‘They’ hurt ‘us’, so I don’t care about them

2009-01-12 00:00

An e-mail has been doing the rounds recently, apparently, in certain circles. There are bits of it which make me slightly suspicious as to its origin, but let’s assume that it was written by who it purports to have been written by. It reads as follows:

“This was written by a Canadian woman, but … it also applies to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and South Africa. This one packs a firm punch … Written by a housewife in New Brunswick, to her local newspaper. This is one ticked-off lady.

“ ‘Are we fighting a war on terror or aren’t we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001, and have continually threatened to do so since? Were people from all over the world not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from the nation’s capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania? Did nearly 3 000 men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn’t they?

‘And I’m supposed to care that a few Taliban are claiming to have been tortured by a justice system of the nation they come from and are fighting against in a brutal insurgency? I’ll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for … 9/11. I’ll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Bible, the mere belief of which is a crime punishable by beheading in Afghanistan.

‘I’ll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for hacking off Nick Berg’s head while he screamed through his gurgling slashed throat. I’ll care when the cowardly so-called insurgents in Afghanistan come out and fight like men instead of … hiding in mosques and behind women and children.

‘I’ll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide bombs. I’ll care when the Canadian media stops pretending that their freedom of speech on stories is more important than the lives of the soldiers on the ground or their families waiting at home to hear about them when something happens.

‘In the meantime, when I hear a story about a Canadian soldier roughing up an insurgent terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don’t care. When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank: I don’t care.

‘When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed special food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being mishandled, … believe in your heart of hearts: I don’t care. And oh, by the way, I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s spelled “Koran” and other times “Qur’an”. Well, Jimmy Crack Corn you guessed it, I don’t care.

“If you agree with this viewpoint, pass this on to all your e-mail friends. Sooner or later, it’ll get to the people responsible for this ridiculous behaviour. If you don’t agree, then hit the delete button. Should you choose the latter, then please don’t complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great country.

‘One last thought for the day. Only five defining forces have offered to die for you: Jesus Christ, the Canadian soldier, the British soldier, the U.S. soldier and the Australian soldier. One died for your soul, the other four for your freedom.’ ”

Well, there it is. She — fed on an unpalatable salad of evangelical Christianity, victim ideology and crass ignorance — doesn’t care. And I am fairly sure — no, I am absolutely convinced — that there are a lot of you reading this who think pretty much the same and are, as you read this, pressing the send button to all your friends.

The truth is, you are sick. You think you are not, but you are. You are sick, not because you hold a firm view or because your view is different from mine. You are sick not because 9/11 didn’t happen or because terrorism isn’t a real and present danger. You are sick, because you have become dulled to human suffering. You have somehow managed to abstract yourself from the kind of terror “our side” inflicts on “their side”, and by so doing justify it and baptise it. So it doesn’t matter anymore what happens, as long as it is our side which is doing it and their side which is feeling it because they once (or even might) hurt us.

You have divided the world very neatly into “us” and “them”. We are good and they are bad. And so you ask: “What is Israel supposed to do?” and that somehow justifies the level of pain, terror and destruction which Israel is allowed to inflict on Gaza. And somehow, in a kind of code, if you manage to bring Jesus Christ into what you are saying or thinking, it starts to feel really good. Because, of course, Jesus is right and Mohammed is wrong.

At best, you are an unpalatable bigot. But at worst (and this is where is starts getting very scary indeed) you are ill and you need help. Please get it, soon, before you and your ilk destroy the whole lot of us.

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