Some friends on social media remain unclear about the following. What did Hamas do in Israel on October 7? Why have so many around the world responded with anti-Semitism? Let’s take these questions one at a time.
What did Hamas do in Israel on October 7?
Hamas terrorists invaded Israel and murdered, tortured, and kidnapped defenseless Israeli men, women, and children, ordinary civilians doing ordinary things like eating breakfast.
The extensive evidence of Hamas’ atrocities includes the corpses of a father and child tied together with wire and then burned alive, and twenty children tied together and burned; bodies with hacked off limbs and gauged out eyes; and bodies bespeaking gang rape so severe that victims’ leg and pelvic bones were broken. First responder Asher Moskowitz found a baby that Hamas had cooked to death in an oven. The oven’s heating element was still attached to the corpse.
Captured terrorists offered full confessions. One said, “We became animals. We did things that humans do not do.” One confessed that the corpses of young women were raped. Stephen D. Smith reports that there was “an instruction to bring back the dead body of an IDF soldier and posthumously crucify him.”
Hamas made and shared, via social media, videos. They videorecorded the murder of a helpless grandmother, and posted the video on her Facebook page, so that her loved ones would watch. A child hostage was forced to watch Hamas videos. If the child cried, Hamas members pressed a gun to the child. In videos, terrorists shoot household pets dead.
Ben Shapiro posted a compilation. A YouTube poster responded. “As a US Iraq war Vet I started to watch this episode and stopped … I’ve seen a lot, done a lot but I caved … Tears streamed down my face as I watched without stopping, without looking away, gritting my teeth … If I could return to the battlefield and join your brothers and sisters and do what I could to avenge/protect/free those that are captured I would in a heartbeat … I salute Israel … I bow my head in prayer multiple times throughout the day that this evil will end.”
“I’ve seen quite a lot in war zones I’ve covered,” British journalist Douglas Murray said. “I’ve been in Nigerian Villages when a suicide bomber goes into the church on a Sunday … I’ve seen exit wounds from children’s bodies. “But,” Murray said, the Hamas video “is by some margin worse than anything … The footage is a level of depravity that yes not even the Nazis did … Throughout the whole thing the Hamas fighters are in a state of utter elation.” They are “delighted by what they’re doing. I really don’t want to hear ‘Allahu akbar’ shouted again on my streets.” Hamas terrorists are “shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ all the way through … when they rape and murder all these young women in a room they shout ‘Allahu akbar’ the whole time. When they find a young woman hiding under a table pretending to be dead and they realize she’s alive … they’re shouting ‘Allah akbar,’ they’re so elated … One disgusting young Hamas guy shouts from the phone of one of his victims … ‘With my own hands your son has killed ten Jews,’ and the mother [and father are] all shouting ‘Allahu akbar’ and they’re so proud of” their murderous son.
Mosab Hassan Yousef is the grandson of a popular imam and the son of a founder of Hamas. In a November 20, 2023 UN speech, Yousef said, “Imagine a ten-year-old child. I disobeyed Hamas. I was tied to a post. I was whipped by a top leader of Hamas with an electric cable. With every lash I lost my breath until I lost my consciousness. This is how they wanted me to become a violent savage like them.” Years later, in prison, Yousef worked as the scribe for Hamas torturers. He recorded men shoving needles under their fellow Arabs’ fingernails and burning their bodies with cigarettes and melting plastic. “I had to die many times in order to transcend this mentality.”
Yousef described viewing Hamas’ October 7 video. “Something fundamental in me changed. I think my life changed forever. I thought that I had seen the worst of Hamas, but nothing like this. What I saw was very clearly a genocide … what I saw, I could not sleep last night. I was filled with rage. I don’t know if my physical body can carry such trauma.”
“Some of the audience whispered, ‘Make it stop,'” The Daily Mail reported after international journalists watched Hamas video. “I leaned against a wall and cried,” one said. Some vomited. “I certainly hope I never see any of the extra footage again,” one wrote.” In photos of the audience, journalists are seen with their hands over their mouths or their arms wrapped across their stomachs.
