#JeSuisCharlie hypocrisy goes off the charts

A dangerous social consensus can be seen consolidating behind the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie. France just announced it is sending its Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier to support military operations against ISIS in Iraq. This comes after al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) claimed responsibility for the Paris attack in a video message by commander Nasr Bin Ali al-Anesi on the Qaedist website Sada al-Malahim (not on Google, seemingly). Al-Anesi said the attack was carried out under orders from al-Qaeda's global leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. (Yemen Post, Reuters, CNN) Reprisal attacks are sweeping France. Abdallah Zekri of the National Observatory Against Islamophobia said that since the Charlie Hebdo massacre, 26 Muslim places of worship around France have been attacked with firebombs, fired at, or desecrated with pig heads. There have been many more insults and threats. (AP) We have heard of no arrests in these cases, but French authorities have detained 54 for violating the country's strong laws against anti-Semitism and racism—seemingly all preceived apologists for Islamist terrorism. Among the detained is comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, who has repeated convictions under the hate speech laws. Prime Minister Manuel Valls has declared Dieudonné "no longer a comedian" but an "anti-Semite and racist." He was arrested after posting a Facebook comment playing on the popular hashtag to suggest that he "is" one of the slain assailants in the Charlie attack. (AP, AFP, Foreign Policy, Jurist) However repulsive Dieudonne's post, the cognitive dissonance is overwhelming. An attack on free speech is being used to justify further attacks on free speech… in the name of protecting free speech.

It gets worse. We've noted that Turkey was among the countries to send leaders to the Paris march condemning the Charlie attack. Now, a Turkish court has banned access to websites showing the new cover of Charlie Hebdo (which of course features a caricature of the Prophet Muhammed). Turkish police are also  inspecting print newspapers to see if they have run the new Charlie cover. (Jurist)

One paper that has run the new caricature (seemingly just before the court order) is the pro-secular Cumhuriyet. Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit quickly retaliated by running an Internet-culled caricature of Kemal Ataturk, the militantly secular founding father of modern Turkey, photo-shopped to look like he's been beaten black and blue. This, in turn, prompted bomb threats against Yeni Akit by Kemalists, adherents of the Ataturk personality-cult. So, the Islamists are fine with offensive images as long as it isn't the Prophet being offended, while the secularists abandon free-speech principles when it is their secular prophet Ataturk being offended! (Revolution News)

Just days after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu marched in Paris, Turkish courts sentenced a musician to a 10-month prison term (suspended for five years), for the "crime" of "denigrating religion." And of course we have noted persistent charges that Turkey has been covertly supporting ISIS in northern Syria. (Middle East Forum

Then there are the Idiot Left responses to the affair, which are built around the ugly "murder is bad but" construction (e.g. on Common DreamsAnarkismo) or the very tiresome "not about free speech" line (Asghar Bukhari on Medium, the annoying Chris Hedges on Op-Ed News). The erroneous assumption that Charlie Hebdo is an organ of the French racist right is expertly deconstructed by Leigh Phillips on Ricochet Media, who takes on "the unilingual [Anglophone] left" for misconstruing Charlie's edgy but ultimately anti-racist humor. He again provides context on the cartoon of Boko Haram rape victims demanding welfare checks, calling it a "first-world problems" commentary on recent protests by the French petite-bourgeoisie against measures to tie family allotments to income. Another cartoon jumped on as racist is the one of Justice Minister Christiane Taubira (a Black woman) depicted as a monkey. Phillips provides the context: Taubira had just been monkey-baited by the right-wing Front National, and the cartoon was actually a mock-up of FN propaganda lit. "It is obvious to any French person familiar with the political context that the cartoon is mocking the racism of the Front National," Phillips writes. He also notes that Taubira has herself spoken out in defense of Charlie Hebdo since the attack. She even tweeted: "The free press is the enemy of obscurantism and violence." A little inconvenient truth for the Idiot Left interpretation!

A more complete breakdown of controversial Charlie cartoons, and how they are being widely misread by the Anglophone left, is provided by the Understanding Charlie Hebdo website. Check it out before you jump on the "racist" bandwagon. Blasphemy does not equal racism. Sorry. The prior is irreverence towards a religion, the latter is denigration of a people. The two can overlap, but they are distinct phenomena, and any effort to obscure this fact is dishonest. Freedom of religion also includes freedom from religion, which necessarily means a right to blasphemy.

