« looks like bitchslap day hasn't ended yet... | Main | absolutely fabulous »

the tingling of responsibility

Found at Bertram Online:

So, now we — I suppose — can expect the oh-so-neutral media to be up in arms, commenting on this story? (for the Danish-challenged: “Unknown perpetrators tried to set a mosque on fire in a Copenhagen suburb. An imam, who lives in the building, was not injured.”)

Or this one, hailing from Sweden: “An intelligent, friendly student, somewhat lonely, but well thought-of, has been charged with three counts of arson, stabbing and bodily harm. And all his crimes were motivated by racial hatred. He was the leader of the group called ‘White Watchers’ ...”

Or will you write concerned diatribes that all but understands that we — Europeans of the non-Muslim persuasion, I presume — develop a certain “chauvinism, xenophobia and fascim?” The article here finalizes the magnificent about-face from lionizing the Bosnian Muslims as a repressed, but valiant opposition to the vile Yugoslav Stalinists, to painting a picture of a deadly, Wahhabite threat to, yes, indeed, our core Christian Europe.

So, commentators of the “Right”, you who — in your own, warped self-understanding — have been fighting a fight against Communism and so smoothly converted that fight into a fight against Muslims: do you feel the slightest little tingling of responsibility for what goes on? In the suburbs of Copenhagen and in Sweden? [emphasis mine]

In a word, no.

It wasn't the "Right" who invented a fight against Muslims. It was the militant Muslims who created the fear, loathing and animosity that exists today towards militant Mulsims.

No blogger, reporter or pundit is responsible for the deeds of others. While I may rail against certain violent Muslim sects, I do not encourage people to go out and burn mosques. Should anyone commit such an act, they and they alone are responsible for their behavior.

Not all members of the right are "White Watchers," inasmuch as not all members of the left are America haters.

The "Religion of Peace" has been co-opted by exteremists in order to justify their violence and hatred. This is fairly recognized by most members of the right. When the right speaks of Islam and Muslims in tandem with acts of violence, it is apparent who they are talking about. I, for one, am not talking of my neighbors. I am speaking of people who slam airplanes into buildings in the name of Allah, people who opress others in the name of their God, people who think blowing up innocent children - on purpose - is an act of ultimate sacrifice.

I would not be sorry if the people who perpetuate those ideas were to be bound and gagged and shot in the head, not at all. That is why I am all for the War on Terrorism, and the war on our enemies in general.

I am not for taking down a whole religion because their are violent factions that present themselves as of that religion. However, there are people who do feel that way. There are people who will burn and torch and pummel anyone or anything to do with Muslims, because those people are as ignorant, inhumane and beneath contempt as the extremists they are purporting to fight.

I have no "tingling of responsibility" for what ignorant people do. Just as video games do not make kids stab each other and listening to heavy metal will not make one commit suicide and violent movies will not cause one to go out and rape unless there already was an underlying problem in that person's psyche, the media - and the world of information at large - is not responsible in any way, shape or form for acts of violence committed by degenerates who cannot think for themselves.

Does the left-wing pundits feel responsible when one of their own goes out and kills a cop in the name of their causes? Actually, they cheer him on and congratulate him.

I doubt you will find anyone in the right wing media - even the underground media - cheering on people who burn down mosques in America or beat innocent Muslims in their neighborhood.

But that's another story, isn't it?


Are we sure he wasn't a member of Weight Watchers? Then he'd be gravitationally challenged and entitled to all the perks.

You're a must read for me every day. Keep it up.

First of all, Bertram translation is remiss: it's "White Watchmen" or "White Guards", not "watchers" (yes, I read Danish).

Second, Bertram represents the oh-so-comfortable left in Denmark. His comment on another post on his blog to the effect that The Jutland Post (Jyllands Posten) is reactionary is a dead giveaway. JP holds positions that are indistinguishable from a Danish version of the US Republican Party as personified in Bush 43.

Finally, like so many here in the States and Europe of that oh-so-comfortable left, everything they know about interpersonal relations they learned in elementary school.
Saddam is exhibiting Inappropriate Behavior? He needs some Quiet Time.

Bertram exhibits both the moral equivalence and subtle racism so typical of the left. The muslim minority in Denmark has played him and those like him for chumps. It's always the fault of white people and those ever available Jews in the guise of Israelis.

