Since my Tuesday piece on the Berlin attack – when, as the BBC is still saying, a lorry ‘went on a rampage’ in the city – a number of readers have asked if I could give them this week’s lottery numbers. It is true that much of what I predicted has already come true. For instance, I anticipated that by Christmas Day at the very latest a group of Muslims from the incredibly small and very persecuted (by other Muslims) Ahmadiyya sect would pop up at a church in Germany and that the media would report it as ‘Muslims’ doing this. This particular ‘Muslim good news story’ actually happened faster than even I had guessed. Within a few hours of my piece going out, the carcass of what used to be the Independent reported that ‘Berlin’s Muslim community sends message of peace and solidarity after Christmas market attack’. The report when on to recount how:
‘Muslims handing out t-shirts reading “love for all, hate for none” at a vigil in Berlin have said they will not allow the city to become more divided following Monday’s attack on a Christmas market.’
‘Love for all, hate for none’ is an Ahmadiyya campaign. Elsewhere, the solidarity protest was populated by Muslim men wearing T-shirts saying ‘Muslime für Frieden’ (‘Muslims for peace’). I swiftly pointed out on social media that this is an Ahmadiyya group and various people asked how I was so certain about this. There are three reasons. One is that ‘Muslims for peace’ is an Ahmadiyya slogan. Second, Ahmadiyya are the only Muslim group in the world sufficiently bothered by their religion’s connections to violence that they print out pleading T-shirts in advance of terrorist attacks. Thirdly, if you look at the back of the T-shirts in question they direct you to an Ahmadiyya website. So it doesn’t require Sherlock Holmes to deduct these things. It just requires anyone willing to do what journalists used to do and report facts, rather than act like a PR firm employed to address Islam’s growing ‘public relations’ problem.
There has now been a rush of further Muslim good news stories. For instance, the BBC has a video feature on some Muslims in Manchester who are helping the homeless in the area. If a Zoroastrian, atheist or Christian were to give food to the homeless it wouldn’t be worth a paragraph let alone a feature of its own. But like most of the rest of the media the BBC seems to feel that the Muslim communities of the world need a leg-up after any terrorist attacks. The Independent (again) has wheeled out a dubious new survey to declare in a headline that ‘Muslims and Hindus more likely to help someone being attacked than Christians.’ I’m glad the Hindus got a look-in for once, but I can’t help feeling that this story wouldn’t have made it to headline status without the positive Muslim angle. Personally I have no idea whether a Muslim or Hindu would be more likely to come to my aid than a Christian if I was ‘attacked’. The one thing I am sure of – like a growing number of Europeans – is that if I were attacked in a Christmas market place it is far more likely that the attacker will be shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ than ‘Jesus is Lord’. Who knows what the risk calculus is here? It appears to be the one Frau Merkel has accelerated our continent into. Perhaps if you are more likely to get attacked by a Muslim, but that another Muslim is more likely to come to your aid then we could just call it quits?
As I also predicted, all this does leave a vacuum in which culprits other than lorries need to be sought. I see that in the wake of the Berlin attack police in the city of Bristol have stepped up patrols. As the local newspaper headline puts it:
‘Bristol police step up patrols to combat Islamophobia after Berlin Christmas market attack.’
Yes, it’s definitely that ‘irrational suspicion of Islam’ that’s the risk here. If only those Berliners at their Christmas market hadn’t have been so damned irrational in their fear of Islam they could be with their families this Christmas instead of lying it out in the local morgue. As the growing pile of European bodies would attest, if they could, the problem isn’t an irrational fear of Islam. The problem is a wholly inadequate level of suspicion - or even interest - on the part of Europe’s elites.
Elsewhere the usual pattern continues. Activists and partisans continue to use the attack for whatever they hope will bring them short-term political gain. The New Republic in America has decided that ‘Trump’s Tweets’ rather than Islamist terror ‘are a threat to our national security’. The UK has gone down an equally predictable route. I mentioned on Tuesday how Nigel Farage appeared to be the fall-guy for this terror attack. And sure enough, there is now a campaign on the far-left of British politics not merely to criticise Farage but to prosecute him for his comments in the wake of the Berlin attack. The self-proclaimed anti-hate group ‘Hope Not Hate’ is appealing for funds to sue Farage for comments he made about the group. I will have more to say about this group in due course. But in the meantime it is worth mentioning that last year the Jewish Chronicle described this group’s work as, ‘not merely shoddy’, but ‘dangerous’. The Jewish Chronicle went on to describe the group’s 'targeting' of Jewish commentators as ‘deeply disturbing.’ It concluded that ‘Hope Not Hate is now, it seems, engaged itself in the politics of hatred.’
The list of ‘Hope Not Hate’ critics is now growing ever-wider. Last week, the Economist forensically described another recent example of the group’s shoddiness, relating how a story 'Hope Not Hate' gave to the media (claiming that there had been an ‘outpouring’ of hatred against Jo Cox MP after her murder) was confected. As the Economist writes:
‘The story was wrong. An investigation by The Economist has found that Hope Not Hate misrepresented the findings of its own report when first releasing it to the press.’
Various papers who made the mistake of trusting 'Hope Not Hate' have now had to un-publish their stories or print corrections. Perhaps they won’t trust the group again. Anyhow – to return to the point at the top – I’m afraid I won’t be available to give out this week’s lottery numbers or announce in advance the winners of the Boxing Day racing. Calling this stuff doesn’t require any mystical abilities. It simply requires an averagely observant person to notice what is going on time and again before our eyes. It really doesn’t require much. But it is our civilisation’s tragedy that the people in charge of our future can’t even rouse themselves to this task.