PC stands for ‘police constable’, as in the officer murdered in yesterday’s terrorist attack on Westminster. It also stands for ‘politically correct’, as in the coverage of that crime in its immediate aftermath.
By far the greatest amount of reported detail concerned the car used in the crime. The grateful public learned its make, registration number, body style, price, where it was registered and hired, how long it took it to accelerate from 0 to 62mph. It all sounded more like an ad for Hyundai than a report on a heinous multiple murder.
But, though the self-driving revolution is upon us, the murder weapon on wheels didn’t drive itself. It was driven by a man, who then proceeded to enter the grounds of the mother of all parliaments and stab an unarmed policeman to death. (When are we going to abandon the insane idea that our policemen don’t need to be armed? Had PC Palmer carried a gun, he might have survived.)
This man decided to kill and be killed – he knew he wouldn’t survive the attack. Discarding the possibility that he was suffering from an incurable disease and chose suicide by cop to end his life (and a few other people’s while at it), this man must have been inspired by an idea he considered worth dying for.
What was that idea? Who was that man? The immediate report said only that he was ‘Asian’.
Now Asia is a rather large continent. Hence to say that someone is Asian means saying nothing at all. An Iraqi is more different from a Japanese than a Norwegian from a Kosovar, a Buddhist from a Muslim, or a Shintoist from a Copt.
Thus the very same reporters who described the car in intricate detail, stopping just short of mentioning its compression ratio and McPherson struts, neglected to provide any information about the murderer.
That left a blank to be filled by conjecture. What was your first guess of the terrorist’s identity? Sorry, I’m jumping the gun, as it were.
We were informed that, until further information, the police were treating the incident as an act of terrorism. Contextually, the availability of further information could change that assessment for… what exactly? That it was a charitable act?
So let’s display responsible restraint and refer to the driver-stabber as only the alleged terrorist. Now what was he? A Buddhist? Hinduist? Syrian Copt? Shintoist?
Are those Zen, Tibetan and Tantric Buddhists on the warpath again? Possible. But not exactly likely. Certainly not as likely as the first thought that sprang to my mind and I’m sure yours.
The attacker was a Muslim. I realise that jumping to this conclusion before we’ve even been told that a terrorist, as opposed to charitable, act was committed, betokens racism, Islamophobia, fascism, xenophobia, propensity for discrimination and, most damning of all, rebellion against the PC Zeitgeist.
But even at the risk of being accused of all those deadly sins, it’s hard to disconnect one’s analytical faculty altogether. You know, that part of the cognitive process that relies on known facts and historical information, all suggesting that nowadays any such act can only be perpetrated by a Muslim.
It’s sickening that at that tragic moment reporters were wary of coming across as transgressors against PC pseudo-morality. At least they had an excuse, however lame: initial shock at the sight of the carnage.
By contrast, David Aaronovitch of The Times had 24 hours to ponder the event. His conclusion? “…yesterday’s attack should not once again trigger a wholesale tarring of Muslim communities in Britain with the terrorist brush.”
Heaven forbid. We can’t possibly think of tarring the whole community wholesale or even retail. In fact, we can’t possibly think, full stop – not if Aaronovitch’s musings are an example of thought.
How does he imagine tarring the whole Muslim community with such a brush? Insisting that every Muslim is a suicide bombing waiting to happen? But no one in his right mind would think that.
Of course not every Muslim is a terrorist. By the same token, in 1940 only seven per cent of Germans were Nazis, and communists in Russia never exceeded 10 per cent of the population. Applying Aaronovitch’s logic, we shouldn’t say nasty things about either Nazis or communists or, God forbid, Germans and Russians as a group.
Yet in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, 27 per cent of British Muslims expressed sympathy with the murderers. That’s over a million potential jihadists, in impressive absolute numbers.
Instead of mouthing all this nauseating PC waffle, we must think clearly and act decisively. Otherwise terrorism will indeed become ‘part and parcel’ of living in London, which our Muslim mayor nonchalantly suggests it already is.
Just like the British who didn’t insist on fine distinctions between good and bad Germans in 1940, we have to realise there’s a war on. And wartime inevitably weakens commitment to civil liberties and abstract liberal philosophising.
I’m not suggesting that any British Muslim must be treated as an enemy alien, but certain measures suggest themselves.
All Muslim immigration must be summarily stopped until the present jihad madness becomes less febrile. Every mosque in which a single jihadist word has been uttered or a single murderer recruited must be shut down and preferably razed. Sharia law must be declared illegal. Anyone implicated in the perpetration or propaganda of terrorism must be deported, regardless of whether or not he holds a British passport. When terrorists’ provenance can be traced to a foreign country, that country must be held culpable and punished on an apocalyptic scale.
And so forth – all the time keeping the tar brush safely locked away. And oh yes, we must secure for Mr Aaronovitch an employment more suitable to his talents. Social worker perhaps, or community organiser, provided it’s not a Muslim community, where his name would be a major turn-off.