I have always lived in peace, as most Western Eurepoean citizens. Never ever seen a war. That was not the case of the generation before mine.
I was a child in the 60′ and as a child and later on an adult, I took peace for granted. But the generation before mine had been affected with an awful war, which marked them forever. As a parent now, I would never want my child to suffer what they suffered or witnessed, or simply heard of. So that I now undertand they wanted to protect us.
But it is not that easy. Because they so much wanted to protect us from what happened during WW2, it seems that citizens of whole Western Europe share a guilt for that war. « Never ever again », they have thought with reason.
France held some responsability for it, as the French State of invated France during 1940 – 1944 cooperated with the German invaders, with deportation of tens of thousands of Jews and others, to death. Not something we French people can be proud of. But Resistance did exist. I should not even be affected by such a guilt, as from my family, my paternal grandfather was pro communist, my maternal grandfather was right wing, but was jailed for a few weeks for being suspected of early Resistance, for which some of his friends were beheaded by the Germans. And my father, aged 21 in 1943, walked from France to Barcelona at his own risks and registered at the British consulate to join the Allied Forces. He then fought as a parachutist in Northern Africa, then Italy and France.
I should not be affected by that guilt, but I realise that I have been brought up with the guilt of that generation, not only from my parents but from all of the adults who were marked by the war.
I suppose that the English as well have been brought up with the same generation guilt. Not speaking of the Germans. And probably all of Western Europe.
Why that ? Because of this « Never ever again ». Because of an understandable hatred and fear for totalitarianism. None of them, none of us, would want that similar horrors would happen to Europe again. Of course not ! But the generation before us has taught us without words their own guilt. We just cannot bear what looks like totalitarianism. We hate that.
Consequently, our hatred for totalitarianism has made us tolerant, very tolerant, extremely tolerant. It is our common mind. We MUST tolerate others, otherwise we are intolerant, otherwise we are heading to the evil monster, and then comes the guilt of the previous generations to our minds « Never ever again ». If we feel our thoughts are going to that direction, we feel the monster in ourselves: this is how we share the guilt of the generation before us.
But non Western immigrants do not share this feeling. Their ancestors had nothing or very little to do with WW2. They have not been transmitted this fear. Normal.
What is not normal is that quite a few of them do not feel guilty when they want to impose their views to others. Again, I am not saying that each single one of them is a wicked person, as that would be an evil generalisation from me. There are lovable people anywhwere, including people from Muslim origin. Of course yes.
The ones I am referring to are the ones who want to impose their way of life to our countries, call us infidels with no respect, but demand respect to themselves, to their extremist understanding of their religion, and demand us not to eat pork or drink alcohol in their presence. The do not feel guilty for that. We would. We would be badly ashamed for such a behaviour. These Muslim extremists are wolves among sheep, or to quote Jesus, we as Christians have become « sheep among wolves » (Matthew 10:16). Because we must not be intolerant, we must not show hatred or even feel hatred, we must love our neighbour as ourselves. But Jesus was advising his apostles in the same sentence to « prove yourselves cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves. Be on your guard against men, for they will hand you over to local courts » (Matthew 10:16). I know I refer to some different situation, as Jesus was speaking about his followers, not about a society of Christian origin where people can have another faith, or faith on atheism. But the similarity is still there: « sheep among wolves ».
So, we are in presence of people of Muslim origin. In France, they usually are 2nd of 3rd generation. I knew the first generation and we got along rather well with these people (but I am middle class, and my view may be biased). Anyway, in the 70′, I had never ever seen any veiled Muslim woman. Few in the 80′, More in the 90′. Many since 2000. And these ones were born in France. They grew up in France. Their mothers did not wear an islamic veil. OK, it can be their right to express their faith. But we in France have another culture: where is the respect due to us? We respect the habits of the Muslims in their countries. OK, it could be one thing. But why some councils would ban pork for school canteens ? Should non-Muslims be punished because they may like pork ? Or we had the habit of fish on Fridays in canteens, but no, we must not offend them. We used to call school holidays « Christmas » and « Easter » holidays, now recently changed to « winter » and « spring » holidays. Why that? Just guess.
