Richard Landes has a video up at Pajamas Media, Pallywod Strikes Again, on what is obviously staged Palestinian film footage. Landes analyzes the film footage, and he talks about the danger to the West when the media does not it's job of providing us real - not fabricated - news. Very understated, well done.
Nifty essay by Raymond Ibrahim (translator and editor of the Al Qaeda Reader) over at Front Page, about the "negative portrayals of Christianity in major Hollywood movies." He recounts the portrayal of Christians in movies such as Beowulf,The Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and King Arthur (2004). These days, the Christians are typically depicted as weak, hypocritical drunkards, conniving, and skeptical at best about their faith. The blue-painted Druids, on the other hand, are portrayed as fun-loving "free spirits," the Muslims as pious and noble.
"That pagan peoples habitually engaged in barbarous practices, such as human sacrifices, cannibalism, and slavery, or that Muslim law, then and now, is characterized by extremely draconian measures, such as stoning fornicators, subjugating non-Muslims and women, and, under certain circumstances, still sanctioning the institution of slavery is, of course, never mentioned. Nor is the fact that Christianity abolished things like human sacrifices, and its ultimate law is to love God and one’s fellow man (Mark 12:30-31)."
Ibrahim raises the question of masculinity and religion, the perception that Christianity is the religion of the weak. It wasn't always so. There are many warriors in the Catholic faith, such as St. Michael the Archangel who battled Lucifer and cast him out from Heaven, and St. George the dragon-slayer. Christians have always had strong father figures as well, monogamous men who provide for and protect their families. It's getting harder to see that element today in the increasingly feminized, watered-down church. But I digress - back to Ibrahim:
"At any rate, while Hollywood is on a crusade to defame Christianity, it would do well to remember that it is because of Christian civilization that they are even able to make movies in the first place. Not only is Christianity fundamentally responsible for what many a Western liberal takes for granted, that is, the freedoms and advancements of Western civilization, but much of the historical records that movie-makers are able to exploit, warp, and subsequently rake in millions with were compiled by Christians. No small irony is the fact that the one single solitary manuscript that contains the text of Beowulf was written by a monk and preserved in a monastery for centuries."
"Suffice it to say here that the iconic image of the child Mohammed al Durah, pictured crouching with his father behind a barrel next to a concrete wall in an apparently vain attempt to shelter from the gun-battle between Israel and the Palestinians that was raging around them before he was allegedly shot dead by the Israelis, served to incite terrorist violence and atrocities around the world after it was transmitted by France 2 at the beginning of the second intifada. Yet it is clear to anyone looking at this in detail that the whole thing was staged, not least from the devastating evidencehere which shows the boy raising his arm and peeping through his fingers seconds after the France 2 correspondent Charles Enderlin said he had been shot dead."
"After Philippe Karsenty, founder of the French online media watchdog, Media Ratings, accused France 2 of staging the al Durah ‘killing’ and called for the resignation of both Charles Enderlin and France 2’s News Director, Arlette Chabot, France 2 and Enderlin sued Karsenty for defamation, and won. In a disgraceful piece of judicial cronyism after the gratuitous intervention of the then French President Jacques Chirac, the court decided against Karsenty and in favour of France 2 and Enderlin. Karsenty appealed; the judge ordered France 2 to produce the unscreened footage of this incident; today it did so."
Almost, not quite. France 2 only managed to produce 18 out of 27 minutes of film footage. The supposedly dead boy can be see raising himelf up, covering his eyes, and laying prone again.
"...there is no evidence that anyone at all was killed or injured -- including Mohammed al Durah who by the end of the frames in which he figured seemed to be still very much alive and unmarked by any wound whatsoever."
What's more disturbing than the "Pallywood" fabrication of a fraudulent video is the readiness with which Western media accepts and disseminates it:
"The ‘killing’ of Mohammed al Durah was swallowed uncritically by the western media, despite the manifold unlikeliness and contradictions which were apparent from the start, because it accorded with the murderous prejudice against Israel which is the prism through which the Middle East conflict is habitually refracted. This scandal has the most profound implications not just for the media, not just for the Middle East conflict but for the western world’s relationship to reason, which seems to grow more tenuous by the day."
