Friday, February 17, 2006

all morons left or right bashing islam over protests: sorry, no love

[Follow-up, 19/02/2006: The genuinely violent and murderous rioting in Nigeria, which involved violence by the protesters, including the death by immolation of a Christian victim, appears to have been mainly over the rumor that born-again Christian president Olusegun Obasanjo would violate Nigerian law and run for a third term. While religious strife plays a part in Nigeria, the main causes of civil violence there are tribal politics and corruption. Hence, the Western media and anti-democratic rightists like Michelle Malkin are wrong to call this "cartoon rioting" when it was not, mainly. On the other hand, many Moslem groups have called for censorship laws in Denmark which the Danish government should resist completely, and that is, indeed, a call for censorship, and to the degree that they tie it to violent protests, it's calling for the heckler's or mob veto on free speech. None of this weakens the thrust of my argument by very much. As someone who reads and speaks Danish, I follow Danish media a bit, and I have to say, while most people like me read things like Politiken, not tabloids like Ekstra Bladet or Washington Timesian pseudopapers like Jyllands-Posten (ironically, all 3 now owned by the same company!) I haven't certainly read enough of Jyllandsposten to find editorials against free speech, but in its earliest incarnation it supported Mussolini's clamp-down and the Kristallnacht against Jewish businesses and homes.]

On this, the World Socialist Web Site is the only place showing any signs of sanity.

You're siding with those US puppets and allies who SHOOT DOWN PROTESTERS and calling THAT freedom, and you're calling the protests and riots against racist propaganda from a pro-Nazi tabloid CENSORSHIP. Imperialism has warped your values that far. And that cultural rot is the main reason I am doing this weblog. Science fiction is simply a not-covered topic, but I'll have other analyses here - the cultural tropes that serve today's optimates are everywhere.

A campaign is emerging to depict Islam as an inferior culture that is incompatible with “Western values.” There are clear parallels here to the anti-Semitic caricatures that were spread in the 1930s by fascist newspapers such as the Nazi Stürmer. The depiction of Jews as sub-humans served as the ideological preparation for the Holocaust.

Today the systematic defamation of Muslims is being used to prepare public opinion for new wars against countries such as Iran and Syria—wars which will be even more brutal than the Iraq war, and could well involve the use of nuclear weapons.

It is no coincidence that it was the Jyllands-Posten that took up this initiative. The newspaper is notorious for its declarations of support for the Nazis in the 1930s, and has played a key role in Denmark’s recent shift to the right.

With editorial offices in the rural area of Arhus, Jyllands-Posten remained a relatively insignificant provincial newspaper until the beginning of the 1980s. At that time it began an aggressive policy of expansion. It bought up smaller regional and local newspapers and launched a price war with the two established newspapers in the Danish capital—Berlingske Tidende and Politiken—and rapidly built up its circulation to 170,000, becoming the biggest circulation newspaper in the country.

In the 1990s the decidedly conservative paper increasingly developed into a mouthpiece for openly xenophobic, right-wing forces. Nearly a quarter of the editorial board was dismissed, and the quality of the paper sank as its aggressiveness rose.

Shortly before the publication of the Muhammad cartoons, Jyllands-Posten ran a headline reading, “Islam is the Most Belligerent.” The newspaper ran an exposé about an alleged Muslim death-list of Jewish names—until it emerged that the whole thing was a fabrication.

One year ago the editor-in-chief resigned because the newspaper carried a report, in the midst of an election campaign, alleging the systematic abuse of welfare rights by asylum-seekers. The sensational charges were published against his will

It is noteworthy that those who have rallied to the defense of the right-wing anti-immigrant newspaper in Denmark that first published the racist cartoons have had little to say about the violence of repressive governments across the Middle East against their own people registering outrage over the widely disseminated insult to their religion.

These ostensible defenders of press freedom instinctively sympathize with the regime of Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan, which “defended freedom” by shooting down seven demonstrators. Other deaths were reported in Lebanon, Turkey and Somalia. All but one of those killed were Muslim protesters.

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