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We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Inappropriate BBC asks ‘How welcome are Africans in the UK’

The BBC has tweeted a question: “How welcome are Africans in the UK?”

Screen shot 2015-01-14 at 09.01.37

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Posted: 14th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Charlie Hebdo: The BBC and New York Times reject Jew Suis Charlie and Muhammad’s tears

The Charlie Hebdo cover is all over the web. For those of you have not yet seen it, it’s here below. Charlie Hebdo manages to reproduce the character at the centre of the controversy (no choice there) whilst mocking the people who before the massacre slammed the magazine for causing offence and now brandish the legend ‘I am Charlie’ as a advert to their own good morals. Who needs a cross on a necklace when you have a Charlie Hebdo magazine tucked under your arm?



This week's Charlie Hebdo, featuring Muhammad again! "All is forgiven." Love it.
Three million copies of the so-called “survivors’ edition” are being printed. The usual print run is 60,000. So. Buy a copy and show off your commitment to free speech. But, better still, exercise it.

The cover shows Muhammad shedding a single tear under the headline: “All is forgiven”. He holds the message: “Je suis Charlie.”

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Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

CNN reports: attack on Paris kosher supermarket was an attack on Muslims who shop there

We go live to Paris, where CNN are by a kosher supermarket where people have been murdered. Some, like the French Preesident, say the attack on a kosher supermarket was driven by rabid anti-semitism.

But CNN seeks to clarify. Chris Cuomo is talking to grocery expert Isa Soares. It turns out that the kosher supermaket is a Muslim supermarket. It’s not anti-Semitism, after all:



If the BBC Tim Willcox is looking for a new challenge, he’d fit right in at CNN…


Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

The incredible 30 linkbait phrases Buzzfeed uses to get clicks before your cat dies

You’ll never believe what happens next:





Spotter: Max Woolf, via Boing Boing

Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Free speech is now compulsory: here are the rules

Free speech is compulsory in England:


free speech


A council spokesman said:

“Everyone verbally exercising their freedom of speech at the same time not only contravenes a noise pollution bylaw, but also makes it difficult for our many council stenographers who are trying to illicitly record what everyone is saying”.



By Richard Littler (and here), who soemtimes writers for

Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Phi Kappa Psi are criminals-in-waiting: University of Virginia implements nutzoid rules for innocent students

change uva


Rolling Stone magazine’s story of a gang rape at Universty of Virgina was wrong. No crime happened. But something changed. After ‘Jackie’ claimed she was gang-raped on Sept. 28, 2012 by seven members of Phi Kappa Psi, the Greek fraternity was suspended.

Their fraternity house was damaged by angry students.

And now the story has been debunked, the Phi Kappa Psi is back in the game. But the rules have changed. Universersity president Teresa Sullivan has created a new Fraternal Organization Agreement Aimed to Enhance Safety.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan authorized today (Jan. 6) new addenda to the University’s Fraternal Organization Agreement that were submitted by the four student-led Greek leadership councils. The new addenda outline specific practices that each fraternity and sorority will put in place to enhance the safety of their members and guests.

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Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Barack Obama backs San Antonio Spurs over free speech and Paris

So. Barack Obama wasn’t at the Paris unity rally (formerly the rally for free speech):

The White House erred in not sending a higher-profile representative to this weekend’s solidarity march in France following a terrorist attack on a satirical newspaper, press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.

“It’s fair to say we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there,” Earnest told reporters at the White House.

“Had the circumstances been a little bit different, I think the president himself would have liked to be there,” Earnest added. . . .

What was Obama doing?

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Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Terror attack on US military: Pentagon denies retweeting Piers Morgan

Screen shot 2015-01-13 at 09.09.35



The Daily Mail states the bald facts on its front cover.

So. What was it. Are the nuclear codes safe?

Hackers claiming to work on behalf of Islamic State militants seized control of the Twitter and YouTube sites of the military’s U.S. Central Command on Monday.

Says one Pentagon source: “If they retweet Piers Morgan or make a comment criticising Charlie Hebdo, we’re f**ked.”

Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

This week’s Charlie Hebdo, featuring Muhammad: ‘All is forgiven’

This week’s Charlie Hebdo, featuring Muhammad: “All is forgiven.”

It’s brilliant!


This week's Charlie Hebdo, featuring Muhammad again! "All is forgiven." Love it.

