March for Free Expression

The next phase

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pics and plans

Thanks to Polish Solidarity with Denmark for starting this list in a comment. If you know any more, please add them to the comments on this thread and I'll bring them into this list.

And a follow up from Pink News.

Full plans for the next stage, a tanks-on-lawns-orama, will be posted here on Wednesday. Those of us with day jobs need to get some work done first.


Blogger FreeSpeech said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:00 pm  
Blogger CarnackiUK said...

Here's the link for Johnno93's photo report on the MFFE:

Freedom of Expression

1:45 pm  
Blogger aeneas said...

I think that in our discussions on how to build bridges between the West and Islam we should look at the concept of ‘Ijtihad’. I first came across this term in a book by Irshad Manji called ‘The Trouble with Islam Today’. When I read about this concept I was given a feeling of hope for the future. The following is a link to a page on wilcopedia.

(you will need to type the above into the URL line as I had to press enter to fit it in this narrow space)

I hope that if people read the information on this link then it may form the basis of a useful dialogue between different communities and viewpoints and perhaps help reduce feelings of Islamaphobia.

2:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you heard about the review of the rally over at Leninology?

What revolting piece of work he is. Maryam Namazie is an hysterical Islamphobre, and we're all nazis.

2:44 pm  
Blogger FreeSpeech said...

"Have you heard about the review of the rally over at Leninology?"

Sounds like he is frustrated, to be honest.

3:10 pm  
Blogger lenin said...

Just for the record, I certainly don't think those of you who attended this rally are all Nazis, and have never said that. I do, however, think you have formed an alliance with Muslim-baiting racist scum. Frankly, if the individual behind this blog can't find it within himself to even notice what is racist about the 'cartoons' that galvanised his march, or even the reaction that followed very closely within Denmark, involving thousands of peaceful protesters, then he is wilfully purblind or worse. Think Jud Suss.

aeneas - the concept of itjihad isn't necessary or even automatically helpful in "building bridges" between the West and Muslims. Muslim clerics of reactionary, liberal and left-wing orientations already use itjihad. It's use is entirely irrelevant here, and frankly I can't see why you think Muslims are obliged to adapt their religion to make themselves more amenable to 'the West'. I tend to think it would be more helpful to engage with Muslims rather than to be perpetually rallying at the Gates of Vienna.

3:34 pm  
Blogger St George said...

The idea of building bridges between the West and Islam is like trying to hitch a ride on the tail of a crocadile. This need to build bridges does not exist in Muslim counties where they have no need to tolerate anyone else.

If you want to see the result of bridge building check one or two of these links

Why Multiculturalism Is a Fraud

Multiculturalists are the real racists

Tolerating Intolerance: The Challenge of Fundamentalist Islam in Western Europe

The Rise of Middle Eastern Crime in Australia

Racist rapes: Finally the truth comes out

Betraying the rape victims:-

Dutch race policy 'a 30-year failure'

Dutch are 'polarised' says report

12-year old girl abducted, used for sex - repeatedly

Something Rotten in Denmark?

"Asking for rape"

Misunderstanding fundamentalism

A problem with Muslim enclaves

Norway's Terrorist Haven

Solberg wants Islam 'modernized'

Book calls Norwegians 'Satan's sons'

The New French Revolution

France is Not a Western Country Anymore

France takes on plague of sexual 'rite'

Sisters In Hell

Imagining the Muslims in Belgium: "Enemies from Within" or "Muslim Fellow-Citizens"?*

Anti-Semitism Skyrocketing in Sweden

'Honor killing' shakes up Sweden

Muslim Rape Epidemic in Sweden and Norway - Authorities Look the Other Way

Islam & Islamic Law: The Threat to Canada and the World

Rise of Islam in jails a risk?

3:42 pm  
Blogger FreeSpeech said...

"Frankly, if the individual behind this blog can't find it within himself to even notice what is racist about the 'cartoons' that galvanised his march"

So you might be able to give me the answer I don't get from Muslims.

What is racist about hte cartoons, one by one.

I really would be grateful to have a reasoned answer. I am not joking at all.

3:45 pm  
Blogger FreeSpeech said...

