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Coffee House

Here we go again – but this time, Je suis Berlin

20 December 2016

10:09 PM

20 December 2016

10:09 PM

Well the year isn’t finished, but thanks to what looks to be the combination of the world’s most peaceable religion, a truck and a temptingly bustling Christmas market in Berlin I’m going to have reprise my most frequently written piece of recent years. So here we go again.

On Monday night a truck was driven into a busy pedestrian area in Berlin. In the immediate aftermath the media were understandably wary. It could be a Glasgow-like accident or it could be a deliberate act. Struggling with this conundrum the BBC plumped for ‘Lorry kills nine at Christmas market.’ Naughty lorry.

To date the attack still doesn’t have a hashtag that’s stuck. There was an early push for ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, but for some reason it didn’t catch. Perhaps it would be better to simply add Berlin to that growing list of cities we are meant to urge other people to ‘pray’ for (Paris, Brussels, Paris again, Orlando, etc, etc.)?

Happily for some, there was a glimmer of hope on Monday night when it transpired that the guilty truck had a Polish number plate and a Polish registered driver. But then it turned out that the Polish truck appeared to have been hijacked and the driver was lying dead in the truck with a bullet wound to the head among other mortal injuries so he couldn’t easily be blamed. You almost felt bad for all the ‘anti-fascist’ groups gearing up to blame all Poles, white people in general or perhaps Donald Trump supporters in particular for their nascent racism, poor driving and the like. Alas they had to look away. For it soon appeared that the suspect was a Pakistani migrant who arrived in Germany last year. At this stage any normal person would ask why a Pakistani migrant should have ended up in Germany in 2015. Were there too few Pakistani migrants already in Germany? Did the country need more? And why Pakistan? Is the country a war-zone like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Nigeria, Morocco and Burma, to name just a few of the countries that Europeans have been told are our responsibility and whose populations as a result deserve assisted passage into our continent?


For most of the media and a near entirety of Europe’s political class, this is the perilous moment: the moment they might have to confess to some mistakes or otherwise edit their lachrymose, Radio 4 ‘Woman’s Hour’ response to every issue to do with mass migration. For just this reason this is also the shortest phase. Someone always provides them with the much-needed diversion. I am happy to see that Nigel Farage has become the Allison Pearson of this latest attack.  After Berlin, the Ukip leader took to Twitter to say that the ‘terrible news’ came as ‘no surprise’ and that ‘events like these will be the Merkel legacy’. Cue the opportunity to pile blame on Farage. I must confess that I now find this phase almost wondrous to behold, for it is a phase in which far more vitriol is ladled onto the person who has mildly erred from the multiculti pieties than – for example – the person who drove a truck through a crowded market place. Farage will be said to know ‘exactly what he’s doing’ while the murderer will be a tragic ‘victim of circumstance’. Of course if the truck driver proved to be a white, working-class European he would not be a ‘victim of circumstance’. He would be part of a dark and broad nexus of European racists whose origins, inspirations and ideologues must be located and shut down by all decent people.

At the present moment the Pakistani migrant has been released and seems to have been arrested because he ‘fitted the description’ of the attacker. Meanwhile Isis, or ‘so-called Islamic State’ or ‘so-called Islamic, so-called State’ as our broadcasters and media like to call the terror organisation, has claimed responsibility for the attack. We shall see whether this was directed or inspired by them.

If it is then we will all have to watch out closely for the swiftly ensuing ‘Muslim good news story’. I haven’t seen one yet. But perhaps a small group of Muslims somewhere in Europe could be found, holding a banner saying ‘Not in my name’ or ‘The driver was not Muslim’ or ‘Prophet Mohammed was always against attacking markets, on the Monday before Christmas, in the Berlin area, with this particular make of truck.’ More likely is that we will see a return of the modern European tradition whereby a group of Ahmadiyya Muslims make everyone feel unsuitably pacified about the troubles of the Muslim world. I hereby predict that by Christmas Day at the latest a group of the world’s most persecuted and peaceful Muslim sect will turn up at Mass somewhere in Germany (as some Ahmadiyya Muslims did after some non-Ahmadiyya Muslims slaughtered a French priest at his altar last summer). The ensuing, very beautiful and moving photos will appear across the world’s press with the attendees described as simply ‘Muslims’. Then we can all forget the dead bodies and focus on the Muslim good news story, taking away the only viable lesson which is: ‘Anyone acting violently in the name of Islam = nothing to do with Islam; small sect behaving nicely in the name of Islam = true Islam, and who are you to say otherwise? Bigot.’

All this is not to say that the political class will not go into action. If this does prove to be an Islamist attack then in the coming days I would expect Angela Merkel to reiterate her recent call to ‘ban the burka’. The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, will also doubtless once again back up this call. Meantime, most of the candidates for the French Presidency will publicly ponder whether the Berlin attack might have been stopped if the driver of the lorry had been banned from wearing a burkini.

At the same time the non-violent Islamists who work in European politics and the media will insist that we look at the root causes which make people drive trucks through Christmas markets in Berlin (‘Islamophobia’, Germany’s brutal foreign policy, trucks of certain designs) while non-Muslim commentators who haven’t paid attention over recent decades will insist that we find out ‘what the terrorists want’, with the unmentioned follow-on that once we work this out we can give them some of it. So drive enough trucks into crowds and sooner or later we can whittle down the number of Christmas markets, Jews, gays, polytheists, etc.

Of course for the foreseeable future anybody suggesting that importing millions more Muslims into Europe isn’t wise will continue to be regarded as a way-out-there crank who is in a very real sense actually causing the trucks to go into the Christmas markets. Leading us back once again to the logical conclusion that the only respectable response to importing millions of Muslims into Europe is to import millions more Muslims into Europe.

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