Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Three Words

Via The Speculist comes a bleak short story by Dan Simmons.
I tried to relax. “What do you want to talk about?” I said.

“The Century War,” said the Time Traveler.

I blinked and tried to remember some history. “You mean the Hundred Year War? Fifteenth Century? Fourteenth? Sometime around there. Between . . . France and England? Henry V? Kenneth Branagh? Or was it . . .”

“I mean the Century War with Islam,” interrupted the Time Traveler. “Your future. Everyone’s.” He was no longer smiling. Without asking, or offering to pour me any, he stood, refilled his Scotch glass, and sat again. He said, “It was important to me to come back to this time early on in the struggle. Even if only to remind myself of how unspeakably blind you all were.”

“You mean the War on Terrorism,” I said.

“I mean the Long War with Islam,” he said. “The Century War. And it’s not over yet where I come from. Not close to being over.”

“You can’t have a war with Islam,” I said. “You can’t go to war against a religion. Radical Islam, maybe. Jihadism. Some extremists. But not a . . . the . . . religion itself. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are peaceloving people who wish us no harm. I mean . . . I mean . . . the very word ‘Islam’ means ‘Peace.’”

“So you kept telling yourselves,” said the Time Traveler. His voice was very low but there was a strange and almost frightening edge to it. “But the ‘peace’ in ‘Islam’ means ‘Submission.’ You’ll find that out soon enough”

It goes on. Gets worse. The scenario can't happen of course. We'd never allow it. Never, never never.


You need only look to what is happening in Europe now, extrapolate (If This Goes On) and voila - Simmons' future. Not fleets but an army of immigres.

Couldn't happen? Maybe. But do realize that thousands - a low number - live under de facto Sharia law in Europe. An entire culture pays lip service to a minority religion upon pain of riot, murder and mayhem.

Ask the chain restaurant who withdrew a confection because the flavor swirl on the top looked like the Prophet. Ask the people who can't (for the love of Jesus and A.A. Milne) have mugs with "Piglet' on them because the image of a pig offends. Ask that guy who was murdered in the streets for an 'offensive' film that showed less explicit sex than your average episode of 'The Sopranos'.

Ask 'Cartoon Network' about self-censorship.

Can't happen here? Probably not. But we're blind if we don't see the hazards 'If This Goes On ..'
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