I currently read the Quran. I am not surprised, and I can tell why. It is a question of mathematics, actually.
The value of man to women in court and thus the habit of going unpunished.

4:08 pm  
Blogger lenin said...

luke - well, okay, I'll take some time to explain why I think the cartoons are racist: if for no other reason than that the organisers of this rally disgracefully failed to acknowledge this aspect of the argument. The placards even reduced it to 'blasphemy', for heavens sake - even though there are tens of thousands of images of Muhammad available

I want you first to have a look at these, however:

What the cartoons do is variously depict Muslims as suicide bombers, women-repressers and glowering, hook-nosed Orientals, the evil Semitic opposite to our Indo-European civilisation. How they do this varies, but one can look at the most obvious example. There is one in which Muhammad is depicted with his head merging into a bomb: in fact, he is little more than a menacing face emerging from a bomb on which is embossed a verse from the Quran purportedly justifying terrorism. The message is plainly that Islam is violent and wicked and causes terrorism. The bomb, of course, has nothing to do with Muhammad, who did not dabble in explosives as far as I know. It is a statement about Muslims in the world today. This is not an uncommon view. Sam Harris, who we're supposed to think of as some kind of liberal, said of Islam: " the basic thrust of the doctrine is undeniable: convert, subjugate, or kill unbelievers; kill apostates; and conquer the world". There are a billion Muslims, but there were nineteen hijackers on 9/11. The wonder is that only 0.0000019% of Muslims could be motivated to actually attack the United States, particularly as Jannah awaits all who try according to Sam Harris (except that it does not, what with the prohibition against suicide). More stringent but less rhetorically efficient analyses of suicide attacks such as those by Robert Pape and the authors collected in Diego Gambetta's book, tend to find a closer correlation between the presence of occupying troops in a country and the use of that tactic rather than the presence of religion.

With the bulk of the caricatures, not all of them, we are presented with an essentialising and demonising view of Islam. One moreover that invites us to believe that Islam is incompatible with 'our values', that is indeed destructive of them.

Liberals were quick to finger-wag and lecture Muslims about the difference between ‘our’ values and ‘theirs’. Put simply, ‘they’ didn’t understand free speech. According to Henry Porter in The Observer, the publication of these pictures can "be seen as an assertion of the values handed down from the pioneers of the Enlightenment. A little nervy perhaps, a little too red in the face, but sincere none the less." Porter adds: "Muslims must allow for the error in a continent of free but flawed societies. They should understand that our societies are not simply based on godless consumption and self-indulgence, but on one or two deeply held convictions." (,,1702532,00.html)

As Edward Said wrote, the notion of the White Man that emerged in the era of colonialism and exemplified in some of Kipling's doggerel ("Now this is the road that the White Men tread/When they go to clean a land..."), involved "a particular way of taking hold of reality, language, and thought". As Said writes: "Underlying these categories is the rigidly binomial opposition of 'ours' and 'theirs', with the former always encroaching upon the latter (even to the point of making 'theirs' exclusively a function of 'ours'). This opposition was reinforced not only by anthropology, linguistics, and history but also, of course, less decisive - by the rhetoric of high cultural humanism. What gave writers like Renan and Arnold the right to generalities about race was the official character of their formed cultural literacy. 'Our' values were (let us say) liberal, humane, correct: they were supported by the tradition of belles-lettres, informed scholarship, rational inquiry; as Europeans (and white men) 'we' shared in them every time their virtues were extolled."

