What’s in a name ? Why do people, firms and organizations change their names ? I changed mine, my company changed its, for somewhat different reasons. More to the point, ISIS changed its name to IS. It is no longer the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”. Now it is just IS, period, or, in its own language, DAECH.
So what ?
In case it is not obvious, let us say that the terrorist organization and death-cult has become catholic. This is not a false scoop about its conversion to Christianity, but its almost equally significant factual conversion to universality. Islam, like the Catholic Church in previous centuries, has ambitions – and a supposedly divine mission – to dominate the whole world.
Not so long ago the Church actually did, like the Roman Empire it supplanted. It was already almost overrun in the 15th century by the armies of Islam. Since then the world has seen the world-wide threat of Communist dictatorship, followed by the ambitions of German National Socialism and its ally, the Empire of Japan. Today some see their replacement – for the nonce – by American “imperialism”, and in the foreseeable future, that of China.
In 1938 the British Prime Minister did not take seriously the threat of National Socialism. We survived the imposition of a 1000-year old Third Reich by the skin of our teeth, and with a little help from our friends. C.S. Lewis famously said that the Devil’s most brilliant deception is to get people to believe he doesn’t exist. The planetary threat of Islam to make the world an Islamic State, a universal Caliphate, is no empty rattling of sabres. The sooner the world sits up and takes notice of what’s happening, not only in the Middle East, but already in such unlikely places as Martin Place in Sydney, the closer we will be to taking the threat seriously. Sceptics should not forget that our declared enemy could one day add nuclear, Pakistani, teeth to his unlimited ambitions . . .