Yet More Jihad Fatigue

When the news of yesterday’s attacks in London reached me I was sitting at my desk diligently working on engineering designs which would, if implemented, unquestionably contribute to the betterment of mankind. The contrast between my selfless efforts and the mindless destruction of human life in Westminster could not have been more stark, and as one of the few Brits in the office I believed it was my duty to make every discussion thereafter about me and how I felt.

My first thoughts went out to those whose job it is to respond to such incidents, the people on whom we rely to bring order to the chaos, provide comfort where it is needed, and return things to normal. I am referring, of course, to those responsible for switching the lighting schemes on global landmarks into displays of meaningless solidarity. It was but a simple task to light up the Sydney opera house in the tricolor of France, or the Brandenburg gate in the red, black, and yellow of the Belgian flag. But what to do when an Islamist massacre happens in the UK?

A solution came from an expected source: Israel. Since its formation Israel has been plagued with terror attacks and hence is far better prepared to respond to them than perhaps any other nation. It was therefore unsurprising that within hours of the attack, the town hall in Tel Aviv had been transformed thusly:

Seeing this was triggering for me, though. It reminded me of the early 1990s and playing Wolfenstein 3D which would go all pixellated if you ran too close to something, like a Swastika or British flag, and this was during the time of the IRA mainland bombing campaigns and painful memories came flooding back. So although the Israelis meant well, this really didn’t help much and I might have fucked up a crucial element of my engineering calculations.

Besides, nobody is interested in how Israelis respond to terror attacks, even if their methods are strikingly effective. By which I mean air strikes on those believed responsible, of course. No, this attack on the UK required a European response, especially given the motivation of the terrorist might well turn out to be the grim realities of Brexit. At this stage, we just don’t know. So just as Prime Minister Manuel Valls said “times have changed, and we should learn to live with terrorism”, it was once again the French who provided much-needed leadership in these difficult times:

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced Wednesday evening local time that the city’s most famous landmark would go dark in solidarity with those killed and injured near the British Parliament building earlier in the day.

Given that I live in Paris I found this doubly touching, so much so that I touched a female colleague in a clumsy attempt at solidarity. I now have to report to HR this morning. However, and while I do not wish to disparage the brave efforts of those running the Eiffel Tower lighting display for one second, the whole affair does raise some worrying questions.

For instance, is turning off lights really the same as displaying the national colours? Why, given how commonplace these attacks are becoming in Europe, were lighting systems not upgraded to cope with all national flags? If the Israelis can manage it, why can’t we? Surely it can’t be a matter of cost? We were perhaps fortunate that this time it was just London. A friend back in the UK overheard a worried-looking policeman say to his colleague “What if it had been in Cardiff?” One can only imagine. I can only hope and pray that no such attack takes place in Croatia, Slovakia, or even Portugal but if it does I further hope and pray that the appropriate authorities will be ready this time.

Having been calmed down somewhat by the prompt actions of the Paris mayor, my next concern was perhaps equally unsettling: what cutesy image can I put on my Facebook profile to show that I care? I waited and waited for a graphic artist to come up with Cutesy Image of the Massacre™ for this particular event but none came, and I was feeling completely helpless. I even asked one of my more talented colleagues to design one for me as visions of cashing in big-time flashed before my eyes, but his initial idea of a teddy bear in a bobby’s uniform left me cold, especially when I saw it was carrying its own severed head. Perhaps I should have asked somebody other than Abdul. Fortunately, the stoic Londoners shrugged off adversity as they always do and came through with this:

I felt better immediately, although if I’m honest I wasn’t afraid before: I’m in Paris after all, miles from Westminster. I wasn’t even afraid when Islamist nutters were on one of their rampages around these parts because by the time I heard about them everyone was already dead and I was still alive and well. So I wasn’t afraid. Perhaps I ought to have been angry, but alas these days I just feel so weary. I spoke to a doctor and he said it was simply a case of Jihad Fatigue. There’s been a lot of it going around lately, and my symptoms were so far gone that when people mentioned the one year anniversary of the massacre in Brussels, I’d completely forgotten it had taken place.

The words of Manuel Valls quoted above, which were echoed by London’s mayor Sadiq Khan last September when he said terrorist attacks were simply “part and parcel of living in a big city”, were absolutely right. Random people being murdered by Islamic terrorists is something we’re going to have to get used to, because the leadership isn’t interested in doing anything about it and the majority of citizens are not interested in electing leaders who are. For my part, I intend to sell everything I own and invest the proceeds into the suppliers of high-resolution, large scale lighting equipment. The world is gonna need more of them.


13 thoughts on “Yet More Jihad Fatigue

  1. I expected to see a ramp up in this type of action in France pre-election but it looks like it could be wider and may now push for a snap election in the UK as well.

    As for your investment proposition I think it will prove more lucrative than buying shares in the forthcoming Aramco IPO.

  2. An obvious, though highly controversial step to show solidarity here in the UK, is to have the Union flag flying from every available building. I know the Scots aren’t keen on it, the Welsh are undecided and a lot of the Norn lot would prefer the banner of Eire, but for those who believe in some sort of unity then the Union flag will do it best of all.

    I cannot of course comment about other countries.

    It is controversial because we are so diverse now that such a basic statement of national life is considered obscene by many who imagine — somehow — that the man who charged parliament was spurred to this insanity by Trump, Brexit or even a ‘lack of investment’ in the NHS.

    I do understand however that the flying of a black flag with white squiggles on it over Westminster may have held the loon back, so we have that option.

  3. The sleazy lying MPigs scuttled to safety inside their fortified palace while the consequences of their delusions fell on the ordinary people outside their walls. Something of a metaphor there, don’t you think?

  4. To quote Lucy van Pelt, one rarely gets a chance to see such carefully prepared sarcasm.

  5. The reaction of myself and most of my colleagues was: “Oh god, I hope the trains are still running on schedule”.

    Terrorist attacks will never pose a major threat to us. I’m sure even in Israel the chances of being killed by a terrorist are lower than being killed in a car accident. The threat from Islam is that they take over our society through demography and democracy, and make us all slaves in a peaceful revolution. Or that they intimidate our politicians into turning our countries into police states, which of course will be very useful once they do acquire power. Or in other words, Khan and May pose a greater threat to my life and freedom than a band of nutters with questionable dress sense.

  6. “A friend back in the UK overheard a worried-looking policeman say to his colleague “What if it had been in Cardiff?” –

    The London effect: nobody gives a sh*t what happens outside London which is why big demos, big terror, etc all happen in London and not Bridlington or Little Ouze-on-the-Piddle.

  7. More to the point, all of the lowly people that live outside of London don’t even give a fuck about Cardiff.

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