New Zealand Burials Start as PM Urges ‘United Front’ on Social Media

March 20, 2019

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

A Syrian refugee and his son were buried in New Zealand on Wednesday in the first funerals of those martyred in the twin mosque massacre as Kiwis braced for days of emotional farewells following the mass slayings.

An Australian white supremacist had gunned down 50 Muslim worshippers and wounded many more at two mosques in the southern city of Christchurch last Friday in a killing spree that he live-streamed.

Gunman Brenton Tarrant’s use of social media has put the spotlight on extremists’ use of such platforms, and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on Wednesday for a global “united front” on the issue.

Hundreds of mourners gathered in the morning at a cemetery near Linwood Mosque, one of two places of worship targeted, to lay Khalid Mustafa and his son Hamza to rest.

The family arrived last year as refugees from the Syrian maelstrom only to find tragedy in a land where they had sought sanctuary.

A total of six burials were expected on Wednesday.

Ardern, who has vowed to toughen New Zealand’s lax gun-ownership laws following the killings, also said Wednesday the world needs to confront the dangers posed by social media.

“There is an argument there to be made for us to take a united front on what is a global issue,” she said at a press conference in Christchurch.

“This is not just an issue for New Zealand, the fact that social media platforms have been used to spread violence (and) material that incites violence.”

She had called on New Zealanders on Tuesday to deprive Tarrant of the publicity he craved by never uttering his name.

“He is a terrorist. He is a criminal. He is an extremist. But he will, when I speak, be nameless,” she said.

The 28-year-old was arrested after the shootings and is expected to spend his life in prison as New Zealand has no death penalty.

Dozens of relatives of the deceased have begun arriving from around the world, some hoping to take bodies back with them.

SourceAFP

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The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 16.03.2019

The Christchurch Shooting and the Normalization of Anti-Muslim Terrorism

The real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos.

Whitney WEBB

What is without question the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history took place on Friday when shooters, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant among them, opened fire at two Christchurch mosques. Four, including Tarrant, have been arrested for the heinous act, which claimed at least 49 innocent lives. Tarrant was responsible for killing more than 40 victims, among them several children, in a rampage he live-streamed on Facebook, sending chills throughout the Muslim community, particularly Muslims living in Western countries.

Tarrant’s motives and ideology, laid bare in a 74-page manifesto, show a concern over the fertility rates of non-white groups as well as the immigration of non-whites to countries like New Zealand and Australia, which he likened to an “invasion” that threatened the white majority in those countries. However, Tarrant — in his ignorance — failed to grasp that many of the Muslim immigrants he targeted had come to New Zealand after fleeing Western-backed invasions, occupations, or persecution in their home countries.

Notable among Tarrant’s views is the fact that he is a clear ethno-nationalist, promoting his view that different ethnic groups must be kept “separate, unique, undiluted in [sic] unrestrained in cultural or ethnic expression and autonomy.” Tarrant also claimed that he doesn’t necessarily hate Muslims and only targeted those Muslims {i.e., immigrants) that chose “to invade our lands, live on our soil and replace our people.”

He also stated that he chose to target Muslims because “Islamic nations, in particular, have high birth rates, regardless of race or ethnicity” and to satiate “a want for revenge against Islam for the 1,300 years of war and devastation that it has brought upon the people of the West and other peoples of the world.” His views are remarkably similar to those of Norwegian terrorist Anders Breivik, which is unsurprising given that Tarrant named him as an inspiration for the shooting.

Though many — in the hours after the shooting — have sought to place blame and point fingers at notable demagogues like President Donald Trump or “counter-jihad” alt-right figures like Laura Loomer and Jacob Wohl, it is important to place Tarrant’s motivations in context.

Indeed, while Trump’s rise to political power has brought Islamophobic rhetoric into the public sphere in an undeniable way, it is a symptom of a much broader effort aimed at propagandizing the people of the United States and other Western countries to support wars in and military occupations of Muslim-majority countries. This manufactured Islamophobia, largely a product of Western governments and a compliant mass media, has sought to vilify all Muslims by maligning the religion itself as terrorism, in order to justify the plunder of their countries and deflect attention from their suffering.

It is a classic “divide and conquer” scam aimed at keeping Westerners divided from Muslims in their own countries and abroad. The horrific shooting in Christchurch is a testament to its unfortunate success and pervasiveness, as well as a potent reminder that it must be stopped. Indeed, this manufactured Islamophobia has made it so that Muslims in their home countries are in danger of dying from Western-backed wars and, if they flee to the “safer” West, they have targets on their backs painted by the very war propaganda used to justify Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority nations.

Islam, the media and “Forever Wars”: Who’s the “real” terrorist?

Since September 11th and the advent of the “War on Terror,” mass media reporting increasingly began to conflate Muslims and Muslim-majority nations with war, terrorism and violence in general. Indeed, 9 out of 10 mainstream news reports on Muslims, Islam, and Islamic organizations are related to violence and Muslims who are named on mainstream media are all-too-frequently warlords or terrorist leaders.

This near-constant association of Islam and violence has created the false perception that the religion of Islam, by its very nature, is violent and that Muslims too must then be violent and thus dangerous. This media-driven association has had very real and troubling consequences. For instance, a 2010 study by the University of Exeter found “empirical evidence to demonstrate that assailants of Muslims are invariably motivated by a negative view of Muslims they have acquired from either mainstream or extremist nationalist reports or commentaries in the media.” In other words, Islamophobic media reports are directly related to hate crimes targeting Muslims.

This is no accident, as such biased reporting on Muslim-majority nations also began as Western-backed wars in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan sought to put these countries’ natural resources, namely their oil and mineral wealth, into the hands of American corporations. It should be no surprise then that top funders of media outlets that have routinely promoted Islamophobic narratives are also those who have profited considerably from the “War on Terror” and Western-backed regime-change wars in other countries.

