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LONDON

I witnessed a slight altercation at the weekend. A brief argument in a tube station between a drunk female native and a believer led to the native stating that he (the believer) ‘shouldn’t even be here’ (‘here’ being a larger area than he perhaps appreciated). Although I generally disapprove of loutish behaviour in public, I must say I quietly approved of this case.

After all, the believer wasn’t alone and the girl was. He backed down and she didn’t. What’s more, he seemed genuinely offended, as if her comment (more of a bark really) challenged something very important in his self-concept. He was also undoubtedly the guilty party, having barged in front of her as she queued at the oyster machine.

Afterwards, the Muslims topped up their cards at a separate machine and then departed, waiting until they were at the turnstiles before having a go back. Their chosen rejoinder was ‘ignorant bitch’ and it fell largely on disinterested ears.

Still, as weak as it was, let’s address the comment here and identify its error.

Nothing in modern life is more infuriating to the logical mind than the misuse (and misunderstanding) of the word ‘ignorance’. We are constantly told (by the press and by minorities) that an offensive opinion is always based on it and that racism in particular is motored by this misdeed alone.

You think intelligence has a genetic cause? Then you’re ignorant. You think Black people commit more violent crime than Whites? You’re ignorant. You think that Muslim terrorists are basing their actions on the Qur’an? You’re ignorant.

The irony here is obvious. Knowledge is now Ignorance (just as Orwell prophesised it would be in a totalitarian state) and Ignorance is now knowledge.

There is a lot to object to in racism, but it is rarely, if ever, caused by the practitioner not knowing something. There is no magical fact that can turn a racist into an egalitarian. It’s crazy even to consider it.

And as concerns Islam, ignorance (of the real kind) is the only reason they are still allowed to live here.

D, LDN.

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