You nailed it on the head, Michele. This is not about Islam. It's not about Muslims in general being evil violent people. It's about evil violent men using Islam as a way to get people to do what they want. This happens in all religions. It's no different than David Koresh convincing people to give him their children and take up arms in the name of Christianity. This is not about condemning a religion. It's about stopping people from exploiting a religion to do terrible things. The thing that does bother me though, is that most established Christians denounced to anyone that would listen the things that Koresh and McVeigh did. This isn't happening from Muslims. There's no official declaration from top Muslims in this country or any other, that Bin Ladin's actions or those of his followers are wrong. Instead we get justifications and excuses about how they were pushed into a corner and oppressed and had no choice. That's the thing that is alienating people from Muslims in general. Not the acts of a deranged few, but the failure of the mojority to call them that publicly.

Robert is right – it’s not just the acts of a deranged few, it’s the failure of the group that they claim to represent to condemn those acts that’s hard to explain. About the cop killer - when one reader self-published a letter on Indymedia confessing that he’d killed a policeman to protest corporate crime, Indymedia editors and readers didn’t call the police. Some commenters cheered the murderer. Others agreed with his ‘ideals’, but believed that murdering a policeman, was not the best way to make a point. When the Associated Press contacted Indymedia for information about the alleged killer, Indymedia responded by accusing AP of covering up corporate murders in Bolivia. Indymedia readers cheered.

Setting a mosque on fire, assault, murder, shooting someone in the name of a cause is just wrong, no matter what the cause is. Not condemning brutal acts because you agree with the supposed ‘cause’ is also wrong.

And just how many documented instances of mosque defacings and crimes against Muslims are there in this country? Certainly not as many as Muslims' acts against Jews and Jewish Synagogues in a European country like, let's say, France. We're a damn sight more tolerant of Muslims than they are of us.

Actually, I am quite honored that you noticed my blog entry and respond.I do feel, however, that you kiss my point - or maybe you do not.

You see: I do believe that words can be quite dangerous. And, yes, I do believe that those pundits, journalists, commentators, and, yes, even some bloggers, that have demonized and de-humanized Muslims in the past year have a responsibility.

As if you need proof of right-wing bigotry, go no further than the comments at LGF. After all, there you will find calls for nuking Mecca or some place. Or, indeed, consider the case that I have blogged later, where a "respectable" professor in a review of a book about a whole other issue find room for remarks such as "islamists do not respect the laws" (note that he conveniently slips from talking about Muslims in general for "Islamists": there is barely a difference for him.

What irked me, and caused me to write the blog entry, was the case I mentioned: namely an attempted arson against a mosque. There has been other incidents this past year, like when some yahoo torched a Muslim-owned grocery shop that was located on the ground floor of an apartment building.

A racist group brags about their deeds on various bulletin boards: for now, "pranks" such as smearing pork lard on the door handles of Muslim shops and mosques.... Tomorrow, who knows what they will do?

And the point is: this is not reported as "hate crime", or reported very much. The last arson incident was a 5-line note on page 7 of some, but not all, papers; it was never followed up upon. Many incidents are never reported in the papers at all; certainly never on the TV news.

So you do not feel any responsibility. That is fine. So, you ask: do the left-wing pundits feel responsible for the cop killing in California? I dunno: which pundits have incited a general hatred against cops, and called for bombing their habitats? When you have located those guys, go ask the... And, btw: maybe you would like to point out which "left wing pundit" publicly cheered and congratulated this cop killer? (For the record: IndyMedia do not count...as little as I would count Vanguard News as being an example of a "right wing pundit".

But all that has precious little to do with what I wrote, I should think.

And for Jim Muchow:

I think that your comment on Jyllands Posten and Bush 43 just about proves my point, does it not? Well, joking aside: in the Danish political spectrum, this paper does represent the most reactionary side. Funny thing, I don't think that they would protest that characterization very much.

And, sir, since you have started being a little uncouth: what the fuck do you know about my "moral equivalence" or "knowledge about interpersonal relations"? And you dare, no that should be DARE call me a "subtle racist"? And, sir, really: did I bring Israel into this? At all?

What you are saying is basically that pointing out that there is a racist problem in Europe, but more often than not, Muslims are at the sharp end of the stick, amount to being anti-Jewish -- that WAS what you intended, was it not?