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  1. #21
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    Jan 2007


    US Television Provides Ample Platform for American Torturers, But None to Their Victims


    Ever since the torture report was released last week, U.S. television outlets have endlessly featured American torturers and torture proponents. But there was one group that was almost never heard from: the victims of their torture, not even the ones recognized by the U.S. Government itself as innocent, not even the family members of the ones they tortured to death. Whether by design (most likely) or effect, this inexcusable omission radically distorts coverage.

    Whenever America is forced to confront its heinous acts, the central strategy is to disappear the victims, render them invisible. That’s what robs them of their humanity: it’s the process of dehumanization. That, in turns, is what enables American elites first to support atrocities, and then, when forced to reckon with them, tell themselves that - despite some isolated and well-intentioned bad acts – they are still really good, elevated, noble, admirable people. It’s hardly surprising, then, that a Washington Post/ABC News poll released this morning found that a large majority of Americans believe torture is justified even when you call it “torture.” Not having to think about actual human victims makes it easy to justify any sort of crime.

    That’s the process by which the reliably repellent Tom Friedman seized on the torture report to celebrate America’s unique greatness. “We are a beacon of opportunity and freedom, and also [] these foreigners know in their bones that we do things differently from other big powers in history,” the beloved-by-DC columnist wrote after reading about forced rectal feeding and freezing detainees to death. For the opinion-making class, even America’s savage torture is proof of its superiority and inherent Goodness: “this act of self-examination is not only what keeps our society as a whole healthy, it’s what keeps us a model that others want to emulate, partner with and immigrate to.” Friedman, who himself unleashed one of the most (literally) psychotic defenses of the Iraq War, ended his torture discussion by approvingly quoting John McCain on America’s enduring moral superiority: “Even in the worst of times, ‘we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.’”

    This self-glorifying ritual can be sustained only by completely suppressing America’s victims. If you don’t hear from the human beings who are tortured, it’s easy to pretend nothing truly terrible happened. That’s how the War on Terror generally has been “reported” for 13 years and counting: by completely silencing those whose lives are destroyed or ended by U.S. crimes. That’s how the illusion gets sustained.

    Thus, we sometimes hear about drones (usually to celebrate the Great Kills) but almost never hear from their victims: the surviving family members of innocents whom the U.S. kills or those forced to live under the traumatizing regime of permanently circling death robots. We periodically hear about the vile regimes the U.S. props up for decades, but almost never from the dissidents and activists imprisoned, tortured and killed by those allied tyrants. Most Americans have heard the words “rendition” and “Guantanamo” but could not name a single person victimized by them, let alone recount what happened to them, because they almost never appear on American television.

    It would be incredibly easy, and incredibly effective, for U.S. television outlets to interview America’s torture victims. There is certainly no shortage of them. Groups such as the ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve, and CAGE UK represent many of them. Many are incredibly smart and eloquent, and have spent years contemplating what happened to them and navigating the aftermath on their lives.

    I’ve written previously about the transformative experience of meeting and hearing directly from the victims of the abuses by your own government. That human interaction converts an injustice from an abstraction into a deeply felt rage and disgust. That’s precisely why the U.S. media doesn’t air those stories directly from the victims themselves: because it would make it impossible to maintain the pleasing fairy tales about “who we really are.”

    When I was in Canada in October, I met Maher Arar (pictured above) for the second time, went to his home, had breakfast with his wife (also pictured above) and two children. In 2002, Maher, a Canadian citizen of Syrian descent who worked as an engineer, was traveling back home to Ottawa when he was abducted by the U.S. Government at JFK Airport, held incommunicado and interrogated for weeks, then “rendered” to Syria where the U.S. arranged to have him brutally tortured by Assad’s regime. He was kept in a coffin-like cell for 10 months and savagely tortured until even his Syrian captors were convinced that he was completely innocent. He was then uncermoniously released back to his life in Canada as though nothing had happened.

    When he sued the U.S. government, subservient U.S. courts refused even to hear his case, accepting the Obama DOJ’s claim that it was too secret to safely adjudicate. The Canadian government released the findings of its investigation, publicly apologized for its role, and paid him $9 million. He used some of the money to start a political newspaper, which has since closed. He became an eloquent opponent of both the U.S. War on Terror and the Assad regime which tortured him as part of it.

    But all you have to do is spend five minutes talking to him to see that he has never really recovered from being snatched from his own life and savagely tortured at the behest of the U.S. Government that still holds itself out as the Leader of the Free World. Part of him is still back in the torture chamber in Syria, and likely always will be.

    Nobody could listen to Maher Arar speak and feel anything but disgust and outrage toward the U.S. Government – not just the Bush administration which kidnapped him and sent him to be tortured, but the Obama administration which protected them and blocked him from receiving justice, and the American media that turned a blind eye toward it, and the majority of the American public that supports this. But that’s exactly why we don’t hear from him: he isn’t on CNN or Meet the Press or Morning Joe to make clear what Michael Hayden and John Yoo really did and what the U.S. government under a Democratic president continues to shield.

    There are hundreds if not thousands of Maher Arars the U.S. media could easily and powerfully interview. McClatchy this week detailed the story of Khalid al Masri, a German citizen whom the U.S. Government abducted in Macedonia, tortured, and then dumped on a road when they decided he wasn’t guilty of anything (US courts also refused to hear his case on secrecy grounds). The detainees held without charges, tortured, and then unceremoniously released from Guantanamo and Bagram are rarely if ever heard from on U.S. television, even when the U.S. Government is forced to admit that they were guilty of nothing.

    This is not to say that merely putting these victims on television would fundamentally change how these issues are perceived. Many Americans would look at the largely non-white and foreign faces recounting their abuses, or take note of their demonized religion and ethnicity, and react for that reason with indifference or even support for what was done to them.

    And one could easily imagine such interviews quickly degenerating into a blame-the-victim spectacle. When Fareed Zakaria this week interviewed former Guantanamo detainee (and current detainee rights advocate) Moazzem Begg, Zakaria demanded that Begg condemn ISIS even though Begg kept explaining that he was “abused cruelly, inhumanely and degradingly” by the U.S. Government, that “pictures of my children are waved in front of me while I’m being beaten and tortured and abused by people who claimed to be the bastions of freedom and democracy and human rights,” and that “whatever the situation was, the Taliban and the ISIS, they didn’t torture me. They didn’t put me into dungeons. They didn’t beat me. They didn’t threaten to, you know, abuse my family. They didn’t do that to me. So I can only talk to my experience.”

    What this glaring omission in coverage does more than anything else is conclusively expose the utter fraud of the U.S. media’s claims to “objectivity” and “neutrality.” Outlets like The Washington Post and NPR still justify their refusal to call these torture tactics “torture” by invoking precepts of “neutrality”: we have to show all views, we can’t take sides, etc.

    But that’s pure deceit. They don’t show all sides. They systematically and quite deliberately exclude the victims of the very policies of the U.S. Government they pretend to cover. And they do that because including those victims would be too informative, would provide too much information, would be too enlightening. It would, for many people, shatter the myths of American Goodness and the conceit that even when Americans do heinous things, they do it with Goodness and Freedom in their hearts, with a guaranteed and permanent status as superior. At the very least, it would make it impossible for many people to deny to themselves the utter savagery and sadism carried out in their names.

    Keeping those victims silenced and invisible is the biggest favor the U.S. television media could do for the government over which they claim to act as watchdogs. So that’s what they do: dutifully, eagerly and with very rare exception.


  2. #22
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    Judge to decide if BBC’s misreporting on Jerusalem is propaganda or journalism


    Campaigners are taking the BBC to a tribunal in a bid to find out why the corporation insists on promoting Jerusalem as an “Israeli city.”

    An appeal was filed last week with the First-Tier Tribunal (Information Rights), part of the UK court system, by two UK-based human rights organizations.

    The two groups, Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa, are attempting to force the release of BBC documents which would reveal how the BBC Trust reached a decision in 2013 that BBC journalists are can refer to the whole of Jerusalem as “Israeli.”

    Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) has been challenging the BBC since 2012 over its reporting on its online pages and radio broadcasts that Jerusalem is an “Israeli city,” with no distinction being made between East Jerusalem, considered by the United Nations to be occupied Palestinian territory, and West Jerusalem.

    These challenges led to the BBC Trust confirming in May 2013 that the BBC is justified in referring to Jerusalem as an Israeli city, because of the facts on the ground created by Israel. At that time, the Trust wrote to PSC saying it had sought advice from its senior editorial strategy advisor, Leanne Buckle. Buckle concluded that there was no inaccuracy or bias in the BBC preferring to use the Israeli government’s territorial claims to the whole of Jerusalem in its reporting.

    The Trust wrote: “The advisor [Buckle] acknowledged that Israel’s sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem was not recognized under international law. However, she considered that Israel had de facto control over the entire city in a political, administrative and military sense. She also noted that Jerusalem was administered as a single entity by the Jerusalem municipal authority which made no distinction between East and West.”

    BBC overrides international law

    Buckle’s over-riding of international law in order to accept Israel’s illegal facts on the ground as a basis for BBC reports on Jerusalem led Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa to investigate how and why her decision was made.

    With the support of CorporateRegister.com, PSC and Friends of Al Aqsa submitted a Freedom of Information request to the BBC, asking the corporation to disclose all documents relating to Buckle’s decision and the subsequent Trust decision, sent to PSC in May 2013.

    “To make reference to either East or West Jerusalem, while reporting, would be so easy, and would result in accurate journalism,” PSC’s director, Sarah Colborne, told The Electronic Intifada. “However, the BBC seems to be more concerned with portraying the Israeli line on the status of Jerusalem, at the expense of accuracy and impartiality, and we want to find out why.”

    The BBC rejected the Freedom of Information application on the basis that the Freedom of Information Act 2000 only covers information held by the BBC and other public service broadcasters if that information is held for “purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature.”

    The BBC argued that “journalism, art or literature … seems to be intended to cover the whole of the BBC’s output in its mission (under article 5 of its Royal Charter) to inform, educate and entertain the public.”

    Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa then took their challenge to a higher level, appealing to the Information Commissioner’s Office. The organizations said that the BBC’s policy of referring to Jerusalem as an Israeli city neither “educates” nor “informs” the public.

    In fact, by reporting that the whole of Jerusalem is an Israeli city when it is not, the BBC is actually and actively misinforming the public, and therefore should not be protected by the derogation clause of the Freedom of Information Act.

    Propaganda or journalism?

    At the end of last month, the Information Commissioner’s Office responded to PSC in a written letter — and upheld the BBC’s right to be excluded from the Freedom of Information Act, concluding that “if the information is held for the purpose of journalism, art or literature, it is caught by the derogation.”

    Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa have now lodged an appeal with the First-Tier Tribunal. The appeal will be heard in the fall.

    In the grounds for appeal, submitted last week to the Tribunal, the organizations write:

    The view of Jerusalem as a wholly Israeli city is one that is held only by Israel in the international community. Israel attempts to promote this view as a form of propaganda, and an attempt to create facts on the ground. When the BBC also promotes this view, it becomes complicit in Israel’s propaganda. The view being promoted by the BBC is not, therefore, journalism, but it is propaganda.

    … The BBC is well aware of international law and international opinion on the subject of Jerusalem. It knows that Jerusalem is not, in its entirety, an Israeli city. Therefore, when it refers to Jerusalem as an Israeli city in its output, it is knowingly reiterating Israeli propaganda. This is contrary to all the principles of journalism.

    … To find out what led to this decision is in the public interest. The BBC is a public body and, if it is broadcasting and publishing information which it knows to be false, the public has a right to know why.

    Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Friends of Al Aqsa conclude by pointing out that the definition of propaganda “accurately applies to the BBC in the instance of its determination to refer to Jerusalem, in its entirety, as an Israeli city, which it is not, but which the Israeli government wishes the public to believe it is, as part of Israel’s attempts to secure Jerusalem for itself with or without a negotiated settlement.”

    Influencing audiences

    This is the definition of propaganda which PSC and FOA have presented to the Tribunal in their grounds for appeal:

    Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of a population toward some cause or position. Propaganda is information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis.

    In the fall, the judge of the First-Tier Tribunal will decide whether the BBC’s misreporting on the status of Jerusalem constitutes propaganda aimed at influencing its audiences towards the Israeli position, or whether it is, in fact, accurate and impartial journalism.If the judge decides on the former, and orders the release of the documents explaining the BBC Trust’s ruling, those documents will make interesting reading indeed.


  3. #23
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    BBC broadcasts offensive Prophet Muhammad cartoon


    The BBC appears to have broken its own editorial guidelines by becoming the first major British media outlet to publish an offensive Charlie Hebdo cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad in the aftermath of the Paris attacks.

    BBC1’s flagship 10pm news bulletin on Thursday featured library footage of Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier, who was shot and killed in Wednesday’s attack on the French satirical magazine’s Paris offices, holding up a special edition of the magazine four years ago featuring a cartoon of Prophet Muhammad (saw) on its front page threatening readers with “a hundred lashes if you don’t die laughing”.

    This appeared to contradict the BBC’s own editorial guidelines which were read out on BBC1’s Question Time, which followed the news.

    Question Time presenter David Dimbleby said: “I wouldn’t be doing my duty if I didn’t read this out from the BBC editorial guidelines.”

    Dimbleby quoted extensively from a section of the guidelines on the use of still photographs and images which said: “Due care and consideration must be made regarding the use of religious symbols in images which may cause offence. The Prophet Mohammed must not be represented in any shape or form.”

    The BBC said the guidelines were out of date and indicated that the process of revising them had been under way for some time and was unrelated to the events in Paris.

    In a statement the BBC said: “This guidance is old, out of date and does not reflect the BBC’s long-standing position that programme makers have freedom to exercise their editorial judgement with the editorial policy team available to provide advice around sensitive issues on a case-by-case basis. The guidance is currently being revised.”

    Most UK media did not reprint any of the satirical magazine’s caricatures of Muhammad (pbuh) or the cartoons from Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten, with which Charlie Hebdo first provoked international outrage in 2006.

    Independent editor Amol Rajan said “every instinct” told him to publish the cartoons but described it as “too much of a risk”.

    Sources: Media Guardian


    Everybody knows BBC is zionist media and they are being exposed as full of Pedos, nothing good can be expected from these uncivilized animals who are quick to jump the anti-Islam bandwagon, especially to divert attention from their revolting pedophilia exposure.

  4. #24
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    Out of Respect to Muslims New York Times Refuses to Republish Charlie Hebdo Caricatures


    Rabat – Unlike some American news organizations that published the Charlie Hebdo cartoons out of a sense of solidarity with its slain journalists, the New York Times has decided not to run the drawings mocking the prophet Mohammed.

    The NY Times’ executive editor, Dean Baquet, is said to have decided not to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons in “consideration of the sensibilities of Times readers, and especially its Muslim readers.”

    We have a standard that is long held and that serves us well: that there is a line between gratuitous insult and satire. Most of these are gratuitous insult,” he was quoted as saying.

    The decision not to show the images of the prophet Muhammad was also taken by the Washington Post (on its news pages), the Associated Press, CNN and many other American news organizations.

    However, Buzzfeed and the Huffington Post were among those that did publish the Charlie Hebdo drawings.


    CBC and French CarlieHebdo cartoons

    (CBC - Canada Broadcasting Company)

    This is what real journalism looks like, not what all those enemies of Islam show and tell.

    Why won't CBC broadcast/publish the #CharlieHebdo cartoons? David Studer, the CBC's director of Journalistic Standards and Practices, explains:


    Canada once again sets the standards and principles other media lack...

  5. #25
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    Charlie Hebdo and the hypocrisy of pencils


    It was Herald Sun cartoonist Mark Knight who tipped me over the edge.

    To be fair, he wasn’t wholly responsible. If it wasn’t for all the lunacy that preceded him, I probably would have dismissed his cartoon as just another Herald Sun atrocity, more a piece of Murdoch-madness to be mocked rather than trigger for outrage. But context is everything. And after days of sanctimonious blather about freedom of speech and the Enlightenment values of Western civilisation, his was one pencil-warfare cartoon too many.

    The cartoon in question depicts two men – masked and armed Arab terrorists (is there any other kind of Arab?) – with a hail of bomb-like objects raining down on their heads. Only the bombs aren’t bombs. They are pens, pencils and quills. Get it? In the face of a medieval ideology that only understands the language of the gun, the West – the heroic, Enlightenment-inspired West – responds by reaffirming its commitment to resist barbarism with the weapons of ideas and freedom of expression.

    It is a stirring narrative repeated ad nauseam in newspapers across the globe. They have been filled with depictions of broken pencils re-sharpened to fight another day, or editorials declaring that we will defeat terrorism by our refusal to stop mocking Islam.

    It is well past time to call bullshit. Knight’s cartoon made the point exceptionally clear, but every image that invoked the idea that Western culture could and would defend itself from Islamist extremism by waging a battle of ideas demonstrated the same historical and political amnesia.

    Reality could not be more at odds with this ludicrous narrative.

    For the last decade and a half the United States, backed to varying degrees by the governments of other Western countries, has rained violence and destruction on the Arab and Muslim world with a ferocity that has few parallels in the history of modern warfare.

    It was not pencils and pens – let alone ideas – that left Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan shattered and hundreds of thousands of human beings dead. Not twelve. Hundreds of thousands. All with stories, with lives, with families. Tens of millions who have lost friends, family, homes and watched their country be torn apart.

    To the victims of military occupation; to the people in the houses that bore the brunt of “shock and awe” bombing in Iraq; to those whose bodies were disfigured by white phosphorous and depleted uranium; to the parents of children who disappeared into the torture cells of Abu Ghraib; to all of them – what but cruel mockery is the contention that Western “civilisation” fights its wars with the pen and not the sword?

    And that is only to concern ourselves with the latest round of atrocities. It is not even to consider the century or more of Western colonial policies that through blood and iron have consigned all but a tiny few among the population of the Arab world to poverty and hopelessness.

    It is not to even mention the brutal rule of French colonialism in Algeria, and its preparedness to murder a million of Algerians and even hundreds of French-Algerian citizens in its efforts to maintain the remnants of empire. It is leaving aside the ongoing poverty, ghettoisation and persecution endured by the Muslim population of France, which is mostly of Algerian origin.

    The history of the West’s relationship with the Muslim world – a history of colonialism and imperialism, of occupation, subjugation and war – cries out in protest against the quaint idea that “Western values” entail a rejection of violence and terror as political tools.

    Of course the pen has played its role as well. The pens that signed the endless Patriot Acts, anti-terror laws and other bills that entrenched police harassment and curtailed civil rights. The pens of the newspaper editorialists who whip up round after round of hysteria, entrenching anti-Muslim prejudice and making people foreigners in their own country. But the pens of newspaper editors were strong not by virtue of their wit or reason, but insofar as they were servants of the powerful and their guns.

    Consideration of this context not only exposes the hypocrisy of those who create the narrative of an enlightened West defending freedom of speech, it also points to the predictability and inevitability of horrific acts of terrorism in response. Of course we will never know what was going through the minds of the three men who carried out this latest atrocity. But it is the height of a historical philistinism to ignore the context – both recent and longstanding – in which these attacks took place.

    The idea that Muslim outrage at vile depictions of their religious icons can be evaluated separately from the persecution of Muslims in the West and the invasion and occupation of Muslim countries is the product of a complete incapacity to empathise with the experience of sustained and systemic oppression.

    What is extraordinary, when even the most cursory consideration of recent history is taken into account, is not that this horrific incident occurred, but that such events do not happen more often. It is a great testament to the enduring humanism of the Muslim population of the world that only a tiny minority resort to such acts in the face of endless provocation.

    In the days ahead, a now tired and exhausting theatre of the absurd will continue to play out its inevitable acts. The Western politicians who lock up their own dissidents and survey the every movement of their citizenry will go on waxing lyrical about freedom of thought. Muslim leaders of every hue will continue to denounce a terrorism they have nothing to do with, and will in turn be denounced for not doing so often or vigorously enough. The right will attack the left as sympathisers of Islamist terrorism, and demand we endlessly repeat the truism that journalists should not be killed for expressing their opinions. They will also demand that we accept that white Westerners, not Muslims, are the real victims of this latest political drama.

    Meanwhile, Muslims in the West will, if they dare to walk the streets, do so in fear of the inevitable reprisals. And pencils aren’t what they will be afraid of.


  6. #26
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    One Student's Epic Tweets Call Out the Biggest Hypocrites Marching for Free Speech In Paris

    Adding to the symbolic weight of the demonstrations, more than 40 world leaders joined the start of the Paris march, linking arms in an act of solidarity. But as Reporters Without Borders points out, their policies at home are far from compatible with the solidarity for free speech on display throughout France.

    The organization said Sunday that it was "appalled by the presence of leaders from countries where journalists and bloggers are systematically persecuted such as Egypt (which is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in RWB's press freedom index), Russia (148th), Turkey (154th) and United Arab Emirates (118th)."

    See tweets at: http://mic.com/articles/108166/one-s...peech-in-paris

    These World Leaders Are a Worse Threat to Free Press Than Terrorism


    On Sunday, 3.7 million people gathered all over France to mourn the lives of those killed in last week's Charlie Hebdo attack. It was almost a moving collective stand for freedom of expression in the face of terror and fear—except that its most prominent supporters are much greater threats to a free press than terrorism.

    As the non-profit Reporters Without Borders noted on Sunday, and as London School of Economics Middle East Society co-president Daniel Wickham elaborated in a widely disseminated series of tweets, the world leaders given prominent photo-op placement at the Paris rally are not only free-press hypocrites—they're by any measure worse threats to the world-changing possibilities of a free press than a couple terrorists with guns.

    Your murderer's row:

    U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron

    In 2013, the British prime minister publicly threatened to use court injunctions against newspapers that published information from the Edward Snowden leaks. When the Guardian published anyway, technicians from the GCHQ arrived at the newspaper's office and forced editors to destroy their hard-drives with angle grinders.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

    In July, Reporters Without Borders detailed what it called the "deliberate targeting" of news professionals with arrests and intimidation by Netanyahu's Israeli Defense Forces in the 2014 Gaza conflict. The next month, Palestinian photojournalist Rami Rayan was found among the dead after an IDF rocket attack on a Gaza marketplace. He was wearing a vest marked "PRESS."

    Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu

    Turkey imprisoned more journalists than any nation in the world in 2012 and 2013. China officially took its seat last year, but many more reporters remain behind bars, and Prime Minister Davutoğlu's government is currently prosecuting nearly 70 journalists who covered a recent corruption case.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

    Mamdouh Hamamreh, who works for the Palestinian TV station Al-Quds, joked on Facebook that Palestinian President Abbas looked like Fayez Kazak, an actor who played a spy on a popular TV show. For that, he was sent to jail. (They do look like each other, for the record.)

    King Abdullah II of Jordan

    Last year, Mudar Zahan was sentenced to up to 15 years hard labor in prison for publicly criticizing the state. Zahan was granted asylum in the UK, where he currently lives.

    Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita

    French journalist Dorothée Thiénot was expelled from the city of Gao, where she was living, after reporting on the Malian army's executions of suspected Islamist militants.

    Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar

    Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami was arrested in 2011 and sentenced to life in prison for writing a poem that allegedly insulted Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. His sentence was later shortened to 15 years.

    Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar

    In 2013, Slovenian blogger Mitja Kunstelj was sentenced to six months in prison for "defaming" and "insulting" two fellow journalists on his blog.

    Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny

    In Ireland, blasphemy is a criminal offense.

    Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz

    Polish law enforcement officials raided the office of the magazine Wprost after it published a secretly recorded conversation between two government officials last year.

    Saudi Ambassador to France Mohammed bin Ismail Al Al-Sheikh

    In May, Saudi blogger Raif Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashings for "insulting islam." He was flogged in a public square in the city of Jeddah just two days before the rally.

    Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras

    Photojournalist Tatiana Bolari was beaten by riot police at a demonstration in Athens last year, even though her gear "clearly identified her as a journalist," according to Reporters Without Borders.

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry

    Two Al-Jazeera journalists were sentenced to seven years and jail and one to 10 years in jail after they covered the ouster of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and subsequent demonstrations.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

    Russia famously banned LGBT "propaganda" in 2013. Last year, officials arrested a journalist for interviewing an advocate of Siberian independence.

    Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra

    Algerian authorities jailed radio journalist Abdessami' Abdelhai for 15 months without charging him after he allegedly helped a newspaper editor flee the country. The editor had been charged with "endangering national security" because he publicly discussed president Abdelaziz Bouteflika's health.

    Here, Wickham points to several other noble defenders of expression who had the courage to attend the rally. U.S. officials were notably absent, but had they showed up, rest assured that they would have made the list too.


  7. #27
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    France Arrests a Comedian For His Facebook Comments, Showing the Sham of the West’s “Free Speech” Celebration


    Forty-eight hours after hosting a massive march under the banner of free expression, France opened a criminal investigation of a controversial French comedian for a Facebook post he wrote about the Charlie Hebdo attack, and then this morning, arrested him for that post on charges of “defending terrorism.” The comedian, Dieudonné (above), previously sought elective office in France on what he called an “anti-Zionist” platform, has had his show banned by numerous government officials in cities throughout France, and has been criminally prosecuted several times before for expressing ideas banned in that country.

    The apparently criminal viewpoint he posted on Facebook declared: “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.” Investigators concluded that this was intended to mock the “Je Suis Charlie” slogan and express support for the perpetrator of the Paris supermarket killings (whose last name was “Coulibaly”). Expressing that opinion is evidently a crime in the Republic of Liberté, which prides itself on a line of 20th Century intellectuals – from Sartre and Genet to Foucault and Derrida – whose hallmark was leaving no orthodoxy or convention unmolested, no matter how sacred.

    Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”

    As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech. Vanishingly few of this week’s bold free expression mavens have ever uttered a peep of protest about any of those cases – either before the Charlie Hebdo attack or since. That’s because “free speech,” in the hands of many westerners, actually means: it is vital that the ideas I like be protected, and the right to offend groups I dislike be cherished; anything else is fair game.

    It is certainly true that many of Dieudonné’s views and statements are noxious, although he and his supporters insist that they are “satire” and all in good humor. In that regard, the controversy they provoke is similar to the now-much-beloved Charlie Hebdo cartoons (one French leftist insists the cartoonists were mocking rather than adopting racism and bigotry, but Olivier Cyran, a former writer at the magazine who resigned in 2001, wrote a powerful 2013 letter with ample documentation condemning Charlie Hebdo for descending in the post-9/11 era into full-scale, obsessive anti-Muslim bigotry).

    Despite the obvious threat to free speech posed by this arrest, it is inconceivable that any mainstream western media figures would start tweeting “#JeSuisDieudonné” or would upload photographs of themselves performing his ugly Nazi-evoking arm gesture in “solidarity” with his free speech rights. That’s true even if he were murdered for his ideas rather than “merely” arrested and prosecuted for them. That’s because last week’s celebration of the Hebdo cartoonists (well beyond mourning their horrifically unjust murders) was at least as much about approval for their anti-Muslim messages as it was about the free speech rights that were invoked in their support - at least as much.

    The vast bulk of the stirring “free speech” tributes over the last week have been little more than an attempt to protect and venerate speech that degrades disfavored groups while rendering off-limits speech that does the same to favored groups, all deceitfully masquerading as lofty principles of liberty. In response to my article containing anti-Jewish cartoons on Monday - which I posted to demonstrate the utter selectivity and inauthenticity of this newfound adoration of offensive speech - I was subjected to endless contortions justifying why anti-Muslim speech is perfectly great and noble while anti-Jewish speech is hideously offensive and evil (the most frequently invoked distinction – “Jews are a race/ethnicity while Muslims aren’t” – would come as a huge surprise to the world’s Asian, black, Latino and white Jews, as well as to those who identify as “Muslim” as part of their cultural identity even though they don’t pray five times a day). As always: it’s free speech if it involves ideas I like or attacks groups I dislike, but it’s something different when I’m the one who is offended.

    Think about the “defending terrorism” criminal offense for which Dieudonné has been arrested. Should it really be a criminal offense – causing someone to be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned – to say something along these lines: western countries like France have been bringing violence for so long to Muslims in their countries that I now believe it’s justifiable to bring violence to France as a means of making them stop? If you want “terrorism defenses” like that to be criminally prosecuted (as opposed to societally shunned), how about those who justify, cheer for and glorify the invasion and destruction of Iraq, with its “Shock and Awe” slogan signifying an intent to terrorize the civilian population into submission and its monstrous tactics in Fallujah? Or how about the psychotic calls from a Fox News host, when discussing Muslims radicals, to “kill them ALL.” Why is one view permissible and the other criminally barred – other than because the force of law is being used to control political discourse and one form of terrorism (violence in the Muslim world) is done by, rather than to, the west?

    For those interested, my comprehensive argument against all “hate speech” laws and other attempts to exploit the law to police political discourse is here. That essay, notably, was written to denounce a proposal by a French minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, to force Twitter to work with the French government to delete tweets which officials like this minister (and future unknown ministers) deem “hateful.” France is about as legitimate a symbol of free expression as Charlie Hebdo, which fired one of its writers in 2009 for a single supposedly anti-Semitic sentence in the midst of publishing an orgy of anti-Muslim (not just anti-Islam) content. This week’s celebration of France – and the gaggle of tyrannical leaders who joined it – had little to do with free speech and much to do with suppressing ideas they dislike while venerating ideas they prefer.

    Perhaps the most intellectually corrupted figure in this regard is, unsurprisingly, France’s most celebrated (and easily the world’s most overrated) public intellectual, the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy. He demands criminal suppression of anything smacking of anti-Jewish views (he called for Dieudonné’s shows to be banned (“I don’t understand why anyone even sees the need for debate”) and supported the 2009 firing of the Charlie Hebdo writer for a speech offense against Jews), while shamelessly parading around all last week as the Churchillian champion of free expression when it comes to anti-Muslim cartoons.

    But that, inevitably, is precisely the goal, and the effect, of laws that criminalize certain ideas and those who support such laws: to codify a system where the views they like are sanctified and the groups to which they belong protected. The views and groups they most dislike – and only them – are fair game for oppression and degradation.

    The arrest of this French comedian so soon after the epic Paris free speech march underscores this point more powerfully than anything I could have written about the selectivity and fraud of this week’s “free speech” parade. It also shows – yet again – why those who want to criminalize the ideas they most dislike are at least as dangerous and tyrannical as the ideas they target: at least.


    For Hateful Comic in France, Muzzle Becomes a Megaphone


    PARIS — Thirty-eight times in recent years the French authorities have charged the comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala with violating anti-hate laws. The government has urged cities and towns to ban his performances, and some have done so, canceling his sold-out shows. Senior officials have condemned him as an anti-Semitic Holocaust denier who is inciting hatred.

    Yet the campaign against him shows few signs of succeeding. Not only has he escaped conviction in many of the cases brought against him or, at worst, had to pay fines, he has easily circumvented limits on his public appearances via the Internet and social media. One of his videos, posted just in February, a riposte to the Interior Ministry and specifically Manuel Valls, the interior minister, received almost two million views in the first week it was up.

    Perhaps more important, the attempts to silence Mr. M’bala M’bala seem to have fueled support for him among his core audience: a social and racial cross section of French people who feel shortchanged by a ruling elite.

    With anti-Semitic jokes and songs and routines, Mr. M’bala M’bala, who is of French and West African heritage, reaches both French Muslims and some supporters of the far right who share his views and sometimes appear with him at performances. He is credited with inventing an inverted Nazi salute known as the quenelle to satirize the French elite, which he claims is dominated by Jewish interests. When a leading European soccer player made the salute after scoring a goal, it attracted a wave of attention to Mr. M’bala M’bala.

    Determining how far to go in trying to keep the comedian from spreading his vision and assessing how to gauge when those efforts are counterproductive are among the tricky tasks facing the French authorities. At the same time, right-wing populists, some of whom similarly hold anti-Semitic views, seem poised to make electoral gains across much of Europe — and not least of all in France, where the far right National Front has a higher approval rating than the other two major parties.

    Freedom of speech is less protected in France than in the United States, and there is widespread support for seeking to muzzle Mr. M’bala M’bala. But his case has set off a new debate over the limits of free expression, with advocates for civil liberties asserting that the government risks overreacting and endangering basic freedoms as well as adding to his luster by making him into a martyr. Lawyers say they are particularly concerned that the government has pre-emptively banned his shows.

    “These preliminary injunctions that have been pronounced against his shows are dangerous not for Dieudonné, but because citing ‘a risk to public order’ opens the way for other similar injunctions,” said Agnès Tricoire, a lawyer who specializes in intellectual property and freedom of expression and represents the French League of Human Rights, a group that has a more American and British view of freedom of expression.

    Ms. Tricoire noted that two of the legal grounds for complaints against Mr. M’bala M’bala are highly subjective: that he is a threat to public order and that his performances defame the humanity of a group or community. He has also been accused of denying the Holocaust — a crime in France — and of inciting hatred.

    “The notion of violating human dignity is claimed by certain pressure groups who want to forbid performances for moral reasons,” she said, noting that a similar argument could be used by the far right to try to prohibit art shows or theater even before a performance because those groups view them as immoral. So far, the French government has refrained from bowing to such pressure, even going so far as protecting audiences from protesters when they object to artistic performances.

    Others worry that the “threat to public order” charge could be used more to repress dissent, as it is by some authoritarian governments.

    Groups that represent Jews, who have been the chief targets of Mr. M’bala M’bala’s routines, staunchly defend the government’s measures, arguing that the poisonous message harms society and undercuts a goal revered by the French — at least in theory — of people from all races and religions living together.

    Jewish groups also cite the rising number of anti-Semitic crimes in France as good reason to squash Mr. M’bala M’bala’s message.

    There are also ever more anti-Islamic crimes — there were about 200 in 2012, according to the Interior Ministry, up from about 160 in 2011. Some nongovernmental agencies that track anti-Islamic acts cite more than twice that number. One of the most recent occurred in February in a town near Paris, when a pig’s head and what appeared to be pork were thrown into a mosque courtyard. Pork is considered unclean under Muslim law.

    The French are particularly sensitive to anti-Semitism because of the country’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II. “In a country where you had the Holocaust on its soil, we have a very different way of dealing with it,” said Simone Rodan-Benzaquen, the head of the American Jewish Committee in France.

    But she admitted that just prohibiting anti-Semitic speech can go only so far.

    “If society at large doesn’t ask itself questions about the values of French society and how it can combat hatred of minorities, it will be in vain,” she said.

    Mr. M’bala M’bala, who has previously denied that he is an anti-Semite, could not be reached for comment. In one of his videos that recently was the subject of a court case, he provocatively called for the release of Youssouf Fofana, the convicted killer of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Jewish man who was kidnapped in 2006 by a group known as The Barbarians, who tortured him for a week before mutilating him and leaving him bleeding on a road.