Of course, this view of Islam as incompatible with 'our' values and inherently destructive of society is not unknown: the classical antisemitic narrative of Nazi Germany was that it was under threat from Jews who worked insidiously to destroy 'our way of life' (as the Prime Minister said on the news this morning). It is certainly the view of the Queen of Denmark, of Jyllands-Posten and of various Danish politicians about the beleaguered Muslim minority in the country. Mogens Camre MEP suggested that Muslims were "a growing underclass of human beings who will never be integrated but who will day by day tear Danish society apart because Islamic culture disrupts any society". Kristian Thulesen Dahl MP said "Islam is the greatest threat to world peace since the fall of communism. It is a direct threat to the West, is eating us up from the inside and is destabilising our structure of society in a real cuckoo-in-the-nest manner". Brian Mikkelsen, Denmarks' minister of culture, avers that "A medieval Muslim culture can never be as valid as Danish culture here at home ... The struggle of culture and values has now raged for some years. And we can, I believe, note that the first half is about to be won." This reflects the view of many American neoconservatives like Daniel Pipes and US Congressman Tom Tancredo who asserted in light of the French banlieue riots that it just showed that some cultures could not be integrated. For The Observer, the real worry was how come multiculturalism and "successive models of integration" had gone wrong, especially as this is "frightening in the age of radical Islam". Again, "France finds itself with more Muslims than it had reckoned with. In the age of Islamic militancy, that is a worrying trend". Too many Muslims, can't be integrated, threat to our way of life, frightening in the age of Islamic militancy... Yes, we should listen to one another alright. I hear it loud and clear: Kulturkampf.

One last thing - there's a red herring to the effect that "Islam is not a race", which rather misses the point. There is no coherent biological entity that corresponds to 'race'. Human variation simply doesn't work that way. Yet, various groups have been lumped together as a race: the Irish (a nation), the Arabs (a potential nation), Africans (a continent), Jews (a religion/ethnicity), black people (a group based on melanin levels in the skin)... and these essentialising, demonising gestures about Islam fulfil the same role as classic racist caricatures of the past.

It is the same reason that the BNP distributes literature claiming that there are "Asian gangs" raping white children in the north of England. Before the Oldham riots, similar lies were issued: Chief Superintendent Eric Hewitt told the press that Asians were responsible for the majority of racist violence. He said, in fact, that of 572 racist attacks in Oldham, "8 to 10" Asian youths were responsible for 343. He had done this before. In 1999, he said that out of 250 racially motivated incidents in one year, the majority involved violence on whites by Asians. He told the Oldham Evening Chronicle that "There is evidence that they [Asians] are trying to create exclusive areas for themselves. Anyone seems to be a target if they are white." The BBC and other national news organisations uncritically reported these claims. As the Campaign Against Racism and Fascism pointed out at the time, Hewitt's figures were cobblers. Hewitt is unsurprisingly seen by many Oldham residents as a racist. The BNP newspaper, British Nationalist, siezed on Hewitt's claims and proclaimed that there was ‘Ethnic cleansing in Britain’. In 2001, BBC radio reported once again that there were "no go areas" for white people in Oldham, and suggested that there was graffiti daubed on buildings to adverise this: no such graffiti existed, as the police later admitted. On Saturday 21st April 2001, two people were attacked: one was a white 76 year old man, who was cruelly beaten by some young Asian men; the other was an Asian taxi driver, who was stabbed. The first was reported, and falsely. The second was not reported at all. The first was reported as a racist attack upholding a "no go" area. This is how the BBC, the Mirror and the Daily Mail explained the beating. It made no sense to those who understood the case, not least the family of the beaten man because he had never indicated that it was racist and they didn't believe it had anything to do with that. It made no sense because the area in which the attack occurred was not "claimed" by any local gangs of any background. Yet, the police insisted on "believing" that it was a racist attack, and so the headlines followed from there.

Shortly thereafter, there were a series of outbursts of violence from football fans in the city, particularly against Bangladeshi residents. White supremacists attempted to organised marches through the city, while the BNP announced it would stand candidates in the area. The level of activity of the far right shot up dramatically, but so did racism on the ground (usually referred to as "tensions"). One attack by around 200 white youths on a road outside the Glodwick Estate resulted from some high-pitch arguments between local parents. And that was when, after 18 months of unmitigated, ceaseless racist drivel from the police and press, and after repeated and serious attacks on Asian residents by white football supporters, a number of young Asian men fought with the police and racists, and set fire to a number of pubs they believed tolerated the racists. Riots erupted which were predictably blamed on the Asian community. A year later, a BBC2 programme called Hooligans investigated the activities of Combat-18 in the area, and how they had organised and instigated the attacks on areas like Glodwick. It passed without much fanfare. The lies were just too valuable.

