We can feel sympathy for the family of David Amess, but must not let that sympathy lead us astray, cause us to accept their request, well-meaning and wrong, that “whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand”. Writes Hugh Fitzgerald
The family of the murdered MP David Amess has issued a statement which I wish they hadn’t. It expresses a belief commonly shared, part of the zeitgeist in the advanced Western world, the spirit of a forced “tolerance” that tries to suppress all-natural feeling or human understanding.
The family of British lawmaker David Amess, who was stabbed to death as he met constituency voters, on Sunday urged people to be tolerant regardless of race, religious or political beliefs.
“Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand,” they said in a statement released via London police.
David Amess, the “kindest, gentlest man in politics,” as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, was stabbed 17 times while he was meeting with his constituents in a Methodist church in Leigh-on-Sea. His murderer was a Somali who did not know him. This Somali, Ali Harbi Ali, lacked for little, thanks to his father, Harbi Ali Kullane. Ali Kullane had been an adviser to the Somali prime minister, and was likely given ample government funds which would come in handy when he later moved to England and acquired an expensive property in old Londinium. Harbi Ali Kullane bought a property on a street where the houses sell for at least two million pounds.
When contacted by the police, Harbi Ali Kullane told British media that he was shocked and “traumatized” by his son’s arrest. “I’m feeling very traumatized. It’s not something that I expected or even dreamed of.” Yes, he was “traumatized” by his son’s arrest. But not by the murder, apparently, of David Amess. About his son’s victim, he had nothing to say.
We still do not know what David Amess had done to deserve, in the eyes – the dead eyes, the same eyes as Mohammed Atta had — of Ali Harbi Ali, being killed, but it surely had to do with Amess’ work as an M.P. He was well known as a supporter of Israel. He served from 1998 on as the Honorary Chairman of the Conservative Friends of Israel. He was the driving force, in Parliament, behind the statue that was finally put up in 1997 of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swede who saved the lives of tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during the Nazi period.
Amess was “regarded as a longtime friend of the UK Jewish community.”
“Although I myself am not a Jew but a Catholic, there is Jewish blood in each and every one of us. I would certainly have been proud to have been born a Jew, and I stand shoulder to shoulder with our local Jewish community,” he said in a speech this past January.
“He always stood with the Jewish community and was a true friend of Israel. May his memory be for a blessing,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said.
Or perhaps Ali Harbi Ali, whose name suggests he may be Shi’a, knew about David Amess’ decades of support for the Iranian dissidents in Europe. It was only a month ago that Amess addressed a meeting of the National Council of Iran:
“One of the proudest things I have ever done in my political career is to support the National Council of Resistance of Iran which calls for the Iranian regime to be replaced with a safer and more democratic government,” he declared on September 6, 2021.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), described Sir David as “an enemy of dictators, especially the mullahs’ dictatorship in Iran.”
“For forty years, he stood relentlessly with the Iranian people for freedom and against religious fascism,” Mrs. Rajavi said. “After four decades of full and humble [sic] support of Sir David Amess for the Iranian Resistance and people, he will be remembered among the martyrs of freedom.”
But let’s return to that statement released by the family of the murder victim on October 17:
“Whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand.”
What if one’s religious beliefs make it impossible to be “tolerant” of others? What then? Are we to tolerate those who will always be intolerant, sometimes murderously so, toward us? Muslims are taught that they are the “best of peoples”(3:110), while non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings.” (98:6). Why would one wish to be “tolerant” of those who see us as “the most vile of created beings”? Muslims are further instructed not to take “Jews or Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other”(5:51). Don’t “tolerate” them; shun them. The Qur’an is full of such commands to Believers, that they should “fight” and “kill” and “smite at the necks of” and “strike terror in the hearts of” Unbelievers. Can a good Muslim ignore all those verses (as, e.g., 2:191-193; 4:89, 5:51, 8:12, 8:60, 9:5, 9:29, 47:4, 98:6)? And if he cannot, must we really be “tolerant” of those who are taught to attack us, to kill us, to terrify us (Muhammad in a famous hadith boasts that “I have been made victorious with terror”), and in far too many cases, as that of Ali Harb Ali, they not only read the Qur’anic commands but try, as faithful Muslims, to dutifully follow them?
If we really “try to understand” the religious beliefs of Muslims, instead of being satisfied with the assumption that all religions “at bottom teach the same thing” (they don’t) and the comforting pollyannish nostrums about how “people are the same the whole world over” (they aren’t), we will come to some melancholy conclusions. We can’t afford to “tolerate” those who take Islam to heart; they are commanded to think very badly of us, the “most vile” Infidels, and instructed in the immutable Qur’an to do us harm. Some ignore those instructions but, around the world, too many Muslims take them to heart. A good example of this is Ali Harbi Ali, with the 17 knife wounds he thrust into the chest of “kind, gentle” David Amess.
We can feel sympathy for the family of David Amess, but must not let that sympathy lead us astray, cause us to accept their request, well-meaning and wrong, that “whatever one’s race, religious or political beliefs, be tolerant and try to understand.” “Try to understand” – why certainly, no one can argue with that — but once you have understood the hair-raising essence of Islam, you have a duty to yourself and to others not to be tolerant, but to resist, resist, resist.
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