    Mr. M’bala M’bala charged that Jewish youths caused the death of a Muslim man in 2010, and that there was far less of an outcry than in Mr. Halimi’s case.

    In another of his popular routines he performs a song called “Shoahnanas” — a pun that in French sounds like the words “hot pineapple.” The word Shoah refers to the Holocaust, and Nana is a slang term for a woman akin to the English chick. The video features a thin, bedraggled man in the kind of uniform that was worn by prisoners in concentration camps, with an oversize yellow Star of David on it; the man jumps around the stage — a puppet on a string to Mr. M’bala M’bala’s satirical commentary.

    The difference between Mr. M’bala M’bala’s phenomenon and some previous far right anti-Semitic writers is his ability to reach a wide audience.

    Louis-Ferdinand Céline was a celebrated French writer and pamphleteer in the first half of the 20th century who also espoused virulently anti-Semitic views.

    “Dieudonné's got this constituency out in the banlieues and he speaks to them in code, he doesn’t have to say, ‘The Holocaust never happened,' ” Professor Hussey said, referring to the poor suburbs often populated by immigrants. “Instead he makes a joke about the Shoah, but the joke is testing the limits of French law.”



    The hypocrites talk about "defaming" humanity of a group or community. and the notion of "violating human dignity" all the while deframes islam and violates Muslim dignity by their anti-islam and anti-Prophet cartoons. Where is their freedom of speech now?

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    Hot dog seller now subject of police investigation


    A Muslim in Canada decided to put ‘free speech’ to the test in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings by joking about 9/11 and the Holocaust on Twitter. He is now the subject of a police investigation.

    Hot dog seller Jerry Reddick took to the social media network yesterday to experiment with how far he could take freedom of expression, writing, “Let’s test just how free freedom of speech is when it’s not Muslims being disrespected.”

    What followed was a series of tweets which were undoubtedly offensive but for many wouldn’t be construed as any more odious than material published by Charlie Hebdo.

    They say the best cooked Jews can be found in Poland and Germany where the ovens are made from the best clay.#Freedomofspeech?
    — Dawgfather PHD (@dawgfatherphd) January 14, 2015

    In 2001 I thought Americans could fly by the way they were jumping from the twin towers in New York.#FreedomofspeechMUHAMMAD
    — Dawgfather PHD (@dawgfatherphd) January 14, 2015

    Hitler asked his people, "How do you like your Jews"? Well done with a bagel and a kosher pickle. Freedom of speech goes both ways #Muhammad
    — Dawgfather PHD (@dawgfatherphd) January 14, 2015

    If I made a cartoon about Hitler and some Jews going into a oven; would it be accepted like the cartoon of Muhammad as free speech?
    — Dawgfather PHD (@dawgfatherphd) January 14, 2015

    Within hours of sending out the tweets, Reddick was reported to Halifax police and is now under investigation by authorities.

    “I know you didn’t think freedom to insult worked both ways,” wrote Reddick, adding, “My point about free speech being limited was made loud and clear!”

    Reddick’s free speech experiment seems to confirm that making offensive jokes about Muslims is acceptable under the banner of free speech, but insulting Jews or victims of terror attacks or crimes against humanity is not.

    Many would say this highlights hypocrisy, whereas others would point out that the consequences of making jokes about Jews – criminal investigation – is far less severe than the punishment metered out by Islamic extremists to the publishers of Charlie Hebdo in Paris last week.

    The main point of contention seems to be whether or not it represents an act of hate speech to ridicule a crime against humanity, which in countries like France is illegal, rather than a religion itself. In Canada, people have been charged with anti-Semitism despite it being acknowledged that this was an infringement on their free speech rights.

    As Glenn Greenwald highlighted, the west’s new found support for ‘free speech’ is something of a sham given that French comedian Dieudonné was arrested yesterday for a Facebook post about the Charlie Hebdo attack in which he wrote, “Tonight, as far as I’m concerned, I feel like Charlie Coulibaly.”

    Since last weekend’s free speech march in Paris, French authorities have opened 54 criminal cases as part of a move to crackdown on “hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”

    UPDATE: Jerry Reddick’s Twitter account has now been deleted.


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    Chomsky: Paris attacks show hypocrisy of West's outrage


    After the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, which killed 12 people including the editor and four other cartoonists, and the murder of four Jews at a kosher supermarket shortly after, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared "a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity."

    Millions of people demonstrated in condemnation of the atrocities, amplified by a chorus of horror under the banner "I am Charlie." There were eloquent pronouncements of outrage, captured well by the head of Israel's Labor Party and the main challenger for the upcoming elections, Isaac Herzog, who declared that "Terrorism is terrorism. There's no two ways about it," and that "All the nations that seek peace and freedom [face] an enormous challenge" from brutal violence.

    The crimes also elicited a flood of commentary, inquiring into the roots of these shocking assaults in Islamic culture and exploring ways to counter the murderous wave of Islamic terrorism without sacrificing our values. The New York Times described the assault as a "clash of civilizations," but was corrected by Times columnist Anand Giridharadas,who tweeted that it was "Not & never a war of civilizations or between them. But a war FOR civilization against groups on the other side of that line. #CharlieHebdo."

    The scene in Paris was described vividly in the New York Times by veteran Europe correspondent Steven Erlanger: "a day of sirens, helicopters in the air, frantic news bulletins; of police cordons and anxious crowds; of young children led away from schools to safety. It was a day, like the previous two, of blood and horror in and around Paris."

    Erlanger also quoted a surviving journalist who said that "Everything crashed. There was no way out. There was smoke everywhere. It was terrible. People were screaming. It was like a nightmare." Another reported a "huge detonation, and everything went completely dark." The scene, Erlanger reported, "was an increasingly familiar one of smashed glass, broken walls, twisted timbers, scorched paint and emotional devastation."

    These last quotes, however -- as independent journalist David Peterson reminds us -- are not from January 2015. Rather, they are from a report by Erlanger on April 24 1999, which received far less attention. Erlanger was reporting on the NATO "missile attack on Serbian state television headquarters" that "knocked Radio Television Serbia off the air," killing 16 journalists.

    "NATO and American officials defended the attack," Erlanger reported, "as an effort to undermine the regime of President Slobodan Milosevic of Yugoslavia." Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon told a briefing in Washington that "Serb TV is as much a part of Milosevic's murder machine as his military is," hence a legitimate target of attack.

    There were no demonstrations or cries of outrage, no chants of "We are RTV," no inquiries into the roots of the attack in Christian culture and history. On the contrary, the attack on the press was lauded. The highly regarded U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke, then envoy to Yugoslavia, described the successful attack on RTV as "an enormously important and, I think, positive development," a sentiment echoed by others.

    There are many other events that call for no inquiry into western culture and history -- for example, the worst single terrorist atrocity in Europe in recent years, in July 2011, when Anders Breivik, a Christian ultra-Zionist extremist and Islamophobe, slaughtered 77 people, mostly teenagers.

    Also ignored in the "war against terrorism" is the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times -- Barack Obama's global assassination campaign targeting people suspected of perhaps intending to harm us some day, and any unfortunates who happen to be nearby. Other unfortunates are also not lacking, such as the 50 civilians reportedly killed in a U.S.-led bombing raid in Syria in December, which was barely reported.

    One person was indeed punished in connection with the NATO attack on RTV -- Dragoljub Milanović, the general manager of the station, who was sentenced by the European Court of Human Rights to 10 years in prison for failing to evacuate the building, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. TheInternational Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia considered the NATO attack, concluding that it was not a crime, and although civilian casualties were "unfortunately high, they do not appear to be clearly disproportionate."

    The comparison between these cases helps us understand the condemnation of the New York Times by civil rights lawyer Floyd Abrams, famous for his forceful defense of freedom of expression. "There are times for self-restraint," Abrams wrote, "but in the immediate wake of the most threatening assault on journalism in living memory, [the Times editors] would have served the cause of free expression best by engaging in it" by publishing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons ridiculing Mohammed that elicited the assault.

    Abrams is right in describing the Charlie Hebdo attack as "the most threatening assault on journalism in living memory." The reason has to do with the concept "living memory," a category carefully constructed to include Their crimes against us while scrupulously excluding Our crimes against them -- the latter not crimes but noble defense of the highest values, sometimes inadvertently flawed.

    This is not the place to inquire into just what was being "defended" when RTV was attacked, but such an inquiry is quite informative (see my A New Generation Draws the Line).

    There are many other illustrations of the interesting category "living memory." One is provided by the Marine assault against Fallujah in November 2004, one of the worst crimes of the U.S.-UK invasion of Iraq.

    The assault opened with occupation of Fallujah General Hospital, a major war crime quite apart from how it was carried out. The crime was reported prominently on the front page of the New York Times, accompanied with a photograph depicting how "Patients and hospital employees were rushed out of rooms by armed soldiers and ordered to sit or lie on the floor while troops tied their hands behind their backs." The occupation of the hospital was considered meritorious and justified: it "shut down what officers said was a propaganda weapon for the militants: Fallujah General Hospital, with its stream of reports of civilian casualties."

    Evidently, this is no assault on free expression, and does not qualify for entry into "living memory."

    There are other questions. One would naturally ask how France upholds freedom of expression and the sacred principles of "fraternity, freedom, solidarity." For example, is it through the Gayssot Law, repeatedly implemented, which effectively grants the state the right to determine Historical Truth and punish deviation from its edicts? By expelling miserable descendants of Holocaust survivors (Roma) to bitter persecution in Eastern Europe? By the deplorable treatment of North African immigrants in the banlieues of Paris where the Charlie Hebdo terrorists became jihadis? When the courageous journal Charlie Hebdo fired the cartoonist Siné on grounds that a comment of his was deemed to have anti-Semitic connotations? Many more questions quickly arise.

    Anyone with eyes open will quickly notice other rather striking omissions. Thus, prominent among those who face an "enormous challenge" from brutal violence are Palestinians, once again during Israel's vicious assault on Gaza in the summer of 2014, in which many journalists were murdered, sometimes in well-marked press cars, along with thousands of others, while the Israeli-run outdoor prison was again reduced to rubble on pretexts that collapse instantly on examination.

    Also ignored was the assassination of three more journalists in Latin America in December, bringing the number for the year to 31. There have been more than a dozen journalists killed in Honduras alone since the military coup of 2009 that was effectively recognized by the U.S. (but few others), probably according post-coup Honduras the per capita championship for murder of journalists. But again, not an assault on freedom of press within living memory.

    It is not difficult to elaborate. These few examples illustrate a very general principle that is observed with impressive dedication and consistency: The more we can blame some crimes on enemies, the greater the outrage; the greater our responsibility for crimes -- and hence the more we can do to end them -- the less the concern, tending to oblivion or even denial.

    Contrary to the eloquent pronouncements, it is not the case that "Terrorism is terrorism. There's no two ways about it." There definitely are two ways about it: theirs versus ours. And not just terrorism.


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    Media obsesses over ‘free speech’ in Charlie Hebdo case while ignoring Israeli targeting of journalists

    The story of the January 7 2015 storming of the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical French publication with a history of racist, anti-Muslim caricatures, has inundated the Western media. The attack has been touted as a “free speech” issue by the first government in the world to ban pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

    Yet they have exponentially overshadowed equally tragic recent attacks on journalists. In its November 2012 attack on Gaza, “Operation Pillar of Defense,” the Israeli government admitted that it was targeting journalists. This trend was revisited only months ago in Israel’s summer 2014 assault, “Operation Protective Edge,” an incursion that left 2,310 dead—over 1,500 of whom were civilians, including at least 500 children—and 10,626 wounded.