The next hearing is scheduled for February 27, 2008.
CAMERA has a timeline of the Al Durah affair here.
From Jihad Watch: "An important message that is circulating now about the mother of all fauxtography scandals, the Muhammad Al-Durah case:
I am sure you know the French courts have asked France 2 to release the hidden Al Durah Videos (rushes). Over 70 publications have now carried the news of the outcome (often based on an Associated Press story) as can be seen in this link:
The courts expect the tapes to be delivered by France 2 by early October - so we need your help and action today: Monday, Sept. 24:
1) If you have not signed the petition asking for France 2 to release the 27 minutes of hidden Al Durah Video - please do so NOW! 2) Please ask friends to also sign the petition today!
Here is the petition link. Although you or your friends need to supply your email address to stop or reduce voter fraud, the petition service does not (at least so far!) release your email address - only your name- if you supply it!
Kudos to Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix for writing Scared Silent, about the reluctance of Boston media to cover the Islamic Society of Boston:
"Dr. Walid Fitaihi’s departure from and return to the Islamic Society of Boston (ISB) were stories worth reporting. After all, the possibly polemical physician’s writings helped ignite the controversy that dogged the ISB from the autumn of 2003 until June 2007, when the opening of the ISB’s new mosque in Roxbury seemed to bring the matter to a close. So why didn’t the Boston press pay attention when Fitaihi quietly left the ISB’s board of trustees earlier this year — or when he returned just four months later, after dueling lawsuits involving the ISB were dropped?"
Most excellent question, glad that someone in Boston's media is paying attention. Miss Kelly and Solomonia are mentioned too:
".....no major Boston media outlet took note of Fitaihi’s departure and return earlier this year. (Only two local conservative blogs, Solomonia and Miss Kelly .... seemed to notice.) What’s more, a conciliatory meeting Fitaihi had with a group of Jewish leaders in April was covered only by the Jewish Advocate."
"....reporting on anything that involves Fitaihi would require explaining why, exactly, he’s a significant figure. And this, in turn, would have meant delving into some of the same details that helped put the Herald and WFXT on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Which brings us to the heart of the matter:has the Boston press decided that aggressively covering the ISB is too risky?
Another excellent question!
Reilly asks editors from the Herald and the Globe why they aren't covering any ISB developments. Herald editor Kevin Convey says:
“I don’t think anybody in the business would deny that major lawsuits . . . can have a chilling effect — not only on us, but on other people, as well.”
That's the intent of these lawsuits. They're effective, even when the plaintiff is forced to completely withdraw its lawsuit, as the ISB did in this case.
Boston Globe Metro editor Brian McGrory seems to think that "there haven’t been any major news developments." Mr. McGrory, let me pitch a few story ideas:
There isn't much left of the ISB, it's been reorganized and subsumed by the Muslim American Society. Take a look at the latest MAS glossy annual report, which was handed out at the New Bostonians Community Day at City Hall earlier this week. (In 2001, Dr. Fitaihi identified Boston as a "center of Islamic proselytizing aimed at Christians"). MAS is controlling the ISB now. Yes, the same MAS that was founded by the Muslim Brotherhood.
So who's funding the MAS? Who directs it? Are they a religious organization or a political organization? Considering how much lobbying and fund-raising they do on political issues, why are they tax-exempt?
How many ISB/MAS leaders are on the board of directors of Al Huda in Revere, the ICNE in Sharon, the Islamic Society of Greater Lowell, the Islamic Society of Worcester, the American Islamic Institute, the Al-Hamra Academy of Shrewsbury, the Islamic Academy of New England in Mansfield, to name a few? Get a copy of Analyst's Notebook link analysis software, and have at it.
