Assorted presidents and prime ministers have assured us that Islam is a religion of peace.
Unfortunately, no one told that to Chériff Chekatt, and neither had he demonstrably ever heard the assurances of assorted presidents and prime ministers.
Thus unenlightened, Mr Chekatt screamed the lapidary slogan ‘Allahu akbar!’ and shot up a Christmas market in Strasbourg, killing three (so far) and wounding 12.
The next day the police caught up with him, and he was killed in the ensuing shootout. Now Mr Chekatt faces the arduous task of entertaining the 72 virgins of paradise, which has to be the only place where so many virgins can be found.
Then again, since Islam is rather permissive on the minimum age of consent it’s quite possible that Mr Chekatt’s love interests still wear nappies. One way or another, he deserves a bit of posthumous fun for having proved true to his religion.
He was a good Muslim, meaning he acted according to the commandments of his faith as laid down in its holy book. That is a reasonable definition of a pious man.
Thus a good Jew is one who observes the Ten Commandments and loves his neighbour as himself. A good Christian also observes the Decalogue and loves his neighbour, but with embellishments:
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, be good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”
Since we’re all committed to diversity, however it manifests itself, we must be happy to know that the Koran imposes rather different demands on its followers:
“When the sacred months have passed, then kill the Mushrikin [infidels] wherever you find them. Capture them. Besiege them. Lie in wait for them in each and every ambush…”
The Koran contains roughly 300 verses elucidating various facets of the same general entreaty. Since Mr Chekatt followed his holy texts faithfully, he definitely qualifies as a good Muslim: he did kill the infidels wherever he could find them.
At this time of the year a Christmas market provides a promising hunting ground for infidels: one can confidently expect to find crowds of people who think there just may be a god other than Allah, and Mohammed isn’t his prophet.
There’s also the off chance that the shooter might bag, in addition to a few infidels, the next worst thing: a bad Muslim, one who doesn’t go around killing people even though the Koran says he must.
Mr Chekatt in fact had the good luck of doing just that: one of his victims was Kamal Naghchband, who had fled the Taliban and obtained asylum in France 15 years ago. Mr Naghchband was a peaceful man, who ran a garage at his local mosque and left infidels to their own vices and devices.
He was thus a bad Muslim, which clearly doesn’t preclude being a good man. Mr Chekatt, on the other hand, was a good Muslim, which means that under no circumstances could he have been a good man.
Actually he wasn’t. By age 29 Mr Chekatt had amassed 27 criminal convictions for violence, robbery and theft. It was during one of his stints in prison that he learned what being a good Muslim meant, and who says custodial sentences have no educational value.
The piquancy of the situation is that the French police had known all about Mr Chekatt’s piety long before he went Christmas shopping. But, if you listen to them, there was nothing they could do.
This is a case of what I call ‘faitaccomplism’: governments act ill-advisedly, not to say criminally, to create a potential for catastrophe. And when it duly arrives, they shrug their shoulders: “There was nothing we could have done”. Quite. Other than not acted with criminal negligence in the first place.
In that spirit, European governments have hospitably welcomed tens of millions of cultural aliens, actually hostiles, over just a few decades.
Even if only an unrealistically low one per cent of them are good Muslims, ready to kill infidels wherever they could find them (such as at a Christmas market), we’re blessed with tens of thousands of potential murderers roaming our streets.
Many of them are citizens of European countries; some, like Mr Chekatt, their natives. So indeed there’s little the police can do to prevent murder.
They can’t deport a citizen, born and bred in the country. They can’t even deport a non-citizen who’s in the country legally. Theoretically they’re able to deport an illegal alien, but that’s often more trouble than it’s worth.
They can’t imprison someone preventively simply on the basis of his belonging to a high-risk group. According to the French police, they don’t even have the manpower to keep tabs on the 12,000 known jihadists – never mind the tens of thousands of likely ones.
It’s faitaccomplism at work. Had France not allowed millions of Muslims into the country, the problem wouldn’t exist. But, as cliché-mongers will tell you, history knows no subjunctive mood. France does have at least five million Muslims, and that’s it. Sorted. Fait accompli.
Now I know little about France’s criminal law, but on general principle there must be provisions for keeping in prison a recidivist with 27 convictions to his name, regardless of the chap’s religion.
Yet even if the criminal law provides for something like that, the law of political correctness doesn’t, and that’s the one that takes priority. European governments have sleepwalked into the rule of glossocratic non-law, where abstract (and hare-brained) principles trump any concrete considerations of citizens’ safety.
In this legal system, someone who shows, Koran in hand, that Islam is at least partly to blame for the crimes committed in its name presents a greater danger than the good Muslims who do murder because that’s what their religion tells them to do.
The good Muslims only attack individuals, while a truculent breaker of politically correct non-laws attacks the central ethos of society. Off with his head.
This leaves us pondering an interesting linguistic dichotomy: for a Muslim to be a good man, he has to be a bad Muslim. And vice versa.