It's what? ten? no, eleven days since the attacks in Spain that left 14 people dead in Barcelona plus one woman in the nearby seaside town of Cambrils. For once there wasn't even the pretense that this was a "lone wolf" terrorist. It was an extremely large cell, organized by an imam called Abdelbaki es Satty, who prematurely self-detonated the night before when he and his conspirators accidentally blew up the house they'd filled with TATP.
I thought these novel aspects might hold the attention of the media. The imam/cell leader would seem to belie the view of the US National Security Advisor H R McMaster that Muslim terrorists who commit terror in the name of Islam do so out of "ignorance" of their faith - a view so fiercely held by Mr McMaster that it has resulted in the systematic cleansing from the White House of all those who dissent therefrom. And had Imam es Satty managed to get the TATP into the back of the van the death toll would have been many times higher.
But he didn't, so it wasn't. And fifteen dead on a glamorous and glittering European boulevard at the height of the tourist season now barely rates a #JeSuisWhatever hashtag, never mind an all-star pop concert with an audience of sorrowful, tilty-headed locals promising that no matter how often you blow us up we won't change - by, say, adopting a less tilty-headed and sorrowful expression. The imam's plan - to destroy the spectacular landmark church of the Sagrada FamÃlia - is oddly similar to the plot of Brad Thor's new thriller, Use of Force, where the equivalent Spanish target is the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Indeed, the imam's van driver has the same name as Mr Thor's key plotter: Younes. But what's thrilling in a thriller in now just the humdrum background music of real life in the new Europe.
So Barcelona came and went before I had a chance to write about it. So did Finland. You don't remember that one? No imams, no TATP. Just a lone stabber going full Allahu Akbar in a shopping mall in Turku. Two women dead, eight injured. As it happens, I was in Turku last year, driving up the west coast of Finland all the way to Kemi, a somewhat unprepossessing burg at the top of the Bay of Bothnia, where I'd had an extensive conversation, in the pedestrian shopping arcade, with an elderly "refugee" in a dingy dishdash. And I'd intended to write something about how absurd it was that clothing designed for the deserts of Araby was now a not unfamiliar sight in southern Lapland, in a town that's more or less the last stop before Santa's Grotto.
But ten stabbing victims in Finland barely makes the papers at all: Foot-of-page-27 "News in Brief" stuff. Just the umpteenth confused fellow acting out of "ignorance" of his religion. If only H R McMaster had become a bigshot ayatollah and opened a seminary in Qom or Cairo, all this "ignorance" could have been avoided.
There was more "ignorance" afoot in Europe last night. On the boulevard Ã‰mile Jacqmain in the heart of Brussels a Somali was shot dead after yelling "Allahu Akbar" and taking his machete to a bunch of soldiers, and Buckingham Palace was reported to be in "lockdown" after another guy with another machete and another cry of "Allahu Akbar" took on another security detail. As A A Milne put it:
They're stabbing the guard at Buckingham Palace
Christopher Mahmoud went down to kill Alice...
Lest you detect a pattern of behavior here, the Palace perp is reported to be "a 26-year-old man from Luton". The Brussels stabber is not from Luton. So no general conclusions can be drawn: It's not like Charlottesville, where one Caucasian in an automobile is an indictment of the entirety of American history necessitating the demolition of Stone Mountain and Mount Rushmore.
The Queen is older than almost all those around her, certainly older than her guards and the 26-year-old Lutonians lunging at them with machetes. And she must occasionally reflect that not so long ago one didn't hear words like "machete" and "lockdown" in connection with Buckingham Palace: "baldachin", "porte-cochÃ¨re" certainly; but not "lockdown". Yet, if such thoughts should rise unbidden in one's mind, it is prudent to suppress them. Consider the cautionary tale of Sarah Champion, Member of Parliament for Rotherham and spokesperson for "Women and Equalities" in Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet. Ms Champion penned a column for The Sun earlier this month:
Britain has a problem with British Pakistani men raping and exploiting white girls.
There. I said it. Does that make me a racist? Or am I just prepared to call out this horrifying problem for what it is?
Whether or not it makes her a racist, it makes her ineligible to be "Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities" in Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition. Jeremy Corbyn fired Ms Champion. If you wish to prosper on Mr Corbyn's front bench, be less like Sarah Champion and more like her fellow northern MP Naz Shah. In the wake of Ms Champion's sacking, Ms Shah failed to spot that the following Tweet was intended satirically, and so clicked "Like" and reTweeted it:
Those abused girls in Rotherham and elsewhere just need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity.
Poor Ms Shah. As the late Ayatollah Khomeini sternly instructed, "There are no jokes in Islam." Why should she be expected to recognize the mordant wit for which the English were once famed? The sentiment obviously struck her has eminently sounded. Queen Victoria is said apocryphally to have advised her daughter on her wedding night: "Lie back and think of England." Her great-great-granddaughter's subjects are enjoined by Naz Shah to lie back and think of the vibrant diversity of the new England.
In the current issue of the Mark Steyn Club newsletter, The Clubbable Steyn, I recount my visit to Rotherham to meet some of those "raped and exploited white girls". Actually, I'm not sure the general term "raped and exploited" quite covers the particular horrors inflicted on them - urinated on by groups of Muslim men, dangled over balconies, doused in petrol as their tormentors danced around them with cigarette lighters, etc. As Steyn Club members will know, Sarah Champion was the politician who accompanied the girls I spoke to on a blackly comic visit to Downing Street to meet with David Cameron. I'm gratified by the response to the piece from readers. Kevin Smith:
Just finished The Clubbable Steyn. "Asia Minor" is stunning.