You can review my earlier postings on the ISB here and on the MAS here. Lest you think I am an anti-Muslim person, much of the information about the ISB and MAS that I blog about is sent to me by disaffected Muslims who are apalled by the ISB/MAS "leadership" in the Boston area. They can't believe that these Islamic fundamentalists are considered to be the voice of Massachusetts Muslims.
Solomonia's write-up is here. "Crickets. Running scared."
Charles Jacobs writes that if you're looking for real, gritty news, "Get Thee to the Web." He cites several websites and "citizen blogs" as being great sources for news on current events. If you're not satisfied with the limited, slanted "news" reported in many mainstream media sources (NY Times, Boston Globe, etc.), there are lots of alternative news sources today. In addition to well-known websites (one might call them "mainstream websites") such as Little Green Footballs and the Jawa Report, Jacobs mentions several bloggers (including moi):
"So Americans are turning to the Web for news collated and analyzed by fellow citizen bloggers.... Try it: go to Little Green Footballs and watch the delicious video clip of Christopher Hitchens devouring the spokesman from CAIR (Committee on American-Islamic Relations). Go to Miss Kelly’s blog and read about Imam Muhammad Masood of Sharon now fighting deportation. Solomonia covers the Boston mosque trial with details you won’t find in the press. You can go to Jihad Watch and learn the daily results of jihadi attacks around the globe. You would likely know none of this from The Boston Globe, the Times, the Post. You’d be ignorant."
"Azar Nafisi's book is thus the locus classicus of the ideological foregrounding of the US imperial domination at home and abroad in three simultaneous moves: (1) it banks on a collective amnesia of historical facts surrounding successive US imperial moves for global domination--for paramount in Reading Lolita in Tehran is a conspicuous absence of the historical and a blatant whitewashing of the literary; (2) it exemplifies the systematic abuse of legitimate causes (in this case the unconscionable oppression of women living under Muslim laws) for illegitimate purposes; and (3) through the instrumentality of English literature, recycled and articulated by an "Oriental" woman who deliberately casts herself as a contemporary Scheherazade, it seeks to provoke the darkest corners of the Euro-American Oriental fantasies and thus neutralise competing sites of cultural resistance to the US imperial designs both at home and abroad, while ipso facto denigrating the long and noble struggle of women all over the colonised world to ascertain their rights against both domestic patriarchy and colonial domination."
Whew! Give me a second to catch my breath. Dabashi and two other other American Muslim scholars quoted in the Globe article criticized Reading Lolita in Tehran for not presenting the "full context" of the Iranian revolution, and for omitting the "Islamic strands of feminism in Iran." What nonsense! Azar Nafisi wrote a memoir about her experiences teaching literature during and after the Iranian revolution. It's a memoir, not propaganda for Islamists. If you've got a story to tell, write your own damn book.
Who are these professors, what are they doing here, how are they getting tenured positions in American universities? What's with Columbia? Dabashi is virulently anti-American, as evidenced by the essays and articles at his webpage (www.hamiddabashi - dot - com). If Dabashi can call Nafisi a neocon tool of the Bush administration, allow me to call him a member of a radical leftist/Islamic fifth column intent on bringing down the United States from within. While the Globe article criticizes many aspects of Dabashi's essay, the tone is curiously neutral.
Strands of feminism in Islamic Iran? Surely you jest.
Site Meter is quite the tool, I get to see where my readers are from, what they're reading, how they find my blog. And it's mind-boggling that people from China, Japan, Bahrain, Pakistan, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, New Zealand, Morocco, Iceland and many other countries are reading my little blog. Amazing! What a world! Some folks, though, are definitely coming to the wrong place. Here are some of the more unlikely search phrases that landed people on my blog's doorstep:
"how to convert my second wife to Islam" (from Al Qahirah, Egypt)
"advice for islamic second wives" (from Nova Scotia)
"I am a new Muslim convert my husband mistreats me (Oak Lawn, Illinois)
"how to make jihad" (I forget where that came from, pretty sure it was from the US)
I hope the second wife in Egypt holds onto her own faith. The person in Nova Scotia needs to be reminded that polygamy is still against the law in Canada. I hope the mistreated woman in Oak Lawn, Illinois calls the police and/or gets herself to a domestic abuse center. I wish I had saved the details of the wannaba jihadi and forwarded that information to the FBI. Something tells me it wasn't the peaceful jihad he was after.
