BY MANDY BALDWIN
The famous Christmas fair at the Champs Elysee in Paris has been cancelled. The graceful steps at York Minster, where a church has stood since long before the original jihadis first rampaged, have been blocked by concrete bollards. Armed police will patrol Christmas venues in pretty, old towns all across Europe, where the cobbled streets are now blighted by defences against killers who roam freely there, funded by their prey. Americans have been warned not to cross the pond to spend their tourist dollars, for fear of their lives. One hundred and sixteen Europeans who woke to Christmas morning last year, will not wake to Christmas morning this year or any other year. Ten times as many will spend a very different Christmas due to serious injury. They, and witnesses, will live alongside PTSD for many years if not forever, and like ripples in a pond, thousands who love and care for these will grieve. And, among the snowmen at Munich Christmas market, are those whose pristine whiteness is draped with the ugly black of the burka.
At any level, this intrusion of the minority faith, Islam, into a Christian festival is superfluous. Basically, we don’t celebrate other peoples’ religions and never have – and that’s OK. I have no idea what Hanukkah is about, for instance, and I don’t need to, I am not Jewish, but I wish them well with it, because they don’t demand that the carol service at my local church be led by Hassidic Jews in full regalia, despite Jesus being of their faith.
Integration is laudable, and has been achieved by literally every other minority faith in the land: but integration is arriving at British homes which are filled with lights and Christmas trees and the sound of Slade, and arriving, I might add, dressed in something sassy and maybe a pair of fake reindeer antlers, to share sherry and sausage-rolls and a cheeky kiss under the mistletoe.
As for those Christian zealots happy to surrender the teachings of a young Jewish existentialist to the ravings of a dead Bronze Age war-lord, who claim that those of us who spend our time with our eyes open rather than lowered in prayer have no right to speak – au contraire. The winter festival as we know it owes more to the Yuletide feasts of the Anglo Saxons, to the seasonal activities of Druids in secretive woodland groves, and to the winter solstice celebrations we know to have taken place at Stonehenge, than to Abrahamic teachings. It belongs to us, to our people and culture, to our land, to our very blood and DNA down many thousands of years, and to force upon it those of a proselytising alien faith is nothing short of sacrilege.
MP Charles Walker asked Theresa May recently why it was that it was now accepted that alien rules of blasphemy were being applied in Britain. She replied that of course she supported free speech but, basically, not if it offends Muslims. So, some are more equal than others, now: as Voltaire advised us, “To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise.”
If a burka’d snowman is the seed of intent, if advertisements which steal from us our own understanding of our Christian winter festival are the fertiliser, this literal giving away of our lands and culture is the inevitable fruit.
We must – all of us, from the Hebrides to the Urals – use those potentially most chilling of words: enough is enough – and we must mean those words. For those who were before us, for those who come after us. For Britain, or whatever place of European culture you love best. The alternative is beyond horror.
Let’s hope for a Merry Christmas. For safe nativity and a perpetuation of civilised nativeity. And God bless us – every one of us.
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