This concerted effort to vilify Muslims has had the potent effect, likely by design, of reducing empathy among Westerners for the largely Muslim victims of Western military adventurism in Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, while mainstream news outlets often trumpet the imminent dangers Americans face from “radical Islamic terror,” the death toll of innocent people — most of them Muslim — that have been killed by the U.S.-led “War on Terror” is several orders of magnitude greater than the number of Americans who have died from all terror attacks over that same period.

For instance, from 2001 to 2013, an estimated 3,380 Americans died from domestic and foreign terrorism, including the September 11 attacks as well as acts of domestic terrorism carried out by white nationalists and supremacists. If one excludes the September 11 death toll, the number of American deaths over that same period stands at around 400, most of them victims of mass-killers who were not Muslim.

By comparison, an estimated 8 million innocent people in Muslim-majority nations died as a result of U.S. policies and wars in the Middle East and North Africa from 2001 to 2015. Yet, the magnitude of this loss of life of these “unworthy victims” is minimized by media and government silence, and the creation of a climate of Islamophobia in the West has only served to deepen the ease with which mass murder is accepted by the aggressor countries’ populations.

Beyond the staggering disparity in the death tolls caused by terror groups and Western-backed imperialist wars is the fact that many of these very Western governments that purport to be so concerned with “radical Islamic terror” have often created and funded the most notorious terror groups of all. Indeed, the U.S. government helped to create Al Qaeda and continues to protectits Syrian branch — Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — in Syria’s Idlib province to this day. In addition, the CIA was just recently revealed to be helping the Islamic State regroup in Syrian refugee camps. Furthermore, the U.S. has long turned a blind eye to the funding of terror groups by allied states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The role of Western money, arms and policy in the creation and maintenance of radical Wahhabi terrorist groups is often entirely ignored by Western media portrayals of Muslim-majority nations, thereby creating a false image that such violence is endemic to these nations when, in fact, it is often imported state-sponsored terror.

These nuances of the situation are rarely heard in the narratives parroted out on mainstream media and those who regularly consume mainstream news sources are more likely than not to support those narratives. For that reason, it is easy to see how someone like Donald Trump — who is said to watch television for eight hours every day, much of it Fox News — has espoused the views that he has. Thanks to the manufacturing of Islamophobia of mainstream media, racist policies like the so-called “Muslim ban” have found wide support, as this false narrative has conflated Islam with violence so often that many have come to believe that only by banning Islam can violence and terrorism in the U.S. be reduced.

However, the recent shooting in Christchurch, as well as the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting and other recent acts of domestic terrorism, should alert us to the fact that it is the hate manufactured by this false narrative that is itself endangering American lives while also covering up the mass murder that has been perpetrated by the U.S. and other governments around the world for decades.

Israel’s leading role in stoking ethnonationalism

While the realities of post-9/11 America, as well as the rise in visibility of white ethnonationalism during the Trump Era, have done much to normalize attacks on immigrants, the country that has done the most to normalize anti-Muslim terrorism over this same time frame has been the state of Israel.

Israel, from its founding days, has long been steeped in neocolonialist ideology that is remarkably similar to the ideological basis behind other settler states like the United States, Australia and New Zealand. This system of beliefs holds that the native inhabitants of the land — whether the Palestinians, the Sioux or the Maori — are “primitive” and incompetent and that the land would have remained “wild” and undeveloped were it not for the “fortunate” appearance of European settlers. As MintPressnoted in a previous report on the subject, such narratives cast these settlers as both superior and normal while the natives become inferior and abnormal, thus obfuscating the settler’s status as foreigner and conqueror.

In Israel’s case, this ideology has promoted the idea that all Arabs are “sons of the desert” while the desert simultaneously represents a barbaric obstacle to “progress” and development. However, the state of Israel, under the lengthy tenure of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has seen these long-standing and somewhat hidden underpinnings of the Zionist state burst out into the open.

The result has been the overt expression of ethnonationalism in such a way that Israel has become an inspiration to white nationalists in the United States, like Richard Spencer, and far-right ethno-fascist leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro and India’s Narendra Modi. The inspiration has been mutual, according to reports and testimonials published by Jewish newspaper The Forward.

For years, through its military occupation of Palestine, Israel’s government and military have sought to paint all Palestinians, including children, as “terrorists” or “terrorist sympathizers.” Take, for example, current Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who wrote in 2014, “This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people …”

A more recent example came from former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who asserted just last year that “no innocent people” live in the Gaza Strip and that every inhabitant in the enclave is somehow connected to Hamas, even though nearly half of Gaza’s population are children and teenagers. Such rhetoric has become par for the course and numerous examples show that Shaked and Lieberman’s views are increasingly accepted and “normal” in today’s Israel.

Yet, the clearest indication of anti-Muslim terror’s normalization in Israel is the recent rise of Otzma Yehudit, or the “Jewish Power” Party. This party, founded by devotees of radical American-born Rabbi Meir Kahane, has now merged — at Netanyahu’s urging — with the Jewish Home Party and stands to become part of Israel’s ruling coalition if Netanyahu manages to win in the country’s upcoming elections.

In the office of Itamar Ben Gvir, one of Otzma Yehudit’s leaders, is a framed picture of Baruch Goldstein. In an act that bears a striking similarity to the events in Christchurch, Goldstein — a long-time devotee of Kahane — entered a mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994 and opened fire, killing 29 and injuring more than 125 worshippers. After the act, Kahane’s Kach party — the predecessor of Otzma Yehudit — was labeled a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel.

Despite official condemnation, Goldstein’s atrocious act has been the subject of praise and inspiration for subsequent extremists who, under Netanyahu’s government, have become increasingly normalized. Goldstein’s gravestone reads “He gave his life for the people of Israel, its Torah and land” and continues to be used as a site of pilgrimage and homage by the very extremists that Netanyahu is openly courting for political gain.

