By: Rabbi Simon Jacobson / Meaningful Life Center
They say that there is a thin line between tragedy and comedy, but no one was prepared for the tragic slaughter of a team of lampoonists by Muslim terrorists.
Beyond the horror of the cold-blooded killings — and without minimizing them in any way — there is something very ironic and chilling about a group of three virulent Muslims wielding an arsenal of weapons, entering into a weekly editorial meeting of cartoonists and editors of a satirical newspaper, and murdering them all because of their mockery of their prophets and leaders.
It’s one thing to wage a crusade against religious enemies following the rules of engagement. That too is reprehensible. But it takes on a completely other dimension when gunmen, in a totally premeditated move, storm an editorial office shooting to death defenseless people — all in the name of their faith.
But in a world of indiscriminate beheadings why should we be surprised? Yet, these killings strike us more due to the juxtaposition of media — albeit, of the cynical genre — jokers — and assassins.
Not every day brings a head-on collision between irreverence and zealotry, strident non-conformists and rigid radicals, strongly anti-religious, left-wing voices and religious right-wing fanatics.
Indeed, comedy met tragedy face-to-face — with deeply tragic — nothing at all comical about it — results.
Some suggest that France is now getting its due after its recent escalating muggings of Israel and tolerating Muslim atrocities against Jews. Like the miners’ canary: Whenever Jews are attacked first, rest assured, everybody else comes next (see Game Plan).
Others go as far as to argue that Europe overall is getting its payback after what it did — or did not do (in the form of silent accomplices) — to the Jewish people during the Holocaust. Imagine what Europe would look like today had the six million Jews survived and went on to build families, communities and businesses; how that would have transformed that continent.
But alas, that was not meant to be. So after years of appeasement, Europe — with France at the forefront — seems destined to becoming a Muslim continent in the next few decades or less. Churchill said it best: An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.
We should be loathe to suggest that France deserved this atrocity, that this was a punishment for France’s behavior. No one deserves to be executed, no less in this fashion by Muslim terrorists. But at the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that a climate of compromise and pandering if not groveling — whether it is in France, Israel or anywhere else — does not bode well in a surging sea of predators.
And then there is the issue of Islam and terrorism. Some are bending over backwards, for one reason or another, to emphasize that these attacks have nothing to do with Islam. They even go so far as saying that all religions have their radicals — as if there is equivalence between Muslim terrorist attacks of our era and other radical movements. While it’s true that not all Muslims are terrorists, all terrorists today are Muslims. You have to wonder why.
What is it about Islam — its leaders, its message and its education — that creates such a fertile breeding ground for terrorism?!
Don’t get me wrong. No doubt that the majority of Muslims and Arabs could, and may want to, be peace-loving. But one could argue the same for the majority of Germans during World War II. Yet, we hold them collectively responsible for allowing the Nazis to come to power. In face of the genocide and atrocities taking place under their eyes even their silence was a crime. In addition to the fact, that the Nazis were not some foreign import; they were the children and products of German society.
The Middle East is a breeding ground – a platform – for terrorism, for genocide. The schools are educating the children with certain ideas that are allowing for mass terror as a viable option to be exercised – or tolerated – in order to advance a cause. That simply is unacceptable. (See How Far are We Away from Sinai?).
Even more alarming: Why is the world not clamoring for and demanding an answer to this question?!
Instead, Israel is vilified.
If would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic — another instance of comedy meeting tragedy — that so much credibility is given to the Palestinians joining the Hague to prosecute Israel — the mist humane military in history — for war crimes, when Hamas, ISIS and so many other Muslim militant groups are violating human rights on an ongoing basis in the most atrocious ways!
No one can predict the future. But one thing is clear: As long as we choose to ignore the imminent dangers of unchecked toxins being fed to the young impressionable minds of the next generation of Muslims, until we don’t face up to the realities on the ground, we will be vulnerable to their distorted and obscene passions.
Half the cure to any problem is: awareness.
If nothing else, perhaps this is the sad lesson learned from the merciless killings of the comics at Charlie Hebdo.
Time to wake up.