Michelle Malkin has a pointer to a lovely T-Shirt expressing a healthy Western attitude towards Islamicist demands. It simply says, in English and Arabic, “I Will Not Submit.” True and good.
However this shirt also points out a problem that, I think, hampers resistance to Islamicism from within Christianity. Anybody who has read Milton’s Paradise Lost (and many who haven’t) will recognize Satan’s motto “non serviam” — I Will Not Serve. The crux of the War in Heaven is Satan’s refusal to submit to God’s authority. That refusal, and consequent rejection of God’s authority, is the sin of pride and the essence of Satan’s evil.
The essential Islamicist demand on the West is the same as God’s demand to Satan in Paradise Lost — submit to the authority of divine will or suffer punishment. While I am not a Christian, it looks as though both Islam and Christianity insist that I should submit myself to God as a moral imperative. Both insist that I have a moral obligation to submit. The difference is that in the contemporary world, the Christians don’t advocate the use of raw force against unbelievers to anything like the same extent that Islamicists do. (This observation is the same one that landed Pope Benedict in so much hot water recently.)
In a war of ideas, which is a crucial front in our conflict with the Islamicists, that difference is a pretty weak one. In essence, Christianity and Islamicism share a moral goal — man’s submission to God’s will. They differ on the means. Christians favor persuasion, Islamicists endorse the use of the sword. But the real problem lies in the goal, not the means; the submission, not the manner in which men are driven to it.
That being the case, I suspect that many of the Christian opponents of Islamicism would be taken somewhat aback if people took the advice from Malkin’s T-shirt and applied it consistently across theologies. Since I’m not a Christian, I intend to do exactly that.
The shirt is in the mail.