Conflict in Christianity plays into the hands of Islamists


The Kremlin’s reaction to the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall, claimed by the Islamic State in Central Asia, which left nearly 150 dead in the suburbs of Moscow on March 22, was certainly curious.

Instead of explaining to Russia who this enemy is who comes, at home, to kill its children, in its streets, Vladimir Putin, in his address to the Russian nation on March 23, simply said that the suspects were fleeing to Ukraine, where their exfiltration would have been prepared for them. Why try to involve the Kyiv authorities in this matter, when they have absolutely nothing to do with Islamic State?

The Americans, the Ukrainians’ best allies, had warned the Russian security services of the imminence of a terrorist attack targeting “gatherings of people” in Moscow. Fortunately, Western security services continue to share information relating to jihadism with the services of Russia and China.

On Sunday September 24, a day of national mourning in Russia, the American embassy in Moscow lowered its flag to half-mast.

The Krasnogorsk attack reminded Russians and Westerners that they shared the same enemy: Islamism. After the attacks of 11 September 2001, Russia showed solidarity with the United States. It had supported the Northern Alliance against the Afghan Taliban and their Arab jihadist allies, then had facilitated the supply of American troops deployed in Afghanistan.

Living in the dream of a return to the caliphate, Islamists do not believe in the government of men, but only in that of God. For them, borders, creations of men throughout history, have no legitimacy.

The world is divided into only two parts: the Dar-al-Islam, or “domain of submission to God” where the precepts of the Muslim religion apply, and the Dar-al-Harb or “domain of war” , which brings together unbelieving territories, which must be converted, if necessary by force. In their eyes, girls’ education and legal equality between men and women are absurd notions.

The Islamists are civilisational enemies for us. They want the destruction of our civilisation, resulting from Christian values ​​and the Enlightenment, which advocate the separation of politics and religion, as well as the structuring of relationships between men by law. Islamism orders the death of all “infidels” who refuse to submit to the law of Allah and his prophet Muhammad.

The Crocus City Hall drama should remind the President of the Russian Federation of his main enemy. It’s definitely not Ukraine. The latter, since its independence in 1991, has wanted to free itself from the political influence of Moscow, but it has never advocated or aimed for the destruction of Russia.

It is false to claim that Ukraine presented any real threat to Russia as a state. On the other hand, contamination by jihadist ideas of the 15 percent of citizens of the Russian Federation who are of Muslim origin would represent a real threat to the internal cohesion of this country spanning eleven time zones.

Just as the conflicts between the Crusaders and the Byzantines in the 13th century were a boon for their Muslim adversaries, before favouring the rise of Ottoman power, the current resumption of political conflicts within Christianity represents a boon for Muslims, Sunni followers of the Islamic State.

There is no need to kill the infidels, they kill each other. As their demographics are declining, you just have to be patient and wait for their civilization to fall, like a rotten apple that has become too heavy on the apple tree.

The nineteenth century was a time when Islam sought to reform itself, with great thinkers like Jamal al-Afghani (1838-1897) or Mohamed Abduh (1849-1905), who ended his life as grand mufti of Egypt. After the great inter-Christian slaughter represented by the First World War, a much harsher form of Islam appeared in Egypt, much less open to other civilizations, dreaming of a return to the simple life of the Companions of the Prophet: the Muslim Brotherhood movement, of Hassan el-Banna.

The succession of three great events in contemporary history, namely the defeat of Nazi paganism in the Second World War, the success of European construction, and the internal collapse of Soviet communism, made us believe in the advent of a ” new world order” (President George H Bush in 1991) where war would be banned, first in Christianity, then in the rest of the world, by the force of example.

It was the time when Israelis and Palestinians sat around a table to find a peaceful arrangement (Oslo Accords of September 1993) and when China and Russia only aspired to imitate Western societies.

But war as a political instrument returned in force with American neo-conservatism. The very Christian American president George W Bush sincerely believed that he could, by force of arms, democratise all the countries of the Middle East, and then make them conclude peace with Israel. Its invasion of Iraq in 2003, condemned by France, would increase Islamist movements tenfold and create immense regional chaos, which has still not been resolved.

The same neoconservative error would be made in 2011 against Libya, unfortunately on a French initiative. The forcible overthrow of Gaddafi greatly, and still greatly, plays into the hands of Islamists throughout the Sahel.

At the start of this decade, Vladimir Putin could very well have devoted his energy to developing the immense Siberia rather than attacking his Ukrainian neighbor, an Orthodox Christian like himself. It stripped its Central Asian borders to send soldiers to the Western Front.

He is paying the price today, not having understood that his main enemy was not Christian Ukraine but the Islamic State in Central Asia.

This post first appeared in the International Chronicle edition of Le Figaro 24 March.

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