Arguably, those throwing around the "racism" charge are themselves being a tad racist. Safely invisible to them is Charlie Hebdo copy editor Moustapha Ourrad, of Algerian origin, who was killed in the attack. Charlie Hebdo columnist Zineb El Rhazoui, of Moroccan origin, was luckily not at the office when the attack took place. She has vigorously defended Charlie against charges of racism, for instance in Cercle des Volontaires last year. Speaking to The Guardian, she now explains the new cover, which famously features a drawing of a teary-eyed Muhammed holding a #JeSuisCharlie sign under the banner "Tout est pardonné" (All is Forgiven). El Rhazoui says this actually refers to the attackers: "We don't feel any hate to them. We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology."

Absolutely correct. That ideology is political Islam, and leftist equivocation on recognizing and opposing it is part of the problem. Today's manifestation of this ideology, by the way, was the rally held in Peshawar (scene of the recent massacre of schoolchildren by jihadists) in open support of the Paris massacre. (AFP)

The dichotomy between those hastagging #JeSuisCharlie and #JeSuisMusulman continues to be utterly pathological. We can and must oppose both political Islam and the fascistic backlash against it (whether in form of the Western security state or xenophobic thuggery), which merely fuel each other and are equally exponents of reaction. Opposition to one is meaningless without opposition to the other.

Why is it that the most militant secularists seem to be from within the "Islamic world," while "leftists" in the West increasingly line up with the Islamist right? For those who remember the secular roots of the left, there is a sense of being through the looking glass. And when we say "militant secularists," we aren't referring to such condescending apologists for Western superiority as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. We are talking about genuinely heroic figures such as Iraq's Houzan Mahmoud, Iran's Maryam Namazie and Algeria's Karima Bennoune and Marieme Helie Lucas. These women intransigently oppose Western imperialism and political Islam alike, and speak with the moral authority of those who have placed themselves at risk. 

Listen to them.

  1. Charlie Hebdo: anti-racist

    Another sharp and persuasive defense of Charlie. Olivier Tonneau writes on MediaPart "On Charlie Hebdo: A letter to my British friends" (who are getting it wrong). Excerpts:

    This being clear, the attack becomes all the more tragic and absurd: two young French Muslims of Arab descent have not assaulted the numerous extreme-right wing newspapers that exist in France (Minute, Valeurs Actuelles) who ceaselessly amalgamate Arabs, Muslims and fundamentalists, but the very newspaper that did the most to fight racism. And to me, the one question that this specific event raises is: how could these youth ever come to this level of confusion and madness? What feeds into fundamentalist fury? How can we fight it?


    A friend told me that it was "the West bombing Muslim countries". I am deeply suspicious of a statement that includes two sweeping generalizations and is reminiscent of Samuel Huntington's theory of the “clash of civilizations": the western world vs. the Muslim world. The only difference between George W. Bush and a leftwing stance would be that whilst Bush sided with the western world, the leftwing activist sides with the Muslim world. But to reverse Huntington's view is a perverse way of confirming it.

    1. Charlie Hebdo: anti-racist

      Further context on Charlie Hebdo's left-wing roots, and how the Anglophone left is reading it backwards, is provided by blogger "tekno2600" on Daily Kos. The actual meaning of the monkey-caricature and Boko Haram rape-victim cartoons are yet again explained. At this point, anybody who is not getting it presumably doesn't want to.

      Veteran counterculture comedian Paul Krassner (who we quoted in regard to this mess last week) is among those interviewed on Austin's Rag Radio, who take a refreshing single-standard position in defense of the rights of Charlie Hebdo and Dieudonne alike.

  2. Iranian Worker-Communist Party supports Charlie Hebdo

    A statement from the Iranian Worker-Communist Party in support of Charlie Hebdo is online in French at the Solidarité Ouvrier website. An excerpt (our translation): "To confront and stop this movement [political Islam] is the responsibility of the left, secular, atheist, free-thinking and progressive forces, who see the defense of fundamental freedoms as a principal task. Charlie Hebdo belongs to this camp."

    1. Indian leftist: Long Live Charlie Hebdo!

      Indian writer Harsh Kapoor on the progressive South Asia Citizens Web unabashedly writes: "Long Live Charlie Hebdo!" He again calls out the mammoth distortions and/or simple cluelessness in most "leftist" commentary on the affair. An excerpt:

      Blasphemy…and racism are two different things. But with the rise of identity politics all over the world, there has been a successful push by many to collapse these into a single block that turns religious identity into ethnic or racial faultlines. In keeping with this, all of French of North African descent get sweepingly described in the media as Muslims (less than 5% go to mosques, 20% are atheists) or Arabs (vast majority are from Berber origins) and all of the 'white' French get labeled as Christian, a huge mistake this — a misnomer for the French.

