Wednesday, 20 March 2019

What will be the historical significance of the Christchurch killings?

“What did he mean by that?” 
Metternich asked when he heard that Talleyrand had died. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan knows what the murderer meant by killing 49 worshippers at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

While campaigning for local elections he said the Christchurch massacre was part of an assault on Turkey and Islam and warned anti-Muslim Australians would be "sent back in coffins" like their grandfathers at Gallipoli. 

The Australian Prime Minister said today that these comments were "reckless" and "highly offensive", but Mr Erdogan was right that the massacre was aimed at Islam - or rather, not at Islam but at Muslim immigrants in general.

The terrible massacre of 69 Norwegian Young Social Democrats in 2011, by a man I do not choose to name (he should not be treated with that respect), turned out to have no political or cultural significance. 

I think people sense that the Christchurch massacre may have a lasting significance and fear it may be the harbinger of more deaths. I think we all sense that more such massacres are bound to happen until we reach an unforeseeable end-point.

The authorities certainly fear this, as do the media.  

This is why two young men in New Zealand have been arrested for sharing the video clip made by the suspect of the killings and might go to gaol for up to 14 years.

When Muslims massacre white people, left-wing writers ask us to put the atrocities into context, while right-wing writers also discuss the reasons why Muslims kill non-Muslims, but without any sympathy for the killers. 

When a white man massacres Muslims, conservatives try to put the killings into context (a few very daring ones even point out that this would not be happening were it not for mass immigration and they become pariahs as a result). Most opinion formers, though, from left, right and centre talk about the evil of white racism and how to suppress wicked ideas.  

There are obviously close parallels between the reaction by left and right to indigenous and Muslim killers. But the two are not mirror images of one another, partly because white people en masse are regularly excoriated for the putative sin of racism, while it is always stressed that bad Muslims are a very tiny minority. 

In another way the parallels are not exact. The New Zealand killer, wicked, misguided, pitiless murderer that he was, thought that by killing innocent victims he was defending his people. Islamists, pitilessly massacring innocent passers-by, do not think that they are doing that. They think they are fighting for their religion and their people in an aggressive, not defensive, mode, trying to terrorise the people among whom they or their families have pretty recently settled.

Socialists see brown-skinned people as a progressive class in whom they hope will develop a revolutionary consciousness and white people as privileged, but it is not socialist but liberal ideas that are in the ascendant. Liberals see human beings as blank sheets of paper on which good or evil can be written. 

Conservatives know that people are innately murderous, but their ideas are considered out of date, mean-spirited and borderline illegal. 

Liberals once championed freedom but now are forced more and more to fear free speech, which can enable bad men to write the wrong things on those sheets of paper. 

They want to police the internet. Miss Amber Rudd is an example.

I have not read the suspect's 'Manifesto' but he seems not to have been influenced by ideas on the internet or to have had much to do with social media until the day of the killings. 

Nor does poverty or deprivation explain his behaviour. 

His role model, apparently, was not someone whose writings he read on the net, but the Norwegian mass murderer.

He decided to commit murder after coming into money and travelling the world. 

According to his own account, he does not seem to be colour-prejudiced, at least in the normal sense of that old-fashioned expression. Last year he visited Pakistan and described it as 
"an incredible place filled with the most earnest, kind hearted and hospitable people in the world."
He said that he came to fear a Third World conquest of the Western world and plan murder after visiting Paris.

1 comment:

  1. Mark Steyn predicts less free speech after this horror.