Posted: 13th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Anti-semitism is thriving: Jews of France keep a bag packed under the bed for the coming Exodus


DREYfus 2


France’s Prime Minister Manuel Valls is the Socialist son of Spnish immigrants. He sees the anti-Semitism:

“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.”





Is it bad?

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.

The history:

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.”




Valls adds:

“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.”

Patrick Worrall looks at the facts:

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.

Not many.

DREYfus 4



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.

Melanie Phillips:

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

Posted: 12th, January 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Free Speech: But not for Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Matthew Continetti nails the free speech phonies:

…the outpouring of support for free speech in the aftermath of the Paris attack coincides with, and partially obscures, the degradation of speech rights in the West. Commencement last year was marked by universities’ revoking of appearances by speakers Condoleezza Rice and Ayaan Hirsi Ali for no other reason than that mobs disagreed with the speakers’ points of view. I do not recall liberals rallying behind Condi and Hirsi Ali then.

Free speech is under the cosh on campus. The students demand complaince.

Read it all. 

Posted: 12th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Get Marc Jacobs to the Kurds now: because like the Nazis, jihadis look cool in uniform black

Nazi jihad


Because black can be very flattering. Richard Fernandez on why bad guys get the best outfits:

“Our Western leaders are on one side of the chessboard and the big kingpins of the international Jihad — the Middle Eastern billionaires and the heads of rogue state intelligence agencies — are on the other. Their foot soldiers in the lands of Islam might be starvelings fighting for a pittance. But their recruits in the West, the Lone Wolves, come from that part of the population which in each generation doesn’t want to stay on the conveyor belt. . . . It’s easy to forget how important image-identification can be. One reason the Brownshirts out-attracted the Communist youth street gangs was the Nazis’ investment in uniforms. While Communist street fighters were dressed in clothes that made them look like municipal garbagemen, the Brownshirts wore uniforms by Hugo Boss.”

How to win the war on terror: get the Kurds Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs now! They can have John Galliano and Dior.

And round up the usual suspects…


Posted: 12th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Jews deserve to be murdered wherever they are: Well, so says the BBC

PA-21916796 (1)


Charlie Hebdo deserved it because of what France does to Muslims. The UK deserved 7/7 because of what the UK does to Muslims. The USA deserved it because of what the USA does to Muslims. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslims do to Muslims in Syria. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslism do in Gaza. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslims do to Jews in Gaza. The Muslims deserve it because of what Muslims do to Christians in Egypt. Buddhists deserve to be murdered because of what they do to Muslims in Mayamar. Muslims deserve it because Hamas makes a virtue of placing civilians in danger and using human shields.

The Jews deserve it because of what Israel does to Muslims.

The Jews deserve it because of the banks. The Jews deserve it because they are all rich. The Jews deserve it because they make Passover with the blood of Christian children. The Jews deserve because they are the darkness that will not embrace the light of Christ. The Jews deserve it because they contol the world. The Jews deserve it because they assimilate and are the ‘spy within’. The Jews deserve it because they control the media. The Jews deserve it because they have a Jewish lobby that dictates wars. The Jews deserve it because they never learn, even after the pogroms and the Holocaust. The Jews deserve it because there is a Jewish country. The Jews have recreated the Warsaw ghetto. The Jews are not worthy of the Holocaust.

The Jews always deserve it.

Well, so they say.

The BBC reporter Tim Willcox is talking to a Jewish woman scared for her future in the face of murderous anti-Semitism:



The Jews always deserve it. But it’s never anti-Semitism. It’s just the way it is…

Posted: 12th, January 2015 | In: News | Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fox News gaffe-master Steve Emerson says sorry to the people of the Birmingham (now twinned with Mecca)


So. We saw the Fox News terrorism expert Steve Emerson explain to one and all that Birmingham UK is a no-go area for non Muslims.

On his blog, you can view his video on an article called ‘Emerson on Fox with Judge Pirro on How the US is Manipulating the Truth on Radical Islam’.


Emerson is in the business of terror:

He serves as the Executive Director of The Investigative Project on Terrorism…

He and his organization have been quoted or profiled in hundreds of newspaper and television stories since 9-11.

He’s now issued a correction:


Screen shot 2015-01-12 at 07.18.00



Next up on Fox, global jihad expert Bill Wyman on Charlie Hebdo #jewsuisunrockstar.