New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand spoke to a special session of the United Nations. “The horrific acts committed on October 7th by Hamas are truly indescribable … the footage … takes your breath away at the sheer level of evil … You can’t unsee when you see it, and it haunts you, like no other image you could ever see … The barbaric acts are acts beyond what we have seen from ISIS, Al Qaeda … what has happened to women, the types of dismemberment, the types of sexual violence to degrade them, to bring fear in their final moments, to bring fear in the eyes of those who had to witness the atrocities, is unspeakable … the international community’s reluctance – even refusal – to condemn, or even acknowledge [Hamas atrocities] doesn’t just strike fear in the hearts of Israeli women, it strikes fear in the hearts of every woman and girl around the globe.”
Stephen D. Smith is the inaugural UNESCO chair on Genocide Education, the editor of the Routledge Handbook of Religion, Mass Atrocity, and Genocide, and the founder of the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Rwanda. After watching the footage, he reported, “I have studied genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia, Guatemala, Armenia and the Holocaust. I have rarely seen such carnage carried out with such fervor in such short a period of time. As the last frame ended, there was silence. I bolted for the closest exit … I was there to bear witness to the evidence of genocide.” This genocide, he state unequivocally, is inspired by Islam. “The killers relate their conquest to Islam. They were killing in the name of Allah, yelling ”Allahu akbar’ … while standing over the corpses of dead Jews.”
Many Muslims and their allies celebrated. In Maryland, Imam Mahmoud Abdel-Hady called October 7 “a great victory.” Iran’s Sardar Abolfazl Shekarchi called October 7 “the greatest success of the Islamic world.” In Michigan, Dr. Majod Abuarabia, the medical director of the Karen Wilson Smithbauer Comprehensive Center for Breast Care, posted an image from the Broadway musical, Oklahoma, with the main characters dancing to the song, “Oh, What a Beautiful Morning.” In Norway, Sam Suleiman, a nurse, posted a photo of himself in an operating room, wearing scrubs, making a fist and flexing his bicep to show off a tattoo reading “Hamas.” He smirks defiantly. Dr. Manoj Sen, a London surgeon, posted to Facebook that “Jews” “are our misfortune.”
South African Islamic Scholar Shaykh Ebrahim Gabriels of the Muslim Judicial Council praised Hamas terrorists. “They are people who are connected to Allah … You can’t join the Al-Qassam Brigades if you [do not pray] … You must at least memorize ten parts of the Quran.” He received messages from Muslims all over the world “crying in happiness.” South African Islamic Scholar Moulana Abdul Khaliq said “Every one of us gathered here as one ummah of the Prophet Muhammad to give a very clear message to the Zionists on the one hand – that your days are numbered – and to give our solidarity and support to our brothers and our sisters in Hamas.”
Many in the West celebrated as well, praised Hamas, and condemned Jews. A partial list is here. Perhaps the most over-the-top post came from Mika Tosca, a man who pretends to be a woman, who called Israelis savages, pigs, excrement, and on and on and on. Tosca is, as of early December, still listed as faculty at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Some Muslims and allies mocked Jewish victims. In response to the baby killed in an oven, French model Warda Anwar posted on Instagram, “I wonder whether they added salt and pepper first, did they add thyme? What was the side dish?”
Sabrina Khan-Williams is an equity and inclusion teacher in the World Studies department of Tilden Middle School, Montgomery County, Maryland. Khan-Williams posted on Facebook that the Hamas attack had been “Debunked!! No music festival attack. Babies were not burned. Women were not violated … Palestinian’s [sic] are being killed and their organs are being sold.” See more of Khan-Williams anti-Semitic, anti-American, and profoundly idiotic lies at the Daily Wire here.
Many ask, “How could anyone commit such atrocities?” “Why would anyone commit such atrocities?” And many have said, “I am shocked!”
In response, one must ask, “Have you been paying attention?”
I was born in, and currently live in, Passaic County, New Jersey, which hosts one of the largest Muslim populations in the US. I love many of these people for the same reasons I love other people: warmth, strength, reliability, intelligence, creativity, contributions to society, and kindness.