While the followers of Kahane are making a comeback in Israel, several notable Arab political parties have been banned from participating Israel’s upcoming elections, with some being accused of “supporting terrorism” owing to their opposition to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of Palestine. Yet, by elevating clear terror supporters among the ranks of the Jewish Power Party, it has become increasingly clear that openly supporting and advocating anti-Muslim terrorism is no bar to legitimacy and political power in today’s Israel.

No ‘clash of civilizations,’ only manipulation and exploitation of differences

The tragic and barbaric shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand is yet another horrific and glaring reminder that the “divide and conquer” war propaganda that has sought to promote the so-called “clash of civilizations” between Christianity and Islam, West and East, has not only been monstrously effective but continues to be monstrously destructive to people on both sides.

However, the media’s manufacture of Islamophobia, in seeking to Wite-out Muslim suffering and reduce Western empathy for innocent Muslim civilians, has increasingly placed targets on the back of Muslims everywhere — in the West and the East — making it increasingly difficult for practitioners of the Islamic faith to feel safe regardless of where they live.

With most Muslim-majority countries now killing fields in Western-backed wars, ruled by oppressive, Western-backed dictatorships, or under threat of Western-backed regime change, even those Muslims who have sought a safer, quieter life in the “civilized” West have now found themselves targets thanks to the very war propaganda used to justify the destruction of their home countries.

While the murderer Tarrant had stated that he hoped his horrific crime would help stoke “civil war” in Western countries, this tragedy should and must serve as a wake up call for people everywhere that the real forces responsible for the destruction of many Muslim-majority countries and the current chaos present in many Western countries are not generated by civilian populations or religions but instead by the global oligarchy that engineers and profits from this chaos. These oligarchs loot from the people of the West just as they do from the people of the East and it is time to recognize that they are the real threats to a more peaceful world — not regular people praying, whether it be in a church, a synagogue or a mosque.

mintpressnews.com

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

folder_openVoices access_time5 hours ago

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By Fatima Haydar

Beirut – A day after the hideous massacre at two Christchurch mosques that left 49 people dead, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Saturday morning that “our gun laws will change”.

This effort by the authorities in New Zealand will certainly lead to the enforcement of a stricter gun control law, making it more difficult for individuals to acquire firearms.

However, this would not have prevented this particular crime. The perpetrator of the Christchurch mosques massacre, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant, had already obtained a “Category A” gun license in November 2017 and began purchasing guns legally in December 2017.

According to PM Ardern, the gunman had two semi-automatic rifles, two shotguns and a lever-action firearm.

Tarrant left behind a lengthy document that outlined his motivations. In 74-page document titled “The Great Replacement”, he boasted of being a white nationalist who hates immigrants, espouses Islamophobic ideology and was set off by attacks in Europe that were executed by Takfiri extremists. He even mentioned US President Donald Trump – in a single reference – as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose”.

Furthermore, at least one of the weapons used by the gunman appeared to have the names of previous mass-murderers, including Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik, who killed more than 70 people in 2011.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

As Tarrant appeared in Christchurch District Court, he stood smirking when media photographed him in the dock where he was flanked by two police officers. He appeared to be making a gesture with his hands which has been interpreted by as a white supremacist sign – “White Power”.

Beginning in 2017, the gesture was at the center of an online prank in meme culture related to alt-right and white supremacy. The supposed association of the gesture with white supremacy derives from the assertion that the three upheld fingers resemble a ‘W’ and the circle made with the thumb and forefinger resemble the head of a ‘P’, together standing for “white power”.

In the light of this, it is clear that Tarrant premeditated and plotted to carry out the mass shooting. Hence, no gun control law would – no matter how strict or effective – prevent him from perpetrating his crime.

The thing is, what Tarrant did is directly related to his self-discipline; how he came to be what he is now. To be filled with such hatred and animosity, to have the will to cold-bloodedly murder peaceful worshipers in a mosque, takes a whole lot of indoctrination.

And to kill those people in a videogame-style attack is another thing! As if this heartless attacker is relishing in it. He even lived streamed the massacre on Facebook. The disturbing video ran for 17 minutes and showed the gunman walking in the mosque and opening fire to the sound of music.

Media outlets were quick to report the incident. Worldwide leaders condemned the attack and condoled the families of the victims. Though, some outlets justified his behavior, saying he was radicalized in some way on his travels after his athlete father died of cancer.

Messages of popular support and solidarity for the victims were delivered in New Zealand, Australia, Britain, America, Canada and other countries.

New Zealanders around the country have shown up at mosques en masse to show their support. People left piles of flowers and cards as close to the mosque as they were allowed to go. Supporters also drew messages of support on the mosque footpath in chalk. Similar scenes spread outside mosques in various cities in New Zealand. Some messages read: “We love you”, “We are one” and “Forever changed”. Vigils around New Zealand are being held to honor the victims of the attack.

In Australia, the response to the massacre was similarly heartfelt, with tributes pouring into mosques across the country. The outpouring of support continued in America where people also left candles outside mosques. Muslim places of worship in Canada also saw tributes, as well as in Britain.

Likewise, social media platforms were flooded with solidary and posts. Social media users took to Twitter and other platforms and shared posters and photos showing sympathy for Muslims and the Muslim community.

«Our Gun Laws Will Change» – It’s Not a Matter of Reform, Rather of Indoctrination!

“Hello Brother” were the last words by a 71-year-old Muslim man at the mosque’s door; the reply was: 5 bullets in the chest! Why? What was he guilty of? He was guilty of being a Muslim and an Afghan refugee who escaped death in his country.

When will Islamophobia cease to exist? When will labeling others based on the sins of a few cease to exist? When will condemning a whole class of people based on the actions of some cease to exist?

