The rise of the terror amnesia industry

Dec 28, 2017 by

by Brendan O’Neill, spiked:

2017 might prove to be the year we caved in to terrorism. The year we accepted that the occasional act of Islamist barbarism, the occasional mass stabbing of Saturday-night revellers or blowing apart of girls at an Ariana Grande concert, is just something that happens, like bad weather. It was the year in which our response to terror was not anger, far less ‘Blitz Spirit’, but a collective sad-face emoji. ‘Don’t look back in anger’, we said after the horror in Manchester, perfectly capturing the defeatist, self-silencing, emotion-policing nature of our attitude to terror today.

In 2017 we witnessed the rise of the terror amnesia industry – an informal but effective effort by the political class and opinion-forming set to shush serious discussion about terrorism; to tame strong emotions post-terror; to make people forget, in essence, the latest bloody destruction of their fellow citizens, or at least stop thinking about it. ‘Don’t look back…’

This Orwellian encouragement of forgetting, this cultivation of emotional passivity in response to radical Islam, this top-down demonisation of concern about Islamist terror as a species of ‘Islamophobia’, is the reason why even something as horrific as the Manchester attack, the targeting of our next generation, of girls, does not live in the collective memory in the way it ought to. The speed with which the Manchester horror evaporated from the national consciousness was one of the most disturbing political events in Britain in 2017.

To my mind, the suicide bombing in the Manchester Arena on 22 May was one of the worst terror attacks in the West in recent years. It was an assault not just on life and limb but on the gaiety of youth and the liberty of girls who enjoy things radical Islamists frown upon. Twenty-two people were killed. Ten of them were under the age of 20. One was eight. Two of the dead were Polish nationals. So as the media class stirred up moral panic about post-Brexit Britons feeling emboldened to attack Poles and others, in fact it was a radical Islamist who indiscriminately slaughtered Poles here. But don’t think about it. Get on with your life and stop being Islamophobic.

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