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Rev Jules Gomes: May plays her part in the strange death of free speech in Europe


The parable of Nietzsche’s madman captures the slow suicide of Great Britain and strange death of Europe. In the early hours of the morning, the madman bursts into the marketplace, lantern in hand, crying, ‘I seek Europe! I seek Europe!’ Since many of those standing about do not believe in Europe, he provokes much laughter. ‘Did Europe get lost?’ they taunt him. ‘Or is Europe hiding? Or maybe it has gone on a voyage or emigrated!’ Thus they yell and laugh.

Then, writes Nietzsche, the madman turns in their midst and pierces them with his eyes. ‘Whither is Europe?’ he cries, ‘I shall tell you. We have killed Europe—you and I. All of us are her murderers. But how have we done this? How were we able to drink up the sea of its civilisation? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire culture of Europe? Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying Europe? Europe is dead. And we killed her. How shall we, the murderers of all murderers, comfort ourselves?’

Readers will know that Nietzsche’s original parable describes the death of God and will forgive me for tinkering with his parable. It was this atheist philosopher who foretold the apocalyptic implications of atheism, which would usher in an age of nihilism—and with it bring about the strange death of Europe. But even Nietzsche could never have predicted the astronomical revival of militant Islam, the Orwellian gagging of free speech, and the Kafkaesque attempt made by a Conservative Prime Minister to suppress all criticism of Islam under the Jabberwockian categories of Islamophobia and extremism.

In our age where the stupid are considered sane and lunacy is high orthodoxy, it is writers like Douglas Murray who are piecing together the homicide of The Strange Death of Europe. That is the title of Murray’s pièce de résistance, and his diagnosis of Europe’s death is cleverly couched in the unholy trinity of the book’s subtitle: Immigration, Identity, Islam.

‘Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide.’ You simply cannot put down Murray’s book after reading its opening lines. It is like reading Tennyson’s ‘Into the valley of death rode the six hundred.’ But the six hundred were under orders. ‘Though the soldier knew someone had blundered. Theirs not to make reply, theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.’ We are a democracy. We are not under military orders (or Shari‘ah law, for that matter). We have a choice. But ‘whether the European people choose to go along with this, naturally, is another matter,’ warns Murray.

Murray is preaching his eulogy at Europe’s funeral. His book is a requiem for Europe. ‘…by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home,’ he laments. By the way, Douglas, it’s not just the people of Europe. It is freedom-loving immigrants like me who grew up in India with Judeo-Christian values and lived with a cognitive dissonance within a Hindu-Indian culture that was so completely different, that I could only call Europe or the USA my home. Now, with the death of Europe, we will all be exiles in a strange land hanging up our harps on the willow trees and weeping when we remember Zion, as the Psalmist so poignantly pens it.

‘Europe today has little desire to reproduce itself, fight for itself or even take its own side in an argument.’ Bullseye! The events of this month prove Murray right. Let’s leave to one side the terror attack on Westminster Bridge and outside Parliament—that was March 2017—and we suffer from national amnesia. Never mind the Manchester attack—that was May 2017—and we also suffer from denial dementia. Ariana Grande healed our wounds and solved our problems.

This month begins with a murderous trio massacring people on London Bridge. Now things get really serious. PM Theresa May puts on her Rottweiler make-up, gets a ventriloquist to pipe through an ultra-stern voice and delivers a message of Churchillian defiance. ‘Enough is enough. We shall fight them on Twitter, we shall fight them on YouTube, we shall fight Islamophobia, we shall fight the far right. Islam is a religion of peace, we shall fight the perverts who twist its sacred texts, we shall never surrender. There is far too much tolerance of extremism.’

After her speech, there are candlelit vigils. Bishops and Imams hug and embrace in the streets and we all go home to a nice cup of tea. What happens next is a scene from Dante’s Inferno. The most rabid mad-dog Leftists and Islamists march on London with the blessing of its Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan who refuses to ban the Al-Quds Day march despite thousands of signatures and strong pleas from the Jewish community.

The mob decorates itself in Hezbollah flags emblazoned with the symbol of a machine gun celebrating violence and mouthing the foulest curses against the Jews. Hezbollah is a banned terrorist organisation. By the way, none of Archbishop Welby’s “hug and embrace” Imam friends who broke bread with him at the Iftar meal or who joined the processions after the London Bridge attack with the spineless Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, stand in protest against the Al-Quds day march.

Enough is enough? Twas the night before Al-Quds Day, when all through Downing Street not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse; not even Larry, 10 Downing Street’s cat. Mrs May is silent.

Mrs Dismay is now a dhimmi; she will defend Islam from Islamophobia; not Jews from anti-Semitism, or Christians from Islamic persecution, or Britain from slow suicide, or Europe from its strange death. Then, a mentally unstable drunken unschooled Welshman from a deprived background (isn’t it strange how the media did not blame poverty or education or lack of opportunity!) drives a van into worshippers outside Finsbury Park Mosque and Mrs May comes back to life.

Islamophobia is a form of extremism, she tells the nation! ‘As I said here two weeks ago, there has been far too much tolerance of extremism in our country over many years—and that means extremism of any kind, including Islamophobia.’ Mrs May takes a made-up neologism that is meaningless, nebulous, undefined, and nonsensical and makes it the basis for new legislation and strategy in the Queen’s Speech.

Henceforth, any one waving a Qur’an or disrespecting Islam or tweeting a ‘text of terror’ from the Muslim ‘holy book’ will be deemed Islamophobic and will face her fist of fury. As Mrs May gives birth to new laws circumscribing free speech, Mr Murray needs to consider a sequel to his book: The Strange Death of Free Speech in Europe: May, Merkel and Macron.

Or perhaps, he needn’t bother. By the time he finishes writing his book he may no longer be permitted to publish it. Like Nietzsche’s madman he will be roaming the streets and yelling at us, ‘I seek free speech! Whither is free speech? Free speech is dead. And we have killed her.’ The police will then arrest him.

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‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes
‘Rebel Priest’ Rev Jules Gomes
The Rev’d Dr Jules Gomes, BA, BD, MTh, PhD (Cantab) is a journalist and academic.

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