My family and I flew out of Heathrow Airport four days before the terror arrests, and that was just a little too close for comfort. With terror in the news, my 9-year-old asked me the other day, “do you think anyone will ever drop a nuclear bomb on the United States?” I tried not to answer, because in truth I would have had to say yes.
I think Westerners are plagued by the question “why do they hate us?” because we need to feel we have some control. Abused children always try to figure out what they did to provoke the attack, so that they can prevent the next one. The alternative—the thought that they did nothing, but their parents are just evil and unpredictable—is too horrible to contemplate. So instead they blame themselves. Today our society is acting the same way, believing that terror is somehow our fault, so by extension we can fix it. At heart, the terrorists are just like you and me, and if we can talk about their grievances, everything will be okay.
But what if they’re not like you and me? If the Islamic fascist starting point isn’t “we want to change your policies”, but simply “we want to kill you all”, and our starting point is “we’d prefer not to be killed, thank you very much”, where is the compromise? And it really doesn’t matter what we may have done to anger them; Al Qaeda still spouts fury that Muslims lost Spain 600 years ago. Besides, once you’re willing to blow up a passenger aircraft, reasoning has already gone out the window.
My children are growing up under a nuclear threat perhaps even scarier than the one my mother grew up under, with its school drills of “duck and cover”. The difference, I think, is that our enemy isn’t rational and, too often, is just plain evil. I am not saying all Muslims are evil; only that there are elements of Islamic fundamentalist culture which definitely are.
For instance, it is evil to marry off a 13-year-old girl to some 63-year-old man to be his third wife. It is evil to force women to cover themselves head to toe in black in the hottest countries of the earth. It is evil for women to hold down her 5-year-old daughter while another woman slices off part of her genitals, condemning her to a life void of sexual pleasure and filled with chronic infections and pain. It is evil to behead your 7-year-old daughter, as one Iranian man did in September of 2002, because you fear your brother may have raped her. It is evil for Iran to sentence 16-year-old rape victim Atefeh Rajabil to stoning, and then have the judge and magistrates gang rape her again the night before the sentence is carried out. It is also evil to sentence 13-year-old Jila Izadi to death because her 15-year-old brother impregnated her. It is evil for Saudi Arabian police to force 14-year-old schoolgirls to burn to death rather than allowing them to escape into the street without their veils. And it is evil for a Pakistani tribal council to sentence Mukhtari Bibi to be gang-raped because her younger brother talked with a girl outside his tribe.
I know it is not politically correct to say such things, but what other word is there for such atrocities? And if these societies are this brutal to their own, how do we expect them to act towards us?
I always believed, though, that if women just had the ability to fight back, that their society would be saved, and likewise the world with it. These hopes have now been largely dashed.
My dread started when Um Nidal was elected to the Hamas Parliament. What were her qualifications? She has sent three sons on suicide missions into Israel, and plans on sending more. The tale of two of the London terror suspects sent shivers down my spine, too. Abduli Ali and his wife Cossor did not plan on flying—and dying—alone. Their 6-month-old son Zain would be with them, along with the liquid explosives hidden in his bottle.
When women consider killing their children acceptable, even desirable, as long as they take some of us with them, what weapons do we have left? Deterrence won’t work. Such sentiments are certainly the minority in the Muslim community, but that minority has control of many Middle Eastern governments, including Iran.
Too many people in this world would like nothing better than to incinerate our children. And too many Westerners won’t look at that truth squarely in the face, preferring instead to pooh-pooh the threat rather than to own up to how much danger we’re actually in. And, ironically, that’s what’s probably going to hurt us most. If we don’t face the threat, there’s no way we can defeat it.
It’s crazy. It’s horrifying. And it’s life. And so, as I sit in my little small town Canadian bubble, huddling with my daughters, I can’t help but wonder how long it is until my bubble pops.