Posted: 12th, January 2015 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Fox News expert on Islam UK: Only Muslims are allowed to enter Birmingham

'See yous at Black Friday prayers' -  Birmingham's Ayatollah Ozzy

‘See yous at Black Friday prayers’ – Birmingham’s Ayatollah Ozzy


Fox News has the experts who know about Islam and the UK.

Terrorism ‘expert’ Steven Emerson states that Birmingham, UK is ‘entirely Muslim’ and that non Muslims ‘simply don’t go in’.


Ian Rennie @theangelremiel: Birmingham is entirely populated by muslims.  Unlike nearby Wolverhampton, which is entirely populated by wolves. #foxnewsfacts

Posted: 11th, January 2015 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

What no Muslim anti-semitism? The media focus on Islamophobia ignores attacks on Jews

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:


Screen shot 2015-01-11 at 20.48.49


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:

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Screen shot 2015-01-11 at 19.45.32


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.

In 2014:

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

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.”

Such are the facts…

Posted: 11th, January 2015 | In: Key Posts, News | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Man-eating tortoise clamped onto drunk’s lip after he attempted to eat it alive

tortoise lip


“I thought he wanted to buy it and cook it at home, but he said he wanted to eat it now,” says Zhang Lun, a stallholder at a market in China’s capital Beijing.

Bao Yu had been browsing Lun’s wares when he picked up a live tortoise and tried to eat it.

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Posted: 11th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Germany’s Hamburg Morgenpost attacked after reprinting Charlie Hebdo Mohammed cartoons

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First they came for Charlie Hebdo. Then they came for the Jews. Then people threw stones at the headquarters of Germany’s Hamburg Morgenpost, which had reprinted Charlie Hebdo’s Mohammed cartoons.




The paper says an incendiary device was thrown into the cellar. Some files were burnt. No-one was hurt.

Can you spot the victim?



Posted: 11th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Guardian cartoonist Martin Rowson vomits on those demanding more Mohammed cartoons

Martin Rowson hs been called a coward. Why? Rowson, a Guardian cartoonist, drew this cartoon and not a different one:


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After the murderous attack on Charlie Hebdo, the new free speech activists on Twitter are demanding more free speaking. Failure to comply with what they want will result in criticism.

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Posted: 10th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Charlie Hebdo to The Pope, Obama, Putin and Prince Harry: ‘We vomit on all these people’



You looking for a hero for the Charlie Hebdo story? Look no futher than Dutch cartoonist . When yold that Prince Harry, the Queen, The Pope, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin are now ‘Je Suis Charlie Hebdo’, responded:

“We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends.”


“It really makes me laugh. A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was. Now it’s the opposite. But if people are protesting to defend freedom of speech, naturally that’s a good thing.”

Let’s see how long this love of free speech lasts…

Spotter: Dutch daily Volkskrant.

Photo: Prince Harry signs a book of condolence at the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, London for the victims of the terrorist attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, with photos of the 12 victims above.

Posted: 10th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Regret the error: newspaper says police ‘desire to shoot minorities’

The News-Enterprise, based in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, has sacked fired two staff members for a front-page story which erroneously quoted the Hardin County sheriff as saying that most police “have a desire to shoot minorities”:

“Hardin County Sheriff John Ward said those who go into the law enforcement profession typically do it because they have a desire to shoot minorities.”


report 2

Editor Ben Sheroan says the quote is false.  He says the change might have been malicious or intended as a joke.

report 1


No minorities were hurt in this error…

Posted: 10th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Free Speech – Charlie Hebdo: leftwing ‘anti-racism’ joins hands with rightwing anti-Muslim bigotry



Kenan Malik is writing on Charlie Hebdo and free speech:

The irony is that those who most suffer from a culture of censorship are minority communities themselves. Any kind of social change or social progress necessarily means offending some deeply held sensibilities. ‘You can’t say that!’ is all too often the response of those in power to having their power challenged.  To accept that certain things cannot be said is to accept that certain forms of power cannot be challenged. The right to ‘subject each others’ fundamental beliefs to criticism’ is the bedrock of an open, diverse society. Once we give up such a right in the name of ‘tolerance’ or ‘respect’, we constrain our ability to confront those in power, and therefore to challenge injustice.

