No-one who has visited the great city of Paris will have missed the grandeur, the towering presence of the cathedral of Nôtre-Dame, Our Lady Of Paris. The imposing stone structure ringed by flying buttresses, the magnificent roof that appears the palest of blue in the sunlight, the imposing twin towers, the wealth of stained glass, all stand out, all catch the eye. And this morning, much of that is no more.
Nôtre-Dame yesterday evening
Before the blaze - the two towers ...
Yesterday afternoon - the cause is believed to be related to renovation work - a fire started in the cathedral’s roof. It spread with frightening rapidity through the ageing timbers; the spire partially collapsed; the roof fell in. Parisians looked on in horror as the city’s firefighters, Les Pompiers, did their best to rescue the treasures from within the building and get the blaze under control. But the damage was done.
... the West door ...
... window, statue and stone detail
That much was sad enough, but in the midst of the sadness came, for those out there on the far right, an opportunity. The sickness of extremists demanded that they whip up the mob not by reason, but by fuelling bigotry. So it was that a number of sad individuals decided that the blaze had something to do with the Scary Muslims™.
You read that right. The first sign that the hate collective was up to its usual tricks came from Ryan Broderick of BuzzFeed News, telling “InfoWars' Paul Joseph Watson is currently amplifying known French far-right influencer and troll Damien Rieu. Rieu tweeted a sourceless video claiming that French Muslims on Facebook are posting smiley faces on a video of the Notre Dame fire”. The Battersea bedroom dweller was indeed thus engaged.
After warming up his audience with “A fire has broken out at the famous Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. A previous fire at the Saint Sulpice church was an anti-Christian attack. This one is believed to be linked to ‘renovation’ according to reports” (nudge nudge, wink wink), Watson dutifully echoed Rieu: “A brief summary of who is responding to the tragic Notre Dame fire with 'smiley faces' on Facebook. Appalling”.
He was not alone. Pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins was also amplifying Rieu: “People celebrating the fall of #NotreDame … Please follow @DamienRieu helping expose these cretins”. Hatey Katie had some afters, too: “Jewish & Christian Parisians have been warning for a long time. They are being hunted out of their city by Islamists, fleeing in their thousands … They are hounded from their former home. ‘Paris is lost’”.
Could the moronic attempt to implicate Muslims get any worse? Sadly, it could, as genuine old-school fascist Nick Griffin controlled his twitchy right arm long enough to sneer “Strange how those who seized on #Charlottesville & #ChristchurchAttack as excuses to destroy #freespeech online are so quick to accuse people like me and @PrisonPlanet of ‘exploiting a tragedy’”. Exploiting a tragedy? Would he do that? Er, yes he would.
“Some of the 'locals' seem very happy that #NotreDame is burning to the ground. Was it a careless builder or just one more in the ongoing wave of arson attacks on churches in France by the Usual Suspects? If the latter, the authorities will try very hard to keep it under wraps”. And he had a coda to add. “Whoever did it, there can be no denying that Diversity will help Paris & France pull through. #sograteful for all the #enrichment”.
The far right never lets a tragedy go to waste. They are beyond sick and twisted.
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The irony is, of course, that the biggest smiles on faces when a tragedy occurs is to be found on those of the far right trolls who wet their pants in glee at the mere thought that it might be a Muslim 'wot dun it'. Prison Plonker and Hatie Katie will no doubt have punched the air with joy when the news broke - they can claim victory if a Muslim had started the fire, or claim a cover up if one didn't.
Old buildings are damaged by fire all the time. They are prone to it. Sad that these nasty conspiracies crop up after such events. Doesn't help anyone.
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