The Sun reports that former Liverpool and Aston Villa striker Stan Collymore will not be offering his pundity to BT Sport’s Glasgow Rangers match. He doesn’t like the songs the fans sing. At which point any self-respecting Rangers fan will sing them louder. And fans of other clubs – and that includes Glasgow Celtic – should support them.
Collymore says he was “taken off the show”. The Sun says BT says it was Collymore’s choice:
The outspoken commentator had demanded Rangers are pulled off the television if their fans continue to sing sectarian songs. After announcing the news on the internet, Collymore became locked in a fiery online exchange with some sports fans, many of whom brought up his violent past and domestic violence.
It had been triggered after Collymore backed a petition which said: “Boycott sponsors Sectarian chanting is illegal. Demeaning.”
It’s illegal to because Scotland has criminalised words. The Scottish government made a link between words and deeds. It made them the same thing.
As ever, football is the testing ground for new forms of crowd control. Sit down. Shut up. Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. Do as you’re told. Be silent for the full minute. Wait behind that line in the street until the police tell you to go. Take this train not that one. Don’t go to the town centre. Be tolerant. Do what the people on top tell you to. They know best. They know you as the working-class scum you are, race-rioters-in-wating and in need of a moral re-education.
Do civil liberties group gets angy at football fans being kettled and searched, their movements impeded on a sus? Do they decry bans on song that link to a culture? No. Because football fans are the lowest of the low.
Love the game. Hate the people who watch it.
And what the State first tests on these scummy knuckle-draggers it will be using on you, the morally right, next.
And the terrifying thing is that a journalist, which Stan Collymore is, is championing the laws that curtail free speech.
“We did not agree with the nature of the debate on twitter, and which BT Sport was brought into without prior agreement. BT Sport will raise and discuss the issue within its programming when relevant and in an appropriate manner.”
“Just had a call from @btsportfootball. I’m taken off the show. Absolutely fine. Better to be right than bury my head. Enjoy! I can hold my head high and say i did the right thing to challenge hypocrisy amongst Rangers fans. BT show #RFC games, so inevitable.”
The entire campaign is this. It’s under the assumed name ‘John Smith’:
He tweeted: ” As I said a couple of weeks ago, Rangers and Chelsea, aka ‘The Blues Brothers’, made for each other. Quelle surprise.#NF #BNP #C18.”
A petition has since been signed by over 2,500 people calling for the BT Sport football analyst to be ditched.
It says: “Slurring Rangers and Chelsea like this as right-wing extremists is below the belt and unacceptable.”
Collymore added on twitter:
“Rangers fans, keep up the slurs. I’m exercising my British rights of speech within the law. That my Grandfather fought for.”
As are they.
“‘We’re up to our knees in Fenian blood’. Grand hypocrisy and not a ‘small minority’. Tell sponsors and TV. We can all play the petition game. Please sign my petition asking all sponsors and broadcasters to boycott #RFC games as ‘Up to our knees in Fenian Blood’ isn’t acceptable. Rangers fans fiercely support traditional British values of freedom of speech. Until it’s their hypocrisy exposed.”
Celtic’s Green Brigade are not hooligans, Headhunters or ICF. But they are in breech of the Offensive Behaviour Act:
The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 was passed by the Scottish Parliament on 14th December 2011 and will be enacted on 1st March 2012. The Act criminalises behaviour which is threatening, hateful or otherwise offensive at a regulated football match including offensive singing or chanting. It also criminalises the communication of threats of serious violence and threats intended to incite religious hatred, whether sent through the post or posted on the internet. The Act will only criminalise behaviour likely to lead to public disorder which expresses or incites hatred, is threatening or is otherwise offensive to a reasonable person.
Offensive singing at the ground is banned. But whose offended? The Act then tells us:
The offence will NOT:
Stop peaceful preaching or proselytising. Restrict freedom of speechincluding the right to criticise or comment on religion or non-religious beliefs, even in harsh terms.
Criminalise jokes and satire about religion or non-religious belief.
But it does restrict free speech. That is one of thing it does most definitely do.
The Green Brigade are being harassed, as they claim, for singing songs the rule makers don’t like. They are the wrong songs. If you sing any “wrong” song at a Scottish football ground you can be arrested. Given that the aim of songs is to either to a) rouse your team; b) do down the opposition, roughly half of all football songs could cause offence to the listener across the park.
But what if your club is rooted in politics?What if the songs are part of your identity, the link between the club and it’s supporters and area?
What if you’re not singing about the SNP and Flower of Scotland but are a Rangers of Celtic fan singing ‘The Boys of the Old Brigade’ or ‘Rule Britannia’? Whatb if you’re a Spurs fan rejoicing in being part of the “Yid Army”?
What if the history of the club is entwined with the fight against anti-Semitism or the Irish fight against British rule and militarism in Ireland? As Kevin Rooney notes:
The sod of turf that sits in the centre circle of Celtic Park was planted by Michael Davitt, himself a famous Irish Republican activist who fought against British rule in Ireland.
Celtic fans have been castigated for singing Republican songs in commemoration of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands – a man the fans consider to be a freedom fighter yet who is labelled a terrorist by the Scottish authorities. The banners aboves run into a message:
“The terrorist or the dreamer; the savage or the brave? Depends whose vote you’re trying to catch, or whose face you’re trying to save”
In response of orders for them to take it down, the Green Brigade said:
“Ultimately, due to the subjective nature of what anyone may deem offensive, it is both dangerous and absurd to create a law based upon offensiveness.”
Brilliant. And witty. You can stick your commitment to tolerance if it means banning free speech. Celtic’s fans will sing what they want to. And anyone who values free speech should join in.
For more than 80 years the poppy and football were separate. Now, when the football authorities decide to mix politics with football, those fans who object are vilified and banned. Anyone who cares about civil liberties and freedom of speech should be extremely alarmed by the attack on both by those running football in Scotland.
Real sectarianism is largely a thing of the past. Yet, the elite like to keep it alive. It serves a purpose. It means the elite can connect to the populace around a common ill.
Banning the bad words and songs will, they say, make peopls more civil and moral. But such draconian rules represent the very opposite. They represent intolerance. And to anyone who values free speech these laws also represent not the chance to nark on a fan or call for a ban; they represent an assault on freedom. And where the football fans goes first, the rest of society follows.
As he rode the Paris Metro for Chelsea FC’s Champions’ League match, Josh Parsons, 21, was just one of the fans on a night out. Then it happened. A black man named Souleymane S tried to board the train. A few Chelsea fans blocked his path. A few Chelsea fans sang “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it.” This small moment was captured on camera. The mainstream media picked up the video. And very quickly the shaven-headed and white the fans quickly became the eptiome of racism.
David Cameron said it was “extremely disturbing and very worrying”. In his mind, a nasty moment between a handful of people demanded language more apt for an ISIS snuff movie. Feelings were hurt. Idiots had been caught behaving sadly. But the elite in Westminster and what used to be Fleet Street wanted more. They held the video up as being a sign of much greater ills. And once again football – the great meriticratic melting pot watched by scum fans – was in the dock.
The great moralisers could now bind the nation behind a common enemy. The Chelsea boot boys had heaped shame upon us all. Lessons must be learned. Hang the fact that no-one was physically hurt, that real racism pervades society not from the bottom up, but from the top down: count the number of black faces editing national newspapers; sat on the front benches in Parliament; captaining industry; running the police; owning football clubs or race horses; riding race horses; owning land; dining with the Dons at Oxford; and, well, you name it.
The elite like their racists white, preferably working class and always obvious.
David Cameron should not lamabaste the Chelsea goons – he should write them thank you letters.
And in the centre of this State-led mob justice is Josh Parsons. He could not have realised that his choice to ride that carriage would have an impact on his life. But it soon did.
The Sun led with a picture of Parsons. He wasn’t pictured chanting, shoving or doing anything other than looking. Alongside the photo of him on the Metro, the Sun thought it wise to feature a thumbnail of Parsons open-mouthed – as if chanting – and apparently shirtless. What a hooligan, eh. But Josh Parsons wasn’t undresed or behaving like that on the Paris Metro.
But never mind the facts. The Sun had its target.
And we can have Parsons.
In the race to condemn even the most basic of facts is confused
Parsons, we are told, lives in Dorking, Surrey. (The Times shows us photo of his home.) He is an ex-public schoolboy. On Page 5, the Sun says that the “VILE CHELSEA RACE YOBS” are the subject of an “international hunt”, you know like the White Widow or jihadis are.
And this is because, in the words of the man who filmed the fracas, Chelsea fans were “getting quite agressive”. Mitchell McCoy, who was on the carriage, says the man barred from boarding by the bouncers-on-tour was wearing a PSG scarf, the colours of the club Chelsea were playing. The chant, of course, suggests more sinister motives at play.
We then get more on Parsons. He is a “City high-flyer”. He studied at “30,000-a-year” Millfield school. He works for the Business and Commercial Club in Mayfair. And in case you still can’t find him, the Sun says that Mayfair is in Central London.
Grab your torches! Saddle up! Let’s roll!
And it gets worse.
One day on and the Daily Star leads with Josh Parsons. Three Chelsea fans have been suspended from watching football at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s ground. Parsons isn’t one of them.
And then it gets really odd. The Star tells readers:
“Meanwhile, seson ticket holder Josh Parsons, 21, one of those filmed, is a UKIP supporter who enjoyed a pint with Nigel Farage”.
The Star likes UKIP and its leader, or “UKIP NIGE”, as they dub him. (The Star once supported the EDL.)
