The following brief but highly informative interview appeared earlier this year on Herland Report TV. Titled, “Europe: Deep Spiritual Crisis,” the host, Hanne Nabintu Herland, a Norwegian historian of religions and journalist, interviews Iben Thranholm, a Danish theologian and journalist.
Both women are to be commended for raising many important points—indeed, for getting to the heart of the West’s problems, including vis-à-vis Islam—that are seldom acknowledged in American media, certainly not “mainstream” media. Moreover, as both come from Scandinavia — arguably the most “progressive” region in the world — they know what they speak of and offer a prognostication the U.S. can learn from.
The general theme of the episode is that Western values have become almost entirely materialistic in essence; because pure materialism is ultimately dissatisfying—“man shall not live on bread alone”—more and more Western people are turning to any number of metaphysical ideologies, from Islam to paganism—anything as long as it’s not Christianity; and because many of these ideologies are intrinsically hostile to Christianity, Western culture, which was founded on Christian principles, has become suicidal—hence the current situation, especially in Europe.
As Thranholm explains:
You cannot understand the world only from a political view point. We are in a spiritual warfare and not just a political struggle…. It has become a taboo to speak about religion due to this anti-religious ideology that claims that religion has no value. As long as we remain in this spiritual crisis, I don’t think Europe will be able to defeat Islam. The reason why Islam is so successful here is because we have a spiritual vacuum.
Disturbing statistics validate this latter point: “Thousands of Norwegians are rushing to Islam” every year, says Herland: “A flood of ethnic Scandinavians are becoming Muslim,” precisely because Christianity has “evaporated.”
It’s especially refreshing to see that both women understand that, whatever issues the West is having with Islam, these are almost entirely brought on by the West itself—a point I often make (here and here for example). As Thranholm—who refers to the current “anti-Christian ideology” in the West as “the second coming of Marxism”—says, “A weak Christianity means a strong Islam.”
Reprinted with author’s permission from Raymond Ibrahim