When Muslims Celebrate Terror, Westerners … Just Shrug

By Raymond Ibrahim Published on October 11, 2023

Ever since Hamas’s brutal attack on Israel — replete with massacres, beheadings, and atrocities of every sort — Muslims throughout the world have been celebrating: in Greece, migrants brandished knives and trampled on the Israeli flag in Athens; in Australia, large Muslim crowds chanted the jihadist war-cry, “Allahu akbar,” and “gas the Jews in Sydney; and in Germany, after celebrating, triumphant Muslims attacked police in Berlin.

These are just the Muslims who are willing to wear their emotions on their sleeves. Other, more prudent, Muslims — millions no doubt — are celebrating in the quiet of their minds, for obvious reasons.

Why are Muslims around the world — who come from different nations, speak different languages, and have different cultures — so moved by a distant, atrocious event that presumably does not affect or involve them? Simple: because they are Muslim; or rather, because Islam is so inherently tribal that its adherents, no matter how different or apart, maintain a sense of solidarity, one that especially exults when Islam “scores a victory” against infidels, especially those perceived as mistreating Muslims. (That’s why many Muslims also celebrated after 9/11.)

A Cult for Bullies

In connection, one of the most appealing aspects of Islam for Muslims is that it preaches power, supremacy, and even honor, including through violence (jihad), as in the well-known hadith (narrated by Abu Dawud, via Ibn Omar):

I heard the Messenger of Allah say: “If you enter business transactions, grabbing hold of cows’ tails, are content with farming, and you abandon jihad, Allah will allow humiliation to overtake you and will not restrain it until you return to your religion.”

Not only is such survival-of-the fittest thinking instinctively appealing, but it stands in stark contrast with Christian virtues, such as humility, which requires cultivation.

In this sense, then, when one group of Muslims strike a victory in the name of Islam, including through bloodshed and massacres, Muslims the world over become elated, because it lifts them up, due, again, to Islam’s tribalistic nature.

Our Civilization of Dilettantes

On the other hand, the West fails to comprehend Muslim solidarity — which dangerously goes above and beyond “cheering” — precisely because it has no sense, whatsoever, of solidarity.

For example, Westerners are taught to disavow their own heritage and history while celebrating the cultures and customs of others — a thing that no Muslim, indeed, no healthy people could ever think of, let alone actually structuring their society around such artificial principles.

Because it specifically deals with the topic currently under discussion — religious solidarity — an even more apt example concerns the absolute indifference that the vast majority of Western Christians have concerning the global persecution of their coreligionists.

We Leave Our Fellow Christians to the Wolves

Consider: if Muslims around the world have a sense of solidarity with Palestinians, millions of Western Christians could not care any less that many millions of non-Western Christians are currently being persecuted in ways that make the Palestinians’ lot seem enviable.

In the months and years before Hamas struck Israel, the Muslim nation of Azerbaijan had been and continues to commit a bona fide genocide of Christian Armenians — and, ultimately, for the very same reason that Hamas attacked Israel: because Muslims can never be at peace with “infidels.” Recall Samuel Huntington’s accurate refrain that “Islam’s borders are bloody … . Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peaceably with their neighbors.”

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Among other things, Azerbaijan committed and continues to commit atrocities against the Armenians under its authority in Artsakh, including by starving them for many months and, most recently, militarily driving them out of their ancestral lands. This is to say nothing of the other hallmarks of jihadist hate, such as the systematic destruction of Armenian churches and other Christian heritage sites.

Or one can look to Nigeria, where an even more dramatic genocide of Christians has been unfolding for well over a decade. There, Muslims have massacred tens of thousands of Christians — on average, “every two hours, a Christian is killed for their faith” — and destroyed approximately 20,000 churches and Christian schools.

Atrocities committed against Armenian or Nigerian Christians are, incidentally, just the tip of the iceberg. According to the World Watch List 2023, 360 million Christians around the world experience persecution.

The Biden Regime Actually Threw Persecuted Christians Off its List

Not only have the overwhelming majority of Western Christians shown no interest concerning the suffering of so many of fellow Christians; the very policies of their nations, chief among them the U.S., are directly responsible for exacerbating if not creating — as in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Yemen — the persecution of Christians. Far from acknowledging the Christian genocide in Nigeria, the Biden administration went so far as to remove Nigeria from its list of nations that need to be watched for engaging in or allowing human rights abuses.

This question of solidarity, or lack thereof, is one of the most unremarked but important differences between, not just the West and the Muslim world, but the West and the rest of the world. Millions if not billions of people of every civilization around the world continue to mobilize and feel a sense of solidarity around their collective identity, whether it be religious (Islam) or national (Chinese, Hindu, etc,). The demographically dwindling “West” — whose very name signifies nothing but a geographical direction — continues to push for “diversity.” And we call that “our strength.”


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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