Happy St George's Day to all our English readers, and Happy Independence Day to all our Israeli readers. It's not often they fall on the same day, but it's not inappropriate. Once upon a time, you could find quite a few English flags bearing the Cross of St George in and around Jerusalem, for one reason or another...
You can still see the legacy of the Crusader Cross in village high streets up and down England - for the moment. In The [Un]documented Mark Steyn (personally autographed copies of which are exclusively available, etc, etc), there's an essay that starts off in the Middle East, and winds up in the East End:
In the "Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets" — the heart of London's East End, where one sees more covered women than in Amman - police turn a blind eye to misogyny, Jew-hatred, and gay-bashing for fear of being damned as "racist". Male infidel teachers of Muslim girls are routinely assaulted. Patrons of a local gay pub are abused, and beaten, and, in one case, left permanently paralyzed.
The hostelry that has so attracted the ire of the Muslim youth hangs a poignant shingle: The George and Dragon. It's one of the oldest and most popular English pub names. Another George and Dragon just across the Thames on Borough High Street has been serving beer for at least half a millennium. But no one would so designate a public house today. The George and Dragon honors the patron saint of England, and it is the cross of St George - the flag of England - under which the Crusaders fought. They brought back the tale from their soldiering in the Holy Land: In what is now Libya, St George supposedly made the Sign of the Cross, slew the dragon, and rescued the damsel.
Within living memory, every English schoolchild knew the tale, if not all the details — e.g., the dragon-slaying so impressed the locals that they converted to Christianity. But the multicultural establishment slew the dragon of England's racist colonialist imperialist history, and today few schoolchildren have a clue about StGeorge. So that pub in Tower Hamlets turned gay and Britain celebrated diversity, and tolerance, and it never occurred to them that, when you tolerate the avowedly intolerant, it's only an interim phase. There will not be infidel teachers in Tower Hamlets for much longer, nor gay bars.
~Just to underline the point, over on John Bull's other island, Queen's University in Belfast has canceled a symposium on Charlie Hebdo:
An award-winning novelist has said he is ashamed of his native city because of the decision by Queen's University Belfast to cancel an academic conference on the Charlie Hebdo massacre for security reasons.
Yeah, right. As Laura Rosen Cohen likes to say, "security" is the new "shut up". A couple more years of this and we'll all be so "secure" no one will say a word. The pathetic capitulation of Queen's reminds us of just how rare and principled was the behavior of the Aussie Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in her visit to Charlie Hebdo on Tuesday. As that Guardian report continues:
Robert McLiam Wilson, the Paris-based author of Ripley Bogle and Eureka Street, described the cancellation of the event in the face of an unspecified security threat as "not cowardice or surrender. It is part of a long defeat in an unfought war."
McLiam Wilson, who writes for the French satirical magazine, said he could not believe that a city like Belfast that had endured decades of violence would call off the conference.
Speaking from his home in Paris, the author, who was born in west Belfast, said: "I am feeling a touch of shame today. Cancelling such an event in the face of putative menace in a city that endured a 30-year torture of self-immolation seems worse than pusillanimous. Belfast? Seriously? This is not the city I remember. This cancellation says, with trumpeting clarity, that there is no debate because there can be no debate. There is a big boat that can't be rocked."
That last point is well taken. What's the point of Belfast finally reaching some sort of modus vivendi between Catholic and Protestant only to pre-emptively take the losing side in a far more gaping sectarian divide? So what do you reckon to the Irish Question of the late 21st century? Sunni South vs Shia North?
~Elsewhere in the dismal British academy, at Goldsmiths University white people and men have been banned from the anti-racism rally by the "diversity officer":
This meeting is for all self-defining BLACK and ETHNIC MINORITY women and non-binary people with gender identities that include 'woman'.
Over the next couple of days Britain, Australia, New Zealand and (I hope) Newfoundland (the Blue Puttees were the only North American regiment there) will be marking the centenary of Gallipoli. Compared to the solipsistic non-binary grievance-mongers and pusillanimous sharia appeasers, the Englishmen who slogged it out on that cheerless sod were, in all their deplorable binaryness, better men than the inheritors of St George's land.
~Meanwhile, back in the Great Satan, I'll be joining Hugh Hewitt on the radio live coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.