Prepare yourselves for the Christchurch mosque killer’s light-speed trip down the memory hole. The “right-wing H88888R!!! Islamophobic bigot™ right-winger” libmedia narrative doesn’t quite seem to be holding up—as usual—so you can be sure the whole thing will very shortly be dropped—as usual—never to be brought up again.
All jihad is local, but all “Islamophobia” is global. So, if a Muslim of Afghan origin shoots up a gay nightclub in Florida and kills 49 people, that’s just one crazed loner and no broader lessons can be discerned from his act. On the other hand, if a white guy shoots up two mosques in New Zealand and kills 50 people, that indicts us all, and we need to impose worldwide restraints on free speech to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I’m ecumenical enough to mourn the dead in both gay clubs and mosques, but I wonder why we are so conditioned to accept Islamic terror as (in the famous words of London mayor Sadiq Khan) “part and parcel of living in a big city” that it is only the exceptions to the rule that prompt industrial-scale moral preening from politicians and media. [UPDATE: Utrecht isn’t that big a city – 350,000 – but it’s today’s designated “part and parcel”.]
The Christchurch killer published the usual bonkers manifesto before livestreaming his mass murder on Facebook. Brenton Tarrant purports to be an environmentalist – indeed, a self-described “eco-fascist” – who admires Communist China (notwithstanding, presumably, its indifference to environmentalism). He wants to massacre Muslims in order to save the planet:
The environment is being destroyed by over population, we Europeans are one of the groups that are not over populating the world. The invaders are the ones over populating the world. Kill the invaders, kill the overpopulation and by so doing save the environment.
Does he mean this? Or is it a giant blood-drenched leg-pull?
No matter. For the the politicians stampeding to the nearest camera to dust off their tropes, what counts is that, if you’re American, Donald Trump pulled the trigger; and, if you’re British or European and you’re not prepared to say that Google-Twitter-Facebook should silence anybody to the right of Trevor Noah, then you’re part of the problem.
Call me a H8888!-filled Islamophobic H88888RRR!™ if you wish, but I confess that among my first thoughts after hearing about this business was to wonder how many future Muslim terrorist attacks had just been forestalled. My second was to wonder where the mosque-goer who seems to have stopped the attack by shooting back might have gotten his gun, how many more of them might be found in storage at this mosque, and what might be the reason for their being there.
I would be interested to know why Mr Adler thinks it is in the national interest to lend the imprimatur of the Crown and the state to as specious and opportunistically deployed a conceit as “Islamophobia”. One of our Antipodean Steyn Club members, Kate Smyth, drew my attention to a fine example of that: After the Islamic terror attack in Melbourne four months ago, Muslim community leaders refused to meet with Aussie Prime Minister Scott Morrison because of all the systemic Islamophobia. After the Christchurch attack, the same Muslim community leaders are demanding a meeting with Morrison because of all the, er, systemic Islamophobia. To say Terror Attack A is something to do with Islam is totally Islamophobic; to refuse to say Terror Attack B is Islamophobic is even more totally Islamophobic.
Were the Queen or the Governor General to pull an Andrew Scheer and sign on to this somewhat selective view of the world’s travails, it would necessarily imply that “Islamophobia” is now beyond and above politics, and in that sense beyond criticism. The use of “Islamophobia” in the Melbourne attack is, in fact, its standard deployment: it is an all-purpose card played to shut down any debate.
Not, of course, that there’s much debate as it is. And there’s likely to be even less in the future. Facebook, which is unable to devise algorithms preventing a depraved psychopath livestreaming mass slaughter on its platform, is busy fine-tuning its controls to expel the most anodyne dissenters from the social-justice pieties. Less speech inevitably means more violence – because, if you can’t talk about anything, what’s left but to shoot up the joint?
Things are changing faster than you think. The urge to change New Zealand’s gun laws might be politely excused as a reflexive response to the means by which an appalling attack was carried out. But the demand throughout the west to restrict both private gun ownership and free speech are indicative of a more calculated clampdown, and of broader assumptions about control of the citizenry on all fronts. In the transition to the new assumptions, we are approaching a tipping point, in which the authorities of the state (as in the average British constabulary’s Twitter feed) are ever more openly concerned to clamp down on you noticing what’s happening rather than on what is actually happening.
And isn’t it just funny as all hell that, no matter the event, situation, or putative contretemps, Big Boss Man is always able to find a way of using it to keep on workin’ for the clampdown?