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40 killed in New Zealand after gunmen attack mosques

40 killed in New Zealand after gunmen attack mosques

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/shooter-situation-zealand-mosque-attack-190315015927391.html

Two Muslim places of worship hit by automatic weapon fire with ‘a number of fatalities’ as police arrest four suspects.

Ambulance staff take a wounded man from outside the mosque in central Christchurch on Friday [Mark Baker/AP]

Ambulance staff take a wounded man from outside the mosque in central Christchurch on Friday [Mark Baker/AP]

Forty people have been killed and several others injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand‘s city of Christchurch in an unprecedented attack in the quiet country in the Pacific.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference that 20 people were in a serious condition after the “terrorist” attack.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said four suspects, including a woman, were in custody.

Sam Clarke, a reporter with TVNZ, spoke with several people inside the Masjid Al Noor mosque when the shooting began. He told Al Jazeera a man entered with an automatic weapon and began firing.

“A gunman – dressed in black with a helmet carrying a machine gun – came into the back of the mosque and started firing into the people praying there,” said Clarke.

Police confirmed a second shooting occurred at the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers in the South Island city, but no details were immediately available.

Ardern said: “This is, and will be, one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Authorities have not described the scale of Friday’s shootings but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors. New Zealand media reported between nine and 27 people were killed, but the death toll could not be confirmed.

Police warned worshippers not to visit mosques “anywhere in New Zealand”. A lockdown imposed throughout Christchurch was called off at about 05:00 GMT.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of the suspects was an Australian national, calling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

Police patrol outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch [Mark Baker/AP]

Dressed in black

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

He said he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived.

Peneha – who lives next to the mosque – said he went into the building to try and help. “I saw dead people everywhere.”

One man in the mosque, with blood stains all over his clothes, said he hid under a bench as the shooting took place. He said about 50 people were inside the building.

Clarke said some worshippers managed to escape through windows and doors but “many people had been hit, some as young as 16”.

About 10 to 15 people were seen outside the mosque, “some alive, some dead”, he said.

“It was unbelievable. I saw about 20 people, some dead, some screaming,” one eyewitness told local television.

“I saw on the floor so many bullet shells, hundreds. I saw one guy trying to run out and he was shot dead.”

A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque [Mark Baker/AP]

One of the gunmen shared a livestream of the attack on Facebook and posted content on Instagram. Facebook said it has taken down the video and was removing praise for the gunman.

“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” a police statement said. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

There were reports racist literature was left behind at the scene denouncing “invaders”.

Commissioner Bush said local police officers apprehended the four suspects. “There’s been some absolute acts of bravery,” he said without elaborating.

“I won’t assume there aren’t others but I don’t have any information to that effect,” Bush told a press conference.

 

He said a number of bombs were detected and neutralised on the attackers’ automobiles.

“There were a few reports of IEDs strapped to vehicles which we were able to secure,” he said, referring to improved explosive devices.

Asked by reporters whether police considered Friday’s carnage a “terrorist attack”, Bush said an investigation was under way.

Bangladesh team

ESPN Cricinfo reporter Mohammed Isam said members of the Bangladesh cricket team, who are set to play a test match in Christchurch on Saturday, escaped from the mosque.

Mario Villavarayen, strength and conditioning coach of the Bangladesh cricket team, was quoted by the New Zealand Herald as saying the team was close to where the shooting occurred, but was safe.

“The players are shaken up but fine,” Villavarayen was quoted as saying.

Peneha described the scene at Masjid Al Noor as ” unbelievable”.

“I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous. I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly. I just don’t understand it,” he said.

Muslims account for just one percent of New Zealand’s population, a 2013 census showed.

“Many of those who would have been affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand,” Ardern said.

“They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home … they are us. The persons who perpetuated this violence against us … have no place in New Zealand.”

Mass shootings in New Zealand are exceedingly rare. The deadliest in modern history occurred in the small town of Aramoana in 1990, when gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbour.

A survivor rests on the ground outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque [Mark Baker/AP]

Silencing Diversity in the Name of Diversity

July 16, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

In my latest book, Being in Time – a Post Political Manifesto, I explored different tactics used by the New Left – a loose collective of Frankfurt School graduates — to destroy political diversity and intellectual exchange.  I concluded that the ‘new order’ is maintained by ensuring that so-called ‘correctness’ dominates our vocabulary.  We are drowning in jargon, slogans and sound bites designed to suppress authentic thinking and more important, to suppress humane intellectual exchange. As I finished writing the book, I understood that this new language is a well-orchestrated attempt to obliterate our Western Athenian ethos in favor of a new Jerusalemite regime of ‘correctness.’

Yesterday I was interviewed  by Pakistani Journalist Tazeen Hasan. She was interested in my take on Islamophobia.  Hasan, I guess, expected me to denounce Islamophobia.  Since I am opposed to any form of bigotry*, hatred of Muslims is no exception. Though I am obviously troubled and strongly disagree with the views that are voiced with the so-called ‘Islamophbes,’  I am also troubled by the notion of ‘Islamophobia’. As opposed to the Identitarian Left, I contend that we humans should seek what unites us as humans. We should refuse to be shoved into biologically oriented (like gender, skin colour, sexual orientation etc.) boxes. I was probably expected to criticise Islamophobia by recycling a few tired slogans, but that was not my approach to the question. Instead of dealing with ‘Islamophobia,’ I decided that we should first dissect the notion of ‘phobia.’ I asked why some activists attribute ‘phobic’ inclinations (Islamophobia, homophobia, Judeophobia, etc.) to those with whom they disagree.

‘Phobia’ is defined as an extreme or irrational fear of or aversion to something. Accordingly, the notion of ‘Islamophobia,’ attributes irrationality or even madness to those who oppose Muslims and Islam. It suggests that ‘fear of Islam’ is an irrational hatred. This turns Islamophobia into a crazy fear of Islam that doesn’t deserve intellectual scrutiny, let alone an intellectual debate.