      1. Censorious anti-Charlie zeal spreads to India.

        The editor of an Urdu newspaper was arrested by local police in the city of Thane, Maharashtra state, for printing the new Charlie Hebdo cover. Shirin Dalvi, the editor of Avadhnama Urdu Daily has been released on bail and awaits trial for "outraging religious feelings" under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code. (Indian Express)

  3. Will Facebook fold to Turkish censorship?

    A Turkish court on Jan. 25 ordered a ban on Facebook pages that contain materials insulting the Prophet Muhammed. The Golbasi Duty Magistrate Court ruled that Facebook would be blocked in Turkey if the order is not implemented. (Jurist) Note that Facebook recently folded to pressure from China, without even so much as a threat of legal action. This comes just as Google has been blocked in China, after failing to come to terms over blocking content. (Slate) We're watching, Facebook.

  4. Paris victim died a Tunisian patriot

    Young Tunisians on social media are extol a video of their country's Rabbi Hattab comparing the tolerant atmosphere between Jews and Muslims in Tunisia to the hostile one in France, where his son was murdered by terrorists last week. Yoav Hattab, 21, was killed while trying to overpower the gunman. A photo popular in Tunisian media shows him proudly displaying his blue-inked index finger, proof that he had voted in his country’s first democratic election following the 2011 revolution. Big ups to Israel's +972 for covering this. Few others are, because it doesn't fit into the "narrative."

  5. Humanist campaign challenges blasphemy laws

    Blasphemy laws are being challenged in a new global campaign launched by a coalition of humanist organisations. The International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) says that in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the time is right for countries to abolish laws that protect religious sensibilities. (BBC)

    Thank you, IHEU, for this courageous stance.

  6. San Francisco: freelance censors don’t know their history

    Is this consciously revisionist or just utterly clueless? SFGate on Jan. 13 writes about a reality-hacker in the Bay Area who is defacing anti-Islam bus ads placed by a right-wing group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The hacker, whose work is portrayed favorably, uses the depressing slogan "Free speech isn't a license to spread hate." But much worse, SFGate writes that the ads "feature an image of Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, a 20th Century Palestinian Muslim leader who opposed Zionism, with the words, 'Islamic Jew-Hatred: It's In The Quran.'" Haj Amin al-Husseini AKA the Mufti of Jerusalem, who openly collaborated with the Nazis and even met with Hitler (hence the photo), lauded as anti-Zionist, and treated as if the Hitler connection were arbitrary and spurious.

    It gets worse still. Even more clueless language was used by The Beat, a comics website, which picked up the story because the hacker appropriates the image of Kamala Khan AKA Ms. Marvel, the first hero of Muslim heritage in the Marvel universe. Ms. Marvel is seemingly pasted on top of the Mufti-Hitler photo, covering it up. States The Beat: "The ads make parallels between Islam with [sic] Nazism, utilizing a photo of Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin al-Husseini, an anti-Zionism Muslim leader…" We aren't given any context on how the  "utilized" photo came to exist! We apparently aren't supposed to ask such questions—just cheer on the hacker for use of the feel-good superhero image (if for censorious purposes).

    The Beat presents some tweets on the controversy by G. Willow Wilson, Ms. Marvel's creator, who (to her credit) writes that the Islamophobes have the right to purchase bus ads, and states that "the graffiti is part of the back-and-forth of the free speech conversation." Which we would heartily agree with—if the graffiti were responding to the ad rather than blotting it out, so that viewers don't even know what is being protested. 

    So once again… a demoralizing clash of conservatisms. One on hand, the ugly jingos of the American Freedom Defense Initiative. On the other, a censorious reality-hacker who would sanitize the role of the Mufti in World War II, and his clueless enablers in the press. We wish supporters of Palestine would figure it out: The more they prevaricate about the Mufti-Hitler affair, the easier it will be for Israeli propagandists to exploit it. And it should be noted that the current Mufti of Jerusalem, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, is continuing to loan convenient propaganda assistance to Israel with his ugly indiscretions.

    It is certainly an irony that the kicker on the AFDI ad is "STOP THE HATE," when it is of course spreading hate. But sweeping the Mufti-Hitler affair under the metaphorical carpet (or blocking it out with the image of a Muslim comic-book hero) is so dishonest as to be counter-productive. Just makes the forces of tolerance (and Palestinian liberation) look like we've got something to hide.

