Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Belloc warned us!

In 1936, Hilaire Belloc published The Battleground - Syria and Palestine, and it was republished by Ignatius Press in 2008. In chapter XIV (pp. 237ff) he says:

Then there came, more suddenly than we can conceive and as unexpectedly as an earthquake, a cataclysm -- a tidal wave.

None had foreseen it. There were no preliminary symptoms. It broke at once, and submerged everything. The triumph of Heraclius was not half a dozen years old when there came riding rapidly out of the desert from the south that light cavalry of whom no man had heard anything save, vaguely, that there were such fellows, wandering about on horseback over the sands for centuries past, and they were of no effect -- chance nomads and marauders. These swept up between a night and a morning, one may say, out of the wilderness into the stable land, riding in from the places where there was no settled thing, nor verse nor column nor majestic court of law, not throne nor official -- and overthrew all these things.

. . .

It will never be explained; we can only say that it happened; but we know that there was behind them and filling them with fire, a religion -- "Islam" -- "the submission", "the acceptation"; almost the same idea as that which lies behind our Roman term, "The Faith". A chance enthusiast had preached, far off down the caravan road, half-way down the Arabian littoral to the east of the Red Sea, something which was not a new religion but yet another heresy, and which proved of greater power than any of the heresies as yet lit by the stirring of the Christian thing.

Mohammed was the man who started the flame, but Mohammed did not make a new religion -- remember that. He did not preach one. He preached a Reformation. He based his movement on certain fundamental doctrines of that Christian thing which had apparently conquered the Roman world, but he proposed a settlement of difficulties by denying the Incarnation.

. . .

There was this strange thing about the new heresy, that was to master and swallow up all the rest, that it did not arise within the body of the Church; it came from the very fringes and from without.

. . .

Mohammed's burning appeal was an appeal to simplicity the the relaxation of the intelligence; and to relaxation also of restraint over the appetites of man.

* * *

We now skip to Belloc's epilogue where he talks about his present day, 1935; pp. 274ff.

We have to consider first of all that which is at the basis of all historical sequence, Religion.

The two Western Powers now nominally masters of Syria and for the moment in possession of organised rule from the desert to the Mediterranean, have behind them no strength of religion. Their motive has been and remains in part the odd modern exaggeration of nationalism, much more greed -- the opportunity for economic advantage particularly in oil, that dominating modern necessity, which frames and underlines half our policy: oil, without which men cannot fly, or maintain navies, or travel by road.

That inmost thing, Religion, whereby a community lives, is absent from the new occupation of Syria and its governments. It is present in individuals, it is not present in policy.

Western rule, atrophied of religion, has to maintain itself in the face of hostile millions who, on their side, have not lost the religion which made them and by which they live. The French and English officials, the armed forces which obey them (and these are not numerous), stand isolated in the midst of a sea of Islam all around.

That same force which destroyed the Crusades is present in Syria today, and it is as active as ever. It is disarmed, or partly disarmed, on the material side; but spiritually it is sufficiently armed. Whether Islam throughout the Eastern world, from the Atlantic to the Ganges, will recover material equality with us of the West we cannot tell; but there is no rational basis for denying the possibility of that resurrection. . . .

. . .

[On Zionism:]

It has behind it what none of the other forces intruding upon the Syrian world can boast -- a strong moral motive, not technically religious, but having the force of a religion. The Jewish race as a whole, in spite of certain dissidents, and certainly the Jewish immigrants pouring into Palestine, are inspired by as strong a motive as can move men to action. But this strength alone would not maintain the Jews against the fierce hostility of the Moslem world which surrounds them. That hostility is another moral force with which the future cannot but be filled. We in the West do not appreciate it because we do not hear its expression, we are not witnesses of the gestures not partners in the conversations which fill the Near East; but if we ignore it we are ignoring something which may change our fate.

* * *

Belloc warned us. How many listened?

Today I saw online an article in World Net Daily, http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=119328 an article that left me spluttering furious.

Islamic mosque built at 9/11 Ground Zero
Muslim business leader: 'This has hand of the divine written over it'

And a couple of weeks ago there was an article in a local newspaper about Major Hasan, making all kinds of pathetic dumbass excuses for him. And at the time a neighbor of mine, a person who genuinely wants to like people, said, "I can't ever trust a Moslem again."

Me neither.

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