    While the Western media has scrupulously tracked the Charlie Hebdo attack and subsequent hostage crisis for the scantest of updates, and while the calamity dominates discussions on social media—and also while the Fourth Estate ceaselessly speaks of ISIS’ heinous killings of Western journalists—both the press and popular culture continue to ignore August 2014 UN documents that inculpate Israel for engaging in very similar acts of terror.

    The Press Emblem Campaign (PEC), a Geneva-based independent non-governmental organization aimed “at strengthening the legal protection and safety of journalists in zones of conflict and civil unrest or in dangerous missions,” carries special consultative UN status, conducting investigations on behalf of the body. In its 28 August report, “90 journalists killed so far in 2014: a new step is required by the UN in order to combat impunity,” it notes that:

    Israel and the Occupied Territory of the State of Palestine: in the context of the operation “Protective Edge” launched by the Israeli forces on 8 July 2014 on the Gaza Strip, 15 journalists have been killed (some of them being purposely targeted), many others have been injured because of the shelling of their homes, 16 Palestinian journalists have lost their homes as a result of Israeli bombing and shelling, 8 media outlets have been destroyed, in addition the Israeli army deliberately disturbed the broadcasting of 7 radio and TV stations and websites (l), many journalists have been arrested by the Israeli forces.

    (1) Al-Aqsa radio, Sawt Al-Quds radio, Sawat Al-Sha’eb, Filistin Il-Yom TV and website, Al-Ra’ei website

    In a more detailed document from the day before, “15 journalists and media workers killed during operation “Protective Edge”: the responsible have to be held accountable,” the PEC and the UN indicate that the houses of 16 journalists that were destroyed in Israeli attacks were “often purposely targeted.”

    The report also reveals that, of the eight Gaza media outlets Israel destroyed, five were deliberately bombed. Israeli forces shelled three headquarters of Al-Aqsa TV, where 325 employees worked, and “deliberately disturbed the broadcasting of 7 radio and TV stations and websites, and used these stations to broadcast inciting messages against the Palestinian resistance, as they did in their previous attacks on the Gaza Strip.”

    Deliberate Attacks

    The PEC states that the “Israeli violations against Palestinian journalists are the most dangerous, life threatening, and the most frequent” and flatly “denounces the harassment against journalists and media workers as well as the smear campaign of the Israeli diplomacy against foreign journalists falsely accused to work for Hamas that leads to a sneaky form of self-censorship.”

    Most of the murdered journalists were in their twenties, with ages ranging from 21 to 59. All except for one, an Italian, were Palestinian. The majority worked for local Palestinian media networks, although two Associated Press reporters were killed, including the only foreign reporter killed. Some were wearing vests clearly marked “Press”; others were in media vehicles with “TV” plainly printed on the hood. In one case, a 21-year-old Palestinian photojournalist was taking pictures in the Al-Jineene neighborhood in Rafah when an Israeli drone shot him.

    “The large number of targets and the way in which media organizations and journalists have been attacked by” Israeli forces, the UN statement reads, “suggest that a strategy has been finalized at the highest levels of the State of Israel. Targeting non-combatants is itself a war crime that, as such, must not enjoy impunity.”

    The PEC concludes calling upon the UN to investigate “the violation of the fundamental freedoms and rights of journalists and media workers, with a particular attention on the violation of the rights of women journalists” and the UN Human Rights Council’s independent, international commission of inquiry “to investigate and identify those responsible for the crimes committed against media outlet, journalists and media workers.”

    “Constant Pressures” on Journalists

    In a footnote to its report, the PEC draws attention to a French-language Algerian Huffington Post article that went completely ignored by the Western media (all translations mine): “TVE [Spanish Television] Journalist Yolanda Alvarez Attacked by Israel, Spanish Journalists Protest.” The story notes that the “Spanish press is unanimous in supporting Yolanda Alvarez, TVE correspondent in Jerusalem, victim of virulent attacks by the Israeli embassy in Madrid.” It also states that Alvarez’ Twitter page was “full of tweets of support coming from journalists or associations of journalists that spoke of the intimidation and the threats from the Israeli embassy.”

    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) divulged that, according “to the testimonies of other journalists and media, the Israeli embassy in Israel maintains an attitude of permanent intimidation of Spanish journalists.” RSF denounced the “constant pressures” Israel put on journalists, and asked that Israel stop using “its diplomats as agents of pressure and propaganda.”

    US media networks also pressured their own journalists not to present Israel’s attack in a negative light. NBC went so far as to pull Ayman Mohyeldin from Gaza, a veteran reporter who garnered international praise as one of the only two foreign journalists who had been in Gaza during Israel’s 2008-2009 assault on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead, in which the close US ally barred journalists from entering Gaza as it, in the words of Human Rights Watch, “repeatedly exploded white phosphorus munitions in the air over populated areas, killing and injuring civilians, and damaging civilian structures, including a school, a market, a humanitarian aid warehouse and a hospital.”

    Institute for Policy Studies analyst Phyllis Bennis pointed out the irony that, as Israeli tanks rolled into Gaza, NBC “pulled the reporter who has done more than any other to show the human costs of the conflict there.” Because of popular pressure, Mohyeldin was eventually reinstated, yet there were numerous other incidents of the same forms of censorship and pressure occurring.

    A Bad Year for Journalists

    In its 2014 census on jailed journalists, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) revealed that 2014 was the second-worst year for jailed journalists in 24 years of data collection. Internationally, over 220 journalists are imprisoned, 60% of whom are held on anti-state charges of terrorism or subversion. This comes in a close second to 2012, in which 232 journalists were imprisoned—although the 2014 figure may actually be higher, as the report excludes journalists being detained by nonstate actors such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

    Violence against journalists, and particularly against journalists in the Middle East, is at record levels. 2014 was one of the most dangerous years for reporters in recent history, with at least 60 deaths, roughly half of which were in the Middle East—although CPJ estimates are conservative, so the actual figures are likely even higher. 2012 to 2014 constitutes the most dangerous period CPJ has on record.

    CPJ deputy director Robert Mahoney warned that the “targeting of journalists has been increasing to alarming proportions,” expressing worries that journalists “are now losing the protected observer status that they had, and now they’ve become the story rather than being the witness to the story to some groups.”

    Only some of the stories about these persecuted journalists are told, nonetheless. Much of the Western media is speaking of the Charlie Hebdo shooting as a “free speech” issue, yet simultaneously ignoring Israel’s persistent stifling of Palestinian journalists’ right to not just free speech, but to life.

    Explicit violent repression of journalists is not new behavior for Israel. In 2008, Israeli forces killed 23-year-old cameraman Fadel Subhi Shana’a. In the same year, Israel arrested award-winning journalist Mohammed Omer and brutally tortured him—a common practice. In 2004, Israeli occupation forces killed 22-year-old journalist Mohammed Abu Halima.

    There are countless more instances of such stories; there is a plethora of such tragedies. Yet these tragic stories are not told in the Western media. The countless nameless faces of the now forgotten Palestinian journalists are only nameless and forgotten because they were ignored.


    Israelis send Haaretz death threats for publishing cartoon about journalists Israel killed in Gaza

    ‘With God’s help, the journalists at Haaretz will be murdered just like in France': Death threats follow publication of cartoon in Israeli newspaper


    In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris last week Haaretz published a daring cartoon juxtaposing journalists* killed in Gaza by Israel during the brutal summer slaughter with the journalists killed at the office of the satirical magazine in Paris. This set off a chain reaction which ultimately led to calls for murdering Haaretz journalists after Ronen Shoval, founder of the neo-Zionist and proto-fascist Im Tirtzu movement, called for an investigation of the newspaper’s editors.

    The offending cartoon by Noa Olchowski was published with a series of cartoons Haaretz ran in their Hebrew edition, a project by the site’s graphic designers to pay tribute to Charlie Hebdo cartoonists gunned down at the magazine’s Paris office. Including the hashtags #JeSuisCharlie and #JeSuisGaza it reads (original Hebrew):

    10 journalists killed in attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris (top), about 13 journalists killed last summer in attack on Gaza (bottom).

    Shoval, who is running in the primary election of the religious Zionist Habayit HayehudiJewish Home” political party called for the investigation “on suspicion of ‘defeatist propaganda’ under Statute 103 of Israel’s penal code” on his Facebook page. Users of the social media site weighed in, Haaretz reported several of the threats:

    A raft of death threats came in. “We must do what the terrorists did to them in France, but at Haaretz,” wrote Facebook user Chai Aloni. “Why is there no terror attack at Haaretz?” wrote Moni Ponte.

    “Let the terrorists eliminate them,” wrote Daniella Peretz. “With God’s help, the journalists at Haaretz will be murdered just like in France,” wrote Miki Dahan. As Danit Hajaj put it, “They should die.”

    “Haaretz is where the terrorists should have gone,” wrote Riki Michael. “Death to traitors,” added Moshe Mehager. “I hope that terrorism reaches Haaretz as well,” wrote Tuval Shalom. “With God’s help, [there will be] a Hamas operation that kills all of you, like the journalists in France,” wrote Ruti Hevroni.

    Haaretz’s editorial staff said the cartoons published in the project were a personal gesture by the newspaper’s designers, not the editorial board, and this is how they were presented.

    After the recent alarming death threats a spokesperson for Haaretz’s editorial staff had this to say:

    “It is astonishing that in the framework of the global debate over freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and at a time when journalists have been killed over the existence of this right, Internet users are demanding that Haaretz completely censor a cartoon whose content they do not like.”

    Shoval and his Im Tirtzu movement are no strangers to controversial cartoons.

    After initiating a smear campaign described as a “witchhunt” against New Israel Fund’s, Naomi Chazan depicting her wearing a horn, a popular fan site for an Army Radio talk show published Im Tirtzu’s caricature of Chazan as the devil being stabbed by Herzl himself.

    Im Tirtzu blamed Chazen and NIF for the results of the Goldstone report and the ensuing “deligitimization” of Israel after Operation Cast Lead in 2008: “92 percent of [the] negative references to the IDF in the Goldstone report originating with Israeli sources came from organizations sponsored by NIF [New Israeli Fund].”

    * 15 journalists and media workers were killed during operation “Protective Edge,” the Israeli government deliberately targets and murders journalists.


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    Panorama is a BBC Television current affairs documentary programme. The programme also airs worldwide through BBC World News on digital services, satellite and cable in many countries.

    The islamophobic and hate mongering program discarded Muslim concerns as being derived from a baseless ‘grievance culture’ that drew oxygen from an ‘us and them’ mentality. All the while it posited orthodox Islamic positions as ‘extreme’ views. Keeping in line with a tired routine, token Muslim contributors were paraded on screen to demonstrate that these notions stem from the community, rather than being a foreign import.

    Sh Haitham responds to this week’s BBC Panorama

    Divide and conquer

    The recent Panorama documentary was a shameful attempt to divide Muslims in the UK into arbitrary labels and categories, which can then be abused by this Tory government and the right wing. Its misrepresentation of my views was a negligible misdemeanour when compared to the more dastardly crime of carrying out traditional schemes of divide and conquer, by presenting a dichotomy between a government-sponsored Islām and the Islām practiced by the mainstream majority. I wish to address this fact first and foremost, and secondarily I will point out some aspects which show the inaccuracies in presenting my thoughts and beliefs.

    John Ware concocted a biased programme that was in support of a right-wing agenda to assert that there are two types of Islām in Britain. British Islām, according to him, is what is consistent with (his) ‘British values’ and ‘extremist’ Islām – that which opposes British values, despite being non-violent.

