As the officials in Brussels clear the debris and count the bodies, the Western world must confront the uncomfortable problem of Muslim terrorism once more. Unfortunately, the Western world is increasingly incapable of confronting this problem, seeing that those in the political and the religious spheres refuse to acknowledge the problem in the first place.

The president continues to dither with the problem of ISIS and its terrorist network. He cannot bring himself to call the terrorists Muslim, or call their daily murdering, torture, and enslavement of Christians “genocide.” After throwing millions of dollars to “moderate” factions in Syria to combat ISIS and Assad, only to discover that no such moderate faction existed, he keeps up a useless campaign of drone bombings that only boost the number of homeless refugees entering Europe and win sympathy for ISIS.

For a while it looked like the Kurds could make some headway, so everyone cheered them on… until reality set in, and they realized the Kurds simply wanted national autonomy, not peace in the Middle East. Recently, the president and some other public figures believed that Russia would take care of ISIS… until reality set in again, and they realized that Putin only wants to keep Assad in power and make business deals, not do any dirty work for America or the E.U.

Rather than take any action against the gross acts of barbarity on full display for the whole world to watch, the president shows more anger toward the people who suggest that Islam just might have something to do with all these attacks made in the name of Allah. Along with the Democratic candidates, he dismisses recommendations to actually monitor radical Islamic enclaves—something the Belgians and French famously failed to do—as somehow “un-American.”

At the same time, Pope Francis wishes (or washes) the problem away as he continues his annual tradition of washing a Muslim woman’s feet. Either blithely unaware of continuing Muslim aggression and terrorism, or probably seeing no point in condemning it, he reaches out to the Muslim world in kindness. Instead of calling for conversion, he calls for peace and harmony. Even as they reject, often with violence, the gospel, he calls them “brothers.”

Dovish Catholics and other well-wishers of the pope may recall the famous beatitude, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God,” and nod approvingly (Mt 5:9). Nevertheless, these gestures do little to make peace. More often, they enable evil men to continue their atrocities with impunity and soothe the faithful into complacency. Moreover, they create confusion: if everyone is fine the way they are, and we just play nice with everyone, what does it matter what anyone believes or what church/temple/mosque they might attend?

A church in Maaloula recently pillaged by ISIS

A church in Maaloula recently pillaged by ISIS

Flustered by the confusion, Pope Benedict XVI gently yet firmly set out his objections to this irrational religion in his Regensburg lecture—which then triggered more violence by Muslim terrorists, only proving his point. Muslims are not brothers and sisters of Christians, worshipping the same God; they are neighbors sadly caught in a false religion based on propaganda and spread through violence and intimidation rather than truth.

Hillaire Belloc proved to be prophetic when he predicted the rise is Islam in the twentieth century onward, noting its stranglehold on free thought and the relative apathy of the West to do much about it. Despite being responsible for more violent deaths than Communism and Fascism, Europeans and Americans still perpetuate the myth that Islam means peace, not submission. They happily ignore Islam’s bloody history as well as their own which documents many battles with Muslim invaders for over a millennium.

At all this, one incredulously objects, does that mean the West should have another Crusade? Ignoring the unfair connotations of the word “crusade,” this is exactly what Catholics should try to do. The problem will fester, and the attacks will increase until politicians in America and Europe fight Muslim terrorist regimes and members of the Church fight the Muslim heresy. One should note that this would not be a war of hatred, but war of love, as the original Crusades were, which sought to liberate the holy land and protect persecuted Christians.

Such a move would require sacrifice on the part of Christians and soldiers, but this sacrifice would pale in comparison to the sacrifice of the first Crusaders who gave up everything to recover Israel and help Eastern Rome—hence the term “Crusader” means “one who takes up the cross.” Using much better technology, Americans and Europeans could win these wars with much greater ease and less bloodshed. This would then allow Catholic evangelization to take place since reason and grace could finally replace the existing ignorance and brutality.

The great majority who recoil at this solution, thinking it immoral and chauvinistic, should consider the problem at hand which grows worse with every moment of indecision. If the average adult saw a bully on the playground lying to other kids and beating them up if they contradicted him with the truth, he would be right to stop the bully and correct the lie. That would be the loving thing to do. The mean thing would be to call this kid a brother, accept his lies, and allow him to continue his abuse while the remaining kids escape to other playgrounds outside their neighborhood. Unfortunately, the leaders of the State and Church have continued doing the latter.

Syrian refugees in entering Turkey

Syrian refugees in entering Turkey

Until the situation becomes intolerable (and it will), let no one be mistaken: this pacifism is not peaceful or charitable; it is cowardly and negligent.