But fear of Musilms might be rational. As things stand, we in the West have been actively engaged in the destruction of Muslims and their countries for at least a century. We plunder their resources, we invade their lands, and we even gave some of their land to the so called ‘people of the book,’ and when those people committed a brutal ethnic cleansing, consistent with their ‘book,’ the West turned a blind eye. For the last three decades this genocidal war against Muslims and Arabs has intensified and become an official Western policy. This transition is the achievement of the Neocon school, who have attempted to redefine Zionism as the struggle for a promised planet instead of just a promised land. 

 Within the context of the global war we have declared on Muslims and Arabs on behalf of Zion, in the name of Coca Cola and Gay Rights, it is rational to expect that at some point Muslims may retaliate. So those who fear Muslims are not necessarily crazy or mad, they may even be more ethically aware or even guilt ridden than the progressives who castigate them for having ‘phobias’.’ If we are looking to dismantle ‘Islamic danger’  then we should find a rational and peaceful solution to the war we declared on Muslims. It will be probably more effective not to drop bombs on Arabs than to label fear of Muslims as irrational. Obliterating Israel’s nuclear facilities could also be a reasonable path to peace. A total embargo on Israel would probably be  the most effective way to calm the Middle East. That would certainly induce some deep thinking in the Jewish State that has been the catalyst in this developing global war.

It seems the term ‘phobia’ is routinely attached to anyone who disagrees with the new order. Are all those who oppose gay rights driven by ‘phobia’? Is it really ‘irrational’ for pious people (Christians, Muslims and Jews, etc.) to detect that gay culture may interfere with their churches or family values? Instead of addressing these conservative concerns, the New Left prefers to employ tyrannical abusive language designed to delegitimise the opposition. Similarly, those who look into organised Jewry and its political lobbying are reduced to ‘Judeophobes.’  But given the growing number of studies of the domineering effect of the Jewish Lobby in the USA, Britain and France, is it really ‘irrational’ or an act of ‘madness’ to scrutinise this lobby’s activity and the culture that fuels it?

However, in spite of these Orwellian ‘phobic’ tactics, awareness of its effects has grown. Increasingly, people see that the New Left corrosive agenda is driving these divisive Identitarian tactics. The tyrannical regime of correctness is a Machiavellian operation that in the name of ‘diversity,’ attempts to eliminate diversity all together. It dismisses the concerns of the so called ‘enemy’ by labelling them as irrational fears.

My message here is simple. The war against us is facilitated by cultural means. We are constantly subjected to terminological manipulations. To win this war we must first spot the terminological shifts as they appear. Then we have to identify those who put such manipulative tactics into play.

To support Gilad’s legal costs

In Memory of Philip Roth

May 26, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

Introduction by GA: I wrote the following  book review a decade ago. 10 years later, Israel and its subservient English Speaking Empire are still mounting pressure on Iran,  the Middle East is bleeding and peace looks like a remote fantasy. Pre TSD is the medium in which we operate and a prospect of a better future seems like a delusional dream. A decade ago I concluded this review wiring that “the current plot isn’t just against America. It is a plot against humanity and human dignity.” Sadly, nothing really changed.

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The Plot Against America – a book report and a reality check

by Gilad Atzmon

…Roth is no doubt an astonishing writer but somehow he has always failed to convince me. I always had the feeling that Roth is just too aware of his enormous talent; something that made him slightly technical and pretentious at times. Being a prolific writer, Roth can be slightly impersonal to my taste and yet, in his latest book he is free from that. No literary imposed tactics or strategies can be traced. In his latest book, Roth is overwhelmingly personal. Astonishingly enough, the fictional reality he conveys is so convincing that I found myself totally captivated from beginning to end. So enthralled was I, that I even managed to forget how depressing the world is out there. I avoided the anti-Iranian media blitz. I switched it off for three days and let the international community attack the Iranian president in a single Judeified voice.

‘The Plot Against America’ is a fictional tale that unwinds like a historical document enriched with personal detail. Its theme is: what would have happened if ace pilot Charles Lindbergh, the man who made the first solo transatlantic flight in 1927, the man who later called Hitler ‘a great man’, and was decorated by the Führer for his services to the Reich, had run for the American presidency against Roosevelt in 1940 and managed to win? Lindbergh’s message to the American nation is a classic Republican isolationist one. ‘No more war! Never again will young Americans die on foreign soil’. The year is obviously 1940 and Lindbergh is referring to Europe and the Pacific rather than Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria or Iran. In Roth’s book, instead of Roosevelt being elected for an unprecedented third term, Lindbergh wins in a landslide victory. He then signs non-aggression treaties with Germany and Japan. Soon enough the charismatic Lindbergh is cheered by American society as a whole. Every American loves him except of course the Jews who are far from being happy with a ‘peace loving’ president who happens to make business with the enemies of the Jewish people. But in fact this isn’t entirely true, a single prominent liberal Rabbi named Bengelsdorf positions himself right behind the new president.

The narrator is Philip Roth himself, a seven-year-old Jewish Ghetto boy from Newark, New Jersey. He tells a story of a Jewish family encountering a major disastrous political shift. Young Phil is telling the story of father Herman, mother Bess and brother Sandy. It is a story of collective fear, a story of a Jewish family’s reaction to the rise of anti-Semitism. However, throughout the book it is very hard to determine whether anti-Semitism constitutes a real objective threat or rather something the Jews bring on themselves. This very confusion is in my opinion the greatest literary asset of the book.