So, to speak as if the 20th Century never happened, as if slavery never happened, as if colonialism never happened, when we look at racist images, we are looking at a justification for murder. We are speaking of terror, of life and limb. That sort of injuriousness is hard to mistake. We don't need to think of anywhere exotic to imagine how this works. In the UK it is precisely claims that the Quran justifies the killing of non-Muslim civilians and so on that corroborate thugs in putting Muslims or simply non-white people in the casualty wards every weekend. Therefore, it is the 2% of Denmark's population who are Muslim who are the victims here, not the reactionary provocateurs who have vilified them. It is they who will need solidarity. For all the guff about "the new antisemitism", it has never struck apologists for Israel that this is the new antisemitism. It isn't about religion any more than the vilification of Jews was about religion. Of course, the value-significations are reversed: Jews were accused of introducing cosmopolitanism, liberalism, capitalism, communism etc; Muslims are accused of opposing all of these things, of being insufficiently liberal, too traditionalist, too rooted in organic communities, not atomised etc. But Orientalism and antisemitism were never separated at birth. They are conjoined, two forms of the same sickness.

4:34 pm  
Blogger CarnackiUK said...

Crusader, that article about muslims in Belgium is a blatant piece of islamist propaganda financed by some da'wa organisation in Istanbul.

I have just returned from Brussels and the level of intimidation of ordinary Belgians by young militant muslims was truly scary. One of my reasons for visiting was to take photos of the wonderful art-nouveau statues in the Botanical Gardens. In the event I had to abandon the shoot as just too dangerous.

5:38 pm  
Blogger Jensen said...

Lenin – lets get some points cleared!

Have you been to Denmark or have you only been watching the BBC and the like?

- my guess is that you haven’t been to Denmark, so please restrain your self from drawing a full out conclusion on Danish affairs!

Some facts to help you get the bigger picture:

When it looks like the entire Muslim world is on your back and your friends are very reluctant to show support – you are not sure of the actions of Danish Muslims – your intelligence service advise you to lay low – your government is doing what you consider right – you’re a small country not used to be in the eye for a hurricane.

Do you know the term “sweep before you door first”?

Before you go jugging everybody ell’s of being racist lets have a look at your view of the world!
Lenin (your chosen name) was as you probably know the fist Soviet leader – according to historians his responsible for about 10 – 15 million dead Soviets. Lenin was of cause opposed to free of speech – that explains your opposition I guess! But he was also a racist and a suppresser for freedom of religion in general – I don’t have the count but what’s your feelings about 3 - 5 million race or religious motivated murders/kills?
We could go on about the glories communist history – and let’s not forget it’s still here – but what’s the fun of showing disrespect to millions of dead people just to show you a simple point.

I just have on last question -
Have been to all the Muslim forums and called everybody racist as well?
- No, I did not think so (only white people can be racist!)

It’s actually quit disturbing how some people consider racism a one way street – and how they always try to give a long explanation of how non-white persons are not racist – but have their just reasons to make racist comments and go totally ape shit…

5:44 pm  
Blogger Jensen said...

Ohh and the 2% is not correct

About 4% of Danish citizens are Muslim and counting in the non citizens the number is about 6 – 7% of the general population.

5:53 pm  
Blogger aeneas said...

My post is a bit long, but I have been doing a lot of soul searching, and want to share my views with the group. For this I have decided to publish them as 3 separate posts. Here goes!

The very next thing that we should campaign on is immediate and it is urgent, namely, the dropping of all charges against Reza Moradi. Are the cartoons illegal? If not, then why has this man been summoned to court? Are there other reasons that we have not been told about? If it’s just because someone was offended then I’d go further than Polish Solidarity with Denmark went – the entire population of the world should appear in court. Everyone has caused some degree of offence at some point in his or her life.

The fact that the vast majority of people didn’t show up in cartoon t-shirts, yet I imagine most people felt that people should have been allowed to if they wanted to, showed a great deal of restraint on our part and a good degree of respect towards the sensitivities of the Muslim Community. Arresting someone for making a statement, following our collective restraint is, at least in my mind, a provocation that does nothing to dispel the atmosphere of fear and suspicion that exists in many minds.

