When I was a boy, I lived in the Middle East, Amara and then Basra, Iraq, to be exact, followed by some months in a ghetto for foreign workers at Dharan, Saudi Arabia.
In Saudi, we never saw Arabs because we were, again, in a ghetto, purposefully segregated by the government, I guess so we evil, infidel foreigners would not contaminate the local Islamic population? I don't know. We could drive to the beach or to the Aramco ghetto, but there wasn't much to see outside the ghetto, anyway. Then again, inside the ghetto, there was absolutely nothing. No kids. No parks. No stores. All I remember are blocks of single family homes with small yards and little vegetation and a boring existence. I think we lasted six weeks, although I can't say. It was early 1976 that we arrived, and all I know is that I was attending a parochial school in Canton, Ohio, before the end of the '75-'76 school year.
Iraq, however, is an entirely different story. It was an exciting, wonderful place. I loved it. Of course, I was a seven, eight year old little boy, and everything was magical, new, and different, the sights, the smells, the people, especially the people.
The people were magnificent. They were wonderful, gregarious, generous, open, hospitable, giving, and every good adjective you can find to describe other humans. Yes, there were the cretins who would pinch my mom's rear while she walked down the street, but those weren't the people with whom we had our normal interactions. There was our driver in Amara, an imposing man in his 50s with a wide girth, a wider grin, and a still wider heart. There was our driver in Basra, Abdul Wahed, a good, patient man who endured a lot from us obnoxious American kids (he drove all the American families, not just mine, and all of us, I'm sure we drove him insane, but he was such a good egg).
One day, I will return to Iraq, not just to see the sights, but also to see if I can find any of those wonderful people. It was this influence on me that in part led me to eagerly befriend a Palestinian gentleman named Mohammed when I was in college working the front desk at a nearby Marriott. He was also good and gracious, as well as highly intelligent, and we broke bread together many times.
The point of this trip down memory lane is that I well know not all Muslims are jihadists intent on enslaving you and me as dhimmi. However, from the studying I've done, I'm convinced those that aren't are a) not well catechized in their faith or b) aren't good Muslims. Because to be a good Muslim, you have to follow the Qu'ran and the hadith. And they have little to say about loving one's enemies and much to say about doing violence into those who stand in the way of Islam's total domination.
The problem is, however, that the number of "good" Muslims doesn't seem to be decreasing. Rather, just the opposite. And, as a result, this sort of litany is possible.
We must wake up. We must stop pretending there is some peaceful strain of Islam that will prevail. It will not. The religion is satanic in origin, bent on hellish destruction, and thus will only metastisize in its more perverse expressions as time goes on. This isn't to say we enact lynch mobs or segregate them as we did with the Japanese in WWII or the German American population in WWI. We do not defeat barbarity with more barbarism.
However, how do we defeat them? The strategy employed in the latter part of the Cold War by Reagan, Thatcher, and Bl. John Paul II was a great one, but it's not easily transferrable to this situation.
The only way to do this is through evangelization. Help these people to see that it is not that the "crusaders" are bent on keeping them down -- and that is why they've wallowed in backwater, impoverished conditions for centuries while the West and certain other parts of the world have advanced apace -- but that the very religion to which they cling so dearly is what is keeping them back, as we see here and here.
What are your thoughts? What should we do?
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.