Roth is sketching a very deep and complex narrative in which each family member responds differently to the ‘devastating’ historical circumstances. Once again, Roth managed to convey an interesting image of the difficult amalgam of the Jewish identity both psychologically and sociologically. Like most American Jews, Herman the father is overtly pessimistic from the very beginning. He wouldn’t give Lindbergh even a single day of mercy. However, he is a proud patriotic American. He demands his civil rights. Were he in our midst, he would criticise the emerging catastrophic reality applying to the American liberal ideology. The mother Bess is far more practical, she tries to maintain the family’s sanity, behaving as if life must go on. More than anything else, she must calm down her righteous husband. Phil’s brother Sandy is a gifted painter and assumes a very interesting role. In the summer he disappears for an “apprenticeship” with a tobacco farmer in Kentucky. In a way he makes it into the heart of America. Later he is joining a new assimilation scheme by encouraging Jewish city boys to follow his example. This program is put together by Rabbi Bengelsdorf, the devoted supporter of Lindbergh. Sandy is doing very well, eventually he is invited to a reception at the White House. This is obviously far more than Herman can take. For Herman, the democratically elected American president is nothing but an enemy of the Jews and he refuses to give his son permission to go to Washington. The tension between family members threatens the stability of the family itself, which is on the brink of falling apart. However, all that time,  America has been kept out of the war. American boys aren’t dying in a far away country. American people are very happy but somehow the Jewish Americans aren’t.

All the way through the book father Herman is portrayed as a paranoid Ghetto Jew. He is totally single minded in interpreting reality, he is overly tragic. But he isn’t alone in his obsession. Alongside his Newark Jewish Ghetto neighbours he draws a lot of support from the famous Jewish journalist and broadcaster Walter Winchell who is spreading his anti-Lindbergh poison to the nation. It doesn’t take long before Winchell is stripped of his positions as a journalist, first in the printed press and later in his prime time radio slot. But Winchell won’t surrender; once he loses his job, he decides to run for the presidency. Winchell, the Jew, decides to reshape the American future. In other words, he is determined to take America into war in Europe. Within a short time into his campaign, Winchell is assassinated. Again, the reader may wonder whether the assassination is an anti-Semitic act or rather a punishment Winchell and the Jews insist upon bringing on themselves.

All the way through most of the book I couldn’t make up my mind whether the plot against America is a Jewish or rather a Nazi one. Clearly most of America into war that may serve their cause or if it was Hitler who employs an agent in the very centre of the American administration as the mastermind behind the plot. When time is ripe, young Phil provides us with a shadow of an answer.

Towards the very end of the book Lindbergh disappears with his private fighter plane without leaving a trace. Mysteriously, the wreckage of his plane has never been found. No forensic evidence can suggest what happened to him. Foreign governments volunteer their versions: the Brits blame the Nazis for kidnapping the president, the Nazis suggest that it was ‘Roosevelt and his Jews’ who abducted the American hero. These suggestions are all highly charged, unfounded gossip that are there to serve an international political cause. However, Roth deliberately decides to leave us with a very personal account. We hear Rabbi Bengelsdorf’s account told by his wife Evelyn who happens to be Philip’s aunt. Brilliantly, Roth’s historical narrative takes the shape of modern ‘Jewish history’. History is then reduced to a mere personal account in the shape of gossip devoid of any factual or forensic reference.

Following Rabbi Bengelsdorf’s account, we are entitled to assume that Lindbergh was indeed a Nazi agent. Anyhow, this is the time to remind us that Roth’s President Lindbergh is a fictional character. In fact Lindbergh, the real man, was an American hero, a man who ended the Second World War as a P38 combat pilot at the age of 42. ‘The Plot Against America’ is a fictional tale, Lindbergh wasn’t a traitor, he was an American patriot who happened, like many others, to have admired Hitler for a while. Lindbergh was an American nationalist who loved his people and truly believed that his country should stay out of the ‘Jewish War’. Roth’s Lindbergh is indeed imaginary, but the Jewish collective paranoia isn’t. It is very real. Moreover, the Jewish intent upon shaping American reality is more than real.  Most importantly, while the Nazi plot to run America is totally fictional, the Jewish Plot to run America is now more vivid than ever. Nowadays, when the American army is acting as an Israeli mission force in the Middle East, when Syria and Iran are just about to be flattened by Anglo-American might, it is rather clear what the real meaning of the ‘Plot Against America’ may be.

I read Philip Roth’s book while the entire international community was standing shoulder to shoulder behind the war criminal Sharon. While in Roth’s book the Herman Roths and the Walter Wichells were expecting  America to sacrifice its best sons on the Jewish altar, we are now watching the entire world joining the Jewish war against Islam. It is rather depressing to see our Western politicians enthusiastically adopting the most corrupt version of Jewish morality: a totally blind worldview based on supremacist endorsement of the justice of the stronger. Clearly, there is no isolationist Lindbergh to save us all. Unfortunately, there is not even a single Rabbi Bengelsdorf to suggest an alternative friendly human Jewish morality.

By the time I put Roth’s book down, the storm around the Iranian president subsided somehow. The Jewish world and the Jewish state had another great victory to be cheerful about. The UN’s General Assembly has passed a resolution designating 27 January as the annual ‘Holocaust Memorial Day’ throughout the world.

Why the 27th of January? Because this is the day Auschwitz was liberated. The resolution also rejects any denial that the Holocaust was a historical event in which the mass murder of six million Jews and other victims by Nazi Germany during World War II took place. Seemingly, the UN has a new role, while for years it has been engaged in securing world peace, now it is mainly concerned with securing Jewish history.  No doubt, a very nice present for the Jewish state, a state that holds the highest record for failing to comply with UN resolutions.