    And you would also hope that comics artists and their fans would not be so enthusiastic about censorship, even if censorship of ugly propaganda by a guerilla-style freelancer.

    1. Clash of conservatisms in cartoon wars

      OK, so back in May the American Freedom Defense Initiative, which takes delight in spreading Islamophobic propaganda, held a Muhammed cartoon contest in Garland, Tex., which two wannabe ISIS jihadists attacked, and were gunned down by police after wounding a security guard. Fox News eagerly lapped up the opportunist after-the-fact claim of responsibility by the actual ISIS. A month later, a bunch of rednecks considerably upped the ante, holding an armed hate-fest that they dubbed a "Free Speech Rally" outside a mosque in Phoenix. Talking Points Memo shows them in full-on camo fatigues brandishing assault rifles outside the mosque—and notes that Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) is calling for a Justice Department investigation into the affair.

      Ironically, if you go to the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix website, the first thing that greets you is not a protest of this thuggery, but a response to ISIS, promoting the hashtag #NotInMyName. They are far ethically superior to the idiots protesting them.

      All that said… We have to acknowledge that the winning cartoon at the Garland affair was actually pretty astute—and drawn by an artist who is an ex-Muslim. OK, the art isn't great, but the idea of the cartoon is pretty good. It depicts Muhammed being drawn by the artist's own hands in self-referential style. Muhammed is brandishing a sword and saying "You can't draw me!" A speech bubble coming from the artist's hands retorts: "That's why I draw you."

      Breitbart informs us that the artist, Bosch Fawstin (described as an "anti-Jihad activist"), grew up in a Muslim family in the Bronx. He seems to have dropped Muhammed for Ayn Rand after 9-11. OK, we detest Ayn Rand, but we have to admit the cartoon isn't bad. We just find it frustrating that progressive secular voices have been almost entirely eclipsed in this controversy…

  7. Left-fascism in the Indypendent

    New York's irksome Indypendent have really outdone themselves this time. Anna Polonyi offers a piece entitled "France After Charlie Hebdo: Seeking the Enemy Within," which could pass as a legitimate if not terribly insightful critique of the unfolding xenophobic police state—until the final paragraph:

    It is convenient to frame the question of homegrown extremism as purely an issue of security. Recognizing it as symptomatic of more widespread systemic disenfranchisement begs the question of change, and with it responsibility: To what extent are we to blame? This is not just a question for the government. If so many were ready to say "Je suis Charlie," we can also have the courage to say "Nous sommes tous Kouachis et Coulibalys."

    <sarcasm>Yes, that's just who we should be expressing solidarity with! Extremoid thugs who massacre Jews and left-wing cartoonists!</sarcasm> There is not a word here about solidarity with pro-secular and progressive forces in the Muslim world (including in France)—only a brief and dismissive mention of the boring conventional wisdom of supporting "moderate" Islam. We've been reluctant to use the much-abused "left-fascism" label, but it is becoming increasingly inevitable. All the ingredients are there: rejection of modernity; intolerance of art deemed decadent; glorification of Jew-hatred. This is just another form of fascism, mirroring that of the xenophobes Polonyi is ostensibly critiquing. Which is hardly surprising: Her presumptuous use of the pronoun "we" betrays her total identification with the oppressor.  

    Given how egregious this crap is, it almost seems petty to point out that Polonyi is yet another scribbler who doesn't know what "begging the question" means.

  8. North Carolina slayings: opportunity for anti-atheist pile-on

    OK, time for my belief system to be tarred by the actions of an extremist. Stephen Hicks, accused of killing three young Muslim Americans in Chapel Hill, had apparently posted about his atheist beliefs on Facebook. This affords Reza Aslan the opportunity to gripe to National Public Radio about what he calls "anti-theism." He says: "An anti-theist is a relatively new identity, and it's more than just sort of a refusal to believe in gods or spirituality; it's a sometimes virulent opposition to the very concept of belief." 

    Sorry, Reza. I am an anti-theist. I am in virulent opposition to the very concept of belief in your Sky Daddy. And this Craig Hicks monster no more represents me than ISIS represents you. Muslim leaders have long been complaining about how they are unfairly blamed for extremism in the name of their beleif system. So you'd think they'd refrain from the same behavior. 

    And the difference is that ISIS is an organized movement, in turn part of the larger movement of political Islam. Hicks was the proverbial lone nut. (Yes, there's plenty of violent Islamophobia out there, but usually purveyed by believers in a rival Sky Daddy, not by nonbelievers.) Yet watch all the believers jump on this in dishonest manner.