In the 1970s, a quiet, shy, but also very beautiful Circassian school chum said to me, “When the time for jihad comes, if you don’t convert, I will have to kill you.”
In the 1980s, I taught a class that included Gidon, a handsome Israeli paratrooper. In 1946, Iraqi Muslims carried out the Farhud, a notorious massacre of Baghdad’s Jews. Over 100,000 Jews left Iraq for Israel. Gidon descended from this exodus. Gidon spoke Arabic. He went out of his way to befriend the Muslim Arabs in class. They danced traditional dances together. One day, unprompted, one of these Arab students approached me privately and said, “When the time comes, we are gonna kill a lotta Jews. A lotta Jews.”
I had to drive Muslim female students to shelters so that their family members would not murder them because they were seen in a car with a non-Muslim boy, or because they refused to marry the Muslim boy their families ordered them to marry. I had to keep secret the knowledge that some male Muslim students no longer believed in Allah. Their families would murder them, as Islam demands, for apostasy. On social occasions, with friends, I watched Muslim females all but crawl and whimper in front of even their younger brothers; their brothers controlled them, told them when they could leave the house and where they could go. I listened to young Muslim females justify polygyny to me. “When the wife gets old and unattractive and the husband doesn’t desire her any more, she can remain in the house after he takes a younger, prettier woman. So the old woman is not homeless. It all works out.”
My Malaysian students were scrupulously polite, hard working, focused on returning to their country and achieving great things for their society. They all, to a man (Malaysia sent no females to our campus) hated Jews. Jews were not human to my Malaysian students, who, almost five thousand miles away from Israel, had been brainwashed to hate Jews.
One day a Muslim coworker was standing next to the campus’ large picture windows, affording an expansive view of Paterson, NJ. He swept his arm across the city’s retro architecture, much of it at least one hundred years old. “Someday soon this will be a smoking ruin. We will rise up, and you will convert to Islam, or die.”
I wasn’t shocked on September 11. I wasn’t shocked on October 7. Many more were not shocked. Atrocities committed against female bodies?
Dr. Wafa Sultan would not be shocked. As a physician, Sultan witnessed horrors: a raped woman whose attackers had placed a drinking glass insider her body as a makeshift prophylactic, a wife whose husband stubbed out his cigarettes on her body, and the physicians who mocked the woman as a failure for forcing her husband to discipline her so harshly. Sultan’s niece Mayyada was married off to a forty-year-old when she was 11; she later killed herself. Sultan paraphrases one hadith as follows: “A man has the right to expect his wife, if his nose runs with blood, mucus, or pus, to lick it up with her tongue.”
Egyptian physician and Muslim Nawal El Saadawi, who died in 2021, might not have been shocked. In her 1977 book The Hidden Face of Eve, Dr. El Saadawi describes being roused from bed as a six-year-old child, dragged into a bathroom by disguised figures, thrown to the floor, where those monstrous figures, whom, she suddenly recognized, included her mother, ripped out her clitoris, causing her immense pain, terror, and bleeding.
El Saadawi wrote, “My blood was frozen in my veins. It looked to me as though some thieves had broken into my room and kidnapped me from my bed. They were getting ready to cut my throat which was always what happened with disobedient girls like myself in the stories that my old rural grandmother was so fond of telling me … I was unable to see, and somehow my breathing seemed also to have stopped.”
El Saadawi became a physician. She treated women from Sudan. There, the clitoris, as well as the major and minor labia are scraped out, sometimes with sharp stones and broken glass. The vagina is stitched up. “On the marriage night, it is necessary to widen the external opening by slitting … When a Sudanese woman is divorced, the external opening” is stitched up again. Estimates are that almost 90% of women in Sudan have undergone FGM.
Farkhunda Malikzada would not be shocked by Muslim men’s atrocities against Jewish women on October 7. Farkhunda was a religious teacher at a Kabul Afghanistan, mosque. A corrupt mullah was selling amulets. Farkhunda objected. In retaliation, the mullah falsely accused Farkhunda of harming a copy of the Quran. In response to this false accusation, a mob of Muslim men immediately formed. They filmed their activities. The men can be seen punching Farkhunda. They stomped her, they kicked her, they bludgeoned her with sticks and planks, they placed her in the road and ran over her with a car. The car dragged her body. The mob then yanked Farkhunda to the Kabul river. There they stoned her and set her on fire.
