Tag Archives: germany

Charlie Hebdo – pulling at your scabs to make you bleed

charlie-hebdo-drawing-aylan-kurdi

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is doing what the magazine was born to do.  Go in hard. Be controversial and court controversy by pulling on a badly scabbed wound – yanking it off and letting the blood gush out.  The latest cartoons which are currently getting people angry is their response of predominantly Christian European countries to the migrant crisis gripping our shores and our headlines.

There are two drawings which have caused the greatest offence.  The first is a depiction of the harrowing sight of Aylan Kurdi whose limp body was carried off a Turkish beach and whose image has single handedly lead to a change in the discourse of Europeans on migration.

The cartoon shows the boy beside an advertising billboard offering two children’s meal menus for the price of one with the caption “So close to making it”.

The other offending cartoon suggests “Proof that Europe is Christian” and depicts a Jesus-like character walking on water besides another up-ended charter wearing shorts with the caption “Christians walk on water” and the latter “Muslim children sink”.

Daily Express Headline

But it’s important to remember what is going on.  The cartoon is not mocking dead children.  It mocks western culture – but I think it also goes deeper and asks questions of those who risk the lives of their children. In this case – the family of the boy who died  – were in Turkey. They were out of Syria. When they put their children on that dinghy – were they fleeing for their lives or because they wanted to better their lives? Does the ends justify the means? Did they have to take the risk? And what exactly is their understanding of what Western culture is?

McDonald's Golden Arches

You don’t have to agree with how Charlie go about it – because they are just trying to be clever. I suppose – at least they are trying… It’s more than I  have done. But condemn at will – their point is made.

  • They highlight the superficial nature of those who don’t give a thought to the message they are imparting – & instantly condemn & get enraged:  like McDonald’s – most people want stuff fast, tasty & cheap so they can devour without much thought about what it is they are actually consuming. Charlie like enraging these people just as much as;
  • Those who do ponder a little longer & scratch the surface of the varying messages they impart…& have a smug sense that they understand these matters better than anyone else. When actually – they don’t.

I’m not a big fan of the Daily Express and have never personal paid any cash to buy it.  However, it did run what appears to be a reasoned piece on the story that has become – the boy on the beach

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The ISIS chain of terror

An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq's Nineveh province. Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners today, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days. AFP PHOTO / HO / ISIL
An image grab taken from a propaganda video uploaded on June 11, 2014 by jihadist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) allegedly shows ISIL militants gathering at an undisclosed location in Iraq’s Nineveh province. Militants took control of the Iraqi city of Tikrit and freed hundreds of prisoners today, police said, the second provincial capital to fall in two days. AFP PHOTO / HO / ISIL

The medieval way in which terrorist organisation ISIS dispatched Muadh al-Kasasbeh, a Jordanian pilot, to his death in January 2015 was something that caused nausea to anyone who cherishes life and believes in human dignity.  Of course, not everyone gasped a breath of repulsion with news reports circulating that Isil broadcast the murder on giant public screens to crowds that included young children cheering and chanting in Raqqa, the de facto capital of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Of course, I say medieval – however, one does not need to look back to the middle ages to find tales of atrocious behaviour carried out by man kind up man kind.  As is pointed out in the blog “We Are Respectable Negroes

For almost a century, the United States practiced a unique cultural ritual that was as least as gruesome as the “Medieval” punishments meted out by ISIS against its foes.

What is now known as “spectacular lynching” involved the ceremonial torture, murder–and yes, burning alive–of black Americans by whites.

In fact, the burned to death images of the black body were one of the most popular types of mass culture in 19th and 20th century America.

lynching-omaha-nebraska-sept-29-1919

And who can forget the many atrocities carried out by German’s under the NAZI flag including beastly experiments with victims coerced into participating; they did not willingly volunteer and there was never informed consent. Typically, the experiments resulted in death, disfigurement or permanent disability, and as such are considered as examples of medical torture.

A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945. — Guenther Schwarberg
A Jewish child is forced to show the scar left after SS physicians removed his lymph nodes. This child was one of 20 Jewish children injected with tuberculosis germs as part of a medical experiment. All were murdered on April 20, 1945. Neuengamme concentration camp, Germany, between December 1944 and February 1945.
— Guenther Schwarberg

The terror and brutality that is being carried out by ISIS is not new – the speed and method of the delivery of the images is. I’m grateful to have been brought up in the West – in a country where religion is a private matter and the freedom to live life is not dictated by the passages of a religious text or by the gun or knife or a brutal regime that won’t accept dissent.  People in Britain must be free to choose to have a religion or not – but it must be a choice and as  writes in the telegraph:

Yesterday came a damning official report by Louise Casey saying that Labour’s Rotherham borough council was “in complete denial” and had failed to respond properly to last year’s scathing report by Prof Alexis Jay. Men of Pakistani origin had been allowed to abuse white girls in part because of “misplaced political correctness”: council staff were terrified of being labelled racist. Cowards and fools, they “decided such issues should be dealt with by people from the Pakistani community”. Good thinking, chaps!

In Rotherham, Casey also found that police had failed to pursue Pakistani perpetrators for fear of “offending the community”.

What community? Not yours and mine, that’s for sure. So desperate is the situation that Whitehall-appointed commissioners are to move in and take over the council. In Rotherham, we see with terrible clarity how the whole edifice of multiculturalism is as rotten as a Tudor monarch’s mouth.

What Allison fails to note is that the kind of abuse that happened in Rotherham isn’t just limited to a particular ethnic group – white men will take just as much advantage of girls as any other race – the worrying element is if the report is true and staff failed to act out of a fear of being racist.  And this is why I am strongly against religious schools where children are divided along lines of cultural and often racial background and never mix with anyone who is not of their belief nor race.  This cannot be good for our future.

If we are to learn anything from the atrocities committed by ISIS – is that we must integrate the different cultures and backgrounds that exist within Britain better than we are doing at the moment.  What makes a teenage boy or girl think that their life is only valuable when it has a bomb attached to it and they are kill themselves and as many people as they can?

How did we let this situation happen? The Prime Minister David Cameron has jumped in feet first to tackle what they would term welfare scroungers – but what about extremists and extremism? It is lazy to think of this as a muslim probably – any more than suggesting that when the IRA was active on British shores they were a catholic problem.

One of the reasons we elect politicians is to make us safe – so far, they have failed us.  But if UKIP is the answer – we’re most definitely asking the wrong questions.