You Can’t Wear That Here!

By | December 9, 2018 | 1 Comments

Pvt. Lee Rigby, Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, KIA

If I visit your house, I try to act in such a way that you are not offended. But if you visit my house, I expect the same consideration from you. Similarly, when I visit another country, I try not to give offense by flouting their customs. But when I am in my own country, I expect others to give me the same consideration. This seems like basic fairness and common sense. But many people disagree, sometimes violently.

Don’t wear a uniform in Britain.

Lee Rigby was 25 years old and had joined the British army in 2006. He had served in Afghanistan, but recently was stationed in London. No doubt this was reassuring to his parents, his wife, and his two-year-old son. But it shouldn’t have been.

“Riggers,” as his mates called him, had survived bitter fighting overseas, but he did not survive bitter hatred at home. He was hacked to death and virtually dismembered by two native-born Britons of Nigerian descent. They had converted to Islam and become radicalized in Britain. Accounts differ as to whether he was decapitated or “merely” had his throat cut. This is only the latest example of this form of barbaric violence.

What Rigby’s wife, his parents, his two sisters, and – as he grows old enough to understand – his son will suffer is beyond imagination. Being shot to death, or even blown up by an IED, is bad enough. Being hacked to death with knives and a meat cleaver may be even harder for the survivors to bear. Did he lose consciousness rapidly, or was he aware of being dismembered?

In response, British officials proclaimed themselves “shocked and saddened.” This is a suitable reaction to a death by natural causes, but not to a horrific murder. What about “outraged and infuriated”? What about “firmly resolved to prevent a recurrence”? What about “determined to root out the terrorist network once and for all”? What about “if you insist on acting like savages, do it in your own country, not ours”? What about “arm all police,” so unarmed police will not have to wait for 20 minutes a block away for armed police to arrive. What about “bring back hanging”?

No, that would be too warlike for the minister of defense, who years ago was titled the minister of war. Maybe, if we still thought in terms of winning a war rather than merely playing defense, people would be safe to walk on the streets of London without fear of being hacked to death in broad daylight in front of a crowd.

Meanwhile, London war memorials were spray-painted with the word “Islam.” And Paris police searched for a “bearded man” who was seen praying, then stabbed a French soldier in the neck. The soldier survived. French police stated that this attack was apparently unconnected to the London attack. Unconnected? In order to connect the dots, you first have to recognize that they are dots. And then you have to want to connect them.

Recall the words of Oliver North regarding terrorism: “We only win when we play on the road; we lose when it’s a home game.

One would think the Brits learned that from the tube and bus bombings of 7/7/05. But sadly, the horrific death of Drummer Lee Rigby was required as a refresher course. And one would think that we Americans would have learned this lesson on 9/11/01. But sadly, the Boston Marathon bombings were required as a refresher course.

And even now, there is doubt that either we or the Brits have learned anything at all. On the contrary, the only observable response of the Brits was orders from senior officers that troops not wear their uniforms off military bases. But this was too much to stomach. In defiance or orders, troops posted photos of themselves in uniform on the Internet. The order was countermanded, but the stench of the original order still lingers. And it remains to be seen which point of view will prevail.

Don’t wear a skullcap in France.

Observant Jewish males wear a skullcap (also called a yarmulke or kippah) while praying, and many Orthodox Jewish males wear them at all times. Nevertheless, the chief rabbi of France advised Jews not to wear skullcaps in public, for fear they will be beaten up – or worse – by extremist Muslims. Instead, he advised Jews to wear berets or ball caps.

Many nations including France expelled all Jews at one time or another, and the list of massacres and pogroms is too bitter to contemplate. The long history of anti-Semitism in Europe, culminating in the Holocaust, is sad beyond words. But even sadder is the fact that even now, in the 21st century, it is not safe for a Jew to walk on the street if he is identifiable as a Jew.

One might think that Paris – the “city of light,” the capital of France, a nation that prides itself on tolerance and open-mindedness – would be the one place where people could walk on the street, secure from attack because of their religion or ethnic origin. One would be wrong.

Recall that during the German occupation of World War II, the French police rounded up the Jews of Paris, confined them under filthy conditions in a sports stadium, then sent them to their deaths in concentration camps. After centuries of anti-Semitism culminating in this shameful episode, one would think that the French would be sensitized to the manifestations of Jew-hatred. Again one would be wrong. They appear to have become desensitized. How unutterably sad.

So instead of Jews, most of whom only wanted to be good Frenchmen, France now has Muslims, many of whom are not the least bit interested in becoming good Frenchmen. Some might call this karma. I prefer to think of it as evidence that the Almighty has a sense of humor.

When Jewish citizens of France are advised not to wear skullcaps lest they be attacked by radical Muslims, at least we can console ourselves by recalling that this is only one more episode in the long history of anti-Semitism. But when British soldiers are ordered not to wear uniforms on British streets, we have to ask: Do you know what you are doing? Do you comprehend that you are, in effect, hauling down the Royal Standard over Buckingham Palace, and raising a white flag in its place?

Thomas Mann, a German novelist who fled the Nazis, remarked, “Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.”

If there is a bit more beheading and sexual assault than there used to be in Europe, then at least we also benefit from a much wider range of cuisines. ‒ Douglas Murray, “The Strange Death of Europe”

● Those who do nothing when people advocate an intolerant and homicidal ideology may see themselves as tolerant, but in fact they are merely apathetic.

● Those who do nothing when long-oppressed Jews are again oppressed may see themselves as tolerant, but in fact they are merely cold-hearted.

● Those who capitulate to the point that soldiers cannot appear in uniform on their own streets may see themselves as tolerant, but in fact they are cowards of the lowest sort. And don’t imagine for one moment that our enemies aren’t emboldened by this obvious cowardice. They are fanatics, but they aren’t fools – they know weakness when they see it.

● Those who give in to “Don’t wear that” will soon yield to “Don’t say that” and ultimately to “Don’t think that.” That’s why it is called totalitarianism – total control of everything humans do, until they are dehumanized and demoted to robots.

When I visit your house, I will try not to offend you. But when you visit my house, you will do the same or get out. Otherwise, it will not be my house for long. And if you hope to see another sunrise, you will not attack my family.

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