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A society of cowards

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I think we've turned into a society of craven cowards. I hope that doesn't offend. Actually, I hope it does offend, quite a lot. I can still remember the shock of the Rushdie affair 25 years ago. The very idea that anybody could be killed for writing a book was surreal and horrific. Now we take it for granted that if you say the wrong thing about the religion of peace you'll get death threats and you might actually be killed, so you keep your mouth shut if you know what's good for you. All for the sake of tolerance and diversity, of course. TV and newspapers routinely censor themselves now in a way that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago, not because they want to be sensitive, as they always claim, but because they're afraid of Muslim violence. Not only are they afraid of it, they're afraid even to admit they're afraid of it, in case it offends. There was a good example of this here in Britain a few weeks ago when a pair of notorious Islamic grievance mongers whipped up a controversy out of nothing and tried to get parliamentary candidate Maajid Nawaz deselected because he tweeted a cartoon of Mohammed to say that as a Muslim, he didn't find it offensive. Not content with causing trouble for him here in Britain, these two human oil slicks also made sure that the story reached Pakistan, where people get killed for such things and where Mr Nawaz has family and business. And the death threats duly arrived, as everyone knew they would. BBC Newsnight and Channel 4 News were all over this story, and both took the extremist side while pretending to be neutral by refusing to show the cartoon, and thereby betrayed every decent secular Muslim in Britain, of whom Mr Nawaz is a prime example. They helped to make it even less likely that these small-minded Islamic bullies will ever be effectively challenged in their community. And let's be clear about why they did this. They did it out of fear. They did it because they were afraid that they and their families might be murdered. Welcome to multicultural Britain. Don't you love the diversity? And don't you feel enriched? But if the media won't defend free speech then what exactly are the media for? And who will defend it? And who can? I sympathise with any news editor in this predicament but if you run a national TV news programme you have a responsibility to stand up and be counted. It's more than just a job. You are the gatekeeper for our free speech and our free information. Your job is to report the truth with all the relevant information, accurately and fearlessly. And if you can't do that, or if you're too afraid to do it, then you shouldn't be in the job because you're not qualified for it, and you are inflicting real damage on our society through your cowardice, and the important position you hold. If you had an ounce of integrity you would stand aside now, find a nice safe little cubby hole where you can't be threatened, and hand that job to somebody with a spine who can do it properly, for all our sakes. But the thing that really sticks in my throat about this sorry affair even weeks later is not so much the slimeball opportunism (God knows we're used to that), or the death threats, or even the fact that the media caved in to an Islamic blasphemy law, but that there was so little public outrage over it. Nobody really expected them to show the cartoon, and if it happened again tomorrow we wouldn't expect them to either because we know that this is a violent religion, even though we're not allowed to say so, and we know that if they had shown it there would have been violence. And this is the way things are today here in Britain, and everywhere else in the so-called free world. Islam has only been a feature of our society for a couple of decades or so, and everything we think and say about it now is weighed against the possible threat of violence, even down to a simple drawing. That is a definition of terrorism. That is cultural terrorism, and we are pandering to it shamelessly and shamefully. We patronise Muslims by holding them to a lower standard of behaviour. We treat them as if they're less civilised, and then we attack anyone who draws attention to this hypocrisy as a racist. We assume that Muslims can't be expected to control themselves if something annoys them, and if they become violent it will be our fault for provoking them. We assume there's going to be violence, and then we cleverly pre-empt it by caving into it before it happens, not because we're liberal or progressive, as we like to pretend, but because we're liars and hypocrites and cowards. We dress our cowardice up in fancy words like tolerance and respect, and then we applaud ourselves like seals for our enlightened values, but we all know what it really is because we can smell it now, it stinks so bad. We're the first generation that has never had to defend its freedom, and it shows. We have no appreciation of where it comes from or what it cost. We can see very well that a vitally important principle is being eroded before our eyes, and we're just too cowardly even to acknowledge our own complicity in that. We're like the townspeople in one of those western movies who are always cowering in fear of one bad guy. When you watch that movie you don't feel sympathy for those people because they don't deserve it. They're cowards, and so are we. We've let ourselves be bullied into a destructive self-censorship that's killing free expression, the very life blood of our society, and we're making sure that our children and grandchildren, the ones we're supposed to love, will be born into a world significantly less free than the one we were born into. Don't you feel proud of yourself? They'll pay the price for our hypocrisy, dishonesty and cowardice. They'll find out the hard way that no truer words were ever spoken than: "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 7 seconds
Country: United Kingdom
Language: English
Views: 2,354
Posted by: patcondell on Mar 13, 2014

We're getting what we deserve.

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