idk if i agree with all of this
A few days ago I wrote that the attacks in Norway should be seen as a singular and an abnormal event that is divorced from the realities of Norwegian or European society. However, in some ways, I want to retract from that statement. While the violent act - in Norwegian context - is no doubt an anomaly, I would like to bring your attention to the underlying trends of which this attack was a violent manifestation. This trend, which is prevalent in Europe and in North America, is increasingly troubling. The trend of which I am talking is that of Islamophobia and hatred towards immigrants and multiculturalism.
For anyone who lives or follows the social and political development of Europe, it would be easy to notice the sharp increase in anti-Muslim sentiments over the recent years. They appear in many forms, from right-wing racist, xenophobic and populist press to more the more liberal publications and newspapers and from populist political programs to central and left-leaning ones.
Newspapers and magazines like the Sun, the Daily Mirror, Le Point and L’express among many others have an alarmist tone and out-right hatred towards Muslims. While the so-called educated folks tend to ridicule them, they consistently disseminate and perpetuate a message of hatred against another group of people. It is a mistake to brush them aside and make fun of them, because while we might do so, they take up their toll, influence, instigate and manipulate many emotions, feelings and sentiments of a great many people. It becomes a much greater problem when these messages of hate stir up people who are blinded by ignorance, and are ready to follow them in a militant manner. By simply ignoring these manifestations of hate against a particular group, we ignore, very stupidly in my opinion, the causes of hatred by one group against another. Here is where the failings of the society are. Despite the fact that right-wing militants are small in number, they nonetheless pose a much bigger threat than their numbers would suggest, simply as a result of the means of violence they can resort to. If society refuses to look at the reasons of hatred and chooses not to tackle them, then the cancer would keep growing and causing a lot more damage.
As far as the so-called liberal press is concerned, such as Le Monde, Der Spiegal and others, they probably do a worse job than the established right-wing press. I remember an observation by the great Noam Chomsky of the American media, which I would paraphrase:Criticizing liberal press like NY Times is more important than Fox News, because it’s really the liberal intellectuals who define the limits of what can be said and thought. After the attacks in Norway and the subsequent reporting of the incident by the media of various countries, I have come to understand the accuracy and worth of Chomsky’s statement. It’s as valid for Europe as America. The right-wing press no doubt does its part in doing the damage, but in reality it’s the liberal press that is more insidious. If you read the liberal press, you will find that they keep using the terms like “Islamic terrorism”, “Muslim terrorists”, “Islamic Jihad”, “Muslim fanatic”, “Islamic fundamentalists”, etc. These terms are fallacious terms, and anyone who has knowledge of Islam will know so. However, the liberal media never distinguishes between Islam and Islamism, and they use these terms in an interchanging manner, as if they have the same meaning. Terrorism and Islam have become so synonymous, that an un-knowing public understands them as one and the same, and holds Islam and Muslims as the cause of violence. As most Muslims have their origins outside of Europe, Islam has also goes hand in hand with immigration. As the rhetoric against immigration rises, it does so against Islam as well. Therefore, Islam, Islamism, terror, immigrant, ghetto, Arab, Turkish, Pakistani, brown, all go together. As Europe increasingly closes itself against other cultures, it also becomes hostile towards Muslims. The liberal media maintains advances and shapes such attitudes. By not providing an alternative and progressive voice, they play a vital role in maintaining the hegemony of a stronger group over the weaker group. As the liberal press considers itself, in a very self-serving manner, at the forefront of critical and intellectual thinking, its readers are also likely to consider its opinions as the high end of critical thinking. Thus, the liberal media’s views would be considered as all there is regarding such issues. This is why I think that it’s a lot more important to deconstruct what the liberal media has to say and show the so-called educated and sophisticated class that, in fact, they are a bigger problem than those they like to laugh at.
The same has to be said of political parties. What exactly is the difference between Le Pen and Sarkozy, or Merkel and the German far-right, or Cameron and EDL? The only difference is that Sarkozy, Merkel and Cameron are lighter versions of the far-right. These three also denounce multiculturalism and stigmatize Muslims, Islam and immigrants. The far-right goes much beyond them, but they are all of the same tendencies. Now what alternative does the public have when all the major political parties are of the same color but different shades? There not much hope and choice. Parties who oppose such views are weak and scattered that they are not capable of challenging the status quo. My point over here is the same as the one I made for the intellectuals. As the self-proclaimed better parties than those on the right, UMP, Christian Democrats, Labor and Conservative do more damage than the far-right because their stance is more or less the same or has the same tendencies, but sometimes under a cover, nuanced and complicated. People know where the FN and BNP stand, but they can be tricked easily by Sarkozy and others of his type. Malcolm X said that he can deal better with the Southern racist than the Northern racist, because the South is clear about their views while the North is deceptive. I think that it applies to the above mentioned political parties too.
