Last Sunday, speaking outside a service at St Andrew's Cathedral in downtown Sydney to honour the 130 plus killed by Da'esh two days earlier, France's Ambassador to Australia, Christophe Lecourtier got it so horribly, horribly wrong. Referring to the outrage, he was blind to the truth, claiming "The battle being waged was not against Islam".
One would think that the terrorists shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they mowed down their victims, hinted even in a small way, as to their motivation. These killers, Mr Ambassador, may not represent all Muslims. But they are Muslims and in the absence of moderate Muslims standing up to them, they are the only Muslims who matter.
The key aim of Da'esh's barbarism - lost on the ambassador, and French Président François Hollandefor that matter - is not to kill hundreds, but instead, to terrorise society and in time to enslave tens of millions, by changing society and replacing Jesus Christ with the Prophet Mohammed as the foundation.
In Europe, Michel Houellebecq's Submission, a novel set in 2022 France, where an Islamic political party, the Muslim Brotherhood takes power democratically and turns the country, slowly, surely, subtlety and deliberately in the direction of Mecca and Medina, is flying off book stores' shelves faster than you can deep fry a felafel. On sale in French since January, the book has taken Europe by storm. The clever writing, the deft understanding of the human condition, the light touches of satire (of situations, not of the characters), the restrained manner in which great themes are outlined and the erudite arguments employed by Houellebecq echo those of Joris-Karl Huysmans, the late 1800's French novelist and idol of the protagonist in Submission, François, a mid-tier, mid-40s literature professor at the Sorbonne.
Whilst exposing François'nihilistic sex-fuelled lifestyle and the drudgery of struggling through every day without close relationships or life goals, the book exposes its downside: a bit too much pornography and a good 30 surplus pages.
At its core, Submission unmasks France's (and by inference Europe's? The West's?) aggregate inability to list those Christian values it cherishes and wants to keep, let alone identify all the threats, both foreign and domestic, to those values. And as for addressing France's capacity to fight for those values, well that's un pont trop loin pour les Français.
The book predicts a France based on Shari'a. It does so through very subtle and elegant passages about the fundamental issues of culture and politics: religion, families, education and power at all costs. The last, in a shock to Houellebecq's many leftist critics, is an attack on non-Muslim political parties.
In its ascendancy to power, the Muslim Brotherhood faces few hurdles. There are no widespread anti-immigration rallies. There is no Bible thumping pro-Christian politicians. The Archbishop of Paris is mute. There is no invasion by Muslim hordes and there is no coup d'état.
What there is however is fatigue, and plenty of it.
Nationwide fatigue, from Calais in the north to Perpignan in the south. From Strasbourg in the east to La Rochelle in the west.
Houllebecq's media interviews promoting the book indicate that Catholics can't be bothered to fight for the future of their (supposed) once shining republic and for their Church. Rather, they concentrate on an entitlement mentality, where welfare cheques enable the "good life" while ignoring the decomposition of their own culture before their very eyes.
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