Nestled amongst the good stuff in my first issue of The Clubbable Steyn is the masterpiece "Asia Minor". Brilliant and sad.
Messrs Smith and Ross are too kind. Tracking down the victims of Rotherham required a bit of elementary detective work on my part, but it's not that difficult. What struck me, as my time in town proceeded, was how few members of the British media had been sufficiently interested to make the effort: The young ladies were unstoppably garrulous in part because, with a few honorable exceptions, so few of their countrymen have ever sought them out to hear their stories. To damn with the faintest of praise, the victims had a more favorable view of Ms Champion than they did of the rest of officialdom - council, police, social workers, etc - who colluded with the Muslim gangs in covering up the town-wide "grooming" and blaming it on the girls. That parody Tweet above about the "need to shut their mouths. For the good of diversity" is, in fact, the unspoken belief of almost everyone who matters in Britain. Which is one reason why Ms Shah fell for it. And also why, as I explained in my report, the sexual exploitation of children is still going on in Rotherham. In broad daylight.
No matter. Ms Shah is the future of the Labour Party, and Ms Champion, a telegenic modern woman and formerly a rising Labour star, has been taught a hard lesson in the hierarchy of identity politics. Amid all this Mohammedan mood music - Barcelona, Turku, Brussels, Buckingham Palace, Rotherham - you'll be glad to hear a real news story occasionally breaks through. Rod Liddle writes in The Spectator of a thwarted airline passenger called Mohammad Khan:
I wonder how Mohammad Khan is getting on in his legal action against Virgin Atlantic. Mo â€” a Muslim, the clue's in the name â€” was waiting to board a flight when he started 'harmlessly' talking about 9/11. There is no reason to believe he has any connections with extremists, but he was kicked off the flight because of security concerns and had to fly out of the UK with another airline. Although he was later offered a refund, he is now suing, claiming he was 'racially and religiously profiled' by the Virgin staff. 'I know this wouldn't have happened if I'd been a white man in his sixties,' Mo complained. No, probably not. But if the world were comprised entirely of white men in their sixties, then 9/11 might not have happened. The world might also be a nicer place to live, although there might be too many bridge tournaments for my own taste.
It's entirely reasonable to be less suspicious of a white man in his sixties than a younger man called Mohammad burbling about 9/11. Indeed, it's so reasonable that it's now verboten. In the comments section below another Spectator column, readers speculate on what it will take for anything to change. But all the scenarios have already happened: mass murder at pop concerts, national holidays, Christmas markets; the industrial-scale sex slavery of young girls in Rotherham; the deliberate targeting for death of young girls in Manchester...
And still the most obvious mitigation of future slaughter - an end to mass Muslim immigration - cannot even be raised in public by Europe's establishment.
So on we go: Rotherham, Paris, Nice, Berlin, Manchester, London, Barcelona... Because these mysterious unconnected events keep happening, officialdom now thinks it advisable to give the citizenry a head's up. Rod Liddle notes the latest genius innovation:
Has your child read Moggy's Coming yet? That's a book being distributed to infant school children in order to prepare them for the next Muslim attack. It features a school of mice being menaced by a large cat and includes some words â€” to be sung to the tune of 'Campfire's Burning' â€” about what to do: 'Moggy's coming, Moggy's coming, we're in danger, we're in danger, run hide and tell! Treat the hurt mice, treat the hurt mice!'
There is also a poem which advises the toddlers on how to deal with wounds inflicted by this 'cat'. 'You can pack a wound and press/to stop the bleeding for success!' The cat just looks like a cartoon cat; it isn't screaming 'Allahu Akbar' or anything. The cat is simply a random hazard, nobody and nothing to blame for its murderous existence just beyond the school gates. It's just what cats do. They kill mice. Part and parcel of living in a big city, isn't it, Sadiq?
Moggy's Coming? My own foray into this territory, Feline Groovy, has done pretty well for me, but, if we ever do a sequel, it's clear the big bucks are in Feline Jihad. One final comment on my trip to Rotherham:
I am really enjoying my 1st edition of The Clubbable Steyn. That Rotherham story shows us pure evil exists!
No, sir. It shows us how easily a once civilized people get used to pure evil - at first declining to notice it, to let it catch your eye, and then accommodating it and incubating it. You'll be surprised how quickly such an attitude becomes universally understood, so that the few who insist on noticing, on not accommodating it become the real problem. See no evil, hear no cries of the victims, speak no forbidden thought of the motivations behind today's terror attack, and tomorrow's, and the day after...
So female shoppers in Finland get stabbed by murderous Muslims, and Buckingham Palace is in lockdown because of a man from Luton. Lie back and think of a lost England - and a lost Europe.
~Mark's trip to Rotherham is recounted in the first issue of The Clubbable Steyn, which comes free with membership in The Mark Steyn Club: You can sign up for a full year, or, lest you suspect a dubious scam by a fly-by-night shyster, merely a quarter. And don't forget our new gift membership for a friend or loved one. Among the other benefits of membership is our series of audio adventures, Tales for Our Time. A brand new serialization starts this Friday. And feel free to disagree with Steyn on any of the above by logging-in and commenting below. For more on The Mark Steyn Club, please see here.