Inside the paper, we hear from Parsons’ boss, Miranda Khadr:
“He is very scared and he called me to say he is not coming in today.”
It’s worth pausing to note that Josh Parsons has commited no crime. In a hideous twisting of facts and prejudices, the story of a man barred from riding the Paris Metro has become the story of a man too scared to leave his house. Who needs a Twitter mob when you have the Press to monster you?
And he is being monstered.
The Guardian makes a declaration in the manner of a lawyer revealing his most damning piece of evidence to the jury:
Chelsea fan in Paris Métro video posed in picture with Nigel Farage
To the righteous, that’s enough to bury him.
A mere nine paragraphs into its diatribe, the Guardian thinks it fair to note:
Wearing a black hooded jacket, Parsons can be seen in the Paris video after those around him appear to have chanted: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it.” It is unclear from the video whether Parsons was among those chanting or remonstrating with a black commuter, who had been earlier pushed from a carriage.
The Times leads with that picture of Josh Parsons and Farage. The word “racism” hangs like dripping poison beneath the photo.
This time, Farage is no “Nige”. He’s the face of Channel 4’s dire docudrama UKIP: The First 100 Days, the show that imagined what the country would be like if UKIP won the Election. For those of you who missed it, the upshot is that life would be awful. It would like living in a carriage with Chelsea fans.
And with that Parsons is no longer a football fan on the train, he’s a chimera of UKIP’s middle-class, petit-bourgeois supporters and knuckle-dragging white racists. He’s the embodiment of everything we are told to fear and despise. He ticks every box.
Football fan: Yes.
UKIP supporter: Yes.
Been seen with a St George flag: Yes.
Josh Parsons has become something less than human, a vulgar symbol of everrything the bien pensant love to hate.
The Times picks up its sledgehammer to crack the bad egg. With no proof Parsons has broken a law, the Times investigates his mind. It says Parsons was “banned from playing in a football match when he attended the £30,00-a-year Millfield School in Somerset for after sending an allegedly racist tweet about a black referee.”
Did he? It doesn’t matter.
Like anyone sane, we realise that if the sins of the teenage berk are to used to explain the man, well, we could all be shafted.
We’re told that Parsons “smashed plates” when Chelsea lost a match. He and his brother – get this – Beno (!) “left you with no illusions looking at their social meda that they were a) Chelsea fans and b) UKIP supporters.”
Last time we looked neither hobby was illegal.
But it might as well be. Because alongside a picture of Parsons and news that he is being “probed” by his employers, we hear Souleymane (who says he was on his way home) say “LOCK ‘EM UP.”
We also note that the victim says, “No other passengers defended me, but what could anyone do? When the train left I waited for the next train.”
What could Parsons have done?
You might be now be wondering what Josh Parsons did to becomes public enemy Number 1 and live in fear?
And the simple asnwer is nothing. The more complex answer is that he offended the knowing and right-thinking, who look around for offence as a way of explaining themselves, seeking a salve to their own vanities and a mirror to show that how they live and the decisions they make are the right ones.
If you want to spot real, censorious, bigoted scumbags. There you go.
A man has been barred from riding the Paris Metro by a gaggle of Cheslea fans. The episode is caught on video. The Chelsea fans are white. The man trying to board the train is black. Some Chelsea fans sing about being racist and enjoying it.
And – kaboom! – a small, nasty incident in a foreign city becomes a huge deal. The elite wade in.
The Sun leads with the news:
On Page 5, readers are ordered to “FIND PIGS OF PARIS”. The Sun says “an international hunt” is under way for the dicks who sang “We’re racist and that’s the way we like it” and giving full throat to the refrain “Where were you in World War 2?”
Can we talk about Jews? Can we look at who hates them most? It’s a contest between the far-right, the far-left, Church of England vicars, priests and Muslims.
Karen Armstrong, once a nun and the “respected author of bestsellers like A History of God and The Case for God, answers the question whether religion is the principal cause of violence”. A few choice cuts from her interview with Nieuwwij.nl cause eyebrows to be raised:
“Terrorism has nothing to do with Muhammad, any more than the Crusades had anything to do with Jesus. There is nothing in the Islam that is more violent than Christianity. All religions have been violent, including Christianity. There was nothing in the Muslim world like antisemitism.”
“The supermarket attack in Paris was about Palestine, about Isis. It had nothing to do with antisemitism…”
The tabloid story of Devinder Kainth, Sandro Rottman and not Katie Price nor Princess Beatrice in Sotogrande.
By now you’ll be wondering what Katie Price has been up to. How are the kids and her husband-of-the-moment? Today brings new front page of Katie Price news. In “STAR’S LINK TO PERV” (Sun) and “Katie Price link to the German paedo” (Star) the tabloids lead with photos of Price and Sandro Rottman, a 43-year-old who had the misfortune to be killed in a Spanish eatery.
In 2009, the “killed perv” met Price in Sotogrande, the sprawling golfer holding bay on the Costa del Sol. Both newspapers have a photo of Price posing with Rottman, who very soon after the headlines becomes a “suspected paedophile” (Sun) and “peadophile in inverted commas (Star)
Rottman was arrested in January for allegedly possessing child pornography. He never stood trial.
Price only met him a couple of times when she visited Sotogrande.
And if it is the celebrity angle you crave in this story of brutality and allged child abuse then the Telegraph chimes in with:
Sotogrande is an upmarket resort and has been a favourite of Sarah Ferguson and her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie
Like Price and her children, the princesses never met Rottman.
The Star ups Rottman’s notoriety a notch by saying he “allegedly roamed the Costa del Sol taking snaps of children leading him to being banned from bars in Stotgtande”.
Did it. There is no proof that any bar bans were based on his alleged deviant behaviour.
What he definitely is is dead, having been “attacked by Brit dad Devinder Kainth, 40” (Sun), who, reportedly, spotted Rottman taking photos of his three children, found more snapshots on the German’s ipad and, allegedly, punched him hard enough to kill him.
The Daily Mail ignores the Sun’s empathetic “Brit dad” and labels Kaith: “Fitness fanatic with matching Range Rovers and blonde bombshell girlfriend held over killing.” Readers are told:
Yesterday, details emerged of the attack on Saturday night. The owner of the Spinnaker restaurant told the Mail: ‘After an afternoon of friendly chatter, the British man suddenly told his family to leave.
‘Devinder looked at Sandro’s iPad and found pictures of his family which had been taken earlier that evening. He was shouting: “Why have you taken these?” Suddenly he told his family to get out of the bar. Five seconds later he hit Sandro so hard he fell to the floor. I think this knocked him out, or at least dazed him.
‘Then Devinder went crazy and started hitting Sandro. He must have hit him at least 20 times in the face and head. [Sandro] had blood gurgling from his mouth. He was choking and struggling to breathe. He also had a big lump on the side of his head – no other visible cuts – just this big lump. Then he was unconscious like he was in a coma. The waitress started screaming for help. We were all shaking and trembling. When [Devinder] ran out of energy, he calmly got up and walked out the door.’
That is eqiuipped with a photo of Devinder’s lover, the “blonde head turner” Gemma Hawkins and couple’s three children, who appear without faces:
Rottman is said to have once been so drunk he fell into the sea and had to be rescued. He limped and is said to have been treated for a liver problem.
Kainth is a gym fanatic who worked out on most days and did gruelling Crossfit classes. He has a three-bedroom house in the area and once owned a supermarket in nearby Casares, but it has closed, sources said.
A neighbour said: ‘The last time I saw him and his partner here was last August. They had an argument round the pool one day. I couldn’t understand what they were saying but he seemed very aggressive. His girlfriend left in tears and started throwing his clothes out of the window.’
But the Mirror has heard enough. It picks a side, leading with the headline:
Kainth Davinder: Chilling photograph shows suspected paedophile ‘killed by British millionaire dad’ holding young child at pool
We don’t know the identity of the child with Rottman in the July 2013 photo. And because Rottman never was vonvicted of being a paedo, we can conclude that the snapshot is only chilling if you belive he was a danger to the public. You might be more chilled by the thought of having your dinner interrupted by a man being beaten to death at another table.
The Indy sees the same photos taken from Rottman’s twiter account and notes:
Mr Rottman, who was a web designer, recently posted a photo on Twitter of himself at the exclusive resort of El Octogono Beach Club in Sotogrande, holding a young child. He wrote: ‘Just finished a day with the most beautiful girl in the Beach Club of Sotogrande. Hope one day I will have one my own.’
He has other photos, too, like these:
Kermit and the fragrant beauties have yet to tell all.
But Devinder Kainth will go his talking in court. He’s been charged with homicide.
Few of us in the UK had heard of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical French magazine, before so many of its staff were murdered by Islamists. David Cameron announced on Twitter that he was joining that ‘unity’ rally in Paris “to celebrate the values of Charlie Hebdo“.
Everyone was for free speech and a free Press. The French so love it their creepy sounding Minister of Culture hands state subsidies to French newspapers. With money comes control.
France’s two most prestigious newspapers, “Le Monde” and “Le Figaro”, received more than €16 million in government subsidies each… The catholic newspaper “La Croix” got over €10 million while the communist “L’Humanité” received almost €7 million in public subsidies, the Ministry’s website shows…
The regional daily “Ouest France” follows close behind Le Monde and Le Figaro on the on the list, receiving over €10.4 million in 2013…France’s press sector also benefits from a low 2.1% rate of VAT. In addition, French journalists enjoy advantageous tax privileges which are supposed to compensate for professional expenses… [full list here].