Amina and Sarah would not be shocked. These teenage Texas girls were murdered by their father, Yaser Abdel Said, in 2008. Their father had previously beaten and raped them. Amina and Sarah were just two of the estimated 5,000 females honor murdered every year. Honor killing is presaged in chapter 18 of the Quran.
Atrocities against Jews? Ayaan Hirsi Ali was not shocked.
After October 7, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who was raised as a Muslim in Africa, wrote, “I am not remotely surprised.” “The worst insult … was to be called a ‘Jew’ … some felt justified in killing anyone who so dishonored them with this ‘slur’. I vividly remember sitting with my female fellows in mosques, cursing Israel and praying to Allah to destroy the Jews. We were certainly not interested in a peaceful ‘two-state solution’: we were taught to want to see Israel wiped off the map … my school’s teacher … Sister Aziza … read to us the Quran’s lurid descriptions of the everlasting fire that burns flesh and dissolves skin – the place reserved for Jews. Sister Aziza described Jews as physically monstrous, with horns coming from their heads, out of which flew devils that would corrupt the world. Jews controlled everything, she told us, and it was the duty of Muslims to destroy them.”
Those familiar with canonical Muslim texts, including the Quran; the hadith, or sayings of Muhammad; and Muhammad’s role as al Insan al-Kamil or the perfect human, worthy of emulation were not shocked.
The following facts bear repeating until they are heard by all.
The Quran forbids Muslims from taking Jews and Christians as friends (5:51). Jews and Christians are the worst of creatures (98:6). Jews are the worst enemies of Muslims (5:82). Allah turned Jews into apes and pigs (5:60). Allah cursed the Jews with humiliation and poverty (2:61). Christians and Jews may be allowed to live so that they can enrich Muslims with their “jizya,” or the tax non-Muslims must pay Muslims if they, the non-Muslims, are allowed to live. Christians and Jews must be ritualistically and perpetually “humiliated” (9:29). And of course the Quran quite clearly recommends eternal warfare, torture and death for non-Muslims (5:33).
Muhammad committed a genocide of a Jewish tribe, the Banu Qurayzah. Muhammad inspected the groins of each boy. If the boy had begun to sprout pubic hair, he was beheaded; if not, he was sold into slavery. Muhammad ordered the torture with fire of a captured Jew, Kenana al-Rabi. Muhammad took as his sex slave this tortured and murdered Jew’s wife. Muhammad had also killed the father and brother of Safiyah bint Huyayy. Muhammad ordered his men to impregnate female war captives in the presence of their husbands. Muhammad okayed the murder of an elderly Arab woman. Umm Qirfa was tied to two camels who were driven in opposite directions till they tore her body in half. Other Arab opponents of Muhammad were tortured by having their eyes gauged out with hot iron and their hands and feet cut off. They were then left to die. And the Quran recommends that non-Muslims be crucified (5:33). According to hadiths, Muhammad practiced necrophilia at least once.
One could go on, with accounts from jihad campaigns over the course of the past 1,400 years. By some accounts Christians and Jews, in spite of being tortured, murdered, raped, and enslaved in their millions, have had it easy compared to those of the Indian subcontinent. Hindu and Pagan lives in Islam are even cheaper than Jewish and Christian ones. They are literally cheaper – the Islamic price for killing a Hindu is one sixteenth that of the penalty paid for killing a Muslim.
Kishori Saran Lal was a PhD historian. He estimates that up to 80 million people died as a result of the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent. The number is controversial; see here. A better estimate would be welcomed. Historians acknowledge, though, that the Muslim conquest of the Indian subcontinent was facilitated by massacres and cultural destruction that endanger the world to this day. Some pundits identify the warring neighbors, majority Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan, as the most likely site where nuclear war may break out.
