Connect the Dots
When I was a young child I used to enjoy a puzzle game called "connect the dots." It was a childish game intended to teach me the mathematical order of things. The numeral "one" must be connected to the numeral "two" which must be connected to number "three" and so on. The reward, if the puzzle is completed correctly, is to see a picture emerge clearly on the page. What begins as a jumble of individual numbers becomes a coherent whole to the delight of young eyes. Surely you also played this game, or do so with your children.
I am reminded of "connect the dots" whenever I read main stream media commentary on the riots in France, or the burning of Christian churches in Australia, or the cold blooded murder of a director in Holland, or the beheading of innocent Christian school girls in Indonesia, or the crashing of airplanes into buildings in New York, or blowing up of millennia old giant Buddhist statues, or the cultural background of rapists in Sweden and Norway, or the terrorist attacks on innocent transit riders in England or Spain, or the suicide bombing of restaurants or nightclubs in .... well ..... pick any nation at random, ..... you may well be correct and the list grows longer and longer all the time.
Consider the big picture if you will. The main stream media covers these individual stories in some considerable detail but doesn't really like to connect the various dots. When it does make an effort it usually does so in a way that makes the emerging picture look like one of Savador Dali's surreal paintings. It may contain many of the discrete elements but scattered about in a pattern which befuddles the viewer's capacity to see the coherent whole. This may work well in artistic analysis but it is a stupid way of informing public policy.
In today's recent column in The Telegraph, Mark Steyn nails it as usual.
These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves a fellow called Mohammed. A plane flies into the World Trade Centre? Mohammed Atta. A gunman shoots up the El Al counter at Los Angeles airport? Hesham Mohamed Hedayet.Steyn could have added the name Gamil Gharbi, perpetrator of the Montreal massacre, but his point is taken. Self-delusion can take many forms and a refusal to connect the dots and view the actual picture is one of them. The media likes to explore the root causes of the violent social spasms involving adherents of Islam. When it does so it usually focuses on the faults of the host culture.
A sniper starts killing petrol station customers around Washington, DC? John Allen Muhammed. A guy fatally stabs a Dutch movie director? Mohammed Bouyeri. A terrorist slaughters dozens in Bali? Noordin Mohamed. A gang-rapist in Sydney? Mohammed Skaf.
Maybe all these Mohammeds are victims of Australian white racists and American white racists and Dutch white racists and Balinese white racists and Beslan schoolgirl white racists.
But the eagerness of the Aussie and British and Canadian and European media, week in, week out, to attribute each outbreak of an apparently universal phenomenon to strictly local factors is starting to look pathological. "Violence and racism are bad", but so is self-delusion.
The Americans are oil guzzling, fat, imperialists. It's all the fault of George Bush and the neocons. The British are historically culpable. The French are inhospitable. The Russians are brutal. The Filipinos are corrupt. The Aussie's are racist skinheads. Spain is really Andalusia. Swedish women are provocative. Dutch film makers are insulting. Hindus refuse their historically supine role. Christians are proselytisers and eat pork. Buddhists are idol worshippers and atheists are dope smoking, pornographic, child molesting, Satanists in jeans.
And the Jews! Well they are so far beyond the pale that all must be driven into the sea in a grand final solution worthy of Adolph Hitler in his prime. Those dirty Jews make Passover bread from the blood of Islamic children, you know. Look it up. It's in the updated internet Protocols of Zion.
Are all Muslim's terrorists? No. Do all Muslims hate Jews, abhor Christians, loathe Hindus, detest Buddhist and want to slaughter atheists? Hardly. But a whole lot of them, numbering in the millions, do and they are rarely condemned in a whole-hearted way by those who don't. That's the big picture.
That emergent picture is ugly and it only delights those shrivelled demonic souls who deploy young men and women to murder and maim innocents without mercy. For them, the big picture is an exquisite sensual delight. Ordinary folk, of whatever persuasion - even those who can't see the big picture - recoil in utter disgust. Some of us spend time connecting the dots because it is the truth that sets us free. But the journey to the promised land is fraught with peril and hardship and requires steadfastness when confronting great evil. And great evil it is.
Now where was I? Number 32 is connected to number 33, which is connected to number 34, which is ...........