Why ‘Burn a Koran Day’ Fizzled

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Why ‘Burn a Koran Day’ Fizzled

In the face of Muslim aggression, America and Europe are charting different paths.

Remember Salman Rushdie? When he published his book The Satanic Verses in 1988, Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini said he must die.

America’s leaders took swift action. Though Rushdie was British, the U.S. Senate supported his freedom of speech by passing a unanimous resolution “to protect the right of any person to write, publish, sell, buy and read books without fear of violence.”

Still, the incident marked the start of a new era, one we’ve lived in ever since: where Western freedoms are under attack from Muslim aggression. It has played out around the world, particularly in Britain and Europe.

Recent high-profile cases show this battle still rages. In America, they reveal the shameful extent of what has become the nation’s subservience to radical Islam. In Europe, they point in a very different direction. These trends will prove to have formidable consequences.

Last month, Pastor Terry Jones didn’t actually burn a Koran. But he did ignite a heated national debate—and he lit a torch that exposed America’s weakness in the face of Islam.

When the Florida minister proclaimed September 11 “International Burn a Koran Day,” he incensed Muslims around the world. Once again, America’s leaders took swift action—but unlike in 1989, this time it was all aimed at shutting up the offender. President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, State Secretary Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder and General David Petraeus all went public to pressure Pastor Jones to call off the event. Jones complied. (And still19 peopledied in Muslim protests.)

Thus, as commentator Daniel Pipes has brought out, the U.S. joined the list of Western nations since the 1989 Rushdie affair whose leaders have sacrificed their own country’s liberties in order to appease Muslims. The Obama administration’s “pressure on Mr. Jones further eroded freedom of speech about Islam and implicitly established Islam’s privileged status in the United States, whereby Muslims may insult others but not be insulted,” Pipes wrote. “Mr. Obama in effect enforced Islamic law, a precedent that could lead to other forms of compulsory sharia compliance.”

Washington has worked overtime to reach out to Muslims, but this was the most public example yet of its actually trying to silence its own citizens out of fear of Muslim retribution.

The American media’s self-imposed sharia compliance also came under the spotlight last month when a Seattle-based cartoonist went into hiding to protect herself from Muslim death threats. Last spring, Molly Norris, to protest Muslim death threats against another cartoonist, proclaimed “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day.” Yemeni-based terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki responded in July by declaring Norris “a prime target of assassination” and saying that “her proper abode is hellfire.” On advice from the fbi, in September she moved, changed her name and erased her identity.

“Surely, you say, American journalists and media moguls—always staunch defenders of the First Amendment—are proclaiming outrage and rallying round this young woman?” wrote columnist Katherine Kersten. “On the contrary. The media have largely been silent about her nightmarish plight.” The American Society of News Editors and the Society of Professional Journalists both refused to comment on the situation.

These responses expose a nation in fear. “When Islam is the subject,” wrote Pipes, “freedom of speech is but a pre-1989 memory. Writers, artists, and editors readily acknowledge that criticizing Islam can endanger their lives.” Not to mention politicians and military brass.

America has been fighting a war for nine years and it still thinks the path to victory is by not offending the enemy. Since criticizing Islam can endanger our lives, that must be the problem. The way to peace is to become subservient to Islam. That, in effect, is how America is conducting itself.

The nation is suffering in the throes of the curse in Leviticus 26:17: “[T]hey that hate you shall reign over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.”

Europe’s reaction to the same threat is beginning to take a decidedly different path. After years of putting up little fight, Europe is changing course. Anti-Islamic sentiment is steadily growing to the point where today the backlash is getting nasty.

In what was once a haven for multiculturalism, politicians across the Continent are successfully campaigning on anti-immigration platforms. Geert Wilders—who is currently being tried for inciting hatred of Muslims because of his denunciations of Islam—leads the third-largest party in the Dutch Parliament. Following elections in June, the new coalition government needs the votes he controls in order to hold a parliamentary majority. In return for this support, Wilders is demanding, among other things, a ban on burkas. Last year in Austria, the Future of Austria, an anti-Islam party and the country’s main far-right party, won a landslide victory in regional elections in the state of Carinthia. Right-wing parties in other countries, including Hungary and Italy, have also ridden to power on the back of anti-Islamic and anti-immigration sentiment.

Many European leaders have been taking action, establishing stronger anti-terrorism forces, increasing their police’s freedom to act against Islamist elements, expelling radical Muslims from their midst. They are passing laws against building minarets and wearing Muslim headdresses.

Last year, Switzerland banned the construction of new minarets after 57.5 percent of voters supported the measure in a national referendum. In September, the French Senate voted overwhelmingly to ban face-covering veils like the burka. Belgium is working to pass a similar law. Last spring, a European parliamentarian called for a Europe-wide burka ban. In Germany, Bavaria’s interior minister shut down an Islamic center in Munich in 2005, outlawing the Bavarian-based Islamic group, the Multi-Kultur-Haus.

Germany and other countries are increasingly calling for the deportation of foreigners, and detention camps are springing up all over Europe. These moves are largely aimed at Muslim immigrants who aren’t assimilating into the “Christian-Occidental culture,” as Germany’s Roland Koch, governor of the state of Hesse, said in 2007.

Where America appears to be increasingly dominated by fear, Europe is growing in resolve.

Don’t expect the forces of radical Islam to back down. They are pushing. They hold fast their goal of getting the West to adopt Islamic law, and they have many successes to celebrate. The edict against Salman Rushdie remains in effect and, as Pipes documents, has done much over the past two decades to embolden Muslims and cow the West into submission.

But biblical prophecy shows that this pushiness will reach a limit. Read our article “The Ostrich, the Warriors and the Whirlwind” to understand how Islam’s aggression, America’s weakness, and Europe’s growing antagonism all align with the prophetic outline of end-time events—and what will be their explosive outcome.