Thursday, January 07, 2016
The cringing and craven cowards of the establishment
On the eve of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Mark Steyn notes (The Ghosts of Charlie Hebdo) that the Western press has pissed its pants in fear of Muslims on Jihad. They were all "JeSuisCharlie" - I am Charlie - but are scared shitless of showing the cartoons that caused the Muslim fanatics to massacre a dozen people, including the bulk of the senior editorial staff.
Instead of sharing the risk, the bigfoot media behaved exactly as they had ten years earlier. At my old London home The Daily Telegraph some gutless pansies decided that their reporting on the story could only be accompanied by carefully blurred images of the late cartoonists' work in order to avoid giving offense - turning Mohammed into a perpetually pixelated prophet, as if (to reprise a gag I did in 2005) poor ol' Mo's entered the witness protection program. Which is in fact the precise opposite of what's going on: cowardly media pixelate Mohammed as a way of fast-tracking themselves into the witness protection program, or so they hope. On TV, one of the few surviving Charlie Hebdo staffers attempted to hold one of the offending covers on screen, only to have the camera lurch away. Around the world, the dead cartoonists' professional colleagues, almost to a man, agreed that the preferred response was some or other limpid, evasive, self-flattering variant of "the pen is mightier than the sword".
Steyn tells us that in the past year a number of editors and writers who showed the courage of their convictions were attacked and are in hiding. The other Brave Sir Robins in the media - free speech warriors all - decided that they could show their courage on their knees and bravely participate in candlelight vigils and march showing their pencils.
And for the rest of the Establishment?
For wee colonial lads like me who've always been taught that England is the crucible of liberty, it is sobering to contemplate what a lonely champion of free speech Douglas Murray is in his native land, where Parliament will shortly debate whether Donald Trump should be banned from setting foot in the country. More tellingly, a week before the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a West Yorkshire man was arrested by Leeds District Police ("Superintendent Mabs Hussein") for tossing a Koran in a toilet and setting it alight. As Australia's Tim Blair noted, in Britain you're free to destroy any book you like. Except one. The state's argument to the Sharia loons is: "You don't need to kill anyone. We'll be your enforcers."
How very culturally polite of them. Because as everyone knows, Muslims are a peaceful people who only have on little quirk, they go absolutely berserk if they see an image of Mohammad. So let's not inflame the peace-loving followers of Islam.
Oh, and Jews ...
Both Paris and Copenhagen were twofers: the attacks on free speech were followed by attacks on Jews, at a kosher supermarket and a synagogue, respectively. To Obama, this second group of victims were merely a "random" "bunch of folks". Couldda been anyone, but just so happened to be "a bunch of folks" who like kosher food. As I commented:Bank robbers rob banks because that's where the money is. In Europe, Islamic supremacists shoot up kosher markets, synagogues, Jewish museums and Jewish schools because that's where the Jews are.I think most of us understand that a huge percentage of Muslims really hate Jews. I have a high degree of tolerance for hate: I spent a lot of time in Northern Ireland during a period when many Catholics and Protestants seriously hated each other, and I came rather to appreciate the way they were entirely upfront about their mutual hatred. The problem here is that in the biggest resurgence of Jew-hate since the Second World War we're not allowed to say who hates Jews.That's why free speech matters. Without free speech, there are only the official lies - about who's killing Jews in Copenhagen, who's sexually assaulting women in Cologne - and there is nothing to say in response to either except to crank up the old joanna for one more chorus of "Imagine".What happened on January 7th 2015 was terrible. But our response to it made it more terrible, and emboldened civilization's enemies. With respect to the late Charb, the choice is not between dying standing up or living on our knees - for those who choose to live on their knees will die there, too, cringing and craven.