That freedom of the press looks a lot like state control.
Add to that the assaults on free speech on univerity campuses, the attempt to shut down debate on global warming, no debate on gay marriage and – well, you name it – and you wonder what Cameroa and every other leader who declared they are Charlie Hebdo thought they were supporting.
And so to the news that Wiltshire Police “have apologised after an officer visited a newsagent requesting details of customers who bought French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the Paris massacre”.
MEASLES are back. And that’s cool. Measles is the hipster disease.
The great thing about measles is that they are FREE! But even then some mums and dads are too uptight to get with the cool.
But in Melanie’s Marvelous Measles these stiffs can get down (six feet under -ed). The books costs. But it is worth it?
The author/publisher writes on Amazon:
“Melanie’s Marvelous Measles was written to educate children on the benefits of having measles and how you can heal from them naturally and successfully. Often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialized countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body. Having raised three children vaccine-free and childhood disease-free, I have experienced many times when my children’s vaccinated peers succumb to the childhood diseases they were vaccinated against. Surprisingly, there were times when my unvaccinated children were blamed for their peers’ sickness. Something which is just not possible when they didn’t have the diseases at all. Stephanie Messenger lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, and devotes her life to educating people about vaccine dangers and supporting families in their natural health choices. She has the support of many natural therapists and natural-minded doctors.”
This book takes children aged 4 – 10 years on a journey of discovering about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations, while teaching them to embrace childhood disease, heal if they get a disease, and build their immune systems naturally.
Readers on Amazon love it!
Buy now and buy only ONCE!
And don’t forget to rub it all over youir infected kid before passing it on!
Note: She also wrote this:
Sarah Visits a Naturopath
A children’s storybook written by Stephanie Messenger
This book exposes children aged 4 – 10 years, to the idea that they create most of their ill health by the choices they make. It encourages them to listen to the messages their bodies give them. Sarah visits a naturopath to get advice on staying well according to nature’s laws.
Remember when Tony Blair took the country to war in the Balkans? Just as in Iraq, this too was a moral crusade to spare the world from evil. Britain’s part in the Blakans war chimed with Tony Blair’s aim to give the country a unifying identity based on sound morals. In 1999, the then Prime Minister opined:
‘We need to find a new national moral purpose for this new generation. People want to live in a society that is without prejudice, but is with rules. Government can play its part, but parents have to play their part. There’s got to be a partnership between Government and the country to lay the foundations of that moral purpose.’
Blair was talking abour the young and pregnant, who needed to be made aware that their choices were morally wrong. But he could have easily been talking about Iraq and the Balkans. Blair was hawkish on war against the Serbs and their leader Slobodan Milošević.
Blair explained why?
There were big strategic interests that would have justified intervention in their own right. But I felt that this was the closest thing to racial genocide that I’ve seen in Europe since the Second World War. I didn’t feel that we could simply stand aside from that if we had the means, which we did, to intervene and to stop it.
(Clockwise from top left) Mohsin Khan, 21, Razwan Razaq, 30, Adil Hussain, 20, Zafran Ramzan, 21, and Umar Razaq, 24, from Rotherham
PC Hassan Ali was killed crossing a Road in Sheffield. He was stuck by a blue Vauxhall Corsa on January 28. PC Hassan Ali served with South Yorkshire Police as neighbourhood policing officer based in Rotherham. He had 18 years service with the force.
He wasn’t on duty at the time of his death. We can’t be certain what was going through Mr Hasan’s mind before he was killed. But this Sky News headline encourages us to guess:
Rotherham Abuse Scandal Policeman Dies
That is followed by:
The death of PC Hassan Ali, who was reportedly being investigated by the police watchdog, is not being treated as suspicious.
South Yorkshire Police said Pc H assan Ali, 44, died today after he was involved in a collision in Sheffield last month when was off-duty. It is understood that complaints had been made about Pc Ali which related to the scandal involving the sexual exploitation of children in Rotherham and he was under investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
Are all students rapsits and absuers-in-waiting? Spiked reports that 26 British univestities banned the Sun and the Daily Star as part of the ‘No More Page 3 campaign’; 21 student unions forbid the student body from listening to Robin Thicke song Blurred Lines on campus; Bristol University’s student union banned sales of Charlie Hebdo – the magazine that became the totem of free speech was banned because it would fail the college’s ‘safe space’ policy.
Eighteen per cent of unions have “safe space” policies, protecting students from material deemed offensive, and more than two-thirds of these were judged to place significant restrictions on freedom of speech.
Sheffield Student Union banned Eminem. Students at Oxford Univesity banned a debate on abortion. The UCL Student Union banned the college’s Nietzsche Club. King’s College Students banned Israel. The University of East Anglia Students banned a UKIP MP. The NUS banned free Speech and refsued to condemn for fear of looking Islamophobic. And our favourite was the London School of Economics, which banned T-shirts.
The assumption is that allowing anything that a loon or agenda-driven censor could decry as ‘racist’, ‘sexist’ or ‘homophobic’ would trigger race riots and convince slack-jawed male students that women’s rights, equality and debate are wrong.
It also assumes that the colleges will be complicit in any resulting crimes, having failed to police free thought they will make victims less aware of the perils to their physical and mental wellbeing. Student are no longer adults with free thhought and passionate ideas. They are idiots how must be coddled.
For the past several years, activists have been telling us that any suggestion relating to protecting oneself from becoming a victim is victim-blaming. Tell a woman not to walk down dark alleys at night, and you’re essentially telling her that it’s her fault if she ends up being assaulted, robbed or murdered.
But now, outright bans on risky behavior — all in the interest of protecting women — are suddenly coming back into fashion.
First, sorority women at the University of Virginia were banned from attending parties with boys this weekend by their own National Panhellenic Conference. The reason for the ban, which carries undisclosed sanctions if broken, was “safety concerns,” due to sexual assault allegations in the past.
The message is clear: Keep women from partying and they won’t be sexually assaulted.
How is that not victim blaming?
As if the U.Va. ban wasn’t bad enough (it was based off of a discredited rape allegation in Rolling Stone, after all), Dartmouth has decided to ban hard liquor on campus — in part to cut down on sexual assaults.
It was just last year that telling women not to drink so much was considered victim blaming, but now it’s okay?
We seem to be going back in time; telling women where they can go, whom they can associate with — even what they can drink. At least it’s all in the name of protecting us poor, fragile ladies, am I right?
Anorak has employed journalists for over 15 years. And not one – not one – has been a union member. Why not? The Washington Post’sLydia DePillis knows:
There are two fundamental forces at work here: One is the loss of leverage, with more aspiring journalists than there are jobs and an environment in which content is becoming increasingly commoditized. The other is a shift in identity, with a generation of younger workers less familiar with unions who’ve built personal brands that they can transfer to other media companies.
But those other media companies don’t pay all that well. And they are desperate. The Daily Telegraph, for instance, used to be a venerable institution. It’s not any longer. These are, at the time of writing, the ‘Most Viewed’ stories on the Telegraph‘s website:
Does any budding journalist still dream of writing for the Telegraph?
The Times‘ “Environment Editor” wants to tell Times readers about religious slaughter of animals. You might think this a religious matter, a story based on Jewish and Muslim covenants with God. But it’s not. It’s about welfare and civilised forms of animal slaughter. It’s about making our country’s environment better. Just as the calls to ban circumcision are not an attack on Judaism or Islam but a sane move to end barbarism. It’s all about being better human beings. Got it?
Then a court in Cologne, Germany, came for the circumcisisors, “to respect fundamental rights of children”. Sure Genesis says: “And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you.” But the Council of Europe says cicumcision is“a violation of the physical integrity of children”. It says all 47 nations in the Council’s zone will “initiate a public debate, including intercultural and interreligious dialogue, aimed at reaching a large consensus on the rights of children to protection against violations of their physical integrity according to human rights standards”. Member states should “adopt specific legal provisions to ensure that certain operations and practices will not be carried out before a child is old enough to be consulted”.
No snips. No Jews. Sever the link between parents and child. Your God is dead.
Did the court know that circumcision is the most ancient ritual in the history of Judaism, dating back almost 4,000 years to the days of Abraham? Did it know that Spinoza, not religious but together with John Locke the father of European liberalism, wrote that brit mila in and of itself had the power to sustain Jewish identity through the centuries? Did it know that banning mila was the route chosen by two of the worst enemies the Jewish people ever had, the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV and the Roman emperor Hadrian, both of whom set out to extinguish not only Jews but also Judaism? Either the court knew these things or it did not. If it did not, then how was it competent to assess the claim of religious liberty? If it did, then there are judges in Germany quite willing to say to religious Jews, in effect, “If you don’t like it, leave.”
Because human spiritualism takes second place to the feelings of a chicken reared for food. Because adults and parents are not as important as the State’s children. One set of beliefs offends another.
But it is in no way racist of bigoted to single out the halal and kosher chickens; it’s an animal rights issue, dummy.
You ban circumcision not because you hate Jews and seek to undo what they believe to be part of an ancient agreement with God; you ban it because the kids are being abused. You look at the Muslim woman in their veil, portray her clothing as a stain on her human rights and you ban it.
Did the Dutch get it right when they banned kosher and halal meat? If these arcane Others will not yield to the culture of goodness, the trusty Dutch will force them to, it being what the dumb animals deserve. It’s not racist. It’s not intolerant. It’s just, you know, correct.
