For the victims of the London terrorist attack, it must have felt good to look down from strumming their harps in Heaven to see the good burghers of Brussels holding a commemoration event, partly on their behalf. No doubt the high point was when the assembled citizens of this other terrorist town held their hands up to the heavens and made little heart shapes (the latest cuck symbol for “terrorist compliant” populations). As for the terrorist, one wonders if he looked down from his honoured place as a martyr in Muslim Heaven or not. I mean it must be quite frantic up there with 72 virgins on the go.
There, this is what people actually believe in various degrees, or the best of it. The other side of those views is that the terrorist is burning in hell and so are his victims, as a bunch of infidel “kufars.”
The evident absurdity that results when we project our thoughts into the numinous “after life” means that most intelligent people like to keep these things in extreme soft focus, pushing them towards the vaguest and most abstract notions of heaven and hell. So, probably no harps nor angel wings, although I’m sure most Muslims have little problem believing in the promised 72 virgins.
But the only surprising thing is that this abstruse way of thinking, which is unavoidable for Westerners dealing with the spiritual realm in the wake of repeated terrorist atrocities, is also applied to the material and political world, where we see a similar airy-fairy attitude deployed in dealing with the hard edges of the problem that actually sent these souls to the “after life” in the first place.
While the bodies of the latest victims are still bleeding or smoking in the morgue, grim faced politicians push their way onto our screens to mouth such hoary and shop-worn platitudes as “This is a terrible tragedy,” “Our hearts go out to the families of the victims,” “We must not let this divide us,” “We can’t let hate win,” and “Love conquers all.”
Another old favourite “Islam is a religion of peace” tends to be less used these days because it is, as the epistemological philosopher Karl Popper would have put it, clearly falsifiable. It is hard to keep banging on about the whiteness of the swans of Islam when so many of them turn out to be black, and when the more Islamic they are the blacker they tend to be.
Here we see the utility for politicians of using the love/hate dichotomy in its most abstract and wide-ranging formulation, as a means of essentially avoiding the problem, which is what these creatures spend most of their careers doing. The essential point about a politician mouthing a platitude like “We can’t let hate win” or “Love conquers all” is that it isn’t setting any clear goals, targets, criteria, or anything else concrete, measurable, or verifiable that could be related to solving the actual problem in hand.
Such bromides are little better than phatic communication. After all “Love” can “conquer all” whether a single terrorist attack is happening or a million. The “conquering” is in how you suck it all up. In fact, as long as you keep chanting the mantra amid the rising body count you don’t even need to light the candles, post the colour filter on your Facebook page, make the lovey-dovey hand signs, or even pray.
Like so much in the West it is defined by its easy convenience and low costs to the individual combined with its enormous cost to the greater society.
Actually, there is one hard-and-fast empirical measure of “love conquering all.” Of course this has nothing to do with actually reducing the number of terrorist attacks. Quite the opposite in fact. It is the number of Muslims allowed to exist in a Western society. This is because an important adjunct of “love conquering all” is to avoid Islamophobia at all costs, and how can you do that if you stop them coming into your country or remove the ones that are already there?
“Love conquers all” basically translates as “Islam conquers all.” It is not just a reaction to terrorism, but actually its facilitator. The two exist in symbiosis. The “love conquers all” people with their silly candles and hugs for Muslims are nothing less than the reserve army of terrorism. The fact that you are not allowed to shoot them kind of makes them more dangerous than the actual terrorists.