    Meanwhile, presumed Muslim extremoids continue their jihad against subversive art, shooting up a cafe in Copenhagen where a public discussion was being held on "Art, Blasphemy and the Freedom of Expression." One attendee was killed. The event was organized by Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has faced numerous threats for caricaturing Prophet Muhammed. Hours later a synagogue in the city was shot up, leaving another dead. One suspect in the attacks was later shot by police. (Al Jazeera, Feb. 16; Al JazeeraThe Telegraph, Feb. 15)

    Right, this is the big problem in the world. "Anti-theism." When will theists of all stripes stop their equivocation? Over and over we hear that they oppose the assassination of artists (gee, thanks), but also oppose the blasphemous art (as if these two things were equivalent). When will they say it clearly: Blasphemy is an inalienable right.  

    Maybe we'd be willing to relax our "anti-theism" if your God weren't such an uptight asshole. Just sayin'.

    1. My Sky Daddy is better than your Sky Daddy

      Case in point. The Quba Islamic Institute in Houston was torched in an arson attack Feb. 14, and the Daily Mail reveals that a recent fund appeal on its Facebook page had elicited a stream of ugly comments and barely-veiled threats, e.g. "And may the Light of Jesus Christ our Lord Savior drive out the infection which is Islam and its vile, evil rituals and laws from America."

      As someone once said, "Cast the beam from thine own eye," dude.

  9. Bibi exploits Jew-hatred…. again

    Seeming to mock claims that the Chapel Hill attack was a parking dispute, hoodlums who vandalized the Islamic School of Rhode Island over the weekend helpfully scrawled 'THIS IS A HATE CRIME" on the glass door, alongside the word "PIG" and profanities dissing Mohammed and Allah. Thanks fellas, that's helpful. Hearteningly, accounts quoted Rabbi Sarah Mack, of Temple Beth-El in Providence: "I find it very upsetting. The Muslim community in Rhode Island is very open and peaceful.” (Providence Journal)

    French police meanwhile announced the arrest of five youths in the defacing and damage of 300 Jewish graves in Sarre-Union, Alsace. One of the youths apparently denied it was an anti-Semitic attack. Now is he just a clueless idiot who thinks he can argue that they just attacked a Jewish cemetery arbitrarily? Or a more sophisticated idiot who thinks he can try to color it as "anti-Zionism"?

    Benjamin Netanyahu of course has to once again exploit the ugliness: "This wave of attacks is expected to continue," Netanyahu told his Cabinet. "Jews deserve security in every country, but we say to our Jewish brothers and sisters, Israel is your home."

    Oh, will you shut up? How dumb do you think Jews are? Obviously Jews are not safe in Israel, and Israel's crimes are one of the reasons that they aren't safe in Europe! But in another heartening sign, Netanyahu's comments won an angry response from Copenhagen's chief rabbi, Jair Melchior, who said he was "disappointed" by them.

    French President Francois Hollande also repudiated Bibi: "I will not just let what was said in Israel pass, leading people to believe that Jews no longer have a place in Europe and in France in particular." Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: "A Jew who leaves France is a piece of France that is gone." More problematically, he pledged to defend French Jews against "Islamo-fascism." Reports have actually not made clear if the kids arrested in the Alsace attack are Muslims. (AFPAP, AP)

    And please don't us accuse of making excuses for anti-Semitic attacks by acknowledging context. We must again point out the twin errors that are nearly ubiquitous in commentary on the question. One is to deny the context of Israeli crimes and portray the attacks on Jews as mere arbitrary anti-Semitism. The other is to deny the anti-Semitic element, as if shooting up a synagogue or desecrating graves were a legitimate way to protest Israeli atrocities.

    As we've noted before, the French have a saying, Tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner—"To understand all is to forgive all." Like many French sayings, it is total bullshit. 

    1. A glimmer of hope in Norway

      Some 1,000 Muslims, seemingly youth for the most part, today formed a protective "peace ring" around Oslo's synagogue in response to last week's attack on the Copenhagen synagogue. Certianly a far more inspiring response than Bibi's cynical exploitation. Organizer Hajrad Arshad, just 17, told Norway's state broadcaster NRK: "We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening." (JTA)

      Very good, Hajrad. Here's someone who is demonstrating that "Islam is a religion of peace" instead of just mouthing it as a defensive slogan. And understanding that a committment to peace means taking responsibility, not dodging it.