In the film Der ewige Jude (The Eternal Jew), the Nazis portray Jews as rejoicing in the suffering of animals. They were not “civislied Europeans”. They did love the cow and the hen like noble Germans. It’s not racism – it’s just doing what’s right and decent.
The Times then trails its story like this:
Muslims calls? Muslim demands are leading to more unstunned animals being killed for meat? It’s an odd headline.
Online readers then get this news of “lambs to slaughter”:
The image is very much that these religious methods are cruel and wrong. And, don’t forget, it’s an environmental issue. Adelaide surgeon Dr Paul Cowie once championed a new environmentalist cause:
We will save many litres of water if more men were circumcised because there would be less fiddling in the shower to keep it clean.
Stop the Jew and the Muslim and save the children, the animals and the planet.
The Times goes on:
The number of animals killed in halal abattoirs without being stunned first has soared because of campaigning by Muslims for traditional methods of slaughter. Halal and kosher abattoirs cut the throats of 2.4 million sheep and goats without stunning in the latest recorded year, an increase of 60 per cent, according to the British Veterinary Association’s analysis of surveys by the Food Standards Agency.
The agency found that, in halal premises, 37 per cent of sheep and goats, 25 per cent of cattle and 16 per cent of poultry were killed without being stunned, a procedure that renders the animals insensitive to pain before they are slaughtered.
So they say…
Cattle take up to two minutes to lose consciousness after their throats are cut, meaning that they might experience pain for that period. Poultry can take two and half minutes or more to lose consciousness and sheep 20 seconds, according to the European Food Safety Authority’s scientific panel on animal health and welfare.
The increase has prompted leading vets to renew their call for an end to religious exemptions from animal welfare rules. John Blackwell, the BVA’s president, said that the practice “unnecessarily compromises animal welfare at the time of death”.
So says the vet. And then it gets really nasty:
In an interview with The Times last year he called for religious slaughter to be banned if Muslims and Jews refused to adopt a more humane method of killing.
End your traditions. Stop being a Jew and a Muslim. Be more humane. Be less barbaric.
The BVA’s petition on the government’s website calling for a ban on non-stun slaughter yesterday passed its goal of 100,000 signatures, which is the number which the government says may prompt a debate in the House of Commons.
Listen to the non-Jew and non-Muslim and become a better Jew or Muslim.
Mr Blackwell said that the response to the petition showed the strength of public opinion on the issue. “We urge the chairman of the backbench business committee to honour the epetition and pledge that an end to non-stun slaughter will be debated at the first opportunity in the next parliament,” he said.
If this does not strike you as wrong. If this does not strike you as intolerant, illiberal and an assault on Jews and Muslims. If you think the State knows better than ancient religions, parents and God. If you think that then you are a dangerous fool…
Ever eat at Noma, “the world’s best restaurant”. Noma’s based at the Oriantal Mandarin hotel in Tokyo, Japan:
We are delighted to announce that Noma at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo will be extended for two more weeks due to overwhelming demand. The world’s #1 restaurant will now be open from 9 January to 14 February 2015 except for Sundays.
This is a picture of one of the meals:
As you gastronauts pop along to the garden centre for a budget Noma experience, the few will be tucking into their table centrepieces :
Fixed Menu + Wine pairing: (40,200 Yen + 24,700 Yen)
Fixed Menu + Juice pairing: (40,200 Yen + 16,500 Yen)
Fixed Menu: (40,200 Yen, with an option to pay for wine or other beverages à la carte on the day)
Private Dining Room: our private dining room will have a maximum capacity of 10 guests and will also be offered a selection of the above menu options. Smaller parties are welcome to book the private dining room, however please note that there will be a minimum spend of 618,000 Yen.
Please note that all prices are subject to 8% consumption tax, 13% service charge. Prices above do not include the cost of aperitif, water, tea/coffee, or avec.
Avec! 40,200 Yen is around $350. The dishes looks sublime. These are on offer at Noma’s Denmark HQ:
Ingrid Marie and herbs
Reindeer moss and cep mushrooms
Blackcurrant and rose petals
Beef tartare and ants
Smoked and pickled quail egg
Cucumber and scallop fudge
White cabbage and samphire
Caramelized milk and monkfish liver
Sea urchin and duck
Æbleskiver with greens
Burnt onion and walnut oil
Squid and broccoli
Fennel and parsley
Langoustine and nasturtium
Radish and yeast
Pumpkin, kelp and beechnuts
Beetroot and plum
Sloe berries and aromatic herbs
Cured egg yolk, potato and rose oil
Roasted bone marrow
Cabbage and nasturtium flowers
Aronia berries and söl
Potato, plum and plum kernel
Anything stand out? The poor Ingrid Marie (lovely girl)? The moss? The live ants? And they’re on the menu in Tokyo, too:
Noma Tokyo’s tasting menu, which costs 149,500 yen ($1,265) for two people, has a showstopper opening course: jumbo shrimp, so recently killed that they are still twitching, served with about a dozen tiny black ants for seasoning.
The dish is a take on botan ebi, or shrimp sushi, with the ants providing “flavors of the Nagano forest.” Businessweek explains that the dish takes advantage “of the bugs’ natural reserves of formic acid, which can mimic the sourness of citrus.” A reviewer for the Japan Times said that the ants’ “little pinpricks of sharp acidity” are “a perfect accent for the sweet, pink flesh” of the shrimp.
Noma’s chef René Redzepi served ants over over cabbage leaves dressed with crème fraîche at his London eatery.
You might think the smarter set are being had, fed unseasoned cheap protein as a delicacy. But Matt ‘The Talc’, who has foraged at some of the pop-up mobile farm shops by London’s finesest restautants (you man bins? – ed) assures us that ants and moss have never done him any harm. But, then, he used to be the Emperor and before the charity shop gave him a dressing gown could be seen about town dressed in his wonderful suit of pure-spun gold.
After his arrest, detectives found 16,800 images and 72 videos of extreme pornography on his computer. Some of the images were doctored pictures of girls and women he knew, with ropes digitally drawn around their necks. He had penned up to 40 short stories with graphic descriptions of sexual violence against women and had also written a script detailing a girl’s murder.
Reynolds planned for murder:
After taking a series of innocent pictures of the teenager, Reynolds persuaded her to stand on the box with the rope around her neck. He then bound Georgia’s hands together before kicking the box away causing the pretty teenage RAF cadet to asphyxiate. After she died, Reynolds – who hoarded hardcore ‘snuff’ movies featuring sexual killings – stripped Georgia and abused her lifeless body.
The Mail’s reference to the victim’s look is absurd. The paper adds:
In court it emerges that Reynolds began hunting for clips of women being strangled six years before the attack. When he was arrested police found 16,800 images and 72 videos of extreme pornography on his computer.
Reynolds had previous. It emerged in court Reynolds was handed a police caution in 2008, aged 17, for trying to strangle another teenage girl.
The IPCC has announced that Devon and Cornwall Police are investigating West Mercia’s handling of the case.
But what about the porn? The Mail makes a link between it and Reynolds’ actions:
Lord Thomas, who threw out Reynolds’ appeal against his whole life term last year, said the case ‘left me in no doubt at all that the peddling of pornography on the internet had a dramatic effect on the individual’.
He added: ‘What is available to download and to see is simply horrific and it played a real part in the way in which this particular murder was carried out.’
The Mail then editorialises:
He told the Commons justice committee the crime in May 2013 had been influenced – and intensified – by pornography. It was hard to believe, he said, that Reynolds could have come up with his sickening plan without first reading about similar fantasies or offences online.
But he could have read books, magazines of even the Mail’s report on how he committed his crime:
He even set up a homemade gallows made from an upturned red recycling box beneath a rope which was attached to the loft hatch.
Got that? Ok, now away you go.
Jamie Reynolds is a depraved killer. He looked and hoarded repulsive images. So. Eveyrone who looks at such eimages must be suspected of being a killer-in-waiting. they are guilty in thought. And that goes for Daily Mail readers who can enjoy such stories as:
Jamie Reynolds didn’t just look at porn. He also made up stories. But can only killer be made to represent all of us? If you don’t trust humanity it can:
Michael Ellis, a barrister and Tory MP, said the Lord Chief Justice’s evidence was significant because judges knew better than almost anyone about the driving forces behind offences…
He added: ‘If the impression he has been left with, having dealt with some of the most serious cases, that extreme pornography is influencing some crimes, then I think that is very persuasive.’
It might be persuasive. But that doesn’t make it right. The Mail then adds:
In October 2012, Mark Bridger was jailed for a whole-life term after being found guilty of killing five-year-old April Jones a year earlier. He had searched for images of child abuse and rape.
And in May 2013, Stuart Hazell was jailed for murdering 12-year-old Tia Sharp after scouring the internet for vile child porn using terms such as ‘violent forced rape’ and ‘incest’.
The link between what you see and what you do is flimsy. Do video games make you violent? Did video nasties turn the sane into rapists and human flesh eaters? Those 1980s video nasties are now sold as classic movies. The logic that links viewing with doing is shaky.
In 1930 Sergei Eisenstein was bemused as to why the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) bbanned his Battleship Potemkin, appraising the censors:
“One of them is blind and probably deals with the silent films; another one is deaf and so gets the sound films; the third one chose to die while I was in London.”
So ban it. Ban the video nasties. Ban the computer games that look so real. Ban the porn. Prevent everyone from seeing lest individuals confuse entertainment for reality and run amuck. People are so slack-jawed and empty that watching a film will turn them and you into a murderer. People do not think for themselves. The censors will view it, decide on its worth and ban it.