It is in this context of an increasing Islamophobia from all sides that the attacks in Norway should be looked at. As the Socialistworker said, “Breivik’s diatribes against Muslims and multiculturalism are very much a part of political debate in Europe, as in America—a direct result of the rightward shift in mainstream politics and the frightening successes of the far right that have only accelerated during a period of economic crisis.” The grounds for these attacks have been in preparation for a long time and nobody mentioned above is innocent. Breivik’s actions are nothing but a violent manifestation of a deeply troubling social and political wave in Europe.
- Jahanzeb Hussain
- 99% of rapes are committed by men.
- The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in 2001 which found that 20% of adolescent girls were physically or sexually abused by a date.
- Studies show that 15 to 38% of women and 5 to 16% of men experienced some form of sexual abuse as children.
- The average age at which a child is first abused sexually is ten years old.
- One national survey found that 83% of girls reported being sexually harassed at school.
- One in four college women experience completed or attempted rape during their college years.
- The average age of entry into prostitution is thirteen or fourteen.
- The estimated annual health-related costs, lost productivity costs, and lost earnings due to intimate partner violence in the U.S. is $5.9 billion.
- According to the FBI, 80 to 90% of rapes are never reported.
- 29% of rape victims are assaulted before they reach the age of eleven.
- One in twelve men have admitted to having committed acts that fit the legal definition of rape. However, 88% of men whose actions came under the legal definition or rape were adamant that their behavior did not constitute rape.
- Physical abuse occurs in one in four marriages.
- In the U.S. three women on average are murdered every day by their husbands, boyfriends, or exes.
- It was not until 1993 that marital rape was considered a crime in all 50 states.
- One study by the American Academy of Pediatrics found that 43% of college-aged men conceded to using coercive behavior to have sex (including ignoring a woman’s protest, using physical aggression, and forcing intercourse).
Men who batter are products of a society that is in deep denial about men’s violence, and when forced to face reality seeks to blame victims instead.
If people have reason to be in denial about the victimization of women they care about, isn’t it even more understandable that they would be in denial about male perpetrators they care about? At least the victims are sympathetic; something bad has happened to them. But who wants to admit that men they care about have done bad things to women?
Rampant victim-blaming artificially makes our ethical choices easier. If the (false) choice is between “She’s a vindictive slut who’s trying to take down one of my boys” and “My friend is a rapist,” it’s a no brainer to figure out which one is the easiest to live with.
All men benefit from some men’s violence against women because that violence - and the threat of it - is a key tool in men’s continued subordination of women, from which all men benefit.
Why are rape and battering constantly framed as a “women’s issues” when they would practically cease to exist were it not for the actions of men? Men are committing 99% of these violent crimes, and the gender dynamics that underlie rape and domestic abuse are woven densely into the fabric of our culture. Designating rape and battering as “Women’s Issues” only reinforces a culture that normalizes violence against women.
Men and boys need to be educated about these issues if we want any of the sickening statistics above to ever change.
(Source - The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help by Jackson Katz)
Eric Ward (via queerdesi)
Every single time. (And that “crazy” isn’t just an offhand word, it’s always crucial to the rhetoric to make sure the violent white person(s) can be at least vaguely described as such, to establish mental instability as the source of their actions.)
Because as usual, whites are lucky enough to be individuals, not a mass of people. Which you know, is true in some ways, but not in others. Like in this situation, where white people is really white man and individual person. Wtf?
when brown people do it, their behavior is part of a pattern.
when white people do it, their behavior is exceptional.
but tbqh its not like when we find out that it was some white guy or right wing maniac, things get any better. mainly because no one steps up to say, hey anyone can be a terrorist.
in austin a few years ago, this guy was mad about having to pay taxes on his plane so he flew his plane into a building.
did you get that?
he flew the plane into a building.
and media outlets even applauded him, painted him as an example of government oppression. look at how stressed taxes made him! he had to fly his plane into the IRS building!
In my first-year political science class I presented on arms trade around the world which comes mainly from the US and other imperialist countries. In my conclusion I said that the need to raise awareness about arms trade and the need to campaign against it is the same as that for climate change and nuclear weapons. I said that imperialist countries want warfare in other countries so that they can have a market for their arms and earn money, that it is in their interest to have wars, civil wars and strife around the planet, and that they support wars between different groups (a part from obviously invading countries themselves) in order to earn profit. I also made the statement that one of the biggest ways to have peace in this world is to end selling of arms, if not ending its manufacturing all together.
One of the guys asked what will that serve. Will it even matter ? He said that we should just keep selling arms because wars will carry on regardless and people in Africa will just keep on fighting as they always had. I think I kept my cool but on the inside I was boiling. I replied that I dare people in this class to find one single war that is not sustained - if not initiated - by imperialist countries. Nobody said anything.