    The problem with ‘extremism’

    Any serious attempt to investigate this matter would first consider what the government’s definition of extremism actually is. Having done so, it would be evident that what the government has decided to label as ‘extreme’ is totally arbitrary and open to abuse. It defines extremism as opposition to British values. Yet not once did the government or the Panorama programme define ‘British values’. So, immediately, it is clear to any objective person that the term ‘extremism’ is subjective and open to abuse—as we have seen. The programme purposefully overlooked this key point.

    The most hard-fought value that came out of the British revolution was the freedom of religion and thought. Yet we now have a government and an agenda-driven BBC reporter trying to criminalise those that practice that very same British value. It has manufactured labels that divide a minority religious group, and sanctioned one version of Islām that sits well with the right-wing agenda of robbing us of our freedom of thought and religion, while trying to present genuine orthodox Islamic beliefs as criminal.

    An excruciating result of demonising normative Islamic beliefs and acts can be seen in the countless cases of attacks on Muslims who display symbols of their faith. The example of Nahid Almanea comes to mind, who went for a walk in her local park in Colchester. She was not doing anything out of the ordinary for a woman in Britain, other than dress in the Muslim headscarf and long dress. Yet she was targeted for her identity as a Muslim, and stabbed no fewer than 16 times by an assailant, who then ran away leaving her to die in a pool of her own blood. Nahid did not practice any form of ‘extremist’ Islām, she merely practiced the orthodox understanding of Islām like the rest of the 99% of the Muslims. Yet her attacker saw her as an extremist because normal Islamic practice has been demonised in the media to the point of dehumanisation.

    Through this labelling of normal practices and beliefs of Muslims as ‘extreme’, the Islām of the majority of Muslims is being attacked. Such as, for instance, gender segregation at Muslim gatherings or simply stating a clear-cut belief that homosexual acts are a sin in Islām. There is a clear attempt being made to almost criminalise certain aspects of being a Muslim. John Ware’s programme was seeking to help this process.

    The programme’s whitewashing the debate reached intolerable levels. In order to avoid the elephant in the room, that it may be government policy and the War on Terror which seems to have increased terrorism around the world and is in fact to blame for the rise in actual violent extremism, it sought to blame Muslims for having a victim mentality. Being angered over illegal wars and gross miscarriages of justice conducted in the name of freedom and democracy is what John Ware would have us believe is a victim mentality. Furthermore, the discrimination and Islamophobia against Muslims in the UK is not something we will be silenced over. John Ware demonstrated clearly his political allegiances by declaring that the Tories would crack down on non-violent extremists. The BBC effectively allowed him not only to promote the Tories and encourage voting for them in the upcoming election, but to do so using the most potent tool in the far right toolkit: irrational fear.


    The programme claimed that I declined an interview. This is false. We were in conversations with Panorama but I suspect the programme makers wanted to cynically capitalise on the events in Paris and they released the programme sooner than scheduled before we could agree a suitable time and terms. The programme sought to demonise me by showing imagery of crimes committed by ISIS, such as beheadings and the events in Paris, in-between clips of myself.

    The programme purposefully quoted me out of context. A clear example is shown with the clip suggesting I asserted that democracy is ‘filthy’. In the whole video I was actually encouraging people to participate in the 2011 elections and I was responding to some Muslims who believe that we should not participate in Western democracy because it is ‘filthy’. I was illustrating the attitude of some who may disapprove of political participation—many of whom are of course not even Muslims. It is a matter of public record that I have already responded to this particular clip. I was in fact one of the first orthodox Islamic scholars to encourage voting in Britain. John Ware most likely sourced these from a well-known racist website and, quite frankly, this was fitting for the type of programme he made.

    Another deliberate misrepresentation was in another video clip of me referring to ‘this equality’ as ‘evil’. Again, the programme did so in order to give the impression that what I meant by ‘equality’ is the common political and philosophical usage of the term, referring to equality ‘in status, rights, or opportunities’. However, as it is clear for anyone watching the video or referring to my numerous, clearly expressed views in the public domain, this cannot be further from the truth. I was in fact obviously referring to a growing childish, irrational and frankly misogynistic literal interpretation of ‘equality’ which demands women act exactly like men.

    Genuine open, honest debate.

    It is important to stress that just like not everyone will agree completely on their interpretations of ‘British values’, likewise those Muslims subscribing to mainstream, orthodox Islamic values will also disagree with others on their interpretations of ‘British values’. Firstly, Muslims who are part and parcel of British society are just as much entitled as anyone else to contribute to what ‘British values’ actually are and how they are applied. Secondly, the inevitable differences of opinion among us must never be used as an excuse to silence Muslims or any other stakeholders from this debate, under the xenophobic pretext of fear, national security and ‘terrorism’.

    It is important to stress that the differences between Muslim beliefs and some western values, need not be a reason for violence. I strongly believe in peaceful social cohesion. This requires mutual respect, decency and compassion for all. This means allowing a space for genuine, honest debate, not an intellectual dictatorship that criminalises a Muslim for simply having different opinions—essentially being Muslim. This is indeed the best solution to resolve conflict and the problem of terrorism.

    Finally, to be clear, a peaceful society that accepts Muslims for who they are is what all Muslims desire. The sooner the right wing in this country accepts that Muslims and Islām are part of Britain and British society the better.


    In response to last night’s shocking BBC Panorama


    Last night my phone wouldn’t stop buzzing as I received message after message that apparently the BBC were caught trying to subliminally smear a large segment of British Muslims. “Islam21c is on Panorama!” I already knew, but I was rewinding it again and again, making sure I was actually awake. I saw Muslim friends on social media expressing a similarly dazed disbelief at their own newfound otherness: “I can’t believe I was on Panorama…” Apparently we are non-violent extremists whose goal is to take over the country. And then the world. The cherry-picked interviewees, misquoted sound-bites and the ominous music had even me afraid of myself.

    “Non-violent extremists”. There’s that phrase again, I didn’t think anyone had the gall to use such a comprehensively refuted notion anymore, but there you go—conveniently just as the government is trying to rush through the most repressive legislation we have seen since 2006, as Dilly Hussain pointed out this morning in the Huffington Post. [1]

    I saw several Muslim community figures and scholars being painted like real villains, in a similar fashion to whenever we are about to have some of our freedoms taken away from us—in order to protect freedom. [2] In fact, it was done in such an almost comedic fashion that it is as though they are not even trying anymore when misrepresenting someone’s views. It felt like the BBC had finally lost the plot, so here is my brief post mortem of how they got themselves into such a mess, in the form of a useful list for anyone else who wants to follow suit.

    How to lose your credibility:
    1) Provoke an irrational fear of Islam.
    2) Unabashedly support prevalent but academically disproven narratives about terrorism to stoke more fear.
    3) Misquote, misrepresent, and if all else fails – just make it up.
    4) Get John Ware to do a programme about Muslims, due to his notable success in calculatedly mastering all of the above and more throughout his career.

    More @

    Hizb ut-Tahir Response to the BBC’s Panorama Programme “The Battle For British Islam”


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    Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo: We intend to sue Fox News over Lies

    Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told CNN Tuesday she intends to sue Fox News in the wake of the channel's coverage of supposed "no-go zones" for non-Muslims.

    Hidalgo said the channel had "insulted" her city.

    "When we're insulted, and when we've had an image, then I think we'll have to sue, I think we'll have to go to court, in order to have these words removed," Hidalgo told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. "The image of Paris has been prejudiced, and the honor of Paris has been prejudiced."

    Outside legal analysts largely dismissed the likelihood that a lawsuit would succeed.

    A few hours after Hidalgo spoke with Amanpour, a Fox News executive called the warning about a lawsuit "misplaced."

    "We empathize with the citizens of France as they go through a healing process and return to everyday life," Fox executive vice president Michael Clemente told CNNMoney in a statement. "However, we find the mayor's comments regarding a lawsuit misplaced."

    Bill O'Reilly, Fox's highest-rated host, called it "ridiculous" on the Tuesday night edition of his program. He pointed out that "the mayor is a socialist" and that "Fox News isn't even seen in France. So this is just an attention-getter," he said. "Another playing to the left, that's what this is. The suit's going nowhere. It's ridiculous."

    The warning about a lawsuit came after a series of Fox segments suggested there are parts of Paris and other European cities where Islamic law is practiced and where police are fearful to work. The "no-go" zone segments were widely mocked and challenged as inaccurate, particularly by French media outlets.

    Some critics have accused the network of using the controversial "no-go zones" idea to perpetuate a fearful narrative about Muslims, particularly in the days since terror attacks in Paris.

    One Fox show, for example, displayed an inaccurate map of the alleged "no-go zones" in and around Paris. On another show, a guest who was identified as a security expert claimed that Birmingham, England is a "totally Muslim city where non-Muslims don't go in."

    Among those who ridiculed the Fox News claims was British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said of the Birmingham claim: "When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fools Day."

    Fox News anchors issued several apologies on Saturday for the segments.

    With regards to Paris, "some of the neighborhoods were highlighted incorrectly," host Anna Kooiman said.

    At another point, Julie Banderas issued a blanket apology to "the people of France and England."

    Citing the apologies and the embarrassment suffered by Fox, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said "the system has worked" and "the courts don't need to get involved here."

    Other media law experts said that in the U.S., where Fox is based, a lawsuit for defamation filed by a city would likely be tossed out right away.

    "A claim like this would never succeed in a United States court because there's no such thing as defamation" of a municipality, said Jeff Hermes of the Media Law Resource Center. (MLRC is nonprofit organization of media outlets; Fox News is a member.)

    It's a precedent that was established nearly 100 years ago, when the city of Chicago sued the Chicago Tribune over a series of critical editorials. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled citizens had nearly free range to criticize their government.

    So in this case, Paris would be left to pursue a suit in a French court. That's also problematic: Fox News has limited presence there, leaving the justice system with limited leverage over the company.

    Also, U.S. law gives media outlets special protections against the decisions of foreign courts.

    A 2010 law called the SPEECH Act "was designed to protect American publishers from defamation lawsuits overseas," said Anthony Fargo, a professor and director of the Center for International Media Law and Policy Studies at Indiana University. He, too, thinks it unlikely a U.S. court would hear the case.

    CNN, the owner of this web site, was once sued by a small town in Brazil, but CNN won the case on appeal.


    Christian Made into a Terrorist by Fox News for Attack on Mosque


    An Indiana man who pleaded guilty to setting fire to a mosque in Ohio told the judge that, prior to the arson, he had been "riled up" watching Fox News.

    On Sept. 30, Randolph Linn of St. Joseph, Ind., tried to burn down the Islamic Centerof Greater Toledo, The Plain Dealer previously reported. It was reported that he attempted to burn down the mosque in retaliation for attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and for Muslims getting a "free pass" in the U.S. While being booked in jail, Linn reportedly said, "F**k those Muslims."

    In court on Wednesday, Linn plead guilty to the arson charge. He said that he had gotten "riled up" watching Fox News, according to the Sentinel-Tribune, and drank 45 beers in seven hours before heading to the mosque. Linn started a fire in the prayer room, northwestohio.com reported.“Every day you turn on the TV, you see Muslims trying to kill Americans,” he said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. When asked whether he thinks all Muslims are terrorists, Linn reportedly responded, “I’d say most of them are.”

    Linn's viewpoints upset some in attendance at the court hearing on Wednesday.

    And I was more sad when Judge [Jack] Zouhary asked him that, ‘Do you know any Muslims or do you know what Islam is?’” a member of the mosque told WNWO after the hearing. “And he said, ‘No, I only know what I hear on Fox News and what I hear on radio.’”

    Linn plead guilty to intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying religious real property because of the religious character of that property; using fire to commit a felony; and using and carrying a firearm to commit a crime of violence, the Albany Tribune reported. He likely faces 20 years in prison.