What a terrible view of humanity we are being sold.
We should tolerate individual fantasies that are not acted upon with harmful consequences. Don’t ban it. Debate it. Hold it up for discussion, mockery, riducle and question.
The Chilcot Report has been mired by delay. The feel is that we are witnessing a cover-up. But do we need an inquiry to tell us that invading Iraq was wrong and based on iffy evidence? Do we need an inquiry to tell us that Tony Blair was just the head of a group who, allegedly, cooked-up reasons for what had been decided?
We know the WMDs did not exist.
We know the ‘dodgy dossier’ was cribbed from the internet. Google ‘WMD’ and present it as fact.
What are we looking for? Do we just want Blair and George Bush’s heads, to bury them and the past with it?
We should asks: why did Tony Blair and New Labour lead Britain to war in Iraq?
Well, when the question of invading Iraq was put to the elected represensatives of this country on 18 March 2003, 412 British MPs voted in favour of military intervention and only 149 voted against. Jack Straw, then the foreign secretary, says “intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy.”
We went to war becsause we wanted it. Why? Well, I’d suggest mixture of pride, greed, desperations and a policy to unite the country and for Labour to look ‘good’ and ‘ethical’.
This website says www.arrestblair.org. But why only him? Are you anti-Blair or anti-democratic?
Rev. Bruce Shipman echoes the BBC’s man on the scene in an open published in the New York Times:
To the Editor:
Deborah E. Lipstadt makes far too little of the relationship between Israel’s policies in the West Bank and Gaza and growing anti-Semitism in Europe and beyond.
The trend to which she alludes parallels the carnage in Gaza over the last five years, not to mention the perpetually stalled peace talks and the continuing occupation of the West Bank.
As hope for a two-state solution fades and Palestinian casualties continue to mount, the best antidote to anti-Semitism would be for Israel’s patrons abroad to press the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for final-status resolution to the Palestinian question.
(Rev.) BRUCE M. SHIPMAN
Groton, Conn., Aug. 21, 2014
Bruce Shipman is Episcopal chaplain at Yale.
Jews will spot the codes in his letter. Jews must pay for whatever another Jew does.
Anti-Semitism is justified.
His words and his tone are not untypical of the ‘knowing’, they who can empathise and set about teaching the Jew how to see suffering.
Mrs May said the attack on the supermarket in France was “a chilling reminder of anti-Semitism, not just in France but the recent anti-Semitic prejudice that we sadly have seen in this country.
“I know that many Jewish people in this country are feeling vulnerable and fearful and you’re saying that you’re anxious for your families, for your children and yourselves.
“I never thought I would see the day when members of the Jewish community in the United Kingdom would say they were fearful of remaining here in the United Kingdom”…
“Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain, just as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain – without its Sikhs, Hindus, Christians and people of other faiths, Britain would not be Britain.”
She said she was “deeply distressed” by the YouGov survey showing a large proportion of Britons holding antisemitic views.
Antisemitic views have been shown to be rampant among British people according to the results of a new polls.
One in four Britons were shown to believe that Jews ‘chase money more than other people’, according to a poll by YouGov.
Meanwhile the new survey showed that 17 per cent of respondent believe that Jewish people think themselves better than others.
A similar proportion felt that Jewish people have too much power in the media.
A separate poll also revealed that more than half of all British Jews feel that antisemitism has begun to echo the widespread anti-Jewish hatred of the 1930s, according to the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA).
France has the largest Jewish community remaining in Europe, but Norman Lebrecht, a French Jew whose family has been in France at least since 1727 (when the first records exist), decided last week that he is leaving. Nor is he alone…
French Jews are leaving for two main reasons: because they don’t feel welcome, and because they don’t feel safe. They don’t feel welcome because a rising tide of anti-Semitism has poisoned the atmosphere in France over the past couple of decades. It’s not so much the old anti-Semitism of the pre-War variety as a new anti-Semitism brought on by a wave of Muslim immigration, though the two have reinforced one another.
And they don’t feel safe because of attacks on Jews. As the Chief Rabbi of France,Haim Korsia, notes, it’s not just last week’s attacks on a Kosher deli and on the Charlie Hebdo news weekly: “Jews have been killed and there were the shootings in Toulouse and in Brussels. In general, Jews feel vulnerable in our society. The Jews who were murdered were targeted specifically because they were Jewish.”
An exodus of French Jews is already underway and accelerating rapidly. In 2012, there were just over 1,900 immigrants to Israel from France. The following year nearly 3,400 French Jews emigrated; in 2014 approximately 7,000 left. For the first time ever, France heads the list of countries of origin for immigrants to Israel, and the ministry of immigration absorption expects another 10,000 French Jews to arrive in 2015.
That would mean more than 22,000 Jews fleeing France for Israel in the space of just four years, nearly 4.5 percent of the country’s Jewish population. The departure of 100,000 French Jews might once have been inconceivable. No longer. In a survey last spring of France’s Jewish community, the largest in Europe, three out of four respondents said they were considering emigrating.
These are staggering numbers — all the more so in a “Jewish community that has been in place for centuries and feels itself deeply attached to being French,” as Daniel Jonah Goldhagen has written. But what is driving so many Jews to leave “is not Israel’s pull…. It is France’s push.”
Over the past 15 years, that “push” — violent eruptions of French antisemitism — has grown relentless.
Many of your fears about becoming a victim of terrorism are invented. So long as you are not Jewish.
Whenever Martin Niemöller’s warning is quoted, it is always used in the past tense. But as the Paris attacks proved, they are still coming for the Jews. In reality, they have never stopped coming for the Jews…
The reaction from outside the Jewish community follows the same pattern. Like Simon Jenkins and Polly Toynbee, we try to hide behind a veil of self-centered proportionality. Or, we cry “look over there!” Yes the Jewish community is under threat, but what about the “revenge” attacks being launched against the Muslim community? Or we deploy the “some of my best friends are Jewish” argument. Yes some Jews are being targeted. But look at what’s happening to the Palestinians. Should we really be surprised? Yes, obviously we must condemn the “terrorists”. But don’t we have an obligation to try to understand them as well?
And what lies at the heart of this response? If we’re honest, if we’re really honest, it’s that those of us who are not part of the Jewish community have subconsciously – and shamefully – come to the view that being a target of terrorism is merely one of the occupational hazards of being a Jew…
We need to say: “They came for the Jews. And I spoke out. Because I am not a Jew”.
A lot of progressives seem to think they are immune from anti-Semitism, or even being tolerant of anti-Semitism, because they have neither racist nor Christian antipathy to Jews, the two most recently prominent forms. They, in other words, do not consciously hate, or even dislike, Jews. But when the Left has decided that colonialism, fundamentalist religion and ethnic nationalism are the great evils of the modern world, and then so many “progressives” focus on Israel as the exemplar of these evils, despite many, many other more worthy choices, one wonders if they fully understand what anti-Semitism is really all about.
Matti Friedman wonders why Israel is always at the top of the news cycle. Why Hamas, a group that pledge to kill every Jew, is not framed as an enemy to things we should hold dear.
For centuries, stateless Jews played the role of a lightning rod for ill will among the majority population. They were a symbol of things that were wrong. Did you want to make the point that greed was bad? Jews were greedy. Cowardice? Jews were cowardly. Were you a Communist? Jews were capitalists. Were you a capitalist? In that case, Jews were Communists. Moral failure was the essential trait of the Jew. It was their role in Christian tradition—the only reason European society knew or cared about them in the first place.
Like many Jews who grew up late in the 20th century in friendly Western cities, I dismissed such ideas as the feverish memories of my grandparents. One thing I have learned—and I’m not alone this summer—is that I was foolish to have done so. Today, people in the West tend to believe the ills of the age are racism, colonialism, and militarism. The world’s only Jewish country has done less harm than most countries on earth, and more good—and yet when people went looking for a country that would symbolize the sins of our new post-colonial, post-militaristic, post-ethnic dream-world, the country they chose was this one.
When the people responsible for explaining the world to the world, journalists, cover the Jews’ war as more worthy of attention than any other, when they portray the Jews of Israel as the party obviously in the wrong, when they omit all possible justifications for the Jews’ actions and obscure the true face of their enemies, what they are saying to their readers—whether they intend to or not—is that Jews are the worst people on earth. The Jews are a symbol of the evils that civilized people are taught from an early age to abhor. International press coverage has become a morality play starring a familiar villain.
Some readers might remember that Britain participated in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the fallout from which has now killed more than three times the number of people ever killed in the Israel-Arab conflict; yet in Britain, protesters furiously condemn Jewish militarism. White people in London and Paris whose parents not long ago had themselves fanned by dark people in the sitting rooms of Rangoon or Algiers condemn Jewish “colonialism.” Americans who live in places called “Manhattan” or “Seattle” condemn Jews for displacing the native people of Palestine. Russian reporters condemn Israel’s brutal military tactics. Belgian reporters condemn Israel’s treatment of Africans. When Israel opened a transportation service for Palestinian workers in the occupied West Bank a few years ago, American news consumers could read about Israel “segregating buses.” And there are a lot of people in Europe, and not just in Germany, who enjoy hearing the Jews accused of genocide.
You don’t need to be a history professor, or a psychiatrist, to understand what’s going on. Having rehabilitated themselves against considerable odds in a minute corner of the earth, the descendants of powerless people who were pushed out of Europe and the Islamic Middle East have become what their grandparents were—the pool into which the world spits. The Jews of Israel are the screen onto which it has become socially acceptable to project the things you hate about yourself and your own country. The tool through which this psychological projection is executed is the international press.
