February 09, 2006

artificial outrage

So thoses cartoons are so offensive, I wonder what would have happened had they been published in an Egyption newspaper? The answer is absolutely nothing, via Samizdata.
they were actually printed in the Egyptian Newspaper Al Fagr back in October 2005. I repeat, October 2005, during Ramadan, for all the egyptian muslim population to see, and not a single squeak of outrage was present.
Which proves, along with the need to add some additional fact cartoons since the originals where so tame, how artificial this outrage actually is.


Blogger Unknown said...

furthur proof of the conspiracy du jour?:


of course this theory rather flies in the face of the programme on radio 4 today>(I've no idea when it will be on 'listen again'

3:28 pm  
Blogger chris said...

Personally I doubt that there was much conspiracy in it, just a seires of cockups;

1. An author wants to write a childrens book on all the good things about Islam. Childrens books need illustrations but he cannot find an illustrator because they are all scared of the inevitable death threats.

2. A right wing newspaper decides to use this to mae a point about freedom of speech, hoping to get some contraversy which will help it's circulation figures. They publish and then nothing happens. Mild controversy, maybe a small boast in ratings because of that. Nothing new there, look at say the asylumn hysteria whipped up by the red tops. Or the News of the Screws whipping up fear over pedophilia to boast it's circulation.

3. A group from the seriously nutty fringe decide that they can use the mild controvercy to gain more power and influance at home, and almost more certianly money form the Wahbi dictatorships in the middle east, by claiming that they are oppressed and need help. Knowing that the cartoons are rather tame in themselves they 'sex them up' a bit.

4. Said dictatorships need something to cover up the lastest fuck ups, e.g. the annual Hajj deaths. Deflecting hatred from themselves to somebody else is good politics. Shifting the blame for internal problems to an external enemy is a very old techiques that has been used by dictatorships since forever.

Here, however, is where it all goes pear shaped. Demark is supposed to back down at this point an issue a grovelling appology. This is what normally happens: the newspaper would paint itself a champaigne of free speech and get another circulation boast for being 'controversial', the nutty fringe group gains some leverage over politics, the dictatorships deflect some critism over their own incompetence, and some more freedom disappears.

Except for the tiny problem that demark decided not to issue the grovelling appology. So the displaced hatred whipped up to provide mood music for the nutters demands was not plicated and had to go somewhere, that somewhere being violence, rioting, and death.

No conspiracy really. Just some groups following their own self interest, and making a complete mess when things didn't go to plan.

4:29 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home