    “The freedom to worship in the manner of one’s choosing is one of our most fundamental rights as Americans,” Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division told the Albany Tribune. “The Department of Justice and the Civil Rights Division will continue to aggressively prosecute hate-based attacks on houses of worship. I commend the cooperative efforts of local and federal law enforcement officials to ensure justice in this case.”



    This is what the anti-Muslim media wants to do by turning the Christians into terrorists to attack Muslims. The media should have been sued for inciting terrorism.

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    France and England Teach America How to Take Down Fox


    Ever since October 7, 1996, American journalism has been slowly dragged down into the highly partisan, opinion based, no need to fact check, false equivalency, lowest common denominator, racist swamp that is Fox "News." Americans have been subjected to almost two decades of their lies, and as Leonard Pitts Jr. suggests in his blog "Why serious people discount Fox News" we have perhaps accepted numbly that they are just a normal part of the journalistic landscape.

    It's amazing, the things you can get used to, that can come to seem normal. In America, it has come to seem normal that a major news organization functions as the propaganda arm of an extremist political ideology, that it spews a constant stream of racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, paranoia and manufactured outrage, and that it does so with brazen disregard for what is factual, what is right, what is fair, what is balanced — virtues that are supposed to be the sine qua non of anything calling itself a newsroom.

    If you live with aberrance long enough, you can forget it's aberrance. You can forget that facts matter, that logic is important, that science is critical, that he who speaks claptrap loudly still speaks claptrap — and that claptrap has no place in reasoned and informed debate. Sometimes, it takes someone from outside to hold up a mirror and allow you to see more clearly what you have grown accustomed to.

    Enter England, Enter France. When Fox featured Steve Emerson, "a supposed expert on Islamic extremist terrorism," to speak about so-called "no go" zones in Germany, Sweden, France and Great Britain where sharia law reigns and non-Muslims are forbidden, Fox was eager to promote his "outrageous assertion" and repeated it unchallenged throughout the week. While America did not challenge Fox, France and England, not so numb to Fox's propaganda masquerading as news, were not so willing to sit back and say "oh, well."

    British Prime Minister David Cameron called Emerson an "idiot." A French program in the mold of "The Daily Show" sent correspondents — in helmets! — to interview people peaceably sipping coffee in the no-go zones. Twitter went medieval on Fox's backside. And the mayor of Paris threatened to sue.

    And so what did European protestations produce? An apology, in fact multiple apologies, of all improbabilities, from Fox. They showed us Americans how complacent we have become. And they showed us the way to take Fox down. For this we owe them a great big thank you. I chuckled loudly when I read that the White House had left the word "News" off of the SOTU luncheon seating placards. This is what the other news organizations have to do. This is what Democrats have to do. This is what America has to do. Fox is to journalism what World Wrestling Entertainment is to the Olympics.I sure hope mayor Hidalgo follows through with the lawsuit. This is going to be fun.


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    Muslims Are Nazis, USA Today Jokes

    Here's the cartoon, by Cameron Cardow of the Ottawa Citizen, that USA Today selected as its daily editorial cartoon for February 2:

    It's not a terribly hard cartoon to parse: Islam is the modern equivalent of Nazism, and threatens a new Holocaust. The cartoon lists entities that have nothing in common with each other aside from their connection to Islam–political movements like Hezbollah and Hamas, who have been the targets of far more violence than they are responsible for, along with groups like ISIS and Boko Haram, terrorist groups whose victims are primarily Muslim. Hezbollah and ISIS are actually engaged in intense warfare with each other.

    In case you missed the point, the cartoon puts one of the holiest phrases in Islam–"Allah Akbar," or "God is great"–in the mouth of a Nazi skeleton.(Along with its roll call of Muslim villains, the cartoon includes the phrase "politically correct"– which I can only take to mean that people who criticize the politics of cartoons — for example — are a kind of Nazi too.)

    No doubt defenders of the cartoon will say that it's only talking about the bad kind of Islam, which is just as persuasive as making a list of all the horrible people you can think of from a particular ethnic group and then saying that you're only talking about the bad people from that ethnic group. One would hope USA Today would decline to make such a smear its daily editorial cartoon.



    Nazis are these barbaric animals who wage war on other lands, who go psycho and start attacking Muslims in in the west whenever something "bad" happens to their kind. Nazis are these hypocrites who secretly forgave the nazi generals and spies and hired them in as CIA Agents. And Nazis are these animals, who like the original nazis, are engaged in hate and fear mongering propaganda against a minority in their society.

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    NBC Pathological Liar Reporter Disgraced by Soldiers


    NBC news anchor Brian Williams has been forced to admit that he wasn't aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by enemy fire during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

    The Nightly News anchor has often repeated the war story over the past 12 years about how the aircraft he was on was forced down by enemy fire.

    During a report on Friday, Williams went further and said that the aircraft he was on had actually been hit - a claim that quickly prompted denials from soldiers who were present.

    Yet now his dependability — the trust built up over years with millions of viewers — has been cast in doubt due to a self-inflicted journalistic war wound over a story nearly a dozen years old.

    The reaction has been severe. Many people on social media, including some professional journalists, have called him an outright liar.

    His stint in Iraq was his final spur to earn as a correspondent before inheriting the NBC anchor's desk from Tom Brokaw in what was one of the smoothest transitions ever engineered in the network news business. Indeed, Williams is currently a member of the board of the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, which helps raise money for the activities of the society that bestows that award on noncommissioned officers and service members. It is not an accident that the continuing celebration of Williams' decade mark as NBC's chief anchor plays up his time covering combat with images of him in flak jackets.

    It can be hard to separate Williams' clearly deep-seated appreciation of the troops from the network's need to promote him as a star amid a bruising ratings competition with ABC. NBC's Today show, the news division's chief moneymaker, has been pushed into second place; Williams is battling to maintain ratings supremacy for his show. Internal intrigue has once again become fodder for New York tabloids.

    In the wake of last week's story, outraged soldiers posted comments on NBC Nightly News' Facebook page contradicting his tale; several told the military newspaper Stars and Stripes that he had arrived an hour after the Chinook helicopter and two others were forced down.

    Crew members on the 159th Aviation Regiment's Chinook that was hit by two rockets and small arms fire had told Stars and Stripes that the NBC anchor was nowhere near the aircraft or two other Chinooks that had been flying in formation when they took fire.

    According to the crew members, Williams arrived about an hour later on another helicopter after the other three had made an emergency landing.

    The day after Williams' report, one crew member responded to the story on NBC NIghtly News' Facebook and said that he remembered things rather differently

    Another man, Joseph Miller, who claimed to be on Williams' aircraft at the time said he had been 'calling him out on this for a long time with no response'

    As the Poynter Institute's Al Tompkins wrote, in 2003 Williams reported on Dateline NBC that "the incident was so fresh when the helicopters landed that the crew from the helicopter that was hit by the RPG was too shaken to talk on camera." In 2008, Williams wrote that a helicopter in front of his was knocked down. The precise gap between when the Chinook was hit by fire and when Williams' helicopter arrived remains unclear.
    What is clear is that over time, his accounts became more ambiguous in characterizing which helicopter was struck — and then his retellings became quite explicit and quite wrong.

    NBC News has not yet responded to requests for comment beyond Williams' apologies.

    The first episode of the hit public radio series Serial hinged on the unreliability of memory, even about something so important as the details of a day a friend was murdered.

    The incident has echoes of several incidents about wartime heroics by non-soldiers. Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton admitted "a mistake" in saying that she had come under sniper fire while arriving at an airport in Bosnia in 1996 as first lady. Richard Blumenthal, when running for Senate in Connecticut, had to apologize for remarks on several occasions in which he said he had served in the U.S. military in Vietnam. He served during that era, but not overseas in Vietnam. In 2001, I revealed that Fox News' Geraldo Rivera, then its chief war correspondent, had been 300 miles from the site of dead American soldiers that he claimed, on camera, to have prayed over.

    Unlike Fox and Rivera, Williams apologized for the story on his network's air. His tone was abject and contrite. But it fails to explain or satisfy.

    As he wrote in his apology posted on Facebook, Williams kept notes of his experiences on that trip and was not alone that day in March 2003 — he was with colleagues. He is not only the star and anchor of the NBC Nightly News but its managing editor. For many, it is hard to square the dependable newsman with the narrator of a war story that became so embellished it turned into fiction.


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    Lying Reporter, Cathy Newman, forced to Apologize after CCTV Mosque Footage

    Channel 4's Liar, Cathy Newman, Apologizes After CCTV Footage Of Mosque

    By Jessica Elgot - 06/02/2015

    Channel 4 presenter Cathy Newman has apologized after CCTV footage obtained by The Huffington Post UK appeared to contradict her claim that she was "ushered out of the door" of a London mosque on the weekend.

    The South London Islamic Centre, where Newman claims she was turned away despite turning up wearing a headscarf, says surveillance video shows the reporter arriving at the mosque, being directed by a male congregant, but leaving alone through the courtyard.

    Newman sparked a social media firestorm after tweeting she was "ushered onto the street" during 'Visit My Mosque Day' which the mosque said provoked threatening voicemails which it has reported to police.

    Footage from inside the mosque of the Channel 4 presenter arriving

    The man in the striped jumper (circled) can be seen in a brief exchange with Newman inside the mosque but does not follow her

    Cathy Newman leaving South London Islamic Centre alone

    But the mosque, which initially apologized, claims Newman's story is "not correct" and Newman has now apologized for any "misunderstanding".

    After Newman tweeted that she had been "ushered out of the door", the story was covered by the national media, including the Guardian, Daily Mail, Independent and The Huffington Post.

    It later emerged Newman had actually gone to the wrong location, and her Channel 4 colleagues were waiting for her 15 minutes away at a mosque that was taking part in the open day.

    The CCTV clips show the journalist entering the mosque and beginning to take off her shoes while having a very brief conversation with a congregant in the lobby. The man gestures several times to the left, pointing her in a specific direction. She puts her shoe back on, and leaves alone, walking through the courtyard. The entire encounter lasts just seconds.

    The man the journalist spoke to inside, who has been identified by the mosque, claims he misunderstood Newman and directed her to the church next door. The man was not a member of the mosque's management or religious leadership, and none of the Islamic canter’s committee claim to have seen Newman arrive or leave.

    Although she briefly returns to the courtyard, and paces around outside the mosque on the street, she does not appear to speak to anyone else within the mosque's property, only stopping to speak to a few passing members of the public, well outside the mosque's confines.

    "We can see [from the CCTV] that she arrived and that she came into the lobby by the shoe racks and started to take off one shoes," Aslam Ijaz, the mosque's chair of trustees and a founding member of Lambeth Interfaith, told HuffPost UK.

    "The prayers had already started and you can see a couple people rushing past her but most people are already inside. The gentleman who you see in the video is obviously pointing in the direction of the church, which is what he thought she wanted to go to."

    Ijaz admitted there may have been a misunderstanding of the man's stated intention in directing Newman to the church. "Maybe she misunderstood, but he is clearly trying to direct her," he said. "You can see she turns to leave herself, she looks a little confused and then she comes back into the courtyard again, and you can see her twice coming back to outside the mosque and standing on the pavement."

    The timestamp on the video shown by the mosque to HuffPost UK appears to match Newman's tweets on Sunday.

    The footage does not show anyone attempting to guide or "usher" Newman out of the mosque or "onto the street", as she wrote in her tweets. "I was really surprised that she would say she was ushered out of the mosque, being a journalist I was surprised she would use that description, it was misrepresented. Now there's this impression we don't like women. She said something that was not correct," Ijaz said.

    Later, Newman can be seen speaking to two people on the street outside the mosque, one a member of the public who the mosque has not identified and who does not enter the mosque. The other is a local cafe owner who claims he came over to ask if she needed assistance, and is seen gesturing her across the road. He claims he was giving Newman directions, the Hyderi Centre is a fifteen-minute walk away, or a bus ride from a stop across from the mosque.