That would not be too bad. But now, if you look supposedly badly at Muslim youths, you can be attacked by them. Again, not all of them, please do not let me say what I have not said. I am just reporting what is now currently happening from French Muslim youths who proudly self call themselves « racailles » (scum). There are now no-go zones in France where even firefighters are being attacked with stones when going to rescue !!!! Isolated cases ? I so wish they were. I hoped, like many other people, for years. I know that there are Muslims in France who strongly disagree with what is happening. But we as French people do not feel respected in our own land !
Not speaking of extremist attacks, like the one of the railway station of Atocha in Madrid on 21st of March 2004.
And it was my big bad surprise when i saw the attacks of London of 7th July 2005. And shocked that they were British, born in Britain.
Then were were riots from French youths Muslims in the suburb of Paris in the autumn of 2005.
Oh, wait a minute, should I even mention that ? Am I gradually going into an evil ideology of intolerance ? I did think so. I was ashamed, and still hoped these people would see us as we are: their fellow citizens.
The outrageous murder of drummer Lee Rigby last 22nd of May was the islamic « straw that breaks the camel’s back » to me. I realised suddenly that that was far too much. That there are things and behaviours that MUST not be tolerated. This is where I saw how politicians tried again to just express the political correctness we have been fed from infancy. Political correctness or brain washing ? They did not do what real leaders should: not appeasing, not adding to the anger either, just accepting a legitimate anger and helping the people to express it appropriately.
I felt so angry. The One that to me expressed an appropriate anger and led the people to express it appropriately was Tommy Robinson, of whom I spoke of in a previous paper. This man is far younger than me, but he has had the guts of standing against the intolerable. Should I feel the guilt of previous generations, should he feel it ? No way. Too much is too much. I will not wear the guilt of previous generations any more. A lesson of life. Some will say I am becoming a fascist. Think what you want. There is a huge difference between standing for justice and tolerating the intolerable. No hatred in that, just determination to stand for what is right.
I do not want to fall into hatred. I have scrutinised Tommy Robinson enough to know that he did not fall into it. He has been standing for justice, for respect of each other, with a legitimate anger when outraging events were done.
I am feeling anger now, about his situation: before he set the English Defence League up, which he left last October to build he said a more adapted and efficient organisation, he lent some money to a member of his family, who could present that money as his deposit for a mortgage. It is considered as a fraud. But the money was paid to the bank. Nobody was stolen. He was judged for fraud mortgage on 23rd of January and sentenced … 18 months of prison ! I do not know British law, so that I cannot say whether it is unlawful. It just does not appear fair. I know that there is a huge difference between Justice and Fairness. But this is a huge gap.
Furthermore, when I see that ex Labour minister Peter Mandelson did not go to prison for the same offence, some questions come to my mind. In fact, it reminds me the conclusion of the fable of Jean de La Fontaine « The Animals Sick of The Plague » (Les animaux malades de la peste) : « Thus human courts acquit the strong, and doom the weak, as therefore wrong » (« Que vous soyez puissants ou misérables, les jugements de court vous rendront blanc ou noir« ).
So, it is easy to think that it is because Stephen Lennon (his real name) is Tommy Robinson that this sentence was so harsh. It is of course only my thought, my own opinion. I just wonder now if I just may have an opinion in this country. But anyway, I am now free from the guilt of previous generations. Of course, I still hate totalitarianism. Of course, I say « Never ever again ». But I would be guilty if I did turned a blind eye on what is going on.
That is not all: Tommy’s life has been threatened openly, a fact which government, judge, and prison authorities could not ignore. Why not protecting him carefully. He has been in prison since 23rd of January, and already was badly attacked on 5th February, with apparently complicity from wardens. The government is accountable for his sake. Even angrier am I when I see that media did not speak of his attack and did not mention his life is even more at risk, now that he is in prison.
I hope the government has been fully busy with recent and current flooding and has not had time to consider that the life of Tommy Robinson is precious. This man has become a voice in this country, a voice against islamism, and against extremism. He is against hatred and will have a huge impact on the peace and welfare of the country where I am now living. I must say I just now wonder whether it is the interest of the British government to keep him silent for a long time, if not forever. History will judge this government.
I am hoping that Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg will realise their responsibility, that they did not fully realise that they will be held accountable, or that they just trusted too genuinely prison authorities. I hope they are honest gentlemen. And will show they are in the case of Tommy Robinson.
I hope this generation will not be responsible for turning a blind eye on extremists, and not calling extremists the ones who are standing against hatred. Future generations would then badly harmed, by our fault.