The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

the future of law enforcement

A few hours after my altercation with Muslim proselytisers on O'Connell Street, I had calmed down enough to become curious as to what attitude our heroes of law enforcement would take to the affair.
Before catching a Luas tram out of the city, I called into the cop shop at the end of O'Connell Street.
A somewhat jovial looking policeman was on duty.
"Can I help you?" he enquired.
"I shouted at some Muslim demonstrators today and one of them threatened to beat me up," I told him.
"What did you shout?"
"Well I started off with No More Muslim Terror. Is it legal for Muslims to threaten violence and tell people to leave the streets if they don't like what we're saying?"
"No it's not legal," said the policeman. "But you were being provocative. Are you  a religious man yourself?"
"No," I answered.
My reasons for saying no were complex.
I rarely if ever claim to be Christian or Catholic because I know I am unworthy to make that claim.
I didn't explain this to the cop.
I just stood there feeling like a liar.
"I saw you were wearing the rosary," said the cop.
Observant little dickens.
"I've worn that since my parents died," I told him, compounding my dishonour.
"How would you feel if someone said No More Catholic Terror?" asked the cop.
"Is there such a thing as Catholic Terror?" I parried, eyes wide and round at the turn our conversation was taking.
"The IRA are Catholic," said the cop.
"Do you know any IRA men?" I asked the police officer, before continuing, "because all my IRA sources were atheistic Marxians who despised the Catholic Church more than they hated the British army, and who took their orders from Moscow. Both IRA armies by the way. Both of them. Were working for the atheistic Soviet Communist Party."
He shook his head.
"Doesn't matter,"  averred PC 182, "the IRA violence was still all about Catholicism."
"I might disagree with you about the IRA," I said. "And people shout things at Catholics demonstrating in the streets of Dublin all the time. The nicest thing they call us is child abusers. But we don't threaten to beat them to a pulp or tell them to leave the streets on pain of further violence. Still. I might like to debate this with you if we were having a cup of tea or if for some reason I respected your opinion and wished to refute it. But my question to you today is: If I say to Muslim demonstrators with a sign proclaiming Islam the religion of peace, that I want to see no more Arab terror, are the peaceloving Muslims entitled to threaten to beat me up?"
He weighed this.
"They're not," said he eventually. "But you were creating a breach of the peace. We do have free speech. But there are limits."
"Is that how you see it?" quoth I.
"To be honest," quoth he, "if I'd been there I'd probably have told you to leave the area."
Then in an apparent effort to be kind, he repeated his earlier point.
"Anyone could say the same things you say about Muslims about Catholicism," he said.
A feeling of incredulity rose in me.
"Do you really think there's a world wide Catholic terror army trying to take over the world?" I wondered.
"Ah it's all the same," quoth he.
"But Muslims are making war in China, Russia, India, Thailand..."
"Those are Muslim countries."
For a moment I was too moved to speak.
My voice returned.
"No, no. I haven't named a Muslim country yet. China, Russia, India, Thailand... They're all being subjected to Jihad. Between five and ten thousand people slaughtered in Thailand alone in the last five years by Muslims who've decided they own Thailand."
"Look," said the cop, "I sometimes have to police Pro Life marches. And I have sympathy for them. I don't like their methods but I do have sympathy for them."
I smiled.
"Ah you don't really," I said very gently.
"It was a moment of truth.
"I'm Pro Life myself," said the cop.
"Ah you're not really," I said gently as before.
He let it drop.
There was the oddest most paradoxical sense of honesty in the air.
I hadn't fooled him for a second when I lied about being religious.
And he hadn't fooled me when he claimed to be Pro Life.
Just for that moment each of us understood that the other man wasn't a complete idiot.
Just for that moment.
There was a sense of mutual respect.
"Well you've done a great job," I said seriously. "By which I mean I've enjoyed talking to you. I don't for a second believe I've obtained the protection of law."
"I've to close up now," said the cop cheerfully. "You're my last customer of the day."
Behind him my eyes alighted on a row of closed circuit television screens.
The screens showed various shots of O'Connell Street.
"Don't worry," said the cop seeing my gaze and speaking as if to reassure me. "We keep a very close eye on everything that's happening on O'Connell Street. We monitor all the demos. Nothing can happen without us seeing it"
I gaped.
"Do you mean you were sitting here watching that Muslim threatening me for twenty minutes?" I said astonished.
"I wasn't," said the cop, "but someone would have been."
Wearing my famous and much over used rueful expression, I returned to the street.
It's a mad, mad, mad, muslim, muslim, muslim, muslim, muslim, muslim, muslim, muslim, muslim, world.
I have a hunch that young police officer will live to eat his words.
Sooner rather than later.


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