It may only be 24 hours from Tulsa, but let’s hope we’re considerably further away than a day from Burma. The massacre of over 100 civilians protesting against the Myanmar military coup on Saturday has perhaps underlined in the most grotesque way that holding Aung San Suu Kyi responsible for the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in 2017 was to credit her with far more power than the Burmese Army ever actually allowed her. The de facto president’s demotion from Mandela/Thunberg sainthood to flawed human being was an especially facile example of the West’s habit of projecting its own idea of romantic freedom fighter onto a complex culture it doesn’t understand and then expressing mortification when the nominated idol fails to live up to its unrealisable expectations. To say the military staged a coup in February is a little misleading, for that would imply the five-year presidency of Aung San Suu Kyi had somehow ushered in an era of democratic liberalism that neutered the army’s grip on the nation; they never really went away. What happened last month was effectively the military ‘taking back control’ after supporting the opposition in the country’s general election and then watching Ms Suu Kyi’s ruling party win by a landslide.
Protests against the military’s resumption of power followed almost instantly, echoing the ‘Saffron Revolution’ of 2007, led by Buddhist monks; many credit that uprising with starting the ball rolling that eventually resulted in a civilian government for the first time in the country since 1962. However, this time round over 400 people have died protesting against the military junta, with Saturday’s bloody suppression the darkest day so far. Amazingly, a lavish gala celebrating Burma’s liberation from Japanese occupation in 1945 still went ahead the same day, broadcast on state TV in the wake of an equally tasteless military parade staged before any of the bodies had been buried. Yes, most of us are thankfully more than 24 hours from Yangon, Meiktila, Kale, Mawlamyine or any of the other Myanmar towns and cities in which the military opened fire on its own people. The road to Mandalay is paved with blood today.
Not that there aren’t plenty people who would be happy to see the Burmese Army approach to crime and punishment being implemented closer to home. A Yorkshire town once famed for its chicken-in-a-basket cabaret venue known as Batley Variety Club is currently witnessing attempts by a small group of religious fanatics to impose Sharia Law on British Law by using fear, intimidation and threats of violence. But this is nothing new. The dominance of some neighbourhoods with large Asian immigrant populations by a Muslim Mafiosi is something that police forces terrified of being accused of racism have facilitated by ceasing to police them and allowing them to essentially govern themselves – with disastrous consequences. Not only has this gutless abandonment spawned the systematic sexual abuse of underage white teenage girls on an industrial scale that beggars belief; it has also given the Islamic mobsters a sense of untouchable invincibility that every capitulation to their bullying simply hardens.
Barely a week after the schoolgirl whose false allegations against teacher Samuel Paty resulted in his brutal murder in Paris last October admitted she made the whole thing up, a teacher at Batley Grammar School has now had to go into hiding after apparently showing images of the Prophet Muhammad – allegedly including the infamous ‘Charlie Hebdo’ cartoon – during a religious studies class. The usual rent-a-mob thugs that tend to show up whenever they sense their ‘Satanic Verses’ moment has come besieged the school and not only brought about its closure (though you don’t need a gaggle of gobby wannabe Jihadists to do that these days); they also forced a grovelling and spineless apology from the school that suggested the institution was in sympathy with the sentiments of the mob and the teacher in question had done something wrong. He’d only have done something wrong were the UK a fundamentalist Islamic state – which it isn’t. On paper, we’re still a secular democracy, one in which blasphemy laws and retributive punishment for criticising or mocking religion were mercifully done away with after we burned and beheaded our way through the last century characterised by such barbarity, the seventeenth. Maybe teaching unions should be reminded of that as the teacher in hiding is deafened by their silence. At least pupils of the school have shown more balls by starting a successful online petition demanding his reinstatement.
According to those far more clued-up on the faith than me, the blasphemous portrayal of Muhammad as a religious icon isn’t even something that is universal across the Muslim world; it appears this is a particular obsession of the Sunni branch. Yet, so emboldened by the Woke Left’s patronage of Islam is the militant wing of the religion that it knows it’ll be given an easy ride every time it kicks up a fuss; and how can one not observe yet again how many tiers of policing are currently on offer? A lockdown protest took place just a few miles away in Bradford on Saturday, in which dispersal orders were issued and arrests were made; yet, no such dispersal of an illegal gathering – and one inciting religious hatred too – was made in Batley. I thought nobody had the right to gather in groups at the moment without said gathering being broken-up by the Old Bill – or is it easier to break them up if they’re white women holding a peaceful vigil? But of course, two-tiered policing, much like cancel culture, is a conspiracy theory. Funny how every indisputable fact is now a conspiracy theory if enough people of influence disagree with it.
The fact that the Covid restrictions on public gatherings are so liberally applied, depending on the purpose of the gathering and who happens to have organised it, highlights just how increasingly ludicrous and unenforceable these emergency powers are. Along with the announcement that kissing the bride when a couple are pronounced man and wife is now verboten if the couple haven’t spent the last twelve months living together, perhaps one little story underlining the farcical nature of the restrictions emerged a day or so ago. A 73-year-old pensioner who likes to meet up with a couple of equally elderly pals and play dominoes in West London’s Maida Hill market square was advised he’d be arrested and fined if he carried on being such an antisocial menace; Westminster Council has obtained a special court injunction for police officers to intervene if anybody is regarded as causing disruption in a public place. Dominoes, pensioners – think about that. Anyway, the rule has apparently now been relaxed following the 73-year-old’s ‘virtual’ court appearance last week; but the fact he even had to submit to that tells you all you need to know, really.
Oh, well – not to worry; we all know there’ll be an autumn lockdown come ‘The Third Wave’, so let’s make the most of the latest easing while we can and call-up five people we know for a socially-distanced game of dominoes in the nearest park – vaccine passports not required. For now. As for any indoor get-togethers when we’re given permission to indulge again, producing the requisite ‘papers’ is being trumpeted by some Ministers as the way forward – temporarily, of course; and masks will be needed too, though only to begin with. I don’t believe you, HM Government. Could be worse, though; could be Batley or Burma – could even be the University of Oxford. Sheet music has been branded racist there. The institution is considering dispensing with it due to it being ‘too colonial’; the music curriculum is complicit in white supremacy, naturally. Nothing else to be concerned about today, after all; it’s merely the dismantling of Western civilisation’s cultural pantheon continuing apace, as it will do if philistines are placed in positions of power and their supine supporters nod along. Ah, 2021 – what larks.
© The Editor