Yet, hardly had news begun filtering out about the Charlie Hebdo shootings, than there were those suggesting that the magazine was a ‘racist institution’ and that the cartoonists, if not deserving what they got, had nevertheless brought it on themselves through their incessant attacks on Islam. What is really racist is the idea only nice white liberals want to challenge religion or demolish its pretensions or can handle satire and ridicule. Those who claim that it is ‘racist’ or ‘Islamophobic’ to mock the Prophet Mohammad, appear to imagine, with the racists, that all Muslims are reactionaries. It is here that leftwing ‘anti-racism’ joins hands with rightwing anti-Muslim bigotry.

What is called ‘offence to a community’ is more often than not actually a struggle within communities. There are hudreds of thousands, within Muslim communities in the West, and within Muslim-majority countries across the world, challenging religious-based reactionary ideas and policies and institutions; writers, cartoonists, political activists, daily putting their lives on the line in facing down blasphemy laws, standing up for equal rights and fighting for democratic freedoms; people like Pakistani cartoonist Sabir Nazar, the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, exiled to India after death threats, or the Iranian blogger Soheil Arabi, sentenced to death last year for ‘insulting the Prophet’. What happened in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris was viscerally shocking; but in the non-Western world, those who stand up for their rights face such threats every day.

What nurtures the reactionaries, both within Muslim communities and outside it, is the pusillanimity of many so-called liberals, their unwillingness to stand up for basic liberal principles, their readiness to betray the progressives within minority communities.

Barnaby Raine responds:

No. You don’t have to be a theocrat to worry about a magazine that caricatures and denigrates Muslims and their religious symbolism in a period when that othering is a prominent mechanism by which imperial violence is justified, you just have to be vaguely progressive. Some Muslims may not mind the cartoons. I do mind, not as a “nice white liberal” desperate to appease some alien community, but as a left-winger who opposes the politics implicit in and fuelled by mocking the marginalised.

On a more general note, the above article seems to mirror the French left’s racially charged language of secularism in drawing political dividing lines at an ideal rather than a material level. To be on the left is not a purely ideal position based on identifying the ‘best ideas’ and siding with them, it is above all a material position, it entails siding with the oppressed in any given power relation. The right takes the other side. Marching alongside the representatives of a state that bans Muslim women from dressing as they choose, bans pro-Palestine demonstrations and has banned Muslims from protesting against Charlie Hebdo in the past, and mobilising the idea of “free speech” in the defence of that state and in the defence of a magazine that mocks Muslims while the ‘War on Terror’ stigmatises them should all be considered fairly simply right-wing. This article even berates Charlie Hebdo for firing a cartoonist responsible for anti-Semitic caricatures. That is either naive in imagining that speech-acts occur in a vacuum rather than potentially involving material consequences, or it is reactionary for being aware of those consequences — steps towards the legitimisation of anti-Semitism, in that case — and not caring. Similar CH cartoons about Muslims have been much more common and have not resulted in firings, unsurprisingly given the surrounding political context. So express outrage at the murder of 12 journalists, of course. But is it really necessary to paint them as progressive heroes, when their social function was anything but that?

We’d add one thing: Free speech not buts..

Posted: 10th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Copyright crims: Universal sues prisoners over mix tapes

Chances are that if you are being sent mix tapes in prison you are not all that rich. But Universal music wants its cut of the pie. It wants prisoners to pay for those mixes:

“Such so-called ‘mixtapes,’ unless authorised by the copyright owner or owner of corresponding state law rights, are nothing more than collections of infringing, piratical compilations of copyrighted or otherwise legally protected sound recordings and copyrighted musical composition.”

So says Universal.

If you’ve bought the CD and want to share it with a friend – much as you might lend someone a book or a newspaper – you can’t.



Posted: 9th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Face of the day: Julien paints a portrait of the French cartoonist Jean Cabut

Face of the Day:

The artist Julien paints a portrait of the French cartoonist Jean Cabut, also known as Cabu, as a tribute to him, in Marseille, southern France, Friday Jan. 9, 2015. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of a satirical newspaper Charlie-Hebdo Wednesday, and killed 12 people: eight journalists, including Cabu, two police officers, a maintenance worker and a visitor were killed in the attack. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

Posted: 9th, January 2015 | In: News | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0