By the time I put Roth’s book down I am more or less ready to learn my lesson. Once again I failed to acknowledge that suffering is an exclusive, internal Jewish affair. No one is allowed entry, neither the Palestinians of Gaza’s concentration camp, nor the massacred inhabitants of Fallujah and Tikrit. One million victims of Rwanda are obviously out, three million in Vietnam are out as well, so are the innocent civilians of Hamburg, Hiroshima, Dresden and Nagasaki and millions of others who were killed in the name of democracy. By the time Roth’s ‘Plot Against America’ finds its way onto my bookshelf, I agree with myself at least: A young Rabbi Begelsdorf is long overdue. If we are being Judeified, we may as well take the best of Judaism rather than its supremacist brutality, namely Zionism. By the time Roth’s tome is resting I realise as well that the current plot isn’t just against America. It is a plot against humanity and human dignity

The Israeli Government Role in Promoting Islamophobia Internationally

May 11, 2018  /  Gilad Atzmon

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by Paul Larudee

Much of the study of Islamophobia is directed at the social and political causes and manifestations, including religious and political dimensions and racist characteristics.  However, Islamophobia is also used as a strategic tool or weapon; i.e., in pursuit of national agenda.

Many of us are familiar with Islamophobic movements within the Buddhist majority in Myanmar (against the Rohingya minority), and within Hindu nationalist parties in India. It is important to note, however, that it is characteristic of these movements that they direct their Islamophobia against particular groups of Muslims within their own societies, and are less concerned with creating an international movement against Islam.

This is what makes the case of Israel unique.  Although Israel, like Myanmar and India, seeks to marginalize and ultimately eliminate a specific population of Muslims – in this case the mostly Muslim Palestinians – part of its strategy for doing so includes encouraging and fostering Islamophobia internationally.  Thus, for example, Israel has successfully pursued strong military and diplomatic ties with the governments of Myanmar and India, and especially the Islamophobic movements within those countries.

It is clear, therefore, that Islamophobia within Israel is not only a matter of organized bigotry and social hatred, which one finds in other societies, but also of instrumentalizing or weaponizing Islamophobia as a strategic tool to legitimize and justify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the territories under Israel’s control, as well as to support Israeli aggression towards other mostly Muslim countries in the region. Promoting and fostering Islamophobia internationally helps to increase and solidify international support for the Zionist genocidal project.  It is therefore treated as an important tool of Israeli and Zionist international influence.

My attention was first brought to this fact in casual but unusual circumstances. In early 1993 my family and I were on vacation at a Club Med in France where there were also Israeli intelligence officers and their families.  I got into a discussion with one in particular, who said that with the fall of the Soviet Union, Islam would replace communism as the new enemy.  It sounded a bit far-fetched, but in retrospect he knew what he was talking about, and more important, he was in a position to help make it happen, which of course it did.

The groundwork was laid much earlier.  As Deepa Kumar at Rutgers University reports, the effort to tie Islam to terrorism started at a Zionist funded neoconservative conference on international terrorism in 1979. Then, after a second such conference in 1984, “both US neocons and Zionists worked together to convince Western policy makers that ‘Islamic terrorism’ would replace communism as the West’s next great threat. By tying Islam to terrorism, neocons would gain political cover for their imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East, and Zionists would benefit from garnering Western sympathies for their struggle against Palestinian ‘terrorism.’”

Since then, researchers like Sarah Marusek, David Miller and others have cataloged international Zionist networks that sponsor Islamophobic propaganda and policies.  The work of Pamela Geller and the so-called American Freedom Defense Initiative is one of the well-known examples.  Geller’s anti-Islam billboards and bus advertisements are familiar to many, as well her so-called “Muhammed Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas in 2015, resulting in the police killing of two armed men.

Geller is hardly alone, however.  According to the Center for American Progress, the US has six major organizations that manipulate Islamophobia in order to further US support for Israel. These are the Center for Security Policy, the Society of Americans for National Existence, the Middle East Forum, Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of America, and the Investigative Project on Terrorism.  Sarah Marusek includes even more groups in her paper entitled “The Transatlantic Network: Funding Islamophobia and Israeli Settlements”, published in the anthology, What is Islamophobia?

These organizations constitute a network, as Marusek says, but the complete network is much wider and more diverse than the assets concerned with promoting Islamophobia.  They are known as the sayanim, the Hebrew word for helpers or assistants, and are composed of Zionists who have achieved important and useful positions in societies from which they can exercise powerful initiatives, especially when they operate in concert. Thus, for example, friendly journalists can work with lobbyists and others to quickly and massively spread influence, information, analysis and disinformation that are useful to Israel.

Such initiatives require coordination, intelligence, strategic planning, covert action, technical assistance, and other expertise.  For many years, the sayanimwere coordinated by the Mossad. However, following a 2010 report from the influential Reut Institute (a prestigious strategic think tank in Israel), organizational changes were made that moved such responsibility to the Ministry of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs – better known as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.  The report also notes that there are as many as 4000 sayanim in each of the major centers of power and influence, such as London and New York. A concentration of sayanim in important sectors of society that inform the public, such as film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media permits them to help shape public opinion.

In line with Reut Institute recommendations, the Strategic Affairs Ministry has grown in size and secrecy over the last decade.  Reut projected that Israel’s main strategic threat would no longer be to its military security but rather to its image and influence in other countries, especially the US and Europe.  According to this view, BDS was to be regarded as a serious threat, as well as the human rights NGOs, Palestine solidarity groups and the critical alternative press.  The Ministry of Strategic Affairs was therefore selected to coordinate a major new effort to combat this perceived threat.

The Strategic Affairs Ministry has informally been called the HasbaraMinistry, using the Hebrew word for explanation or propaganda. It certainly is that, but also much more.  The reorganization of the Strategic Affairs Ministry can be compared in scope to that of the Homeland Security Department.  A lot of security and intelligence functions were transferred from or shared with Mossad.  The Ministry became responsible for propaganda, influence and manipulation in other countries.  Coordination of the sayanim became part of its purview, as did thousands of students who were paid or received scholarships in return for haunting social media and the comments sections of websites.  The purpose was to dominate the media, insofar as possible, in countries vital to Israel’s plans and intentions, and to sway public opinion toward outcomes determined by Israel’s strategic goals.