The first head of the hydra-like monster of medieval anti-Semitic conspiracy theories was the implied parallel between Israeli treatment of Palestinians and Nazis’ treatment of the Jews. This is a de facto cousin of Holocaust denial, as it diminishes and trivialises what really happened then…
Since 9/11 and Iraq, a millenarian cauldron of old-fashioned anti-Semitic conspiracy theories claims that secretive Jews (the wicked “neo-cons”) are controlling Bush, Blair and the media, and even arranged 9/11. Anti-Americanism, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism have become interchangeable…
Until 9/11, Anglo-Jewry had become accustomed to prejudiced coverage of Israel. But if you were not a Zionist, as many Jews are not, you did not need to worry. Since 9/11, and particularly post-Iraq, we have witnessed a sea change. It is as if, in the mythical scale of 9/11, al-Qaeda had unlocked a forgotten cultural capsule of anti-Semitic myths, sealed and forgotten since the Nazis, the Black Hundreds and the medieval blood libels. Just words? But words matter in a violent world. This weird and scary nonsense is an international phenomenon, not a British one. Despite it, Britain retains the easygoing tolerance and pragmatism, the sources of her greatness. It is still better to be a Jew in England than anywhere else
It was during World War 2 when French Jews were being rounded up for murder by Nazis that Si Kaddour Benghabrit, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris until 1954, acted.
Benghabrit, an Algerian-born religious and political leader, was audacious and cool. The Jews were hidden in the mosque’s cavern-like cellars. Above them, Benghabrit gave Nazi officers and their wives tours of the mosque.
A North African Jew named Albert Assouline, who had escaped from a German prison camp, wrote about life in the mosque:
“No fewer than 1,732 resistance fighters found refuge in its underground caverns. These included Muslim escapees but also Christians and Jews. The latter were by far the most numerous.”
He had a story to tell:
According to Assouline, he and an Algerian named Yassa Rabah escaped together from the camp and stealthily traversed the countryside across the French-German border, heading for Paris. Once in Paris they made their way to the mosque, where, evidently thanks to Rabah’s connections to the Algerian community, the two found refuge. Eventually Assouline continued his journey and joined up with Free French forces to continue the fight against the German occupation … the most fantastic part of the story was his claim that the mosque provided sanctuary and sustenance to Jews hiding from the Vichy and German troops as well as to other fighters in the anti-Fascist resistance.
In a 1983 article for Almanach due Combattant, a French veterans’ magazine, Assouline wrote [that] the senior imam of the mosque, Si Mohammed Benzouaou took “considerable risk” by hiding Jews and providing many (including many children) with certificates of Muslim identity, with which they could avoid deportation and certain death. Assouline recalled one “hot alert” when German soldiers smelled the odor of cigarettes and, convinced that Muslims were forbidden to smoke, searched the mosque looking for hidden Jews. According to Assouline, the Jews were able to escape via sewer tunnels that connected the mosque to nearby buildings.
Demonstrators holding a banner which reads, ‘unity against Islamophobia’, to protest against the conference on the Islamization of France and Europe, in Paris, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010.(AP Photo/Michel Euler)
There has been lots of talk of Islamophobia. But how real is it? Are the mob about to race riot? Is every outrage by Islamist nuters – and many crimes in France involve jihadis hunting Jews – followed by a bout of anti-Muslim violence? The Press would have us think so.
The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls has an opinion:
“It is very important to make clear to people that Islam has nothing to do with ISIS,” Valls told me. “There is a prejudice in society about this, but on the other hand, I refuse to use this term ‘Islamophobia,’ because those who use this word are trying to invalidate any criticism at all of Islamist ideology. The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is used to silence people. ”
Valls was not denying the existence of anti-Muslim sentiment, which is strong across much of France. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack, miscreants have shot at Muslim community buildings, and various repulsive threats against individual Muslims have been cataloged. President Francois Hollande, who said Thursday that Muslims are the “first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism, intolerance,” might be overstating the primacy of anti-Muslim prejudice in the current hierarchy of French bigotries—after all, Hollande just found it necessary to deploy his army to defend Jewish schools from Muslim terrorists, not Muslim schools from Jewish terrorists—but anti-Muslim bigotry is a salient and seemingly permanent feature of life in France. Or to contextualize it differently: Anti-Muslim feeling appears to be more widespread than anti-Jewish feeling across much of France, but anti-Jewish feeling has been expressed recently (and not-so-recently) with far more lethality, and mainly by Muslims.
The Sun is cheering for free speech. It is cheering for Ila Aghera, the “defiant” shopkeeper selling copies of Charlie Hebdo magazine to the many French speaskers and peopls who can say “Jew Suis Charlie” in her area. The Sun loves her:
A VILLAGE shopkeeper is defiantly selling the “survivors’ issue” of Charlie Hebdo despite fears she could be targeted by extremists. Ila Aghera, 54, made her brave stand as all three million copies of the satirical magazine sold out in France.
Does she charge more for carriage?
It was published as al-Qaeda chiefs behind last week’s massacre in Paris vowed further atrocities. And a London cafe owner refused to take down his Je Suis Charlie sign despite a death threat from a “raving” Islamist fanatic.
Writing in the Huffington Post, Mehdi Hasan says he is ‘fed up with Free Speech Fundamentalists”.
You and I didn’t like George W Bush. Remember his puerile declaration after 9/11 that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? Yet now, in the wake of another horrific terrorist attack, you appear to have updated Dubya’s slogan: either you are with free speech… or you are against it. Either vous êtes Charlie Hebdo… or you’re a freedom-hating fanatic.
Well, that’s what the mainstream media are telling us. The march for free speech in Paris soon mutated into a march for unity. (Marching right next to Francois Hollande: Ali Bongo of Gabon, who recently who recently “suspended” 3 newspapers. 1 for SATIRE).
If you support campus speech codes, ban debate, participated in a campaign to get a TV or radio show off the air, then as Iowahawk says, “drop your #JeSuisCharlie sign”.
Charlie Hebdo understands the fashionable with their Hebdo-branded sandwich-boards.
Fran Lebowitz go to right:
“If people don’t want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?’ When I see someone wearing clothing with words on my first reaction is usually, ‘Ooo, I bet you’re really boring!’”
The magazine’s new cover sticks with Mohammed (as if they could choose another subject) and lampoons the weeping and righteous who use the magazine to advertise their sound morals. Others use the cover to show that they are sensitive to Muslims.
They all love Charlie Hebdo, but none are brave enough to be him.
@mlcalderone NYT runs big news on homepage — “Mohammed Is on Cover of Charlie Hebdo” — yet doesn’t show that newsworthy cover:
Hasan goes on:
…In the midst of all the post-Paris grief, hypocrisy and hyperbole abounds. Yes, the attack was an act of unquantifiable evil; an inexcusable and merciless murder of innocents. But was it really a “bid to assassinate” free speech (ITV’s Mark Austin), to “desecrate” our ideas of “free thought” (Stephen Fry)? It was a crime – not an act of war – perpetrated by disaffected young men; radicalised not by drawings of the Prophet in Europe in 2006 or 2011, as it turns out, but by images of US torture in Iraq in 2004.
Radicalised by images of US torture they murdered Jews? We can add “being Jewish” to the list of “provocations” then. And the killers shouted: “The prophet has been avenged.”
Please get a grip. None of us believes in an untrammelled right to free speech.
None of us? Charlie Hebdo does. All of the people carrying “Jew Suis Charlie” signs do. Well, no of course they don’t. That’s just fashion, like wearing a Katherine Hamnett Me-shirt. Carrying a “Je suis Charlie” sign declaring #Illridewithyou or #bringbackourgirls (and pity fashion victim Michelle Obama for that display of indulgence) is vanity; wearing your beliefs as something you can pull on and off as the mood takes.
Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher greets fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, wearing at-shirt with a nuclear missile protest message, at 10 Downing Street, where she hosted a reception for British Fashion Week designers. Ref #: PA.16297039
And irony of ironies:
French comedian Dieudonne has been arrested for allegedly defending terrorism in a Facebook comment referencing last week’s attacks in Paris.
Free speech no buts.. He should not be arrested.
Playing on the slogan “Je suis Charlie”, the comedian wrote: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Coulibaly.” Amedy Coulibaly is accused of murdering a policewoman and then storming a kosher supermarket, shooting dead four shoppers.
We all agree there are always going to be lines that, for the purposes of law and order, cannot be crossed; or for the purposes of taste and decency, should not be crossed. We differ only on where those lines should be drawn.
And yes. How we decide those lines is by testing them and with open debate. So. We are all for free speech.
Has your publication, for example, run cartoons mocking the Holocaust? No?
The Holocaust was industrial mass murder. Well, to those who believe it happened; to those who believe the Jews are worthy of it (they never learn); to those who put on the anti-Semitic Holocaust cartoon show:
More than 200 Holocaust cartoons from around the world are on display at a museum in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Organisers of the exhibition say they are testing the West’s commitment to freedom of speech. A competition to choose the drawings was announced in February, in response to caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad published by European newspapers. Israel’s Holocaust authority, Yad Vashem, criticised the exhibition, calling it a “flashing red light”.
The drawings were chosen from nearly 1,200 entries received from various countries including the United States, Indonesia and Turkey. One of the cartoons shows the Statue of Liberty holding a book on the Holocaust in one hand and giving a Nazi salute with the other.
