestors. That religion may have served some necessary function for us in the past does not preclude the possibility that it is now the greatest impediment to our building a global civilisation.
This is especially the case when it comes to Islam, unquestionably the most harmful religion of our day. Our planet is now home to approximately 1.6 billion Muslims, a great many of whom firmly believe that in the near future, you and I will either convert to Islam or be executed for our non-belief. That such an infantile mindset should be propped up by the votaries of ‘diversity’ is beyond absurd. As the late Christopher Hitchens put it, the demand for special consideration for Muslims, even to the extent of press censorship where they can claim “offense” and school segregation by sex where they can invoke tradition, is the demand not to extend our multicultural and polyethnic culture, but rather the demand to negate it. To quote A.C. Grayling in this regard:
Getting a hearing on condition of giving others a hearing, compromising, accepting that some of one’s desiderata are not going to happen, or not yet, are all marks of grown-up citizenship of the world. Islam is a religion that has a too-ready tendency to infantilise its votaries – the more eager they are, the more unreflective and doctrinaire the pieties substituting for their rationality and maturity, as one sees in the childishly angry demonstrations, inflamed by demagogues, against Danish cartoonists, Salman Rushdie, and the like.
Here is the reality: Islam is an inherently imperial religion. It strives to be the dominant political and spiritual force on the planet, as a rudimentary analysis of history testifies to. This imperial disposition creates a natural resentment among Muslims who have to live under non-Muslim (kafir) rule. This resentment is what leads many Muslim migrants to isolate themselves from the host population, thus creating Muslim enclaves. When the fanaticism of these enclaves is such that it enables jihadist preachers to assume the role of community leaders, this is when they become hubs for extremism, or ‘no-go zones’. To quote Dr. Tawfik Hamid, chair of the Study of Islamic Radicalism at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies, on the nature of these zones:
No-go zones are a very significant and serious problem, especially after the recent rush of refugees to Europe from Syria and other parts of the Muslim world. They are bringing a culture that is very different from the traditional Western culture, and with these numbers it is a very serious issue… [No-go zones] are a significant threat when you consider the high birth-rate of the Muslim community. Some of the Islamic groups encourage this because they know the more numbers they have in Western countries, the more influential they can be… It’s like when you see a cancer cell that is not causing any harm now, but later on, if it is left without intervention, it can cause very serious trouble. Even if you don’t see the trouble today, it does not mean that trouble is not coming.
Contrary to the mainstream narrative, terror attacks are rarely the consequence of self-radicalisation. “There is no such thing as a lone wolf”, says Belgian jihadism researcher Pieter Van Ostaeyen. “In most of the attacks committed in recent years, there was at least some contact, be it face-to-face or online, with operatives from a terror group.” Ostaeyen’s claims are supported by research from Oxford University on the importance of social networks; the study shows that friends or peers played the primary role in the recruitment of three-quarters of foreign fighters to ISIS. Mosques also play an important role in radicalisation; indeed, the perpetrators of the 2016 Brussels bombings are known to have frequented underground mosques in Molenbeek.
Thus far, the response of our political establishment to Islamic terror has effectively been to appease those who enable it. Instead, we should be dissolving Muslim enclaves and no-go zones, with the population being dispersed more widely. We should be shutting down jihadist mosques and schools, and putting their representatives on a watch list. Until these extremely basic steps are followed, there is no reason to expect the situation to improve. Ireland is not immune to the plague of Islamic terror: indeed, we now know that Rachid Redoaune not only lived in Rathmines for two years, but had originally planned to attack a well-known Dublin landmark. To quote Chris Phillips, former head of the National Counter-Terrorism Security Office in the United Kingdom:
Ireland is making the same mistakes that were made by France, Germany and Belgium more than ten years ago. They’re dismissing the threat of radical Islamic terrorism as someone else’s problem… It isn’t enough to pretend that these attacks wouldn’t happen here. A soft target is a soft target. That’s what these groups are looking for. It’s about making a statement.
The burning of the Swedish flag in a Muslim enclave.