Accepting life as it is rather than as we may wish it to be, whenever a multiple murder occurs, the first word crossing our minds is ‘Muslims’.
This isn’t racism, jingoism or bigotry – it’s none of those things. It’s simply an inference from experience, following the same logic that Bernie Russell erroneously decried: if the sun rose yesterday, it’ll rise today.
But, to continue my quoting spree, there’s the rub. The media are actively discouraged from identifying Muslim murderers even when their identities are instantly known.
If the hacks can no longer withhold such information, they must do their utmost to stipulate that the murderer’s identity has nothing to do with Islam, which, as we’ve known for the past 1,400 years, is a religion of peace.
Even if the murderer screams “Allahu akbar” in the act, his motives have to be not religious but personal, most likely caused by a mental disorder of some kind.
Finally, after the media have lawyered up and taken a deep breath, they may admit mournfully that yes, the murderer was indeed a Muslim. However, like a criminal under interrogation, they won’t own up to anything the interrogator doesn’t already know. So a Muslim, yes. But not a Muslim terrorist – unless you can prove otherwise.
This pattern recurs at a level of frequency reaching mathematical certainty, as it has done following yesterday’s massacre at the headquarters of Paris police, a grenade’s throw from Notre Dame. An IT worker employed there went on a stabbing rampage, killing three officers and one administrator, and badly wounding another before himself being shot to death.
The only information released in the immediate aftermath stated that the killer lived north of Paris, that there was no terrorist motive involved, and the perpetrator simply had a “moment of madness”.
However, people may be denied information but not the use of their mental faculties. A slight exertion of those, and the jigsaw pieces invariably come together in a complete picture.
The British and other Westerners haven’t yet honed the art of reading between the lines as much as the Soviets used to, but they are getting there. Considering that the Soviets had to develop such roundabout literacy in conditions of no free press whatsoever, this says something about the West that we’d rather not hear.
In this case, it was as if the text between the lines had been written in lemon juice. Hold it to heat, and it gradually becomes legible.
A moment of madness? Well, madness it might have been, but it certainly lasted longer than a moment.
First, the murderer had to go out and buy a large ceramic knife that would beat the metal detectors at the entrance to the police HQ. Then he had to conceal the weapon on his person, nonchalantly carry it through the check and then choose his targets carefully – no mean task in an office full of armed people.
If that’s not careful premeditation, I don’t know what is. So there goes one media canard.
Then what’s that reference to the north of Paris as the murderer’s residence? That area is heavily, though not exclusively, Muslim, so a careful reader would have discerned the first hint at the religion that dare not speak its name.
Another hint is the preemptive denial of a terrorist motive. Why post it in the first place?
Issuing such a denial before all the facts were known was bound to make our between-the-lines reader take a leaf out of my book and again quote Shakespeare: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”.
In effect, the media, both French and ours, said “Muslim” before they actually said it. We understood, and what came next was merely a confirmation.
The murderer has been identified as Michael Harpon, 45, who recently converted to Islam and married a Muslim woman. Well, what do you know, who could have guessed.
The rest of it is still left for our powers of detection to unravel. According to the police, Harpon “was involved in an argument with someone and then erupted in anger, targeting other police colleagues before being neutralised.”
It’s that moment of madness again, and it still doesn’t wash.
I never worked at any one place for as long as Harpon worked at the Paris Police Prefecture, almost 20 years.
But even so, I “erupted in anger” on several occasions. Once, in the early days of my career, I even punched a (much bigger) colleague after he grabbed my shirt front. Yet it never occurred to me to keep a weapon in my desk or on my person to add emphasis to my anger.
Even less likely would I have been to resort to all kinds of subterfuge to smuggle a knife into the building just in case I had a rush of blood to my head. Really, the anger story simply doesn’t work.
As to the absence of a terrorist motive, we’ll have to define terrorism. The standard definition is a criminal act committed for a specific cause pursued by a group to which the criminal belongs.
Then I’d submit that any murder committed by a Muslim for any motive not involving real madness, pecuniary gain or a crime passionel is a terrorist act – especially if perpetrated by a recent convert in the throes of neophyte zeal.
After all, Islam decrees the murder of infidels in hundreds of Koran verses, and a good Muslim must obey the command on pain of perdition, either in this life or the next one. Those 70 virgins don’t come free.
This is the advantage of writing a blog rather than newspapers articles. No paper anywhere in the West would run the piece you’ve just read. Their secular God is athirst – and he demands piety as insistently as Allah.