Taqiyya for Easter
by Mark Steyn
Let’s say a fire breaks out at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris at the start of Holy Week, and just after two of the city’s other most prominent houses of worship – St Sulpice and the Basilica of St Denis – have been attacked and vandalized.
Well, I think we can all confidently say as the first flames are beginning to lick the ceiling that it’s undoubtedly an accident. Cigarette butt. Or maybe computer glitch. Probably just an overheated smartphone. We don’t need to get in there and sift through the debris. We can just announce it.
On the other hand, when there are coordinated attacks on Easter services at several churches in Sri Lanka, it becomes a little more challenging to pass off multiple suicide-bombings killing nearly three hundred people as an electrical malfunction.
So, in contrast to the confident declarations of a week ago, on Sunday morning the media opted for a subtler narrative. Lead sentence from The Economist:
IT HAS BEEN nearly ten years since the guns fell silent in Sri Lanka’s civil war. But bloodshed returned with a vengeance…
So it’s something to do with the Tamil Tigers? Their guns fell silent, but now they’ve returned with a vengeance, eh?
Well, er, no, er, not, ah, precisely… But it’s useful for “context”, lots and lots of context. And, if you pile up enough context, you can bury the actual story. My old chums at The Age in Melbourne produced an especially fine example:
Colombo: More than 200 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in eight bomb blasts that rocked churches, luxury hotels and other sites in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday – the deadliest violence the South Asian island country has seen since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.
Ah, there’s that bloody civil war flaring up all over again, right?
Steady on. We’re not quite saying that, but it’s important to know the historical background and so forth…