Tally-ho Tolerant Folks

A Special
View From The Afterlife

General Sir Charles James Napier
Commander in Chief British Army in India 1849-1851

I would like to start off with a hearty hello to all you folks in the land of the living, and I would also like to thank Vox Poplar for letting an old ghost like me to toss his hat in the proverbial ring.

Pip-pip, tally-ho!

Anyway, let's get to the subject at hand. There is a bit of a political tempest going on among those bloody Germans about a judge who cited the Koran as an excuse to not grant a Muslim woman a speedy divorce from the disgusting brute of a husband who regularly and most violently abused her.

What a load of bloody rot.

And then I hear that police in New Victoria state in Australia are being told to be more 'understanding' and 'tolerant' of cases of familial abuse involving Muslim families. Essentially giving the wife-beating cad a pass in order to not 'fracture the family structure.'

Another load of bloody rot.

I'll have you know that I am currently spinning in my own grave at the sight of such stupidity and moral cowardice in the face of 'cultural traditions.'

Why am I so concerned? you may ask.

The answer is quite simple, I'm a bit of an expert on cross-cultural relations due to my time as commander of Her Majesty's Army in India. During my time I was beset by a crowd of upset Hindu holy men. They were angry that I had banned the practice of the Sati, or the burning of a live widow on her dead husband's funeral pyre.

They declared that it was an ancient tradition and that I had to tolerate it as Her Majesty's Plenipotentiary.

I then explained to them that tolerance was a two way street, and if I was to tolerate their tradition, they had to tolerate our tradition. And that our tradition said that anyone who burned a woman alive had to be hanged by the neck until dead.

Now many may say that I was being a cultural imperialist, stomping around and bullying the poor locals, but allow me to explain.

India has a very ancient and wise culture, however, certain elements of that culture was holding it back from joining the modern world. In fact, these elements were dragging them down leaving their subcontinent and it's massive population open for conquest by a bunch of unwashed, drunken, louts from a soggy rock thousands of miles away. That sort of thing does not happen to healthy countries.

But let me get back on point...

One of these elements was that they refused to recognize that their right to practice their culture ends at their neighbor's or spouse's nose. Spirituality is supposed to bring a person peace, enlightenment and fulfillment, it is not supposed to bring fear, suffering, enslavement, and terror to others.

I could claim that my religion dictates that I must wear a live badger on my head and pelt the people around me with live salmon. Now the wearing of the badger is completely my business, but the salmon pelting would get me tossed into bedlam or jail, and rightly. I have no right to claim my religion as an excuse to do violence on others without expecting and receiving a severe case of just desserts.

The other element was the view of women as property. True, my own people had their own problems on that front, and I could never be called a feminist, or even a suffragette, but I'd be buggered senseless by the Household Cavalry if I let anyone burn a woman alive or treat her as property because they are a member of the fairer sex.

Now we old European imperialists eventually and painfully learned our lessons and worked hard to jettison those same negative elements. It took us a long time, too long really, but we improved, and developed a culture that made the modern world possible.

India too is learning, opening and improving opportunities and rights for women and striking against the negative traditions that kept them out of the modern world for so long.

I think that's bloody marvelous.

Sadly, Europe, once the bastion of individual liberty, is giving up its positive traditions and bringing back old negative ones in the name of 'tolerance.'

That's complete and utter balderdash.

Europe needs to wake up and realize that they are facing the modern world's most intolerant enemy. One who refuses to not only learn from the past, but actively seeks to send the whole world headlong into the Dark Ages.

Is that judge so blinded by what you living folks call 'political correctness' that she can't see that the independent, and secular, rule of law is one of the things that made her world possible, and that without it, none of the comforts and advances she enjoys could exist?

Like I said, complete balderdash and bloody rotten, if you ask me.

Oh well, I shouldn't be worrying about it, being dead and all.

Time to go, I have an appointment for tea with Victoria, and Albert.


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