It is not as if the West hasn’t known for some time that a considerable body of Islamic thought endorses the slaughter of innocents to achieve its ends. But it has been much easier to ignore the grim reality — and so much safer, too. Don’t expect the Paris massacre to change that
The mass murder of Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier, editor of Charlie Hebdo, and so many of his editorial staff by heavily armed Islamists will no doubt be described as “senseless” and/or “cowardly” by political leaders and most of the mainstream media. It was neither. If they were cowards, they would have stayed home and continued to receive French social security like so many of their fellow Muslims. The mere preparedness to kill unarmed infidels does not prove cowardice. Typical of jihadis the world over, they were prepared to fight to the death.
As to the notion of senselessness, this was another phase in the constantly escalating and calculated assault on Western civilization by Islamic totalitarianism. Despite some protestations by Western leaders about defending a free press, Islamists know that the boundaries have already been redrawn. Most of the mainstream media already practice self-censorship. You know the rules, ‘’nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more”.
It’s OK to upset Christians or Jews but never Muslims. The shadow of the minaret grows ever longer, the darkness deepens and the selective courage of the Fourth Estate with it. CNN and AP can run images of “Piss Christ” or the Virgin Mary plastered with elephant dung with no fear of retribution, but publishing cartoon images of Mohammad is beyond the Pale. In the aftermath of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, the mainstream media have reinforced the power of Islamic censorship, reproducing only blurred images of the cartoons. In other words, take the hint if you value your life.
Two years ago, Stephane Charbonnier was quoted by Mark Steyn as saying, “It may seem pompous, but I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.” The mainstream media and much of what passes for the political establishment have chosen the latter.
Over the next few days, we will hear much empty rhetoric about free speech and a free press. Some will speak with forked tongues, others, utterly blind to their self-contradictory positions and inherent cowardice, will utter platitudes. Try to not to throw up when they shamelessly intone, “They did not die in vain.”
One thing is crystal clear, the pre-emptive and craven surrender of the majority has facilitated the Islamic assault on the brave few individuals who stand up for our Western freedoms. If you brave members of the Fourth Estate really want to memorialise the courageous staff of Charlie Hebdo, cut the cant, recognise your endemic hypocrisy.
But most of all, grow a backbone.
Christopher Carr is a frequent contributor to Quadrant Online