Believe it or not, but the teacher also agreed with him. She said that it was a valid argument and one which has been used by stronger countries for a long time. It made me even angrier. I said to her that it is not a surprise that they say so, because they want to make it seem like they are just neutral and that poor countries are just barbarians. I think it struck her and the rest of the class. I think people in North America are so imbibed with marketing and deceit that when they hear such things it hits them.
I then said that it was simply immoral to make profit out of someone else’s misery. To my shock, the teacher said that I should not impose my morals on values on others (!!!). The irony was that my teacher is black. It is ironic that a black person will say such things and support their former slave masters in this manner. If I had said that slavery has to be abolished because it is immoral, then would she had made the same argument that I should not impose my morals on others ? Unreal.
- Jahanzeb Hussain
The rape of Nanking by Iris Chang.
(found Via here. Trigger warning for photos of disembodied heads.)
When people live extremely structured lives it makes sense that, when put in a situation without much structure at all, they will go off the handle and not really know when to stop.
Since so many people are reblogging this quote again, I’ve been very interested in its newfound popularity. This recent comment in particular caught my eye - I think it’s aiming for something that is correct but I don’t know that we could call something like the Rape of Nanjing unstructured, necessarily.
But - and I do think this is what happened - it does read exactly like the Stanford Prison experiment on a very real and very horrifying level. For anyone unfamiliar, the Stanford Prison Experiment was done by students and a professor at Stanford. A group of people was divided into ‘prisoners’ in the basement classrooms acting as the prison/cells and Prison Guards. The Professor became the Warden. They found that within six days, they had to shut down the experiment entirely. Enough ‘prisoners’ opted out: Prisoners had become passive, and Prison Guards inflicted physical and emotional abuse upon their prisoners. People began to internalize their roles of power, or lack thereof.
In otherwords, it’s the very structure of so much power that makes someone into the kind of person who would do this in their capacity as a soldier/guard. There is always structure when power is involved, and it can always be used and abused when hiding behind machine guns and uniforms.
According to one Japanese journalist embedded with Imperial forces at the time, “The reason that the [10th Army] is advancing to Nanking quite rapidly is due to the tacit consent among the officers and men that they could loot and rape as they wish.”
Sadly, their structure from the very beginning was to do just that - abuse their power. This wasn’t chaotic. This was planned. And they followed through. That to me, is what is so horrorific. The Army intended to do this.
Trebaol of Arabia: Also, in addition to the Stanford Prison Experiment analogy there was the road to war that was important in the changes seen in the Japanese army ideology. It is important to remember that during World War I, when Japan sided with the Triple Entente that German ships were captured, and German’s taken prisoner by the Japanese. They found their time in the camps so pleasant and hospitable that many stayed on in Japan, building communities and opening German shops. Within a decade however we see a Japan transformed. This is largely due to the usurping of the government by the Army. The return of the idea of bushido, but only after all the classic texts were gutted of fair treatment passages, leaving only the brutality as honor mantra. Then came the training of the recruits, which was organized in as dehumanizing a way as possible. Japanese recruits were lined up, paired off, then ordered to slap and punch each other until incapable of continuing, standing in formation. Anyone who failed to beat their comrades would be severely beaten by the officers. Within ten years you had an army more than capable of committing whatever atrocities the Army deemed fit. There was also the threats the army made to any dissenters, along with a number of assassinations of important figures opposed to the armies doctrines. If I remember correctly even famed Admiral Yamamoto was told that after dissenting so vociferously that if he returned to land or any government offices he’d be executed.
Everyone should read the book by Iris Chang if they can.
In my first film, Roger & Me, a white woman on Social Security clubs a bunny rabbit to death so that she can sell him as “meat” instead of as a pet. I wish I had a nickel for every time in the last ten years someone has come up to me and told me how “horrified” and “shocked” they were when they saw that “poor little cute bunny” bonked on the head. The scene, they say, made them physically sick. Some had to turn away or leave the theater. Many wondered why I would include such a scene. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave Roger & Me an R rating in response to that rabbit killing (which compelled 60 Minutes to do a story on the stupidity of the rating system.)Teachers write me and say they have to edit that part out of the film so they won’t get in trouble for showing my movie to their students.
But less than two minutes after the bunny lady does her deed, I included footage of a scene in which the police in Flint opened fire and shot a black man who was wearing a Superman cape and holding a plastic toy gun. Not once- not ever- has anyone said to me, “I can’t believe you showed a black man being shot in your movie! How horrible! How disgusting! I couldn’t sleep for weeks.” After all, he was just a black man being shot on camera. (Least of all from the MPAA ratings board, who saw absolutely nothing wrong with that scene.)
Why? Because being a black man being shot is no longer shocking. Just the opposite- it’s normal, natural. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing black men killing- in the movies and on the evening news- that we now accept it as standard operating procedure. No big deal, just another dead black guy! That’s what blacks do- kill and die. Ho-hum. Pass the butter.” —Michael Moore in his book, Stupid White Men (via carpe-cerevisi)