I have often wondered why the West insists on trying to come to some understanding with Islamic fundamentalists. It’s as if they believe that if they just sit down and have a nice chat with these terrorists, everything will turn out all right. That is truly naive and Martin Luther King would support my view completely.
Dr King observed that there are some people who can never see eye to eye with you and he used the example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to illustrate his point.
Bonhoeffer was a German minister of religion who realised that the only way to save the world from Hitler’s devastation was to assassinate him. Sadly, he failed and was executed by the Nazis. It’s interesting that Martin Luther King would refer to him as follows:-
If your opponent has a conscience, then follow Gandhi. But if your enemy has no conscience, like Hitler, then follow Bonhoeffer.
In other words, had India been colonised by the French, for example, Gandhi’s peaceful protests would have come to nought because the French would have shot him and his demonstrators in the blink of an eye. As a colonial power, the French were totally immoral and ruthless, whereas the British did not want a massacre on their hands. So Gandhi was able to starve himself and protest peacefully. In fact, Gandhi knew the character of the British and relied on it. He would not have tried his stunt if the French had been in control because the outcome would have been total decimation of Indians.
That is what Dr King meant by referring to Bonhoeffer and to Gandhi.
You have to know your enemy and treat him accordingly, an axiom which accounts for the title of this post.
I have always been impressed by the tale of the scorpion and the turtle. When a foolish turtle agrees to help a scorpion cross a river, the scorpion can’t help himself and still bites the turtle with the result that both of them drown. “It has nothing to do with logic,” explains the drowning scorpion to the dying turtle, “It’s just my character.”
This fable should be a lesson to anyone who deludes himself into thinking that perhaps there can be a sensible discussion with terrorists who are prepared to kill their own women and children by attaching explosives to them. If the enemy is going to blow up mourners at a funeral, as happened the other day in Iraq, then there is no chance of holding hands with him and singing Kumbaya.
These people are not into hugging their fellow man. Any sign of conciliation only spurs them on to becoming more violent because they see a reaching out as a sign of weakness.
All this has nothing to do with our own values or ethics. It has nothing to do with how much we respect life and our loved ones, because these things aren’t valued by scorpions. Like scorpions, the Islamic terrorists just can’t help themselves.
No matter how hard we try to understand them we have to accept that scorpions are scorpions. We can be nice and conciliatory and try to talk sense, but it won’t make an ounce of difference to the enemy who is bent on destroying the “infidels”.
Whenever some deluded and chanting peacemakers suggest that we should sit down and chat with the Muslim crazies, I shake my head in disbelief.
What part of “We are intent on destroying the West” do these poor fools not understand?