    Although the time stamp of the CCTV indicates that Newman was still to send her tweets, neither man came from inside the mosque, making it impossible for them to "usher" Newman out, as she describes. She is last seen crossing the road, away from the mosque.

    Ijaz later apologized to Newman for her experience, fearing she had been insulted by an uncouth congregant, but said he had not viewed the CCTV footage at the time.

    Since the story was picked up by national press, the mosque has received two threatening voicemails, which it has reported to the police, and a litany of online abuse, but Ijaz said he took particular affront at the accusation the mosque was anti-women. Newman told the Guardian she believed it must have been a men-only mosque, and was not made aware of this, but Ijaz said that is not the case.

    "We were the first mosque in the area to have a prayer section for women, both ladies and gentleman are welcome here and it wouldn't be unusual at all to see a woman here," he said.

    "I am known for my interfaith work, whenever there is an event with churches, temples, synagogues, I am there. We have open days here at the mosque, and ladies and gentleman are both invited to attend."

    Newman, who has made it clear in subsequent tweets that she wishes to draw a line under the incident, would not expand on why she claimed she had been 'ushered out' of the mosque, but told HuffPost UK: “As the primary purpose of Visit My Mosque day was to increase understanding of Islam, I was horrified to hear the Mosque I visited in error has had death threats.

    "I’m sorry for any misunderstanding there has been. I would be happy to pay a private visit to South London Islamic Center once again.”

    "It's not something I would expect from a journalist from Channel 4, it doesn't make sense," another congregant told HuffPost UK, adding that Islam as a religion prioritized hospitality.

    When queried as to why the mosque had declined to take part in Visit My Mosque Day, Ijaz said: "We were only informed about this initiative [Visit My Mosque Day] on Friday and it's too short notice for us. There wasn't anyone to man it. Next time we have a gathering here, I would love to have Cathy here."

    Outside the mosque, which is indeed next to a church, there is a banner inviting visitors in to receive a free Koran. The mosque's secretary, who said he was uncomfortable giving his name, told HuffPost UK that the mosque had up to 1,000 congregants on a Friday, and several hundred at other times. He added that although there were many regulars, it would not be unusual for worshippers to see visitors they did not recognize. "We often have school visits, teachers here, it wouldn't have been something that would have fazed anyone."



    When these liar reporters are caught red handed then they apologize claiming ignorance or misunderstanding. They have no shame or credibility.

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    Jan 2007


    Journalist slams CNN, MSNBC and Fox for pushing ‘terrorism expert industrial complex’


    Journalist and documentarian Jeremy Scahill confronted CNN International host Hala Gorani on Tuesday with his harsh criticism of both some world leaders showing solidarity toward France and her network’s handling of the recent terrorist attacks in the country.

    “Hypocrisy was on full display on Sunday, with all of these world leaders; many of them are enemies of the press, themselves,” Scahill said. “I also think that CNN and MSNBC and Fox are engaging in the terrorism expert industrial complex. You have people on as paid analysts that are largely frauds who have made a lot of money off of portraying themselves as terror experts, and have no actual on-the-ground experience.”

    Several nations who took part in Sunday’s rally supporting the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in the wake of the attacks — including Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia — have been criticized for their own records regarding freedom of the press.

    Scahill did not mention specific “frauds” he believes have appeared on any of the three news networks. But both Fox News and CNN have come under criticism this week.

    Fox contributor Steven Emerson was blasted online and by British Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week for stating that the English city of Birmingham was “totally Muslim.” And CNN host Don Lemon was roundly mocked after asking a Muslim human rights attorney, Arsalan Iftikhar, if he supported the Islamic State extremist group.

    However, Scahill, an editor at The Intercept and producer of the documentary Dirty Wars, told Gorani that he still respected her work.

    “I listen when you speak, because I think you’re credible,” he told her. “Some of your paid analysts that you have on this network or other networks, basically are just making money off of the claim that they’re experts on terrorism and really don’t have the scholarly background or on-the-ground experience to justify being on your network or any other network.”

    Gorani then moved quickly to end the interview.

    “I respect your opinion. This is why I like having you on,” she told Scahill. “You certainly speak your mind, and we appreciate your analysis, even though I don’t always agree with you. Thanks very much.”

    Watch the interview, as posted online on Tuesday, below.


    Fox News 'terror expert' Shamed for 'Muslim only UK city' Lie

    January 12, 2015

    Steve Emerson may be a national security, terrorism and extremism expert but definitely not one on the population of Birmingham.

    The American journalist and author sparked controversy as he claimed on Fox News that Birmingham, the metropolitan borough in England, is populated entirely by Muslims.

    “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,” Emerson claimed.

    “And, parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire,” he added.

    Later, Emerson apologized for his comments, which he said were in ‘total error,’ but people had already taken to social networking site, Twitter, to express their outrage and disbelief at his ignorance.

    Mocking Emerson’s claims, people from all over the world tweeted under the hashtag #foxnewsfacts. Here are some hilarious tweets:

    Birmingham is to change its name to BirmingnohampleasewereMuslim. Effective 2016. #FoxNewsFacts
    — Nesrine Malik (@NesrineMalik) January 11, 2015

    RT @karachikhatmal: Live pictures from Birmingham's "Islamic" airport. #foxnewsfacts pic.twitter.com/i8fAnMj3rg
    — Awais Saleem (@awaissaleem77) January 12, 2015

    If you are a non-muslim and would like to visit Birmingham #illridewithyou #FoxNewsFacts
    — Rabeb Othmani (@Rabeb_Othmani) January 11, 2015

    Good to see Birmingham FC supporter showing her colours. #foxnewsfacts pic.twitter.com/1vP3m50lUb
    — Rob Wood (@RobWoodWasHere) January 12, 2015

    In Britain the weather switches between Sunni and Shi'ite #foxnewsfacts
    — 가빈 (@blueliberal1) January 11, 2015

    Queen Elizabeth signing The Treaty of #Birmingham to the Khalifa #foxnewsfacts pic.twitter.com/V6QJzbfWeP
    — كارلا ماريا عيسى (@KarlaMariaIssa) January 12, 2015

    Birmingham City Mosque is among the tallest and most sacred in all Islam. #FoxNewsFacts pic.twitter.com/4DPUoaz6CV
    — Peter Moore (@petermoore) January 11, 2015

    @karachikhatmal a brummie is seen praying in a newly established underwater mosque in islamic republic of Birmingham pic.twitter.com/gGPUBVNa9q
    — couch enthusiast (@zeeemayn) January 12, 2015

    Jam jars across Britain have to wear the hijab in order to be halal. #foxnewsfacts pic.twitter.com/UiT1IWOrnO
    — Amar (@m1_ama) January 12, 2015

    Cameron terms Emerson a “complete idiot”

    British Prime Minister David Cameron called the expert, Steven Emerson a “complete idiot”.

    “When I heard this, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fool’s Day. This guy is clearly a complete idiot,” Cameron told ITV News.

    “What he should do is look at Birmingham and see what a fantastic example it is of bringing people together of different faiths, different backgrounds,” he said.

    Also see: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...s/messages/930



    This is their "expert"! The only expertise these people have is of telling lies. They think no one will catch their lies and so they continue until they are shamed by the people who know better. If they tell such huge lies easily then what about the smaller lies they tell that are harder to verify?! They will continue to lie until people respond like this and humiliate them in public.

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    Holder: If Fox Didn’t Obsess over Term ‘Radical Islam,’ ‘They’d Have Nothing Else to Talk About’


    Attorney General Eric Holder today dismissed the debate over the usage of the term “radical Islam” — specifically, why the Obama Administration refused to use the term to describe militants such as ISIS — and called out Fox News for being overly preoccupied with the terminology.

    “We spend more time, more time talking about what you call it, as opposed to what do you do about it, you know? I mean really,” Holder said with some exasperation at a National Press Club luncheon today in Washington, D.C. “If Fox didn’t talk about this, they would have nothing else to talk about, it seems to me.”

    Holder went on:
    Radical Islam, Islamic extremism — I’m not sure an awful lot is gained by saying that. It doesn’t have any impact on our military posture. It doesn’t have any impact on what we call it, on the policies that we put in place. What we have to do is defined not by the terms that we use, but by the facts on the ground. So I don’t worry an awful lot about what the appropriate terminology ought to be.
    Holder went on to state that the most important conversation should center on what kind of actions the United States should take against ISIS, and not around the specific verbiage used in that conversation. “The terminology, it seems to me little to no impact on what ultimately we have to do,” he concluded.

    Watch below via C-SPAN:


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    If Paris Killers Had Western Media on Their Side

    by David Swanson - January 9th, 2015

    Some killings are reported on in a slightly different manner from how the Charlie Hebdo killings have been. Rewriting a drone killing as a gun killing (changing just a few words) would produce something like this:

    Freedom Fighters Gun Strike in Europe Is Said to Have Killed 12 Militants

    PARIS, France — At least 12 foreign militants were believed to have been killed in a freedom fighter gun strike in the North Paris tribal region on Wednesday morning, a Liberation security official said.

    The Liberation official said guns fired 128 precision bullets into a compound in the Cafe Au Lait subdistrict at 6:40 a.m. The area is close to the headquarters of numerous French businesses.

    “The guns targeted a base of a French commander known as Francoise, killing 12 French militants. Two militants are wounded,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the news media.

    It was unclear whether Francoise was there at the time of the attack. The local news media has reported that he is allied with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and engaged in plans to ship troops and weaponry to Western Asia.

    Gun strikes in France, often attributed to Muslims, prompt regular diplomatic protests from the entire Western world.

    Separately, the Liberation military said four terrorist hide-outs and a training center for bombers were damaged by gun strikes late Saturday in a remote suburb of the nearby South Paris tribal region.

    In a brief statement, the military said that “6 terrorists, including some bomber pilots, were killed in precise gun strikes.” There was no independent confirmation of the military’s claim.

    Last summer, the Liberation military launched a long-awaited offensive against French and foreign militants holed up in the Western Europe region. The military claims that it now controls 0.4 percent of the region.

    NATO attacks in recent years have left hundreds of thousands dead.


    In contrast, rewriting a Charlie Hebdo report as a drone report might produce something like this:

    Drone attack on Pakistani house kills 12

    Drone pilots have shot dead 12 people at the home of their grandmother in an apparent militant Imperialist attack.

    Four of the family’s youngest generation, including its new-born infant were among those killed, as well as two friends visiting at the time.

    A major police operation is under way to find three drone pilots believed to be hiding out in Langley, Virginia.

    President Mamnoon Hussain said there was no doubt it had been a terrorist attack “of exceptional barbarity”.

    It is believed to be the deadliest attack in Pakistan since last Tuesday, when another drone — or possibly the same one — sent a missile into a picnic killing 18.

    The distant faceless attackers opened fire with hellfire missiles in the sky above the family’s home and faced no opposition. They later flew the drone higher in the sky, presumably recording video footage, the buzzing of their deadly machine still audible below as rescuers waited for it to leave before daring to search for survivors.

    People had been “murdered in a cowardly manner”, presidents and leaders around the globe remarked in unison. U.S. President Barack Obama has condemned the “horrific shooting”, offering to provide any assistance needed “to help bring these terrorists to justice”.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: “It was a horrendous, unjustifiable and cold-blooded crime. It was also a direct assault on a cornerstone of democracy, on the safety of a family in its home.”

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron said in a tweet: “The murders in Pakistan are sickening. We stand with the Pakistani people in the fight against terror.”

    Eurocentric clubs and Christian churches around the world rushed to condemn the killing.

    Footage shot by an eyewitness outside the house shows scattered rubble and what appears to be bits of flesh and clothing hanging from a nearby tree.



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