      We haven't heard that there was any threat to the Oslo synagogue. Although the sick ideology behind the 2011 Oslo terror attacks mixed Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, as we noted. A few years before that, Norway was embroiled in the cartoon wars—although then, it was over a cartoon that offended Jews, not Musilms. We also wish that someone would make note of the ongoing attacks against both Musilms and Jews in Sweden

      1. Copenhagen cops ban ‘ring of peace’

        Following the example of their co-religionists in Oslo, Danish Muslims applied for a permit to hold a "ring of peace" around the Copenhagen synagogue that was attacked—and were turned down by city police, who cited "security concerns." (JTA, Feb. 24)

        The mind boggles. Finally, something good happens in the world…. and the cops ban it! Doesn't this say it all!

      2. Norway’s Zionist establishment diss ‘ring of peace’ activist

        Israel's +972 reports that Norway's answer to AIPAC, the misleadingly named With Israel for Peace (MIFF) were miffed that Hajrad Arshad had an image on her Facebook page calling for a free Palestine that did not include 1967 borders. Now, calling for a single secular state in historic Palestine is perfectly fine, but +972 adds with appropriate snark: "Because as we all know, the 1967 borders are sacred to all card-carrying Zionists. And the Israeli Tourism Ministry's own maps, which are about as honest of a representation of Israel’s version of the two-state solution as you’ll ever see (hint: no West Bank border, only Areas A and B)." 

        You'd think the Zionist establishment would be a little chastened by the courage and righteousness of Hajrad and her friends… Sadly, no.

        The good news is that other of Norway's Jewish leaders, including Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community of Oslo, were “extremely positive” about the support demonstrated by these Muslim youth. "I have been very impressed," said Jewish Community board member Michael Gritzman. "I hope this will spread to other countries."

        1. Breitbart bashes ‘ring of peace’

          Gee, how heartwarming. Did you happen to see Breitbart's reaction to the Oslo "ring of peace"? They call the event a "media hoax, " claiming only some 20 participated, not the 1,000 cited by nearly all mainstream accounts. The source for this claim is "a local eyewitness," which (if you follow the links) turns out to be a lone pseudonymous commenter on Reddit which Breitbart echoed from FrontPageMag in the usual game of telephone. It also cites slightly more plausible reports that the 1,000 figure referred to the number on the scene rather than those who actually linked arms around the synagogue, and that many were "ethnic Norwegians" (the apparent assumption being ethnic Norwegians can't be Muslim). The photos that are supposed to debunk the notion of a large ring around the synagogue actually appear to show way more than 20, though if the entire building was surrounded as reports suggest, obviously the shots could not show the ring in its entirety. Singlularly unconvincing, Breitbart.

          The account next gripes: "Demonstrators also reportedly chanted, 'No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,' conflating criticism of Islam and hatred of Jews." Huh? How the hell does it do that? What transparent jive. First, the word "conflating" is used when obviously "equating" is what was meant. But more to the point: Note that Islamophobia is elevated as "criticism," which is not what the suffix phobia denotes whatsoever. That slogan is actually entirely appropriate—except for those who seek to sabotage solidarity between Jews and Muslims.

          And while no mention is made of the astute Hajrad Arshad, Breitbart gripes that one of the organizers, named as Ali Chishti, "is a virulent anti-Semite, 9/11 truther, a gay-basher, and an Israel-hater," who reportedly (the source is again FrontPageMag lifting from pseudonymous Reddit dude) told an interviewer in 2008 "I hate Jews and how they operate."

          Now, um, if my math doesn't fail me, 2008 was seven years ago. Assuming the quote is true at all, shouldn't we take it as a sign of hope that Chishti has obviously rethought things over the past seven years? No, not if you have everything invested in Jewish-Muslim hatred.

          This is low even for you, Breitbart.

  10. France outlaws Islamist group after murder of teacher

    French government spokesperson Gabriel Attal announced on Oct. 21 that France will ban the Islamist group found to be directly involved in the brutal killing of a French school teacher last week.

    Samuel Paty, a history teacher, was beheaded by Abdoulakh Anzorov, a teenager of Chechen origins, over Paty’s use of the “blasphemous” Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad during a class on freedom of expression. Anzorov, who has since been linked to the Islamist group known as the “Sheikh Yassin Collective,” was shot dead by the police.

    Paty’s killing prompted massive protests in France, with thousands of people gathering in Paris to pay tribute to the teacher. The founder of the Sheikh Yassin Collective, Abdelhakim Sefrioui is currently in custody and under investigation over charges of incitement of religiously-motivated violence. (Jurist)