A few months ago, I wrote about the creeping advance of Sharia Law into the Western world. Responses to that article ran the gamut—everything from affirmation to claiming I didn’t know what I was talking about to suggesting I might be a child of Adolph Hitler. What sparked this discussion was my brief review of a series of speculative novels that imagine a world 500 years in the future ruled by something akin to Sharia Law.
Now that the author Kerry Nietz has completed his Dark Trench trilogy, this is a good point to consider why he came to write these novels and how they can be an important part of the discussion about the implications of allowing strict Islamic law to become precedent in our judicial system.
A Brief Synopsis
The Dark Trench Saga, comprised of the novels A Star Curiously Singing, The Superlative Stream, and Freeheads, seeks to answer a simple yet critically important question. What if shifting geo-politics and advances in technology enabled a global fundamentalist religion to literally impose its will on the minds and souls of the world population? This fictional world’s version of Sharia Law cannot be broken because the ability to oppose it has been programmed out of the Saga’s hero. The trilogy is the story of the main character’s painful journey toward self discovery and self determination.
Born in Fact not Fiction
Like most good fiction, the Dark Trench Saga has its seeds in fact. In a recent interview, the author explained the story had its beginnings when he was given America Alone by Mark Steyn. Steyn’s book was a New York Times bestseller and brought to the forefront assertions about the advance of Islam on the Western world, an assertion others had been making behind the scenes for years. America Alone made three central points:
- In the continuing conflict between the West and Islam, both the demographics and the desire for power favor the Islamists. Population trends are irrefutable. Spain, for example, has a birth rate of 1.15 children per adult woman, while immigrants to that country from Pakistan have a birthrate of 4.53 children per adult woman. Demographics suggest there is now no need for overthrow by violence in countries like Spain. Given enough time, Islam will control Spain by default.
- As an aggressive, unassimilated minority moves closer to a majority (30 percent of the Muslim population in France is the under-twenty age group), the makeup of the democratic institutions will become more directly aligned with Islamic law and culture.
- America represents the most notable exception to this trend, and only a determined effort to save our society stands a prospect of reversing these trends.
Another book that spurred Nietz on in his writing was Stealth Jihad by Robert Spencer, a non-fiction work about the covert ways that Sharia Law has infiltrated American culture. Spencer notes in that study that many Muslims born in the Western world are sincere when they protest that Islam is not a violent religion.
They may have grown up and learned their Islam in areas of the world — Central Asia, Eastern Europe, West Africa — where the Islam that has evolved historically simply did not emphasize jihad warfare (hot war or otherwise). Generations of Muslims in those areas and others grew up being quite sincere, devout, knowledgeable and observant without having any notion that they had any imperative to subjugate infidels — and as the faith was presented to them and lived out around them, they didn’t. Unfortunately, the Salafist movements are challenging precisely the people who grew up in such cultures, and challenging them by claiming to be the representatives of Islamic authenticity.
The point is that radical Islam has a tendency to always take over more moderate factions. The religious and cultural pressures are simply too great for most Muslims to resist. One need only look at recent events in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya to see this at work. With a vacuum in power, Egypt, long the most reasonable and free of large Islamic countries, is now succumbing to the heavy-handed influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. Coptic Christians, once protected, face the possibility of near extermination unless something changes.
The Power of Fiction
The lasting power of George Orwell’s 1984 reminds us the place fiction can have in drawing attention to reality. Since before the days of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Empire, novelists have understood how useful the medium is for asking big questions. What journalists and talking heads cannot do, a well-written story often can – make us think.
But not everyone in America is appreciative of the efforts of authors like Mark Steyn, Robert Spencer, or Kerry Nietz. One reviewer of the Dark Trench Saga wrote: “The story could have been told without the Muslim content. Kerry could have just made up some fictional pagan society, and the story wouldn’t have suffered. Why take a chance on alienating so many potential readers?”
Nietz’s reply is insightful: “As to the pagan society alternative, the risk there is a loss of relevance. One objective of my books is to illustrate the differences between Christianity and other religions. In the second book, The Superlative Stream, there are actually three alternative belief systems represented.”
This is important to the current discourse in the United States. There is a concerted effort to present the idea there are no inherent differences in various belief systems. Tolerance has become the smokescreen for all kinds of deception. Another person who read the Saga wrote: “I do not appreciate this same message when any religion is portrayed as better than any other and think the implications behind this message are extremely dangerous. To me, any religious faith should promote tolerance – of all people and of all religions.”
Kerry Nietz stands by his belief that there are large groups of people who want Sharia everywhere. “My goal was to project that future. You can disagree with my prediction. Perhaps a world of Sharia would be completely different from what we see in countries where it is practiced today.”
Considering the very name, Islam, means “submit,” and its track record has remained the same for centuries, perhaps we should err on the side of caution.
©2011 Off the Grid News