Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center
What would happen if the world took Pope Francis’ advice (via a tweet)? “Do we really want peace? Then let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war,” said the pontiff.
While on the surface, the disappearance of all weapons might suggest the inability to do violence, in reality, it would mean the certain annihilation of the West as a civilization.
For starters, the Pope seems to forget that violence and the things that motivate it—hate, envy, rapacity, and plain old evil—do not need weapons. Had he turned to the book he claims to represent, the Bible, he would have seen that the first act of violence—of murder—that of Cain against his brother, Abel, did not require weapons: just a violent and envious will; the brothers “were in the field [when] Cain rose against Abel his brother and killed him.” Genesis 4 does not shed light on how this first fratricide occurred but it was most assuredly done without a formal weapon—maybe a large rock, branch, or simply Cain’s bare hands.
And it is from here that one understands why the West would be swept away without weapons and walls—another defense mechanism that Pope Francis wishes to see eliminated. The same hate, envy, and rapacity that some non-Western peoples have for the West—understood in the context of a “Clash of Civilizations”—would still remain, but there would be little to stop, deter it, or keep it at bay.
Contrary to first appearances, were all weapons around the world instantly to disappear, that would not lead to an even playing field, where, if it comes to it, men limited to fighting with their fists would more or less maintain the status quo. For starters, in a world still largely defined by civilizations, the people of the West are much fewer in numbers than those of the rest of the—mostly third and desperate—world.
Already small Western numbers shrink even more on the realization that a great many men are not up to the task. Decades of enforced cultural emasculation has does its job, leaving many men in the West helpless and paralyzed against any would-be aggressor.
This is especially on display in the West’s interaction with Islam. One need only look to Western European nations, where the interplay of emasculated Western males and aggressive Muslim migrants are on constant display. Thanks to the latter, Sweden has become the rape capital of the world. That is not because Muslims use weapons, are stronger, or more numerous—they are still a tiny minority—but because many Swedish men have been so indoctrinated in passivity that they are not even able to protect their womenfolk.
Of course, this was not always the case. As I document in my new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West, the perennial jihad against the West proceeded with advanced weapons (firearms), basic weapons (spears and knives), and no weapons at all. As tools, these were never the origins of the jihad; rather hate, envy, and rapacity fueled it. In boats or atop horses, Muslim hordes would appear anywhere unguarded—Constantinople held out as long as it did thanks to its insurmountable walls—and fight tooth and nail in the name of Allah. If not for weapons—and more importantly, men willing to wield them—the West and Christianity would have long ago ceased to exist.
What if that scenario were to play over again—but, per the pope’s wish, with no weapons on either side? What if, instead of being terrorized by a minority of migrants, a now totally disarmed Sweden was invaded by massive hordes from every direction? Would its men be able to repulse them in hand-to-hand combat?
Francis’ logic, “let’s ban all weapons so we don’t have to live in fear of war” is unsound: we have never needed weapons “to live in fear of war.” As long as the will to do violence exists, violence will be done. A “pope” of all people should know that.
And until such time that masculinity is reclaimed in the West—instead of always and everywhere being denounced as “toxic”—the West is going to need every manmade weapon, deterrent and safeguard available to prevent its own collapse.