Can you imagine how horrible it must have been for those poor souls at the Strasbourg Christmas market killed or grievously wounded by yet another of those “lone wolf” terrorists yelling Allahu Akbar?
Actually, most of us can because most of us have been to a Christmas market. We know what they’re like: tacky, cheesy, boozy, expensive but kind of fun – exactly what you need to put you in the festive mood.
You drink Glühwein, or Apfelwein, or similar – and get a warm fuzzy glow, which takes the edge off your anxiety (of which more in a moment…).
You buy overpriced Lebkuchen – gingerbread men in the shape of Father Christmas or a snowman or even rainbow-coloured unicorns.
You eat fried sausages and fried potatoes and fried things with sugar or syrup on top.
You wonder where the armed police are and how quickly they’d respond if it all kicked off.
You order another Glühwein and try not to think about it.
It’s not just you, by the way. This is how everyone thinks when they go to a Christmas market.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 12, 2018
I was at the Christmas market in Frankfurt only last week – supposedly it’s the mother of all Christmas markets, the place where the tradition started – and guess what the responses were when I tweeted out my location.
Everyone said much the same thing: “Mind you don’t get yourself killed”.
Do we think this is a state of affairs we should find acceptable in the second decade of the 21st century?
Personally – call me old fashioned – but I think it’s an absolute bloody disgrace. What exactly was the point of the “peace dividend” that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers won for us 73 years ago if it turned us into such emasculated, politically correct invertebrates that we’re now supposed to just shrug and take it on the chin when a few more of us get bumped off every now and again by some angry jihadist “known to the authorities”? Since when was this shit acceptable?
Protecting your Christmas market and the people there around the clock isn't cheap… https://t.co/hrf4R2tyD2
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 3, 2017
Of course, I appreciate that most of you reading this will be feeling exactly as I do. “Why can’t I take my family to a Christmas market without having to worry about them being mowed down by some Muslim scumbag in a hire truck or shot by some Muslim scumbag with a semi-automatic?”
But unfortunately, we’re not the ones calling the shots here. The people calling the shots are idiot leftists like the woman who wrote this response for – where else? – the Guardian.
Oh – the “far right”. Yes. What a worry they are!
I bet Anupong Suebsamarn, the Thai tourist visiting with his wife Naiyana, could think of little else before they were both shot down.
Same goes I’m sure for Antonio Megalizzi, the Italian journalist hit by a bullet in the base of his cranium.
And for the 18-year old girl called Jeanne shot in the arm.
And for the members of the Strasbourg-based art collective and performance space Mimir – (let’s not mock, at least not on this occasion) – one of whom was hit in the neck, is in a coma and may not survive, another of whom was less seriously injured.
And the Polish citizen shot.
And the 40 year old garage owner, originally from Afghanistan, left brain dead by the attack.
Six Members of ISIS Cell Planning Possible Christmas Market Attack Arrested in Terror Raids https://t.co/1be2yxsLm6
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 21, 2017
These are all real people; real victims: one minute they were enjoying the festive season, the next they were wounded or dead.
But curiously none of these real people gets a look-in in this Guardian piece by “French freelance journalist based in Britain” Cécile Guerin. Instead, all she seems to be worried about is the “polarisation” caused by this massacre, not by the actual massacre itself.
Here’s how she begins:
Terrorism struck France again on Tuesday evening, when a 29-year-old attacker, since identified as Chérif Chekatt, killed three people and injured a dozen at a busy Christmas market in Strasbourg. With ongoing social unrest and polarisation laid bare by the gilets jaunes movement, France is now facing a new potential source of division. The attack has already proved a boon to far-right groups and conspiracy theorists who have seized on the event to disseminate their ideas and sow division.
France has suffered a number of terror attacks since 2015, and its response follows a familiar pattern. As authorities track down the attacker/s, opposition parties call for tougher security measures against terrorism, sometimes declaring an attack to be an act of terror before the full facts have been established. The latest attack in Strasbourg is no exception. Despite the fact that the French government called for restraint on Tuesday evening, many did not heed the official advice.