Many readers are familiar with the “Brand Israel” campaign. Its function, suggested by the Reut Institute, is to mold Israel’s image in the media of the US and other countries.  Its tactics are PR on steroids, such as, for example, slipping subliminal questions into the Jeopardy quiz program and idyllic holy land vacations into Wheel of Fortune, but permeating nearly everything we see, hear and read in film, entertainment, journalism, education and social media for the purpose of molding public opinion.  With enough effort of this kind, we will presumably think of Israel as Disneyland.

Another example is Facebook and the personal collaboration between Mark Zuckerberg and Benjamin Netanyahu. After a meeting with Netanyahu, Zuckerberg hired a former employee at the Israeli embassy in Washington to be in charge of censoring so-called “fake news” on Facebook.  Only Facebook has the actual figures of who gets censored, but anecdotal evidence seems to indicate that a lot more anti-Zionists than Zionists are affected.  Similarly, Islamophobic postings and Tweets seem to be at least somewhat resistant to censorship compared to ones that are labeled anti-Semitic (which are often merely critical of Israel).

But it’s not just about making Israel look like the good guys. Demonizing and dehumanizing Muslims also helps to justify Israel’s genocide of the Palestinians, as well as its belligerent policies toward its mainly Muslim neighboring countries. A successful program of Islamophobia helps to support Israel’s pogroms of Palestinians in Gaza, its settlements in and economic strangulation of the West Bank, its invasions of Lebanon, its attacks against Syria, and its promotion of US wars against Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Libya and Syria.  Making the US military a proxy for Israel greatly multiplies Israel’s capability, which is why Israel and its US lobby are working hard to create a new international war against Iran.

In order to provide the Strategic Affairs Ministry with all possible means of making such operations possible and successful, it has been assigned some important intelligence functions, including black ops and psy-ops capabilities, which used to be the exclusive purview of the Mossad.  This gives the ministry greater capability to engage in digging up or inventing dirt about people it wants to harm or discredit, especially in the BDS movement and other pro-Palestinian groups.

The hand of the Strategic Affairs Ministry is not always obvious, and it takes care to shun the light.  But occasionally its actions become known, as with the Aljazeera exposé of Israeli operative Shai Masot, working from the Israeli embassy in London and coordinating the actions of British citizens working with Israel. He coached them on how to demonize and “take down” members of parliament, including the Foreign Office Minister, Alan Duncan, who was considered insufficiently supportive of the effort to suppress BDS.

Al Jazeera has produced a similar exposé on the workings of Israel and its US lobby, but the release has been indefinitely delayed, which may be an indication of Israel’s power and influence and the effectiveness of the operations coordinated by the Strategic Affairs Ministry.  Nevertheless, a glimpse of such operations can be seen in the 2004 espionage indictmentsagainst AIPAC lobbyists Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman.  The indictments were ultimately dropped, partly because sensitive information would have to be revealed in order to successfully prosecute the cases (or perhaps that was just the excuse used to cover the fact that Tel Aviv gets to decide who gets prosecuted, not Washington).

France can be considered an extreme case.  People have been arrested there for wearing a Free Palestine T-shirt.  PayPal and several large banks in France recently closed the accounts of all organizations that support BDS, which has been ruled anti-Semitic.  Anti-Semitism is broadly defined, as you can see, and it is illegal in France.  You can be fined or jailed for practicing it.

But not for Islamophobia.  Islamophobia is free speech but anti-Semitism is racism. In fact, the French equivalent of AIPAC, known as CRIF, has publically declared that “Islamophobia is not a form of racism.  We have long drawn attention to the danger of conflating Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.  To do so would impede all criticism of Islam, such that the fundamental rights of [other] religions could not be respected. The CRIF will therefore block all resolutions against Islamophobia”.

The writings of Jacob Cohen are instructive in this regard. He has published a remarkable and very comprehensive exposé on the promotion of Islamophobia in France, including the actions of Israeli operatives and French Zionist organizations.  But there’s a catch.  In order to publish it in France without being arrested or sued, he has to disguise it as very thinly veiled fiction, in this case O.P.A. Kabbalistique sur les Nouveaux Indigènes. It is available only in French, but even in that language you have to know the persons and groups to which he refers with pseudonyms, and few outsiders know the French scene well enough to recognize more than a handful of them.

So what can we conclude from all this information about the involvement of Israel and the Zionist movement in sponsoring Islamophobia?  The point is that some sources of Islamophobia are not attitudes or social structures. We have to face the fact that there is a very potent, resourceful, well organized and well funded international movement that sees Islamophobia as a strategic tool in pursuit of its national interest. For this reason, it is largely impervious to education or negotiation or legal considerations.

In fact, Israel is also pursuing an apparently contradictory effort to encourage interfaith cooperation between Jews, Muslims and Christians, but with the same goal in mind.  That goal is to blunt criticism of Israel, whether by getting people to hate Muslims and thereby endorse Israel’s belligerence and ethnic cleansing, or by pressuring Muslims not to criticize Israel out of concern for potentially offending their Jewish brothers and sisters.  Since the two strategies are aimed at different populations, I suppose that they might be able to work simultaneously.  This is often how PR campaigns work.

The point is that in all the efforts at fostering tolerance and understanding we are faced with an adversary that is working quite diligently in the opposite direction for reasons that have nothing to do with how they view Islam as a religion or Muslims.  This is therefore a different type of challenge in trying to overcome Islamophobia.

• This article is a revised version of a paper read at the 9th Annual Islamophobia Conference in Berkeley, California, April 29, 2018.

Source: https://dissidentvoice.org

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