The Right Coast
September 06, 2004
Radical Muslim Depravity
By Tom Smith
This story is making the rounds of blogs (I got it via Polipundit). It's a grim account of the depraved behavior of the Chechen and Arab terrorists inside the school in Beslan. They bayonetted babies, raped 15 year old girls, and of course slaughtered children indiscrimately.
This sort of depraved behavior is not unprecedented in the annals of war, but it is still rare enough to make an impression. One naturally asks, how could they be so evil? About a year ago, I shot a rabbit that was chewing on my lawn. The rabbit screamed piteously, and I ended up having to club it to death with the butt of my air rifle. I felt bad about it. Now, I pretty much let the rabbits eat. How could someone be physically able to bayonette an infant, to murder a boy for begging for water, to drag a terrified 15 year old girl from her parents, and rape her, while your friends videotaped it? The animals who did this were far gone in evil, off in a place few of us can imagine, let alone go.
I think part of the explanation for the depravity of the terrorists lies in their ideology. That ideology is an offshoot of the Islamic religion, though it seems fair to acknowledge that hardly all, presumably not a majority, of Muslims would approve of such acts. Though, like many, I am taken aback that the condemnations of these atrocities from Muslim leaders have not been exactly deafening.
One thing missing, or at least not acknowledged enough, in discussions of terrorism, has been that the war we are in is not really a war against terrorism, which is only a tactic, but a war against an idea, or set of ideas. Because of the influence of various materialist theories of history, and other reasons, I think educated people tend to give ideologies short shrift as powerful forces. German nationalism was brutal and problematic enough, but mixed with the poisonous stew of ideas that was Naziism, it became truly malignant. The same could be said for Russian national imperialism and Leninism/Stalinism.
I think a mistake people often make is to underestimate the power of idea systems that are facially ridiculous, but for whatever strange reason, are able to exert strange power over minds. Radical Islam, for want of a better term, seems to be one of those ideologies. I am no expert on it, but I gather that Islamic terrorists believe that if they die as "martyrs," they will get a big supernatural reward. They apparently believe any amount of murdering and cruelty in the name of Allah is permissible. Anything like a normal conscience has apparently been swallowed up by a cultish worship of death. Children are apparently raised to think this way. Infidels are diminished to status less than human, or at any rate, to a level where they can be killed without mercy.
These kinds of ideologies are memetic diseases ,that have nothing to recommend them, but their ability to spread. I think it is the duty of civilized countries to suppress them, as we did with the Nazis and and the British did with the Thuggee in India. The "thugs" were worshippers of the goddess of destruction Kali, and made a living by traveling with pilgrims, strangling them and taking their money. They had existed for centuries and had an elaborate cult of deceit, cruelty and death. They were a rich, "other" culture alright, and they were deeply evil. The British did the world a favor by wiping them out. If you want to learn about predatory Hindu death cults, now you have to read a book, and in the pages of a book is the only place they ought to be suffered to exist.
American multi-culturalists encourage a view that the world is a big family, marvelously full of exotic belief systems, all deserving of our respect. A more realistic view is that belief systems routinely spring up that are rooted in, and dedicated to, evil, on a scale the bigger, the better, and that such systems are dangerous and need to be destroyed. The sooner we realize this is the case about Islamic death worship, or whatever you want to call it, the better off we will be. Both Christianity and Hinduism have also thrown off weird, ugly and dangerous movements the world is well rid of. Some of the pre-Columbian American cultures were no bargains, either. (Capturing, sexually torturing, then murdering captives by the thousand, for instance, uses up all your multi-culti credits in my book, for instance. The Spanish were brutes, but I wouldn't want to live in a world with nuclear armed Aztecs, either.)
Yet for all the variety of evil, it has a familiar face. It enjoys the suffering it inflicts, it even glories in it. Hence the videotaping of the rapes. Children and young women are favorite victims. The power of sex to humiliate is used, as are other human vulnerabilities, such as the love of parents and children for each other, and that as mere humans, we need food, water and respite from heat and cold. The monsters of Beslan join a diabolical fraternity that includes the sadists of the SS, Stalin's henchmen, the Khemer Rouge fanatics, and thousands of others stretching back to the dawn of time.
The monsters of Beslan are trying to tell us something, and so are their childish victims, and we should listen. They're telling us there is an evil ideology loose in the world. It has happened before, and now it has happened again. The monsters are saying "we are the ones who murder children in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children. We rape the girls and relish the torments we inflict on our victims, the more innocent, the better. We know who we are. Do you dare oppose us?" It's a good question.