Author Dan Simmons has penned a riveting short story posited on a time traveler from the future showing up in Simmons’ study offering cautionary tales of the future. A pull quote from the middle of the piece:
I tried to relax. â€œWhat do you want to talk about?â€ I said.
â€œThe Century War,â€ said the Time Traveler.
I blinked and tried to remember some history. â€œYou mean the Hundred Year War? Fifteenth Century? Fourteenth? Sometime around there. Between . . . France and England? Henry V? Kenneth Branagh? Or was it . . .â€
â€œI mean the Century War with Islam,â€ interrupted the Time Traveler. â€œYour future. Everyoneâ€™s.â€ He was no longer smiling. Without asking, or offering to pour me any, he stood, refilled his Scotch glass, and sat again. He said, â€œIt was important to me to come back to this time early on in the struggle. Even if only to remind myself of how unspeakably blind you all were.â€
â€œYou mean the War on Terrorism,â€ I said.
â€œI mean the Long War with Islam,â€ he said. â€œThe Century War. And itâ€™s not over yet where I come from. Not close to being over.â€
â€œYou canâ€™t have a war with Islam,â€ I said. â€œYou canâ€™t go to war against a religion. Radical Islam, maybe. Jihadism. Some extremists. But not a . . . the . . . religion itself. The vast majority of Muslims in the world are peaceloving people who wish us no harm. I mean . . . I mean . . . the very word â€˜Islamâ€™ means â€˜Peace.â€™â€
â€œSo you kept telling yourselves,â€ said the Time Traveler. His voice was very low but there was a strange and almost frightening edge to it. â€œBut the â€˜peaceâ€™ in â€˜Islamâ€™ means â€˜Submission.â€™ Youâ€™ll find that out soon enough[.]â€
Go and read the whole thing (Profanity warning: short story contains a goodly bit of blue invective. Don’t let it distract you from the overall point). It’s really too bad that only fiction writers are tackling these issues head-on; personally, I’d prefer generals, Senators and Presidents were doing the tackling for everyone’s sake.