In the wake of yet another Islamic terror attack in Europe, European artists are expressing themselves in cartoons shared on social media, which are being hailed as moving tributes to the victims.
This Le Monde cartoon, for example, by the French political cartoonist Plantu, which depicts a empathetic France consoling a grieving Belgium, is going viral. Le Monde shared it on Twitter:
Plantu has been drawing for Le Monde for 43 years. Ten years ago, after the violence that followed the publication of the Danish Muhammad cartoons, he and then-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan formed Cartooning for Peace, "a tool serving freedom of expression: a forum and a meeting place for all those who challenge intolerance and all forms of dogmatism." Is there any ideology today more intolerant and dogmatic than Islam?
The Guardian shared a collection by other artists of similar cartoons, a couple of which include images of a weeping Tintin, Belgium's famous cartoon adventurer boy:
Countless tears are understandably being shed in the aftermath of yet another Islamic terror attack, as they are after every Islamic terror attack, of which there have been more than 28,000 since 9/11/2001. But while the survivors of the Paris and Brussels attacks and the friends and families of the victims unquestionably have earned the right to grieve, these images also unintentionally send a signal about Europe's state of mind at a time when it needs to rise up and crush the looming threat of Islamic fundamentalism.
What that signal says about France, Belgium, and Europe at large is that the West is weak.
Not one of the images expresses anything but surrender to sorrow and grief, with the exception of the one in which a cherub urinates on an AK-47, to the accompaniment of a "F*** #Terrorism!" hashtag. But it is also accompanied by a #NoWar hashtag.
Now is the time for war. Now is the time for anger and action, not grieving. Europe's situation is too urgent for that. Europe is swiftly becoming a war zone, and in war, grief must be set aside for later, when the war is won.
As the Freedom Center's Robert Spencer noted yesterday, Europe must rid itself of weak leaders and elites, because
This is a war. It is a war for survival. It is a war that will determine whether Europe (and North America is not far behind) will live in freedom or slavery.
These cartoonists, who surely must value the freedom of Western art, should be getting in touch with their rage in defense of that freedom. Instead of tearful Tintins, which will strike fear into no jihadist, the cartoonists should be creating images of defiance, of martial will, of cultural confidence. Does Europe possess such will and self-confidence? Of course not. But it must find them again now, and artists, in their way, can serve as inspiration for that instead of waving the white flag as these cartoons do.
Now is the time for Europeans to dry their tears, mobilize, and fight. Europe -- indeed, the world, because jihad is a global threat -- must find its rage and turn it against the enemy within and without.