Horrified by October 7? Yes. Shocked by October 7? No, not if you have been paying attention to ISIS sexually enslaving Yazidi women and girls and publicly torturing opponents to death on camera. Not if you have been paying attention to Boko Haram kidnapping Christian Nigerian girls and forcing them into sex slavery and suicide bombings. Not if you have been paying attention to the Taliban poisoning the air and the food at girls’ schools in Afghanistan. Not if you have been paying attention to Muslim Indonesia’s human rights abuses against Christian East Timor, or the half a million deaths in Darfur.
Why did Hamas do it? The New York Times, National Public Radio, and the BBC will tell you that Hamas committed the atrocities it committed on October 7 because of “the occupation.” Gaza was not occupied by Israel. They will tell you that October 7 happened because Muslim Arabs in Israel want a state of their own. Any such state would not survive a year. It would be absorbed by larger neighbors, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, or some other more powerful entity. Then that state would be used as a weapon to carry out the destruction of Israel that Muslims have been promising their people and threatening the world with throughout their history. Jews are the only people who have had a state of their own on that territory. For the rest of history, it was been ruled by various empires. Mixed populations, always including Jews, have lived there.
The Hamas covenant promises the obliteration of Israel. “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it.” The Hamas covenant quotes Muhammad: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”
We are all capable of evil deeds. How are Hamas atrocities different? When a Christian or a Jew commits an atrocity, he is violating the consistent teaching of his scripture, and of his highest and most consistent teachers and leaders. Christians and Jews who commit atrocities are, when reached by the hand of the law, punished in accord with the Judeo-Christian tradition. Jews and Christians apologize and make amends. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Paganism do not command adherents to commit atrocities in order to conquer the earth in the name of the belief system. When a Muslim commits an atrocity, he is, alas, following orders set forth in the Quran and hadith; he is conforming to behavior modeled by Muhammad.
Why have non-Muslims around the world joined in anti-Semitism? One answer is Muslim immigration. Those chanting “Gas the Jews” in Sydney Australia were largely, as video shows, Muslims. Another answer is the capture of the institutions. Marxists, frustrated by the Western working class’ insistence on not violently overthrowing Western Civilization, switched from a class-based revolution to an identity-based revolution. Marxists and their Woke children sacralized “black and brown,” “colonized,” “oppressed” identities. Muslims noted this and exploited it. Even as they celebrated themselves as indomitable warriors ready to “obliterate” Israel, they marketed themselves as the pathetic “oppressed” to the useful idiots of Woke.
The above processes have been advanced by the West’s retreat from a sine-qua-non plank of its very foundation, the Judeo-Christian tradition. That tradition insists on a single human family. “God is no respecter of persons,” the Bible famously states in Romans 2:11. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Rejecting the Judeo-Christian tradition does not result in a religion-free populace. Rather, it results in a populace that must obey the tenets of a new religion. Woke rejects the God who created all humanity at once in Genesis, who loves all equally, and who prescribes the same law for all to obey.
Woke has reverted to the Pagan concept of the dominance of identity. Virtue does not equal behavior or merit; virtue equals tribe. In the Woke economy, “brown” trumps “white.” Counterfactually, Muslims are assigned “brown” identity and Jews are assigned “white” identity. In fact, of course, Jews are the original inhabitants of Israel. The plurality of Jews in Israel today descend from Mizrahis who hail from North Africa and the Middle East. These facts, as with other facts, mean nothing to Woke. Woke is more invested in myth than in fact.
In trying to understand why anti-Semitism has flared up among the Woke elite in the West, I’ve been trying to understand four men I have encountered on social media. All are white. All are over sixty. All are published. I know that two of them have PhDs. The others may as well, but I don’t know. Two have taught at the university level.
Tory Baucum is director of the Center for Family Life at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. A mutual Facebook friend referred him to me. I discovered that Baucum and I have a shared interest in monasticism and Poland. We are both Catholic. I looked forward to chatting with him. We did not end up chatting. He surprised me by posting on my page for the first time on December 3. He reprimanded me for posting a meme pointing out that the Quran used by Hamas is in fact the Quran used by all Muslims. Dr. Baucum said that the meme was invalid because, after all, KKK members read the Bible.
