Europe is in trouble and we may be too!
Multiple news agencies have reported alarming facts about the number of Europeans fighting FOR ISIS.
“At least 400 Britons are among the estimated 2,000 Europeans who are fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to Prime Minister David Cameron….Britain has a ‘deeply entrenched problem,’ according to the Quillam Foundation, an anti-extremist think tank.” (NBC NEWS)
The article goes on to say something really interesting.
“Islamist extremist ideologies have spread with relative ease under the cover of ‘free speech’.”
If you read through the article the logic goes like this.
- Europe has a problem with its people becoming Islamic extremists.
- The problem exists because the religion is allowed to be taught openly.
- Therefore, the implication is, we should greatly govern free speech.
Wait, hold on a second: Though free speech may be one of the reasons for the quick expanse of Islam, the problem they face isn’t a result of free speech. It’s a symptom of something deeper.
Many of the extremists originating from Europe are second or third generation immigrants who grew up in extremist homes. The interesting thing is the lack of adoption to the European culture after a few generations. Here is what is happening, immigrants move to Europe, their children grow up in Europe and are educated in Europe, but don’t really become European pragmatically. This is really important to note! They may speak with that captivating British accent, but their hearts aren’t there at all! They migrate to Europe, but they don’t integrate, they just live there.
In fact this has become the “modern” cool trend. Promote diversity. You do what you want, I’ll do what I want and let’s just live at peace. Guess what. What some want isn’t peace, it’s full submission at all costs. Even “relative truth” relatively makes one right and someone else seen as wrong! The popular educational response to this has been a pseudo nihilism. More on this later, back to the big question at hand.
The real question is WHY aren’t immigrants buying into the European way of life?
It appears what is being culturally offered by Europe isn’t really attractive at a heart level or they don’t feel fully welcome. So they exist together with a level of material prosperity and safety that may be superior to parts of the Middle East, but they aren’t really won over into the new culture.
Here is the dreadful truth, the elephant in the room:
People are looking for meaning way beyond money and safety. They want to belong and they want purpose. Here in America that’s why young boys and girls who grew up in a safe little town in Kansas join the army. It’s why rich people do really stupid things for no other purpose than a thrill. They are trying to “live” even if it risks their money and safety. If you mix that natural human inclination for purpose with a hot educational trend that teaches you are nothing more than a random chance of events and are no more valuable than the wood on your desk and what do you get? Brilliant educated young college students who will move to the desert to die because they believe there is purpose in it.
Do you see it?
The problem isn’t free speech, it’s an army of young people who are looking for belonging and purpose in life, literally an army! They are willing to go to crazy extreme measures to pursue it.
People want deep purpose and to belong MORE than education and safety.
Shutting down free speech and hoping this will go away will be like putting a Band-Aid on a tumor. It looks like the problem is solved, but the core issue is totally ignored and growing rapidly.
People need to belong and need meaning in life.
Let me say that again.
People need to belong and need deep meaning in life.
If they are taught they have no real lasting purpose, they will relentlessly search it out, no matter who is silenced.
We can’t run from metaphysical conversations and history teaches we can’t truly silence them.
That longing is built into us.
We need to stop the cultural love affair we have with Europe. They don’t have this figured out. If we aren’t careful we will also become a country filled with material wealth and empty hearts.
Even as I write this a friend sent me an article about two ISIS solders from the US. “‘They both were sort of searching, it seemed like,” Julianne Boada told the News on Tuesday from her front steps in Minneapolis. ‘I think both of them had a really strong desire to be needed and (be) of value.'” (NY Daily News)
There it is again! People need to belong and need deep meaning in life! This need landed on our shores a long time ago too, in fact it’s baked into humanity.
So here is the logic I want to offer.
- Europe appears to have a problem with its people becoming Islamic extremists.
- The problem exists because European culture is no longer compelling enough to win over second and third generation immigrants to their values and ways of life.
- Therefore the people in Europe as well as the world, need a surge of purpose laden identity that is superior and more compelling than nihilistic education and Islamic extremism.
Three quotes come to mind from three brilliant minds.
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” -C. S. Lewis
“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.” -Blaise Pascal
“Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” –Bertrand Russell
I say we must have the metaphysical conversations and we must have them together. We can’t shove people in a corner and pat ourselves on the back for being “diverse”. Nope, we have to wrestle through this together and together we must find our way.
Why are we here?
What is my purpose?
Does life have any meaning?
Do I belong?
Am I loved?
We must weigh the faith systems. This must not be done by the blade as forced conversion will change actions, but not hearts. History teaches this well!
The deepest longing in the human heart can’t be turned off. So let’s free the speech, hear the cases, and see who offers the most compelling evidence and deepest meaning.
Like the Hill of Ares (Mars Hill*) in Athens, Greece let’s present our case and weigh the evidence! Our education should never be a silencing. We can’t run from the questions so let’s try to answer them!
*In Acts 17 Paul defends Christianity to the Greeks.