Friday, February 26, 2010

Just in case we needed reminding, it's not only Christians who are ridiculous. Gadaffi has been relatively quiet since his zenith as the epitome of evil in the 1980s, but by declaring jihad on Switzerland of all countries he's proven there's life in the old dog yet. This puts the UN in a highly embarrassing position: naturally it feels obliged to condemn Gadaffi's comments in the strongest terms, but even condescending to respond to such absurdity seems rather... undignified.

Switzerland's a fairly novel candidate for a target of holy war, but it has rather brought this situation on itself with its silly policy of banning the building of minarets. Prior to that of course it made the diplomatic blunder of arresting one of Gadaffi's sons for battering his servants around, so the Great Leader has been ready to pounce for a while. Still, “Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against Muhammad, God and the Koran” sounds a little hysterical, and may come as a shock to the sizeable Muslim community who live and work in Switzerland.

After all, Switzerland has fastidiously pursued a policy of neutrality and non-aggression for two centuries now, busying itself instead with banking, watchmaking, cheese etc. I thought all this was a stereotype until I actually went to Zurich a few years ago and found that about 80% of all the shops there genuinely do sell either watches, cheese, chocolate or Swiss army knives. It really is that inoffensive. Or is it? I remember coming away from the place with a slightly unpleasant taste in my mouth. For a start all the goods there are prohibitively expensive (the remaining 20% of shops are full of fur coats, Persian rugs of the finest silk etc.), as are the pubs and restaurants, of course everything runs like... clockwork, the general atmosphere is squeaky clean and very boring. And there's an edge to the blandness of Switzerland, in the amorality of their refusal to take sides even when the Nazis are butchering half of Europe, mirrored by the amorality of their “no questions asked” banking system built on gold from dictators, criminal gangs and murdered Jews, their “we're all right Jack” disdaining of the EU and most recently their xenophobia. I'm not the greatest fan of the EU or of Islam myself, but this is no more than parochial isolationism from a smug, nasty little island in the middle of Europe.

In fact, why is the UN even sticking up for this degenerate state? Surely if Gadaffi and his friends in the Muslim world decide to unleash jihad on Switzerland, the rest of us should do the decent thing and remain absolutely neutral.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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8:35 PM  

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