I was troubled by Baucum’s post. He had not previously talked to me. He didn’t know me. I was not a person to him. His priority was not to be a Christian to a fellow Christian, but rather to bully a fellow Christian in order to defend the Quran. Though Baucum holds a prestigious position at a Catholic college, his logic was “whataboutism” and relativism. His reference to the KKK was a whataboutism ploy to deflect attention from Hamas and its religious support for October 7.
The response to his point is, of course, that when the KKK does bad things, it is violating Christian doctrine. When Hamas does bad things, it is following its own tradition to the letter. Baucum’s post was relativist. Christianity? No better than Islam. To me, the arrogance and lack of respect Baucum showed me, combined with a rapid response defense of the Quran, deploying the unworthy logical fallacy of whataboutism and the Woke value of relativism felt more like an exercise of Woke religion than Catholicism.
Mark Shea is a Catholic author. He posted a meme analogizing Mary, the mother of Jesus, with a Muslim Arab woman in Gaza. Respondents objected, as Shea knew they would. He insisted that objections to his meme was proof that his favorite bugaboos, white American Christians, were all deluded and required him, Mark Shea, to tutor them in Christian love. In fact, though, Mark Shea’s post was not, I suspect, about Christian love, but rather about ego-driven virtue signaling and a need to pick a fight with the white American Christians he constantly reviles. Shea is white himself and he chooses to live in a white majority town in a white majority county in a white majority state. I did mention to Shea directly but gently, that his post smacked of virtue signaling, and that while he preaches universal love, he expresses hate for white Christians and especially for Trump voters. Rather than engage with me, his fellow Catholic, he deleted my post and blocked me.
Shea’s post was relativist; there is no difference between Mary, the mother of Jesus, and a Gazan mother. Women in Gaza ululated and celebrated October 7. Muslim women have carried out terrorist attacks. Muslim mothers have vowed that their wombs exist to create jihadis. They have celebrated their dead sons’ status as “martyrs.” A significant percentage of Muslims polled approve of October 7. Not all, of course, but absent other evidence, one cannot assume that the Gazan woman in Shea’s meme is just like Mary.
I feel for the woman in Shea’s photo. I also feel for the Germans who suffered during World War II. I know that their suffering was caused by Hitler, not by the Allies. The suffering of the Arab woman in Shea’s photo is caused by Hamas, not Israel’s attempts to protect itself against the future October 7 attacks that Muslims promise.
Shea’s meme expresses Woke religion. White American Christians are bad, and need to be provoked, and once they are provoked, they need to be condemned. Condemning white American Christians is the most important thing to do after October 7. Doing the ethically demanding work of understanding when and how much violence is justifiable can be ignored, as long as you can shout that white American Christians are racist. Shouting about the racism of white American Christians is the easy thing to do in Woke religion. Confronting the fact of so-called “brown” men who feel proud about murdering babies and raping women to death is evidently too difficult for Mark Shea. He earns no points, no clicks, no “likes” for doing that complicated and easily misunderstood work, so he sticks to rituals that elevate him. This is ego, not Christianity.
The love that Christianity demands is sometimes difficult. There is no love without truth. God is love, and God is also truth (1 John 4:16, John 14:6). Someone who truly loved the Arab woman in Shea’s meme would not exploit her as a cudgel to beat up on chosen enemies. Rather, a Christian who truly loved that Arab women would take the time to learn the truth and speak the truth to her. “You voted in Hamas. Hamas is evil. Its ideology is evil. Choose a different ideology. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” “He who lives by the sword perishes by the sword.” As long as Shea doesn’t care enough about the Arab woman to say that to her, even in the easy venue of a Facebook post, he does not love her.
Facebook friend “Paul” is a published and prize-winning author, PhD, and university professor. Paul has thousands of followers who regard him as a quasi religious leader. He is a voice of virtue and compassion. Though raised Catholic, Paul is an atheist. He often mocks Christians, Christianity, and Jesus. When he does so, he is applauded. He is seen as righteous, as puncturing a destructive belief system.
Paul posted an article arguing that accounts of Hamas atrocities are false. Paul is “friends” with a woman who runs a virulently anti-Semitic Facebook page. She posts images of Jews as pigs, for example. After Paul criticized accounts of atrocities as exaggerated, he “liked” one of her posts insisting that Islam is peaceful.
