Christian Abdication Leaves Vacuum for Islamic Hostility

Written by Dr. Everett Piper

One of the things I learned long ago is the principle of the vacuum. As it is in physics, so it is with human nature. Nothing will always be filled with something. Like a vortex in the ocean, a black hole in the cosmos, or the Hoover in your living room, so it is in the public square.

A vacuum simply can’t be resisted. Nothingness cannot sustain itself. Rest assured, a void will be filled.

In the absence of goodness, cruelty thrives. Where there is no love, there will be hate. Those without humility are inevitably arrogant. Take away charity, and gossip prevails. Without vision, the people perish, and on and on it goes.

I thought of this principle recently as I was reading an editorial written by Dinesh D’Souza, in which he attempts to explain why the Muslim world hates America so much.

In his piece, Mr. D’Souza asserts that the best explanation for the Muslim rage directed toward the United States is not the commonly accepted argument of clashing religions. On the contrary, he believes that Islam’s rage is not directed toward America’s Christianity but instead toward America’s secularism and the moral vacuity that faithful Muslims see therein.

Here is a bit of Mr. D’Souza’s argument.

“It is time to revisit some common assumptions. Many [on the left] consider Islamic fundamentalists and [conservative] Christians as … ‘kindred spirits.’ [For example] in her book The Mighty and the Almighty, Madeleine Albright [argues] that ‘hard-liners can find in the Koran and the Bible justifications for endless conflict.’ [Or] as Jim Wallis puts it in his book God and Politics, there is a close parallel between Islam’s holy war against the West and [our] holy war against Islamic terrorism. From this perspective [i.e., the left’s], the best solution is for America to stand up for the principles of secularism and oppose both Muslim and Christian fundamentalism.”

Mr. D’Souza continues:

“Not only is this diagnosis of the problem wrong, but the solutions proposed are actually fueling Muslim rage and making future terrorist attacks against us more likely. The reason is that, from the point of view of Islamic radicals, America is not hated because it is Christian. Rather, America is hated because it is secular, what Osama bin Laden [once] called ‘the leading power of the unbelievers.’”

“So, by promoting [radical] secularism,” Mr. D’Souza says, “we are corroborating the charge of radical Muslims that we are the enemies of their religion, and this also alienates traditional Muslims and pushes them into the radical camp.”

Mr. D’Souza further explains that Islamic radicals

“make their case against America and the West not on the grounds that [our] cultures are Christian, but on the grounds that [we] have abandoned Christianity. [For example], in his May 2006 letter to President George W. Bush, former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faulted America not for being Christian but for not being Christian enough. Many years earlier, the radical theoretician Sayyid Qutb made the same point [stating that] in the modern era, ‘religious convictions are no more than a matter of antiquarian interest.’”

Other Muslim radicals today echo these sentiments. For example, the Pakistani scholar Khurshid Ahmad argues: “Had Western culture been based on Christianity, on morality, on faith, the language and modus operandi of the conflict would have been different. But that is not the case. The choice is between the divine principle and the secular, materialistic culture.”

Mr. D’Souza concludes:

“Thus, the popular notion that the war against terrorism is a battle of two opposed forms of religious fundamentalism is false. This is not why the Islamic radicals are fighting against America. From their perspective, the war is between the Muslim-led forces of monotheism and morality vs. the American-led forces of atheism and immorality. Secularism, not Christianity, is responsible for producing a blowback of Muslim rage.”

While we may disagree with some of the assumptions in Mr. D’Souza’s implicit argument for the potential of Islamic tolerance (for example, he seems to sidestep the Muslim doctrines of deception, abrogation, subjugation, overthrow and violence), we dare not get distracted by this and miss the forest for the trees.

Instead, think for a moment of the principle of the vacuum — that unavoidable law you know and experience daily — that rule of replacement that says nothingness always draws something into its void.

Think about how history has shown time and again that the absence of good always leads to the manifestation of evil. Think about Mr. D’Souza’s basic premise that Muslim animus is being drawn irresistibly into your own backyard by a vacuum, a vacuum of values, a vacuum of virtue, a vacuum of Christian morality. Then, ask yourself: Does the emptiness of a secular America give you more comfort than the fullness of timeless truths endowed to us by our Creator?

“America will be great if America is good.
If not, her greatness will vanish away like a morning cloud.”
~Andrew Reed and James Matheson, 1834

Dr. Everett Piper (, @dreverettpiper), is a former university president and radio host. He is the author of “Not a Daycare: The Devastating Consequences of Abandoning Truth” and Grow Up! Life Isn’t Safe But It’s Good, both published by Regnery. This article was originally published by The Washington Times.

Dr. Piper has been a featured speaker in dozens of venues including the Values Voter Summit, the Council for National Policy, the Young American Foundation, the National Congress for Families, and the inaugural ceremony for the United States Department of Health and Human Service’s and Office of Civil Rights creation of a new division for religious freedom. Go here to listen and watch these and/or for more info.