The Slow Murder Of Democracy By Mainstream Media
by Ian R Thorpe
In both the USA and Britain, the other English speaking countries and to a lesser extent throughout the community of developed nations, mainstream media leans overwhelmingly to the Left. This has long been known and has even been publicly acknowledged by media figures like Mark Thomas who on leaving his post as Director General of the BBC earlier this year said that the Corporation was a left wing organisation. That mainstream media shares the politically correct left's taste for authoritarian controls on freedom of speech has not been widely publicised as yet, but is becoming increasingly clear.
It was only due to the diligent reporting in the blogosphere that the true, Islamic fundamentalist nature of the rebellion in Syria became widely known. This does not make Assad's tyrannical regime the good guys but it did make a powerful argument against intervention. What is the point of overthrowing a tyrant only to replace him with an even more repressive tyranny.
Likewise we heard little of the build up of a large naval force comprised mainly of U.S. British and French ships in the Indian Ocean around the approaches to the Persian Gulf, or of the large troop movements within Israel which had been going on for many months until the noise from independent, libertarian and conservative blogs in new media became too loud to ignore.
And what about the persecution of Christians in Egypt and other middle eastern Muslim nations? Are all of these things really less important than same sex marriage and equal rights for dolphins?
Recently both the UK's Guardian newspaper and the New York Daily News published pieces equating truthful and accurate reporting about jihad violence and Islamic supremacism in Syria and other middle east nations with hate speech, and calling for such reporting to be placed beyond the bounds of acceptable public discourse. That restrictions on free speech might come to harm their own profession is apparently something they haven't considered in their eagerness to suck up to terrorists and extremists.
After dismissing concerns about Islamic extremism as scaremongering, Nathan Lean in the Daily News offered an unequivocally totalitarian remedy: “Society has a responsibility to counter these individuals with overwhelming overtures of pluralism and to systematically push the fear mongers out of public discourse. Judicial systems must absorb the true scope of the Islamophobia industry's rhetoric and rage.”
How 'society' ought to go about identifying fear mongers accurately and then systematically driving them out of the public discourse Lean did not bother to explain so we can only assume, given the left's track record for dealing with dissidents, from Stalinist Russia and its satellites to Maoist China that he intends to have taken outside and shot those of us who question the attitude the left would impose on all of us, the politically correct consensus and a policy of appeasement. As he also mentioned the judicial system becoming part of the effort involved, thus he appears to be calling for the arrest and prosecution of those whose opinions about Islam he dislikes.
Jonathan Freedland's piece for The Guardian was equally disconcerting. In it he decried hateful speech against Muslims, describing it as racism, of the crudest kind, and then added: but the subtler ones are not much better. For Freedland these subtler forms of racism include attempts to dress up in progressive, politically correct language opinions criticising Islamic beliefs as contrary to the politically correct position on gay and women's rights, for example. The thick layer of bigotry is visible all the same, he says.
What he is really exposing is the left's double thick layer of hypocrisy. Feminists and their testicularly deficient male supporters may scream about violence against women by western, white males but let anyone complain about Islam's upholding the right of a man to beat his wife and daughters and we are racists is what Freedland appears to be saying.
Of the two Jonathan Freedland's effort is the more scary because at his best he is a very thoughtful and intelligent writer and ought not to be prone to jumping on the bandwagons of the politically correct left. To see him so slavishly following the metropolitian elite crowd and offering support to a movement that would destroy his religion and all of its member (defined my a bloodline passed through the maternal side rather than whether one practices the religion of not) conjures up caricature images of the self - hating Jew and of the leftie who is not just two faced but actually has more faces than the Hyra of Greek Myth.
Brendan O’Neill in the DailyTelegraph described this Orwellian double - think as a conflation of racial prejudice and political propaganda, a mashing up of what we can all agree is irrational hatred of Muslims with what is simply fair and reasoned criticism of Islamic tradition in a secular western society. Now, you may agree or disagree with the idea that Islam is repressive of women and gays, but it is a a view some people have arrived at after thinking about various issues rather than resorting to the left's usual response of shouting 'racism' 'bigotry' or 'conspiracy theory'. To lump articulate argument together with abusive terms like goatf**ker, as if they both come from the same spectrum of racial hatred, is a very transparent attempt to suppress open discussion and proscribe certain political positions by branding them racist, sexist or homophobic.
Significantly, Lean's call for the silencing of dissenting voices and Freedland's attempt to demonize certain political positions coincide perfectly with the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation s ongoing campaign to compel Western states to criminalize criticism of Islam, including discussion of Islamic violence and supremacist and ridicule of Islam (i.e. doing jokes about Muzzas). The objective of this campaign, of course, is to render Western countries impotent and hence defenceless against the advancing jihad.
Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the OICs secretary general, has for years made no secret of the campaign. The OIC has long been dedicated to getting the United Nations to approve a legal instrument that would criminalize Islamophobia.
This campaign against free speech has achieved remarkable success, even short of such a legal instrument. In July 2012, Canadian journalist Brian Lilley lamented that even law enforcement authorities are reluctant to call things by their right names: Police bust an Islamic terror cell, people that plan to blow up a building or shoot others in the name of Islam, and yet police will not say the words Muslim, Islam or any variant thereof. Even when the people arrested have clearly stated their goal is to carry out an attack in the name of Islam, police will not use the M word or the I word.
In Britain, a recent high profile trial of Muslim men accused of grooming young British girls for sex and prostitution which resulted in many convictions and very long jail sentences brought to light the fact that the problem has been known about for many years but police were under pressure not to act because it was a “racially sensitive issue.” At the beginning of the trial most of the mainstream media were screaming “racism” and describing honest reporting as scaremongering and Islamophobia but when they became aware that most British Muslims, particularly those who have assimilated into British society were more horrified by what had been going on that native secular Britons the left's appeasers were forced to change their tune.
While this media self-censorship is presented as a manifestation of tolerance, in reality it is a deliberate erosion of core Western concepts of free expression and the prinicple that all are equal before the law. The impartiality of the law is an indispensable foundation of the English and Scottish common law, the American Bill of Rights and of democratic government in general. And we are surrendering it, gradually and voluntarily, to those who seek to impose on us a value system that elevates the sanctity of Islam and the “rights” of certain minorities over freedom. Is it any wonder then that when lefties and progressives start talking to me about “inalienable rights” my replies tend to be a tad caustic.
In July 2011, the UN passed Resolution 16/18, calling on member states to adopt legal restrictions on speech that fostered defamation of religions. Secretary of State Clinton and Ihsanoglu issued a statement urging member states of the United Nations to take effective measures, as set forth in Resolution 16/18, consistent with their obligations under international human rights law, to address and combat intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief.
That sounds a high-minded, progressive ideal, the kind of populist authoritarianism it is difficult to argue against; after all, no reasonable person is in favour of intolerance, discrimination, and violence based on religion or belief. However, when an unaccountable bureaucracy is given the authority to define what constitutes intolerance, and would-be totalitarians like Jonathan Freedland and Nathan Lean define as intolerant any honest discussion of how the texts and teachings of Islam or any other religion are used to justify violence and recruit terrorists, (or groom under age girls for sex,) high minded ideals become a call for authoritarianism and restrictions on the freedom of speech.
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