Cue the eye-rolling and the blubbering and the oh-so-twee dilemmas that afflict those whose exquisite moral balance must now be re-calibrated yet again after Brussels, this latest slaughter of innocents. It’s getting harder to overlook the obvious, but give the Church of Relativism’s choir its due: the castrati stick to their hymn books come what may.
As The Guardian immediately demonstrated, the first and only approved reaction to mass murder is passive sooking. Don’t get angry, the artists whose work it collected seem to be saying, just have a good snivel and we can bury for the moment those unsettling thoughts of the next and inevitable massacre to come. Je suis Charlie, anyone? Surely the feel-good vanity of that original, empty slogan is good and ready for reprise. Je suis Brussels? Je suis Cologne? Je suis Endeavour Hills? Je suis Parramatta? Why not keep it simple, cut the verbiage, trim the message to a minimum. Je suis a spineless victim. How about that as the motto for our age?
Maybe, if we are observed to be soaking enough tissues, the Islamists will feel some pity and go easy. In the meantime, let us tweet sympatico selfies in our hijabs because, as all koranic quislings know, the real problem with terror is that never-seen backlash against disciples of the creed which produces so very much of it. Mangled bodies, bag searches at sports stadiums, the ever-expanding security apparatus of the state, that’s the price we pay for the original sin of colonialism or sexism or gender dysphoria or whatever, just fill in the blanks. Whatever the reason some three dozen Belgians won’t be going home tonight or ever, it’s our fault — never the slightest academic doubt about the fitness of blaming ourselves. Anyway, as the Muslim academic Anne Aly puts it, a bombed airport is just “theatre”, or as Muslim columnist Waleed Aly would have it, merely another “irritation”.
And so we’ll watch the familiar script unfold. It’s Mecca to a moon rock that Alys I and II will shortly serve up their long, thin streaks of trademark sophistries about the way that sensible people — by this they will mean Fairfax readers and admirers of the ABC — need to frame blood-splattered footage in the correct perspective. Nothing to worry about, folks, nothing to see here. Nothing, that is, unless you happen to be sipping a latte in Martin Plaza at an inopportune moment. Instead of thinking about Islam (the Religion of Peace™, don’t you know!) and how in Allah’s name its theocratic, misogynist absolutism came to be so cosseted and indulged in the secular, humanist West, take you cue from the Guardian‘s assembled artists and turn the bafflement inward. That’s the daubers’ work scattered about the margins of these thoughts. Admire the insights of these sensitive souls, enjoy the dip into that bottomless tank of impotent, officially approved self-pity.
Or better yet, agonise in public about what terror’s shockwaves mean to you and only you. It’s a good way to get attention and, you know, express an ultra-tolerant solidarity with those whose intolerance must be handled with kid gloves, if at all. The ABC’s Patricia Karvelas showed the way before the sun was up this morning. Oh, such a dilemma, and an “ethical” one to boot! Ms Karvelas can’t, surely not, take her moppets aside and explain, as countless mums must have done during the London Blitz, that the men delivering those bombs are evil, that their philosophy enshrines mass murder as a useful instrument, that a system of belief which posits its absolute superiority over any other must be, by its very definition, abhorrent to all and any who are blessed with even the semblance of civilization.
Tell her daughters about bad men who, if they have their way, will someday shroud them in the garments of chattels? No, mustn’t be so frank, never that. Kiddies have to be kept happy and oblivious, no need for them recognise the peril that overshadows their futures. Why deny them the comfort of the blindfold their parents wear with such evident self-satisfaction?
So be prepared for yet another indulgence in the pathetic, the rolling cavalcade of academics and pundits and preachers of the politically correct. They’re the ones whose rationalising invited the enemy to set up house within our Western walls, who swear that no truth nor secular principle is worth defending because, well, how can we have a warm and cuddly world if mere principles divide us? Better, far better, to cast away those pesky foundations of Western life — free speech and its liberty to criticise and critique for starters, plus consistent expectations of the equality to which women, all women, are entitled.
Blow ‘em away, be done with their inconvenience! Sooner or later, sure as day if things and attitudes continue as they are, Islamists will do it anyway. Might as well save them the trouble and free our homegrown chatterers to deliver their sermons about multicultural amity and “otherness”, to lament our intolerance never theirs.
That’s the thing about your more adept court eunuchs, they know how to curry favour with today’s boss — and tomorrow’s.
Roger Franklin is the editor of Quadrant Online