Why we have to take action

February 7, 2006 at 6:22 am | Posted in Taking Action | Leave a comment

The cartoon issue continues to take the lead in the news. The best reporting I have seen is at the BBC, including an article which emphasized this:

The propaganda factor

One aspect that these governments might also want to examine is how they can counter false information.

Twelve cartoons were originally published by Jyllands-Posten. None showed the Prophet with the face of a pig. Yet such a portrayal has circulated in the Middle East (The BBC was caught out and for a time showed film of this in Gaza without realizing it was not one of the 12).

The finger of suspicion has been pointed at a delegation of Danish Muslim leaders who went to the Middle East in November to publicise the cartoons. The visit was organised by Abu Laban, a leading Muslim figure in Denmark.

According to the Danish paper Ekstra Bladet, the delegation took along a pamphlet showing the 12 drawings. But the delegation also showed a number of other pictures which they claimed had insulted Muslims in Denmark. These also got into circulation.

Western diplomats appear to have missed this entirely and seem to have made no attempt to counter some of the arguments in the pamphlet or to distinguish between the various portrayals.

It might not have made much difference but it shows how rapidly propaganda can add to fuel to the fire.

How rapidly propaganda can add fuel to the fire. That is why we have to continue to take action. Free speech is a right, an unalienable right. But we have the right and the responsibility to respond to abuses of this right – abuses by people who spread false information, who exaggerate, or present only one side of a story. And we need to ensure that companies that control the distribution of information – increasingly the Googles, Yahoos, MSNs of the world, do not support and promote those who would add fuel to the fire.

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Responsibility

February 6, 2006 at 11:07 pm | Posted in Hypocracy unmasked | 2 Comments

The newspaper that published the cartoons insulting and mocking the Prophet Muhammad has been defended by ardent supporters of free speech and free press.

But what if the newspaper, instead of being a showcase, was really a disingenuous, irresponsible, and two-faced media outlet instead? Would people still support them?

We’ll soon see. Because the following has emerged (via The Daily Background, via Technorati):

Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad that have caused a storm of protest throughout the Islamic world, refused to run drawings lampooning Jesus Christ, it has emerged today.The Danish daily turned down the cartoons of Christ three years ago, on the grounds that they could be offensive to readers and were not funny.

In April 2003, Danish illustrator Christoffer Zieler submitted a series of unsolicited cartoons dealing with the resurrection of Christ to Jyllands-Posten. Zieler received an email back from the paper’s Sunday editor, Jens Kaiser, which said: “I don’t think Jyllands-Posten’s readers will enjoy the drawings. As a matter of fact, I think that they will provoke an outcry. Therefore, I will not use them.”

Now I actually think this was the right decision for a mainstream newspaper. But surely Muslims in Denmark, and around the world, deserve the same respect? Rather than depicting their Prophet as a murderer, a terrorist?

Of course, any violence towards any of these folks is deplorable. But while we rightly condemn the violence, we should also condemn the irresponsibility that leads to it.

JihadWatch prepares the ground for ethnic cleansing

February 6, 2006 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Hating Hate, Hypocracy unmasked, Taking Action | 3 Comments

From Watching JihadWatch:

Rarely does hatred manifest itself in such clear forms, particularly in our country. But leave it to JihadWatch Board Vice President “Hugh Fitzgerald”:

1) ending Muslim migration to Infidel lands, which Muslims consider Dar al-Harb, and thus they are settling behind what they regard as enemy lines. An ending of migration would also signal to Muslims already present that the tolerance for outright disloyalty to the Infidel nation-state has come to an end, and that removal of threats to the way of life and physical security of those Infidels whose countries, after all, are not simply open to all who feel like coming, no matter what their attitudes, or how unlikely it is that they will ever fully accept the legitimacy of the Infidel nation-state and the laws, customs, manners of the locals, will now be routine, rather than extraordinary. This should cause some to change their ways, and lessen their aggression; others to move back to Muslim lands. And the ground will have been prepared for further measures, should those prove necessary — of the kind the Czechs thought necessary in 1946, in dealing with the Sudeten Germans.

Wait a minute? Catch that last part? Let me repeat it:

And the ground will have been prepared for further measures, should those prove necessary — of the kind the Czechs thought necessary in 1946, in dealing with the Sudeten Germans.

For the historically challenged, here is what Wikipedia says happened in 1946 to the Sudeten Germans:

From 1945 to 1948 the Sudetenland was cleansed of ethnic Germans … About 3 million Germans, almost the entire German minority of pre-War Czechoslovakia, were expelled to Germany and Austria. As a consequence, 15 000 – 30 000 (according to the official German-Czech Committee of Historians) Germans were killed or otherwise died.

Get that? Ethnic cleansing. Which, for those not in the know, is defined by Wikipedia as:

a euphemism used to refer to various policies of forcibly removing people of one ethnic group. At one end of the spectrum, it is virtually indistinguishable from forced emigration and population transfer, while at the other it merges with deportation and genocide. … A similar term with the same intent was used by the Nazi administration in Germany under Adolf Hitler. … Ethnic cleansing is designated a crime against humanity in international treaties.

ROBERT SPENCER – will you now disassociate yourself and JihadWatch from “Hugh”? A person who has, on your own website and while an officer of JihadWatch, called for crimes against humanity, for population transfer, deportation, genocide against Muslims? I expect the answer is no. And that should be enough to prove the case. JihadWatch is not worth the electrons it is published with. It is a un-American hate site, no more, no less, preparing the ground for the ethnic cleansing of Muslims.

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