I have recently left London and last night I regretted it. I wanted to be in Trafalgar Square with hundreds of other people, joining thousands in Paris, gathered together in protest against yesterday’s murders, but also in silent support of free-speech.
As people stood in the open, lit candles and carried flowers, the mood was contemplative and sad, and some might say one of futility as there is very little anyone can do to maintain freedom of expression in the West, now that sections of the Muslim community have decided to kill anyone who offends them. European citizens are really in a similar situation now to Germans after 1933. To speak out against tyranny and evil and stupid ideas could easily lead to violent death. Only the very brave will speak out and keep on printing satire and criticism of Islam.
While all that was going on and expressions of horror and disgust were washing over the news networks from politicians and commentators of every hue, the BBC took a very different line. First of all on BBC Radio 4, at 1.32 pm, not long after the news of the killings broke, I heard earnest discussion begin about how to safe-guard Muslims from any right wing back lash. There were mutterings about right wing parties in Europe, particularly in France, the name Le Penn came up.
For the BBC it was obvious, Muslims are vulnerable people likely to be attacked any day by their vicious, uncontrolled fellow citizens. At 6 pm I turned on the BBC news and there was the odd sound of their senior news reporter Frank Gardner describing the situation in Paris as he saw it. Or he tried to but for some reason his powers of description failed he lapsed into what can only be called at best very shoddy English. He told us that there was now a new ‘ball park,’ which he said needed to be, ‘surveilled.’ He then reached for some kind of street speak, saying that the French police, ‘Wanna go down.’
Gardener is an educated, professional man, so I can only assume that he was too embarrassed by what he had to describe to use his normal language. The words he spoke belonged to some other man and he used them to distance himself from events. He slid out of view by saying nothing precise or clear. I think that like many on the Left he cannot deal effectively with Muslim extremist attacks because they endanger the leftist fantasy, deeply ingrained in the BBC, of some kind of Global, pan European multi-cultural community, in which nationality and Christian culture have been eradicated. A world where everyone reads the Guardian every day, after it has been stripped of all cartoons and anything potentially provocative.
The BBC likes the word ‘barbaric’ for Islamist attacks as we know who they mean without anyone saying it. If they have to mention Islam they carefully say, ‘Islamist,’ to makes some fatuous distinction between the two. But they also like, ‘provocative’ to describe the crime of wilfully upsetting Muslims so much that they perform barbaric acts.
I suspect that the BBC and its minions loathe the provocateurs rather more than their murderers. The Guardianista world view can only exist if critical journalists, cartoonists and sub-Rushdie novelists lie down and die. Western cartoonists threaten the liberal dream of a secular Caliphate, where extreme Islam coexists with western secularists and everyone is either vegetarian or happy to eat Halal, the stoning of gays will be justified by ethnic relativity, and every act of terrorism will be squarely attributed to Israel.