I don’t have much to add to the attack on the offices of the Parisian satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. I don’t want to say that we are exactly getting used to these sorts of things, but who is surprised that a magazine that mocked Mohammed, or as NBC news refers to him, “The Prophet Mohammed,” gets machine gunned? That’s just the world we live in, a vibrant and confident Islam flexes its demographic muscles in areas where it’s been allowed to settle. Meanwhile, a weak West, which believes in less and less, goes through its cycle of blame and recriminations.
I don’t know exactly when I noticed it, but since yesterday, following the evolving news coverage of the shooting and aftermath, I was struck by how unsurprised I was at each step of the coverage. It seemed to follow a fairly predictable pattern that resembles the Five Stages of Grief. The only difference is that no progress is made when the media does it. They never seem to get to acceptance.
Step 1: We don’t know that Muslims did it.
You may think this step is prominent in the early moments of the crisis when we genuinely don’t know for sure who the culprits are, but it continues long afterward to deny who the culprits were.
Step 2: OK they’re Muslims, but not real Muslims.
This is to separate Islam the religion, from Islam….uh…the religion. Or at least it’s teachings. Howard Dean was an especially amusing example of this when he insisted that the attackers were no more Muslim than he was. Well Assalamu Alaykum Governor! You’ll notice we’re near the end of stage two when you hear references to the Inquisition, the Crusades and Westboro Baptist Church.
Step 3: Standing Together
This is where the media exhorts us to “stand together” with the moderate Muslims or with Free Speech, depending on the condition. Sometimes it’s a mixture of both. However nothing is more temporary than standing “with” anyone who is a target. Ask Ayaan Hirsi Ali about that.
Step 4: Root Causes
I’ve noticed that the root causes never have anything to do with the actual root causes. In this case, the root causes were that Charlie Hebdo ran insulting Mohammed cartoons. I mean, that is the real root cause. But instead we’ll be treated to Islamaphobia, Imperialism, poverty, alienation, or whatever the left oops excuse me I mean the media, want to talk about.
Step 5: Backlash
This is the real media worry, not continuing violent acts by Muslims, but that someone may actually be upset about it. The New York Times put it perfectly:
LONDON — The sophisticated, military-style strike Wednesday on a French newspaper known for satirizing Islam staggered a continent already seething with anti-immigrant sentiments in some quarters, feeding far-right nationalist parties like France’s National Front.
“This is a dangerous moment for European societies,” said Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King’s College London. “With increasing radicalization among supporters of jihadist organizations and the white working class increasingly feeling disenfranchised and uncoupled from elites, things are coming to a head.”
A “dangerous moment for European societies?” “Things are coming to a head?” You mean more Islamic terrorism? Ha! Foolish mortal!
Anti-immigrant attitudes have been on the rise in recent years in Europe, propelled in part by a moribund economy and high unemployment, as well as increasing immigration and more porous borders. The growing resentments have lifted the fortunes of established parties like the U.K. Independence Party in Britain and the National Front, as well as lesser-known groups like Patriotic Europeans Against Islamization of the West, which assembled 18,000 marchers in Dresden, Germany, on Monday.
In Sweden, where there have been three recent attacks on mosques, the anti-immigrant, anti-Islamist Sweden Democrats Party has been getting about 15 percent support in recent public opinion polls.
Yes the real threat is anti-immigrant attitudes!
We can’t have any of that. So the stages of dealing with Islamic Terrorism do lead to an acceptance of sorts, that the terrorists are the real victims all along.
It’s like an O Henry short story.
And then there will eventually be a new terrorist act, and the process begins all over again.