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London Bobbies: Gunless in Londonistan

It’s always dangerous to play honor-shame games with people who are masters at it. And of course, when it’s a question of territory, you had better be ready to play honor-shame games, or lose territory. And when you lose, you lose big time because you lose not only territory, but face. Let there be no mistake here, there’s a battle for European territory — indeed, the street — between Muslims and the old guard.

I think that although this battle started years, maybe even decades before 2000, that the demonstrations against Israel’s “murder” of Muhammad al Durah represent the moment when the “Arab Street” took root in Europe. We have seen it many times since, including, of course, the riots in the French “zones urbaines sensibles”, as well as in response to such intolerable provocations as the Muhammad Cartoons and the Pope’s outrageous comments about a violent Islam.

Signs at demonstration in London outside Danish Embassy in protest of the Muhammad Cartoons, Februrary 2006

And of course, we saw them in full flower in response to Operation Cast Lead. And of all the places, the most startling was in London, where a “demonstration” chased the police several blocks through the center of London shouting “Allahu Akhbar” and “Run you cowards, infidels (kuffars)!”

Tom Gross notes that:

"it is quite an extraordinary ten minutes of footage as the police run away from a pro-Hamas mob and allow traffic cones and other items to be thrown at them on some of London’s grandest streets. At one point in the video, one can see St James’s Palace, the Ritz hotel and the Wolseley restaurant on Piccadilly. The police appear outnumbered and too intimidated to make any arrests.

Chants of “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is Great) can also be heard. Two orthodox Jews were severely assaulted after the demonstration, including a student who is a co-chair of a Jewish-Muslim friendship society at Oxford University.

As I mentioned in a dispatch last month, a policeman protecting the Israeli embassy was beaten unconscious following one of these demonstrations."

The kicker in all this is that the British police responded: “WE DIDN’T RUN AWAY FROM GAZA PROTESTORS. IT WAS AN ORDERLY WALK BACKWARDS” (Headline in The Mail on Sunday)

If there’s anything that makes you look more ridiculous than running from aggression, it’s trying to pretend that you didn’t.

It’s like the scene in Princess Bride where Wesley bluffs Prince Humperdink into dropping his sword and letting Princess Buttercup tie him up.

And when, a few seconds later (and no one on Youtube has included this part of the scene), Wesley almost collapses, Humperdink, still tied up, says, “I knew it! I knew you were bluffing!
I knew he was bluffing!”

Bobbies don’t carry guns because of the exceptional police-philosophy of the early 18th century Prime Minister of England, Robert Peel (hence Bobbies). It’s a triumph of civil society and the liberal paradigm: treat others with respect and they will respond. It is, alas, under heavy pressure.







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