Absolutely hilarious and spot-on GOP ad featuring Madeleine Albright and Kim Jong Il can be seen over at Solomonia (second ad, scroll down) or LGF. Sissy offers her keen commentary at Sisu. It's the GOP ad they dare not run, yet it's getting plenty of airtime thank to Drudge Report and the bloggers. Veryfunny ad, in the fashion of TEAM America, but dead serious.
"In a post-911 world, making nice to our enemies will not make them nice to us. On the contrary, to them, it is a sign of weakness..."
Yessiree, kumbaya. The campaign ad's producer and director is Hollywood's David Zucker, who brought us "The Naked Gun" and "Airplane." Oh, the many quotes from Airplane! Surely you jest. Don't call me Shirley. How he survived, I'll never know. Howie survived? No, he went down over Machu Grande. Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue. Anyway, enjoy the ad. Thanks, Mr. Zucker!
......now that it's an Israeli video. CNN has not - to my knowledge - expressed any skepticism or suspicions that videos provided by Hizbollah were edited in any way. But now CNN starts raising questions:
"A video showing Lebanese soldiers cordially offering Israeli troops glasses of tea during the military offensive earlier this month has hit Israeli and Hezbollah airwaves. The video, shot by Israelis on August 10, when Israeli troops "took control" of the southern Lebanese town of Marjeyoun, aired on Israel's Channel 2 on Wednesday. Hezbollah's al-Manar TV network and pro-Hezbollah NEW TV then picked up the video and condemned the Lebanese soldiers as deserters."
CNN links to the video showing Lebanese troops in this largely Christian town offering tea to the IDF soldiers. CNN suggests that the reader "watch the video and see if it suggests courtesy or treason." CNN thinks it would be treasonous for Lebanese soldiers to welcome the Israeli army. An odd, loaded word choice.
Later in the article, the reporters note that "it is possible that unpleasant parts of the video were deleted during editing" and "parts (of the video) may have been deleted and edited." I cannot recall ever seeing such phrases used in any of their articles where Hizbollah's videos and photographs were used. CNN reserves its skepticism for Israeli sources.
I've not covered the propaganda war because so many others are doing it so well: Little Green Footballs, Augean Stables, Solomonia, Sisu, and many more. It's creepy how the mainstream media is covering the Israel/Hisbollah war and the Iraq conflict. They're aiding the enemy.
"I believe that a small number of the detainees at Guantánamo are guilty of criminal acts, but as analysis of the military's documents on the prisoners has shown, there is no evidence that most of the 465 or so men there have committed hostile acts against the United States or its allies. Even so, what I heard so many times resounding from cage to cage, what I said myself so many times in my moments of complete despondency, was not, "Free us, we are innocent!" but "Judge us for whatever we've done!" There is unlimited cruelty in a system that seems to be unable to free the innocent and unable to punish the guilty."
Ah, yes, cruel indeed. As the Gatway Pundit ably documents, the Gray Lady manages to overlook some itty-bitty, teeny-tiny, trifling details about the author and his entire family of terrorists:
His older brother received chemical weapons training in Afghanistan,
The father was indicted as a militant in Bosnia,
Another brother was recuiting combatants for Chechnya,
The bathroom of the family residence was used as a chemical weapons lab,
Another brother was invovled in payroll theft and had links to Al Quaeda cells in London and Spain.
Doesn't anyone vet the op-ed writers at the NY Times?