Paul posted material condemning war. I reminded Paul that his ancestors, in Europe, suffered under the Nazis, and warriors like my father, a combat sergeant, liberated them. Paul was unmoved. He insisted that war accomplishes nothing, and no side is better than the other. Again, relativism. American soldiers liberating concentration camps; the IDF fighting to keep Israelis safe; Nazis; Jews murdered by Nazis; Hamas terrorists; Jewish women raped to death: to the relativist, they are all the same. One can’t say that one is good and one is bad. In Woke, such differentiation would be a sin. In Woke identity as “white” or “brown,” not behavior, determines who is good and who is bad.
Paul, again, an atheist who is quite hostile to Christianity, posted a frequent claim of anti-Christian atheists, paraphrase, “All religions are the same. All religions are about love.” In fact, of course, religions are not the same, and all religions are not all about love. Hinduism and Buddhism focus on transcendence. Confucianism focuses on family and orderly society. Islam means “submission.” Ironically, atheists acknowledge that they value the essence of Christianity – love – by insisting that Christianity’s teachings on love are nothing special; are, rather, found in all religions.
To prove that Islam, just like all religions, is all about love, Paul quoted Quran 4:36. Paul does not realize why his citation is, at best, inadvertently funny, and, at worst, very dark. Paul endorsed a verse from the Quran chapter entitled “Women.” A verse previous to Paul’s cited verse, 4:34, announces that men are superior to women, it recommends hijab, and it tells men to beat their wives. The verse Paul cites, 4:36, uses a coded phrase, “those whom your right hand possesses,” to refer to treatment of sex slaves. Paul equates a Quran verse about treatment of sex slaves to the world-changing teaching of the Good Samaritan parable.
Finally, there’s Facebook friend “Jim.” Jim is a PhD and a successful businessman. He’s an atheist and aggressively hostile toward Christianity. He astounded me a day after October 7 with brutal verbal bullying of an Israeli friend who is in the line of fire and must frequently retreat to a bomb shelter. Jim used coded words often used by anti-Semites. For example he called my Israeli friend “tribal.” And not just that. He repeatedly analogized Israelis to Nazis. He falsely stated that Israelis are genetically German, that Jews living in Judea and Samaria demand “lebensraum” and that Zionists are Nazis. I was shocked by Jim’s statements. I did not know that in addition to his Christophobia, he is also anti-Semitic.
My best understanding of Jim, Paul, Shea, and Baucum runs like this. All are successful, professional American men who are used to being on top. Being on top in the West right now requires accommodation to Woke. Further, Woke flatters and meets the needs of elites to feel superior. All of their posts struck me as arrogant. All of their posts expressed this sentiment: “You silly people don’t really understand world affairs. I do.” In order to have the superior interpretation, one must have an interpretation that is different from the mainstream. It is normal – it is conventional – to be upset by terrorists placing babies in ovens. A speaker insisting that he commands unique information, that those accounts are false, elevates his own status. A speaker insisting that he alone knows that “war is bad” or “war is sad” or “attractive women are killed in war” while at the same time insisting that others aren’t aware that war is bad and sad and that attractive women are killed in war, or that others don’t care that attractive women are killed in war because those women are “brown,” sets the speaker apart from the mob.
The analogizing of Jews with Nazis, it seems to me, may also spring from arrogance, egotism, and envy. The Holocaust was many things. To a decent, normal person, one thing the Holocaust was an event that requires us to be especially conscious of the sanctity of Jewish life. No, Jewish lives are not worth more than other lives. But many hold Jewish lives horribly cheap, and therefore decent people take an especial stand for the sanctity of Jewish life. I think that arrogant narcissists envy and resent that special status accorded to Jewish life, and, in egotistic rebellion and envious rage, kick against it by analogizing Jews to Nazis.
I don’t know if I’m right about Baucum, Shea, Paul, and Jim. Like everyone else, at this difficult time, I’m just struggling to understand the answers to the above questions.
Danusha Goska is the author of God Through Binoculars: A Hitchhiker at a Monastery