No Jews murdered the cartoonists who mocked the victims of the atrocity that was the Holocaust. The Holocaust it not a religious figure. Unless Hasan says it is. Unless the Holocaust now defines the Jews more than their Covenant with God. If Jews can be portrayed as barbaric murderers and child abusers who never learned the ‘lesson’ of the Holocaust, maybe they can be rendered less. Rather than being the victims of industrial mass murder, they can be sub-humans who, you know, were asking for it.
Holocaust denial is rife in the Middle East. So too is anti-Semitism. There are so many parallels between the imagery used by classic anti-semitism and anti-Zionist propaganda:
After the Holocaust proved the victimhood of the Jewish people, Antisemitism and the Antisemitic memes of the image-codes needed to evolve into a holocaustresistant form which would deny Jewish victimhood. Moral Inversion Codes invert the horrors by depict the victims as the perpetrators. Thus the Jew becomes the Nazi or the terrorist suicide bomber, rather than their victim.
When you’re a Jew you look for codes.
The blood libel form twelfth century in Norwich. The story went that Jews had killed a twelve year old Christian boy named William for Passover. ed.
Michael Howard – then Tory leader
The Sydney Morning Herald – not an Israeli but a Jew
Norway’s Dagbladet showed this:
JPOST: ln Schindler’s List, one of Norway’s largest newspapers recently published a political cartoon comparing Prime Minster Ehud Olmert to the infamous commander of a Nazi death camp who indiscriminately murdered Jews by firing at them at random from his balcony. The caricature by political cartoonist Finn Graff appeared on July 10 in the Oslo daily Dagbladet. It has prompted outrage among the country’s small Jewish community and led the Simon Weisenthal Center to submit a protest to the Norwegian government. In the cartoon, Olmert is likened to SS Major Amon Goeth, the infamous commandant of the Plaszow death camp outside of Krakow, Poland, who was convicted of mass murder in 1946 and hanged for his crimes. While in charge of Plaszow, Goeth would go out to the balcony on his villa, and engage in target practice by aiming his telescopic rifle and firing at random at Jews imprisoned there, often killing them. The scene was famously depicted by director Steven Spielberg in his 1993 film, Schindler’s List..
The same paper came up with this. The demon at the head (and like that fork) and the woman at the feet are both blood-soaked Jews.
‘Mistreatment? No, this is a tradition, an important part of our belief.’
The accusation is that Jews are barbaric. But the same goes for Muslims, who also cricumcise boys. One glance at their genitals indicate that they are subhumans, unworthy of mercy. Jews should abandon their ‘barbaric’ customs and adopt a civilised way of life. Deprive Jews of the empathy normally felt for human beings.
A decree by the Seleucid emperor Antiochus IV commanded Jews to leave their sons uncircumcised or face death. This decree against the ‘barbaric’ behaviour of an ‘uneducated’ people, issued by an imperial civilisation, was part of a comprehensive campaign to destroy the Jewish way of life. The revolt against the decree, led by Judah Maccabee, is still considered one of the defining moments of Judaism.
It is difficult to make sense of the strong views held by campaigners and policymakers who seek to criminalise and pathologise the circumcision of Jewish and Muslim boys. Last Tuesday, a resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemned male circumcision as a ‘violation of the physical integrity of children’. Unlike Antiochus IV, these parliamentarians did not use the narrative of a civilisational mission against barbarism to justify their assault on people’s way of life; instead they used the apparently neutral language of health and child protection to legitimise their crusade. The Council’s resolution called on governments to ‘clearly define the medical, sanitary and other conditions to be ensured for practices such as the non-medically justified circumcision of young boys’.
The Council’s attempt to stigmatise circumcision coincides with a growing campaign against circumcision in Scandinavia and Germany. In recent weeks there has been a veritable culture war against this age-old practice. Most of the time, the crusade is conducted in a very politically correct language which avoids any explicitly culturally loaded terminology. In this vein, the German Social Democratic parliamentarian Marle Rupprecht argued that the Council’s resolution, which she supports, ‘does not intend to stigmatise any religious community or its practices’. As far as she is concerned, it’s all about the child – and if the campaign against circumcision inflames anti-Semitism, well, that is a price worth paying for this holy cause, apparently
Having picked out the Jews – always the Jews – as the West’s scared cow (attack them and attck all the West holds dear; the Jewish State a scapegoat for globalization and modernity), Hasan concludes:
Let’s be clear: I agree there is no justification whatsoever for gunning down journalists or cartoonists.
That a pretty low bar: murder is wrong.
I disagree with your seeming view that the right to offend comes with no corresponding responsibility; and I do not believe that a right to offend automatically translates into a duty to offend.
A duty to challenge is what makes us free.
When you say “Je suis Charlie“, is that an endorsement of Charlie Hebdo‘s depiction of the French justice minister, Christiane Taubira, who is black, drawn as a monkey? Of crude caricatures of bulbous-nosed Arabs that must make Edward Said turn in his grave?
Lampooning racism by reproducing brazenly racist imagery is a pretty dubious satirical tactic….
It’s for these reasons that I can’t “be”, don’t want to “be”, Charlie – if anything, we should want to be Ahmed, the Muslim policeman who was killed while protecting the magazine’s right to exist. As the novelist Teju Cole has observed, “It is possible to defend the right to obscene… speech without promoting or sponsoring the content of that speech.”
Ahmed was an innocent victim. Was he shot because he was a Muslim? The Jews were shot dead because of their religion. The Charlie Hebdo staff were shot dead for their beliefs. Hasan makes no mention of that. Instead anti-Semitism – which is murderous and very real – is again used as a weapon to show that those Jews get special treatment:
And why have you been so silent on the glaring double standards? Did you not know that Charlie Hebdo sacked the veteran French cartoonist Maurice Sinet in 2008 for making an allegedly anti-Semitic remark?
Always the Jews.
…Muslims, I guess, are expected to have thicker skins than their Christian and Jewish brethren.
If only the Jews has rhino hides it might have stopped the Islamists’ bullets.
You could see Jews and Muslims and blacks and browns as the Others, who fight for a place in Europe. But easier to compare and copntrast. Easier to show your own side as the bigger victims.
And then – for the third time – Hasan shows how Jews get preferential treament:
Weren’t you sickened to see Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of a country that was responsible for the killing of seven journalists in Gaza in 2014, attend the “unity rally” in Paris? Bibi was joined by Angela Merkel, chancellor of a country where Holocaust denial is punishable by up to five years in prison, and David Cameron, who wants to ban non-violent “extremists” committed to the “overthrow of democracy” from appearing on television.
You could pick any number of World leader whose committment to free speech and freedom credentials would wilt under scrutiny. But he picks the one Jew. You could pick on Turkey, a nation leading the world in journalist imprisonment.
But he picks the Jew. He picks the Holocaust.
Pick. Pick. Pick. Until it bleeds…
But it was all about free speech. And free speech with no buts. Voltaire proclaimed: “I disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.”
So. Say it. We’ll exhange views. No-one will get hurt. It’s good to talk…
“If 100,000 French people of Spanish origin were to leave, I would never say that France is not France anymore. But if 100,000 Jews leave, France will no longer be France. The French Republic will be judged a failure.”
Stephen Pollard , editor of the Jewish Chronicle tweets:
“Every single French Jew I know has either left or is actively working out how to leave. So, it’s a fluke that the latest target is a kosher grocer, is it? What’s going on in France – outrages that have been getting worse for years – put our antisemitism problems in perspective. It is the largest emigration of Jews anywhere since the war. That’s a simple fact.”
Jews were the target of 40 per cent of all racist crimes in France in 2013 – even though they comprise less than 1 per cent of the population. Attacks on Jews have risen sevenfold since the 1990s.
Andrew Hussey, an author and expert on French Muslim affairs, says: “anti-Semitism is a fundamental part of French history and culture in a very damaging way. At the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the petite bourgeoisie felt under threat from the Catholic Church and socialist movements. They turned to the Jews to blame them for every fault in French society, which culminated in the Dreyfus Affair.”
“There is a new anti-Semitism in France… We have the old anti-Semitism, and I’m obviously not downplaying it, that comes from the extreme right, but this new anti-Semitism comes from the difficult neighborhoods, from immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa, who have turned anger about Gaza into something very dangerous. Israel and Palestine are just a pretext. There is something far more profound taking place now.”
In 2014, some 6,658 French Jews left for Israel, more than double the 2013 total of 3,263 people. And this was already considerably more than the 1,923 Jews who left France for Israel in 2012…
The official Israeli Aliyah figures only show how many French Jews are moving to Israel. There are plenty of anecdotal reports of people leaving France for London and New York, although we can’t confirm or deny this with statistics.
FactCheck knows of one synagogue in north London that is renting space to a community group for French-speaking Jews, but we don’t know how big a trend this is.
So it is possible that the Jewish “exodus” from France is even bigger. On the other hand, the official figures don’t tell us how much traffic is coming in the opposite direction.
Nearly 75 percent of thousands of French Jews who participated in a recent survey said they are considering emigrating.
The survey, whose results were released Monday by the Paris-based Siona organization of Sephardic French Jews, encompassed 3,833 respondents from the Jewish community of France, Siona said.
Of the 74.2 percent of respondents who said they are considering leaving, 29.9 percent cited anti-Semitism. Another 24.4 cited their desire to “preserve their Judaism,” while 12.4 percent said they were attracted by other countries. “Economic considerations” was cited by 7.5 percent of the respondents.