OK, this e-mail isn't outrageous, like the NBC Dateline e-mail soliciting Muslims for a sting operation at NASCAR events, but it's curious nonetheless. From a Boston area Muslim American Society e-mail received this week:
Are you a teenage convert to Islam? Are you experiencing problems explaining your beliefs to your parents?
BBC television in the UK is developing a documentary idea for TLC. In this documentary we plan to follow the lives ofAmerican teenagers who have turned to a form of belief which is different from their parents. We are considering a variety of faith groups including Hinduism, Evangelical Christianity, and Islam. Through this documentary narrative we will gain a better awareness of each faith group, through the experiences of the teenagers, and come to a new understanding of what it means to follow that type of religion in the U.S.
If you feel that your personal story fits our programme description then please check with your parents and contact me Rob Cowling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a fine story line, but why is the BBC more interested in American religious teenagers than in British teens?
According to Michelle Malkin, NBC Dateline is looking for Muslims to go to NASCAR races, so they can surreptitiously film them and see if the Muslims are the subjects of discriminatory behaviour or comments. Kind of a sting operation.
"A few weeks later, NBC will fly all the filmed participants to New York City to interview them as a group about their experience and thoughts on discrimination they've faced in America, especially in light of the times we live in (war on terror, 9-11, etc.). The show, if approved by NBC (highly likely), is expected to air sometime this summer."
Let's try to manufacture some discrimination, shall we? Maybe Dateline can also ask their subjects what country they'd prefer to live in, which has the greatest religious freedoms, educational opportunities, and possibilites for economic advancement.
"Possibly the Most Newsworthy Cartoons in History", Greg Lukianoff (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) correctly calls the twelve Danish Mohammed cartoons. Without seeing the cartoons, one can't really understand the controversy, partly because a good editorial cartoon is the sort of thing to which words don't really do justice. Fortunately, even though very few prominent American newspapers have printed the cartoons, interested Americans can pretty easily find them on the Internet.
But imagine what things would have been like if the Internet hadn't been invented, or hadn't become as pervasive. If you wanted to know just what people were finding so offensive, how would you be able to do that? I suppose some newspapers might have concluded that they had to run the cartoons precisely because the cartoons weren't available online -- but would most have done that? And if you lived in a city in which the newspapers and TV stations chose not to run the cartoons, what could you do (since without the Internet, you couldn't even easily access most out-of-town newspapers, much less amateur media)?
This whole controversy makes me glad that we're no longer quite as captive to professional news judgment as we once were."
One commenter asks "Would the cartoons have been newsworthy, if the Internet weren't available to assist radicals in circulating the cartoons and thus fanning the flames?" Cuts both ways, dunnit?
A letter to the editor printed in today's Boston Globe about torture in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq was accompanied by a photo of the torture. Since when does the Boston Globe print photos in the Letters to the Editor section? So I jotted yet another letter to the Globe editor:
I hate to be a broken record here, but when I opened the Globe editorial pages today and see yet another Abu Ghraib photo, I must protest. That photo was from 2003. The whole reprehensible Abu Ghraib torture treatment was exposed by a member of the US military, and some 25 people have been put on trial for it. Why are you printing more photos now?
The Globe can print a photo from almost three years ago, but you can't print cartoons that have resulted In protests and riots around the world, which have resulted in 45 deaths?
In the Ombudsman's recent column explaining why the Globe wouldn't print the Mohammed cartoons, he wrote: "Freedom of speech means that news organizations have the liberty to decide whether or not something meets strict standards of accuracy, fairness, and taste for the sake of the community." Does it meet the Boston Globe's strict standards of "accuracy, fairness, and taste for the sake of the community" to print 3-year old torture photos? Does the editor think that the reader wouldn't otherwise understand what the letter was about? Is the Boston Globe completely unconcerned with further fanning anti-American resentment in Iraq, which could very well result in more harm to US soldiers? Do these concerns ever factor into your decision-making?
Publishing that photo in today's paper was unnecessary and disgusting.