The leader of the Rassemblement National (RN) party, Marine Le Pen, described the attack as an “Islamist massacre” only three hours after the media reported the shooting, calling for “radical change” in the country’s response to terrorism. Several public figures reactivated the debate about getting tougher on fichés-S individuals – those persons identified on French security services’ watch list – before it became clear that the suspect was indeed on security services’ radar.
Read those three paragraphs and it’s pretty obvious who she thinks the bad guys are. Not the murderer Cherif Chekatt, who appears almost in parenthesis. No, the people she’s most worried about are Marine Le Pen and the “far right”. So desperate is this girl Cecile for material, however flimsy, to support her threadbare thesis that she even blames Le Pen for calling the Islamist massacre an “Islamist massacre”…when, of course, en fin de compte, that’s exactly what it was: an Islamist massacre.
You may say it’s the Guardian and really no one cares what some dumb-arsed freelance girlie leftist has to say in a paper that only dumb-arsed leftists read.
Problem is, that’s not quite true. As the Guardian thinks, so does the BBC, so does CNN, so do all the left-liberal chattering classes who, unfortunately, remain the dominant force among the globalist elite now in charge of our lives and our security.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) December 22, 2016
They created this mess: with their white guilt and their fondness for the cultural enrichment apparently afforded us by mass immigration; with their championing of multiculturalism (as opposed to insisting that migrants make an effort to integrate with the host culture); with their terrified and embarrassed reluctance to admit that Islam constitutes any kind of threat.
Not only that but, barring a few notable exceptions – Donald Trump being the most obvious – the political class, even on the right, has tended to acquiesce with this unspoken policy of surrender and appeasement.
There’s a very good interview in the Spectator which I heartily recommend, where Mary Wakefield talks to Neil MacGregor, the former director of the British Museum. The topic of Christmas comes up and MacGregor makes a characteristically astute observation.
I’ve heard MacGregor describe Britain as post-Christian. Aren’t we now just a bundle of separate creeds and cultures? Does modern Britain have any shared beliefs?
‘Well, there’s Christmas!’ MacGregor says happily. ‘You know, I think it’s the only thing we’ve got in this country that’s commensurate. It’s remarkable the way a non-Christian Britain has stayed with that festival and adapted it and rewritten it. It’s not led by clergy at all and it’s very embracing. I’m sure we all know lots of non–Christians — not just “no longer” Christian but non-Christian families — who treat Christmas as the moment where you think about the family and where you give money to the poor.
‘Dickens articulates it in The Christmas Carol so dazzlingly, that Christmas is about past, present and future. There’s that wonderful bit where Scrooge’s nephew says not to think of the different bits of society separately, we’re all travelling together, and that once you think of yourself as part of this group, all sharing the same experience of the journey, that’s what changes everything.’
It’s another MacGregorish shift in perspective. So modern-day Christmas isn’t hollow and crass? Doesn’t he worry about all the commercialisation?
‘Festivals are always commercial, they’re always about having fun. I mean, the point of a festival is you splash out.’ He laughs.
MacGregor’s point is well made, I think. And it has a strong relevance to the motivation Islamist terrorists have for targeting Christmas markets almost above all else.
It’s not merely Christianity they’re attacking but the very essence of 21st century culture: everything from the joy of inebriation, gluttony and general frivolity to the liberating, mutually satisfactory commercial transactions of the free market, to the simple pleasures of being able to spend more and more of our leisure time with the friends and family we love.
“As you love life so we love death,” the more militant members of the Religion of Peace (TM) have often been heard to say over the years.
I think it’s time we stopped deluding ourselves that this is an acceptable state of affairs, stopped pretending that it doesn’t matter if the occasional croc takes the odd wildebeest or two at the edge of the watering hole so long as the herd is safe.
I want to live in a world where we can go to a Christmas market, enjoy our Gluhwein while the kids eat their Lebkuchen, and not worry at all about being attacked by Islamic terrorists.
Anything less strikes me as unacceptable – and it’s time our politicians caught up with the way us normal folk are thinking.