via Crisis Magazine
by William Kilpatrick
The other night I saw a trailer on TV for the new Robo Cop movie. “Meet the Future,” said the accompanying caption. And, if the trailer is to be believed, the future will be a high-tech world where police don futuristic armor and ride futuristic motorcycles.
The idea that the future will be like nothing we’ve ever experienced before is a staple of science fiction. But here in the non-fiction world, it’s beginning to look like “meet the past” is the more likely scenario for our future.
In large swaths of the world, the past has already arrived. Take the recent interview on Egyptian TV in which a thoughtful, bespectacled white-bearded cleric explains the proper way to beat your wife. According to the cleric, who looks for all the world like a wizard from the set of The Lord of the Rings, there is a “beating etiquette”: “don’t break her teeth, don’t poke her in the eye” and “no more than ten times” (whether daily, weekly, or monthly is not specified).
Along with “proper” wife-beating, polio and pirates are also making a comeback.
Polio is reappearing because the health workers in Pakistan and Nigeria who administer the vaccine are being killed off by strict constructionists of sharia who believe that vaccinations are un-Islamic (or else, an American plot to sterilize Muslim children). This is not simply a Third World problem. In Scotland last year, a very large-scale public vaccination campaign was shut down following complaints from Muslim families.
Piracy, which most of us had assumed was safely confined to Davy Jones Locker, has also resurfaced. If you live near the coast of Somalia, it’s a profitable way to make a living, or was, anyway, until the shipping companies began to institute stringent anti-piracy measures. In the heyday of Somali piracy (that is to say, about two years ago), the pirates were capturing cargo ships and oil tankers of a size which would have made Blackbeard turn green with envy.
More ominous signs of the past’s re-emergence are everywhere. According to numerous reports, the World Cup stadium in Qatar and its surrounding infrastructure is being built by what amounts to slave labor. Nine hundred migrant laborers have already died from being forced to work in the 122° heat. Meanwhile, stories of sex slavery have become a feature of the daily news. Again, this is not just a Third World phenomenon. A recent comprehensive study in the UK reveals that Muslim gangs have been sexually exploiting British children on a large scale for more than two decades. By one estimate, at least 10,000 girls, most of them between eleven and sixteen, are kept as virtual sex slaves at any one time.
Stoning for adultery? Amputation for theft? Death for apostasy? All these supposed relics of the past have arisen from their graves like Dracula at twilight. Perhaps the most disturbing intrusion of the past into the present is the revival of decapitation. After taking the city of Mosul, ISIS fighters proceeded to behead captured soldiers and policemen on a mass scale. And the Internet, the most iconic modern invention, now carries photos of Islamic warriors posing with their severed-head trophies.
What does the future look like? Unfortunately, it’s beginning to look like the distant past. The question then arises—how did we let ourselves get blindsided by the past?