So the horrific air disaster over the Alps yesterday looks like a particularly ugly and tragic case of ‘suicide by terrain’: co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have locked his pilot outside the aircraft cabin and then deliberately crashed the plane, killing both himself and 150 passengers and crew.
At times like this, the perfectly natural response of any reasonably well balanced and sane person is to think thoughts like:
“There but for the grace of God go I.” (For we’ve all flown on planes; and we’ve all worried about something like this happening to us. How could you not think these thoughts on entering a winged tubular coffin, over whose destiny you have absolutely no control, which is going to carry you long distances over the land or the sea at a height of perhaps 30,000 feet, defying the laws of commonsense and gravity).
“Oh those poor, poor families.”
“How could the bastard have done such a thing? Why couldn’t he have just thrown himself off a bridge? Why did he have to take all those innocents with him?”
“They really are going to have to sort out that business with the doors. It just shouldn’t be possible for a lone lunatic to shut himself into the flight deck like that.”
And so on.
Unless, of course, you’re an enlightened progressive type: in which case there is one overriding issue that trumps all the above trivia – the urgent need to parade your superior virtue by demonstrating how open-minded and unIslamophobic you are.
Here are some examples from Twitter:
How come Andreas Lubitz is not branded a terrorist? Imagine he was of a Muslim background. Twitter would be in meltdown.
— Burnsy (@Ant_Burns) March 26, 2015
Andreas Lubitz, who took down the German flight killing 150 was said to "Not be a terrorist". Killing 150 people sounds like terror to me.
— Will Gibbons (@WGibbonsDesign) March 26, 2015
So, Andreas Lubitz crashing an airplane was "mass murder", but not "terror"?
Would it be "terror" if his name was Muhammed Mehmet Emeksiz?
— Moon Metropolis (@MoonMetropolis) March 26, 2015