In total, 95.2 percent of all respondents to the online survey conducted by Siona from April 17 to May 16 said they viewed anti-Semitism as “very worrisome” or “worrisome.”
Slightly more than half, or 57.5 percent, of respondents, said “Jews have no future in France,” while 30.6 percent said there is a future for Jews there.
Asked whether they had personally experienced anti-Semitic incidents in the past two years, 14.5 percent replied in the affirmative but of those, only 21.2 filed a complaint with police. Of the complainants, 27.6 percent indicated that their deposition had led to concrete results.
The decades-long targeting of French Jews has barely been reported in the British or western media, which subscribe instead to the mantra that the main evil is “Islamophobia”. They ignore the fact that, rooted in Islamic doctrine and appropriating obscene Nazi motifs, demonic Jew-hatred pours daily out of the Muslim world.
Such are the facts…
Pictures: Léon Lipschutz collection of Dreyfusiana and French Judaica
The Charlie Hebdo massacre and murders at a kosher supermarket in Paris got everyone talking about free speech.
(Their love of free speech ‘no buts…’ won’t last. The Paris free speech rally has morphed into a “unity” rally led by people with no interest in free speech. Gabon’s state-run media regulatory agency, the National Communications Council, suspended three newspapers in 2013, one of them a satirical work. That’s Gabon’s President Ali Bongo on the Paris march. Also marching was US campus censor Eric Holder and:
Let’s hope someone holds up a Charlie Hebdo cartoon and vomits on them all. If this is who you allow to lead a march to support free speech, you’re doing it wrong.)
But what about the racism?
Why-oh-why was the kosher store targetted? Anyone got the foggiest? Want to guess? The gunman and four hostages died at the Hypercasher supermarket near Porte de Vincennes. Yohan Cohen was murdered when he went for jihadi Amedy Coulibaly’s gun. Yoav Hattab died trying to grabbing one of two weapons held by the racist killer.
In all, Islamists murdered 17 people. Since then the BBC has written the following stories on Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. There have been attacks on Muslim places of worship and stores. Blessedly, the nutters have not hurt anyone.
BBC reports on the Anti-Semitic nature of the assaults:
January 10: “Charlie Hebdo hunt: Bloody end to sieges”
French President Francois Hollande not the BBC used the term:
“We must be implacable towards racism,” he added, saying that the supermarket attack was an “appalling anti-Semitic act”.
Well, if he says attacking a kosher supermarket was based on anti-Semitism, then we won’t argue.
That’s ONE story on anti-semitism.
BBC reports on Islamophbia since the assaults:
Total: 6 stories.
Does that seem odd to you? The real murders of Jews is less racially motivated than the largely perceived violent backlash against Muslims?
Jews are under threat in France. Only Jews – and this is true for the UK – pray behind guards and fences. Do men with walkie-talkies patrol your church or mosque at prayer time? Is your local Jewish school behind barbed wire? It is in the UK and it is in France.
Teacher Isaac Berg was in the kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes 15 minutes before Friday’s hostage-taking.
“We’re afraid, but what more could the government do to protect us?” he said. “Our schools and places of worship have already been guarded for the last two years. People wouldn’t want a police escort to go shopping.”
In Toulouse in 2012, Mohammad Merah murdered a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school, pulling an eight-year-old girl by her hair to shoot her in the head.
French President Francois Hollande has spoken out against an “unbearable” assault on a young couple near Paris which ministers say was anti-Semitic. The two victims, a woman aged 19 and her boyfriend, 21, were tied up in his family’s flat and the woman was raped.
Their lawyer said three men had burst into the flat, telling the boyfriend: “You Jews, you have money.”
In 2014, a French jihadist was accused of murdering four people in a gun attack on the Jewish museum in the Belgian capital, Brussels.
Since the Paris attacks, the Guardian has written 25 stories in Islamophbia, including:
Charlie Hebdo: Norway didn’t give in to Islamophobia, nor should France. The Charlie Hebdo killers want to provoke anti-Islam sentiment among the public, just as Anders Breivik did. But France must resist
Muslims fear backlash after Charlie Hebdo deaths as Islamic sites attacked
Muslims in Europe fear anti-Islamic mood will intensify after Paris attacks
And two on anti-semitism:
Paris’s Jewish community retreats in shock after deadly end to siege – Residents of neighbourhood where policewoman was shot dead say gunman Amedy Coulibaya intended to target Jewish school
Charlie Hebdo: first they came for the cartoonists, then they came for the Jews
What about the right-wing Press?
Well, the Sun has produced one stopry on Anti-Semitism, which is just that quote again:
But the girlfriend of Islamic extremist gunman Amedy Coulibaly is believed to still be on the loose after the attack which French President Francois Hollande described as a “dreadful anti-Semitic act”. Police have said Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, is “armed and dangerous”.
And two menions of Islamphobia:
Shereen Nanjarani notes in her column: “Wednesday’s attack will only stir up more Islamophobia. And that’s what the terrorists want.”
Well, that and to kill Jews.
NY Daily News blurs cartoon of Mohammed, leaves hooked-nosed Jew
The other mention in the Sun is this:
THE partner of murdered Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier has described him as “a real hero”.
Jeanette Bougrab was with vehement left-winger Charbonnier – known as Charb – despite having been a minister in Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government.
She said: “Stephane was an exceptional person, a real hero, a hero I loved in spite of our very different political views.
“A war has been declared in France. If you have a pencil, someone will kill you. He knew he was under threat, but he still declined government protection for Charlie Hebdo. He was accused of every sin and nobody defended him. Securalism is the fight against fundamentalist, he was ready to die for his ideas. But today those who defend secularism are accused of Islamophobia.”
“Je Suis Charlkie Hebdo”. Everyone’s saying it. Free speech rules! The British politians who want to regulate journalists; the Twitter narks; the police; and the newly Enlightened all just love Charlie Hebdo and that free speech.
When in 2011 the offices of Charlie Hebdo were firebombed following the trailing of a special edition mocked up to look like it was guest-edited by Muhammad (editor Stéphane Charbonnier had to live under police protection) Time magazine’s Paris Bureau Chief didn’t side with free speech. He went with this:
Okay, so can we finally stop with the idiotic, divisive, and destructive efforts by “majority sections” of Western nations to bait Muslim members with petulant, futile demonstrations that “they” aren’t going to tell “us” what can and can’t be done in free societies? Because not only are such Islamophobic antics futile and childish, but they also openly beg for the very violent responses from extremists their authors claim to proudly defy in the name of common good. What common good is served by creating more division and anger, and by tempting belligerent reaction?
The difficulty in answering that question is also what’s making it hard to have much sympathy for the French satirical newspaper firebombed this morning, after it published another stupid and totally unnecessary edition mocking Islam. The Wednesday morning arson attack destroyed the Paris editorial offices of Charlie Hebdo after the paper published an issue certain to enrage hard-core Islamists (and offend average Muslims) with articles and “funny” cartoons featuring the Prophet Mohammed—depictions forbidden in Islam to boot…. do you still think the price you paid for printing an offensive, shameful, and singularly humor-deficient parody on the logic of “because we can” was so worthwhile? If so, good luck with those charcoal drawings your pages will now be featuring.
Victims Georges Wolinski, Jean Cabut (aka Cabu), Charb and Tignous
You crying? You feel the prick of tears? You angry? You should be. You should be furious. The cold-blooded attack on the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo claimed 12 lives. You should weep for the lives of the murdered. They were champions of free speech and free thinking. And you should be angry that all we must hold dear is under attack.
The 12 dead are victims of a slaughter by violent, Islamic racists. The magazine’s “controversial” cartoons and editorials – always billed as “controversial” in the mainstream press, as if it were a bad thing – were meant to trigger a battle of ideas. The sane could debate the rights and wrongs. People would talk. No-one would get hurt – not by voices and debate. Charlie Hebdo would be the polemicists, fomenting a new view and changing the dialogue. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to buy it. You can criticise it. You can vote with your feet at the offence and blasphemy. But the Islamists took up guns.
The 12 victims were murdered for taking the piss out of Muhammad, for showing their comic liberty.
Is Islam so weak it cannot counter a French magazine? Is it so fearful it kills all debate, unable to confront ideas with sanity and reason?
And what now? Do we look to ourselves, the free thinking and censor our views so as not to offend the gun-toting nutters? Do we strive to understand the mindset of two men who see a picture and murder a dozen people? Hey, everyone’s a critic, right? Or do we skewer the censorious bastards with wit?
How brave are we in the West?
We banned the Jesus and Mohammed T-shirts. Police demand we tell on anyone saying something unsayable on Twitter, turning us into police narks.
You know what. Screw them. Say what you think. Don’t be gratutious. Don’t seek to offend. Just say what you think and believe. Be prepared to debate that view. Be open to ideas and people. If the other person disagrees, then your argument has failed. Don’t pick up a gun and shoot them dead. Don’t put them in prison. Mock them.
Free speech used to be a right in countries where it was allowed. It’s spread. Online, we enjoy speaking out, sharing our views, prejudices, stupidity and relishing our right to cause offence. These Islamists want to smah that. In doing so they have placed us all on the front line in the war on free speech. We must fight them.
Our police and protectors we need to uphold freedoms hard won are seeking to licence journalist with a poxy Royal Charter and spy on us with the horrendous RIPA law.
Fight it. Appeasement has its limits.
Charb, one of the caricaturists killed today, said:
“I am not afraid of retaliation. I have no kids, no wife, no car, no credit. It perhaps sounds a bit pompous, but I prefer to die standing than living on my knees.”