When David Amess was murdered on Friday we knew that it was in the name of Islam straight away. We knew this because the BBC avoided reporting a motive for the murder meaning that it could only be Islam at the route of the crime. The BBC went for a full 24 hours before uttering 'Islamist' once, preferring to take attention away from the motive to focus on every other aspect of the story. There were other key identifiers that this was another islamic attack also; the very first person to be interviewed was a crying Muslim who appeared to have no links to the MP, and wasn't even an witness, seemingly conspicuous to some.
The BBC ran their playbook, first pretending they didn't know the assailant's ethnicity or religion, even though the associated press had reported the details within minutes of the incident, and then implying that this was a danger unique to MPs, finally settling on one of their preferred macguffins: Online Abuse. Once they'd found the 'real' guilty party, you and I, they began whipping up a fake storm. Yes, it was hurty words on Twitter that killed David Amess, and you thought it was an Islamic terrorist - you racist.
On the media round this morning, home secretary Priti Patel said she was considering removing the right to anonymity on social media to stop what she called the ‘relentless’ abuse of MPs online. It was as if Amess was the victim of a particularly nasty Twitterstorm, rather than a deadly knife attack. ‘Political debate has coarsened’, writes Labour frontbencher Alison McGovern, pointing to ‘the social-media norms that have to change’. The moronic Dan Hodges in yesterday's Mail on Sunday, wrote ‘I don’t know why Sir David Amess was killed but the visceral hatred of Tories at the heart of Labour has to end right now’. Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner comes in for particular criticism for referring to the Tory government as ‘scum’ a few weeks back.
Notice how two things are happening here; the effective 'cover-up' of the fact that this was, yet another, murder in the name of Islam, and that the 'response' has absolutely nothing to do with the crime.
Police arrested Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old man of Somali heritage, at the scene. Ali is being detained under the Terrorism Act and, according to reports, had previously been referred to the Prevent programme. Ali was known to have been radicalised by Anjem Choudary who has radicalised a number of others who have gone on to murder on British streets. Ali is also reportedly appeared on a Channel 4 documentary about Muslims in Britain which they have removed from their archives at lightning speed.
Ali of course remains innocent until proven guilty, and more details may yet emerge. But this has all the hallmarks of another Islamic terrorist attack. Unless the investigation turns up an internet history peppered with Angela Rayner YouTube clips, a large collection of those ‘Never Kissed a Tory’ t-shirts Corbynistas who look like they’ve never kissed anyone tend to wear, or a bunch of anonymous Twitter accounts he was using for jihadist purposes, much of the chatter in the wake of Amess’s murder will look risible in retrospect.
To suggest that this murder is a symptom of a broader nastiness in mainstream politics, and not a symptom of a medieval religion that is at fundamental odds with British society is horse shit. The BBC are now implying that it was the discourse on social media that caused Amess's murder and that this would never have happened if our ‘discourse’ on social media was better. The solution? clamp down on social-media trolls and all try to be that bit more kind to one another of Facebook.