For those shouting, “Gas the Jews!” and, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s recent essay should be compulsory reading. Hirsi Ali, an internationally famous author and commentator who was raised as a Muslim and then became an atheist, explains why Christianity is central to the West’s survival.
Hirsi Ali argues fundamentalist Islam, proven by Hamas’ evil and barbaric actions in murdering and raping women and children, is inherently inhumane and destructive. Worse still is the neo-Marxist inspired woke epidemic that is undermining what makes Western civilisation so great.
Such is the existential threat facing Western countries presented by enemies within and without, that we must realise our peace and security can no longer be guaranteed. She argues the West must especially acknowledge and defend Judeo-Christianity.
As a young girl living in Somalia, Hirsi Ali details how she and her friends were indoctrinated with a radical view of Islam preached by the terrorist group Islamic Brotherhood. Such groups preach a violent jihad against the West where non-believers are condemned as infidels and either killed or converted.
Given the war in Gaza, it’s significant that Hirsi Ali writes:
A special hatred was reserved for one subset of the unbeliever: the Jew. We cursed the Jew multiple times a day and expressed horror, disgust and anger at the litany of offences he had allegedly committed. The Jew had betrayed our prophet.
Soon after the horrific 9/11 attack on New York’s twin towers, Ali Hirsi explains how the uncertainty and confusion arising from the terrorist attack led her to question the Islamic religion and, after discovering Bertrand Russell, why she became an atheist.
I found my cognitive dissonance easing. It was a relief to adopt an attitude of scepticism towards religious doctrine, discard my faith in God and declare no such entity existed. Best of all, I could reject the existence of hell and the danger of everlasting punishment.
After initially enjoying her new won freedom from religion, Hirsi Ali realises such are the threats to Western nations like Australia, what is needed is a belief system grounded in something more enduring, uplifting and morally and spiritually enriching.
She argues Russia’s war in the Ukraine, China’s threat to invade Taiwan, Islam’s jihad or Holy War against unbelievers and the infectious spread of woke ideology undermining Western civilisation cannot be opposed by military means or imposing sanctions and employing secular ideology.
Instead, she writes the only answer…
…lies in our desire to uphold the legacy of the Judeo-Christian religion. That legacy consists of an elaborate set of ideas and institutions to safeguard human life, freedom and dignity – from the nation state and the rule of law to the institutions of science, health and learning.
Judeo-Christianity provides a system of morality and truth underpinning concepts like the inherent dignity of the person, a commitment to social justice and the common good as well as individual freedom and freedom of conscience.
Such is the power of the Old and New Testaments that one of the first actions carried out by totalitarian governments, whether communist or fascist, is to destroy the churches, kill the nuns and priests and burn the Bible.
The Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci describes, “socialism as the religion destined to kill Christianity” on the basis that, in order to be indoctrinated and controlled, citizens must owe their allegiance to the Party and worship the earthly Supreme Ruler.
History tells us religion is essential to any civilisation’s prosperity, growth and survival. To be human is to seek answers to such perennial questions as what’s the meaning of life, why are we here on this earth, what happens after death and how do we find truth and justice.
What makes Western civilisation unique is that Judeo-Christianity answers such questions. Hirsi Ali argues:
I ultimately found life without any spiritual solace unendurable — indeed very nearly self-destructive. Atheism failed to answer a simple question: what is the meaning and purpose of life?
What those thousands of students demonstrating in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane fail to realise is that in defending Hamas and calling for Israel’s destruction they are endorsing barbarism and evil while ignoring Israel’s right to protect human life and defend liberty and freedom.
Islamic states like Iran, communist Russia and China as well as North Korea are oppressive, dictatorial regimes representing an axis of evil. In order to resist such darkness Hirsi Ali tells us we must find the light by acknowledging the West’s patrimony and what makes us unique.
Unless we offer something as meaningful, I fear the erosion of our civilisation will continue. And fortunately, there is no need to look for some new-age concoction of medication and mindfulness. Christianity has it all.
[This article was first published in the Daily Telegraph.]
Dr Kevin Donnelly is a Senior Fellow at the ACU’s PM Glynn Institute and author of The Dictionary Of Woke. He is one of Australia’s leading conservative public intellectuals, and has been actively engaged in the culture war since 1992. Kevin is committed to a liberal view of education, one based on truth and wisdom, and on Christian morals and beliefs. With years of experience researching, publishing and speaking on education, culture and religion, he is a sought after commentator in Australian media and conferences.
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