I feel it inappropriate to write a funny and amusing blog this week in the aftermath of the Paris attacks. Like many of us who love that city I am appalled at the carnage, the sad, unnecessary loss of life and the brutality. My sincerest condolences to all who lost loved ones.
I usually steer away from politics or religious opinions of any sort on my social media, but maybe the following might give food for thought. It’s a piece I had published in my monthly column and at the time it made people giggle. Maybe now, it’s not as amusing.
I mean no offense to any race, creed or culture. I have lived in countries with different social rules and willingly abided by their laws. It’s the changing of a country’s way of life by people relocating to new places, that frightens me. There is no ‘live and let live’. It’s the threatened introduction of restrictions to freedom. That freedom so many women gave their lives for. The right to education, a career and the choice of who to marry and if and when to have children. And the destruction of the monuments representing our culture and heritage. Can that happen in Europe?
Many new arrivals are not extremists, but there are enough to upset the balance and the numbers are growing.
This is what I wrote almost 18 months ago.
Today I was naughty and I climbed up into the attic and I found a very old book. It must be a fairy tale, written by a girl my age four hundred years ago. She had some imagination!
She says she went to the shopping mall to meet her friends, and she went on her own, without a male relative! She wore a short skirt, she called it a mini skirt, which showed her bare legs, and a top which didn’t cover her shoulders or her arms out in public! I just can’t imagine that. She didn’t even have her hair covered as she says the wind blew it all over the place and she had to comb it out before her boyfriend saw her. She says she has had lots of boyfriends and doesn’t think her parents will like the boy she is keen on. How can that be? Is she allowed to meet boys in public, without her parents even knowing about it? Won’t they choose her husband for her and then introduce them just before the wedding? That’s how we do things in this country.
She’s also planning to move away from her parents’ home and take a flat with another girl and two boys and they will live together and none of them are married. Now that has really shocked me. I have never, ever heard of that in modern Britain.
And she talks about going to vote. Women voting? They were never allowed to do that were they? She writes that women had the same rights as men, and they worked outside the home and they were allowed to talk to men outside the family they didn’t even know. They could do all sorts of things, like go on television and sing and dance in public with hardly any clothes on, and make statements about things and write what they liked. They also went to sporting events and were allowed to run and jump and swim and do all the same sports as the men do.
What is even more amazing this girl wrote that she goes to school and she learns not only how to read and write, which of course girls today learn in the home, but also about other places and what has happened in the past and science things. It can’t really be true, as she says she wants to study for a science degree and be an engineer, and design bridges and tall buildings. Now that’s really funny, and that’s how I know it’s a fictional diary. Everyone knows only men are allowed to do those things.
There was also something called the internet and young unmarried people typed messages to each other and shared pictures and ideas and told everyone what they had been doing. What am amazing thing to do when they could have been studying religious works at home.
I’ve not seen very much of the world, as I am an obedient daughter, and I only hear about stuff when my brothers are talking, but if any of this diary is true, then the girl who wrote it must have been very, very brave or very, very immoral. I wonder how her father and brothers punished her for writing about such things?
Too fantastic? In April 276 girls are abducted from a boarding school in Nigeria to ‘be sold, they don’t need education.’ This same group is responsible for killing 12,000 and injuring 8,000 since 2009.
Ten Chinese nationals are missing in northern Cameroon, attacked in an area known as an extremist stronghold.
Two attacks in Kenya, 67 people killed in a shopping mall, another 10 dead and 70 injured in two bomb blasts in Nairobi.
(There have been two attacks on Paris, genocide in Syria and numerous other atrocities since I wrote this).
The threat from terrorists is spreading. Remember the story of the Trojan horse?
It couldn’t happen in Britain? Or in France, Spain, Italy or Germany? By the time everyone wakes up to the danger, it will be too late to halt the momentum. Perhaps it already is – all brought about by our kindness to humanity in distress. Now if that’s not irony I don’t know what is.