5:58 pm  
Blogger aeneas said...

After the events of 9/11 I think that many Muslims feared that there would be a backlash, and the continued activities of fanatics around the world is not improving the situation. These events have also increased fears in the West that Islam wants to rule the world. Displaying the cartoons became a symbol of resistance to this perceived threat on one side and on the other of a perceived backlash.

If for no other reason that to get them into the open and reduce the fear that surrounds them, I believe that the cartoons should be published in Britain, but not in a way that provokes fear as to the motives for showing them. We have enough to fear on both sides of this debate from our own Government that seems intent on taking more and more liberty from everybody. The Iraq war provoked fear on one side, and the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill had a similar effect on the other. ID cards probably will be feared by many in both “groups”. Is the fear that is being created a deliberate act in order to rob us of more and more of all our rights and freedoms, which has been suggested elsewhere?

5:59 pm  
Blogger FreeSpeech said...

Thanks Lenin

That was one.

(I would have expected that you start on the top left of the JP page, but, well, ok.)

Here's my view to the one you mentioned.
When I first saw it, I thought it is a bit over the top.
After the torching I thought well, that's it.

I never saw it as "ALL Muslims are that way", I saw it as a criticism of the misuse of religion (and a call for, hey, muslims, where's your fatwa against such a misuse)

I did live in Scandinavia, by the way, and as good ole Ahmed Akkari said, Danes love to crack a joke

Now for the second one please.

6:00 pm  
Blogger aeneas said...

The reaction to the cartoons and the apparent lack of response from the Government and the Police to do anything about it, is what forced me to become active in this cause. I felt fear that my culture was under threat, just like the Muslims did. I felt myself been drawn further and further to the right, and some of the anger might have come across in some of my posts. Provocative posts from the other side and the almost ubiquitous misuse of the word racist intensified this fear and with it my anger. The decision on the cartoons and the treatment of those who took them to the rally didn’t make me less fearful either. If I felt myself been dragged to the right because of these fears, then I would imagine a similar reaction from Muslims. This drift to both of these extremes must stop, and the damage that has already been done reversed. I don’t want to give up liberal principles and only have the choice between two different forms of totalitarianism.

I have given the issues a great deal of thought, and have worried about them. I think Peter’s decision has ultimately, over time, made me pause and think, and move away from the precipice. For this Peter, I thank you. We must succeed to protect freedom of expression for the benefit of all, and to enable both “groups” or “sides” to become one and to live without fear. I believe that starting with the concept of Ijtihad as mentioned in my previous post (before the three-part one) is a good starting point because it seems to represent a liberal Islam that can be distinguished from the extreme variety and such a discussion in my opinion will encourage liberal Muslims to become involved in our campaign. It’s worth a try.

6:00 pm  
Blogger FreeSpeech said...

to aeneas
Good points.

another thing:
Has anybody on ths side read Qutb or Banna?

6:04 pm  
Blogger FreeSpeech said...

A short history of the muslim arguments:

1. "Outrageous" (and then it was found out they saw the pig face
2. "The Prophet is not to be drawn" (and then they found out they did themselves)
3. "It was a premeditated thing" (and they would not comment on thee drawings)
4. "The Danes love to crack a joke" (said Ahmed Akkari when caught pronouncing a murder threat)

Note: There always have been some muslims who said what the heck, the cartoons are a criticism of the misuse of the religion, and quite a normal thing.

6:21 pm  
Blogger St George said...

Lenin, you mention "as if slavery never happened," yet I suspect you are somewhat brainwashed and speak as if the Muslim slave trade never happened.

It has been going on for over a thousand years and is still going on today. Slavery was never a Western monopoly but you seem to think it was.

Sounds like you need some education. Try here

History of the Muslim Slave Trade

6:22 pm  
Blogger The Fish said...

Every culture has made mistakes. It's impossible to generalise without being attacked by others, who will in turn be rebuked... etc, etc.

The only option is being very tolerant, but also ready to assert oneself at the right moment.

7:08 pm  
Blogger brooksbrooksbrooks said...

Heaven forbid that we should ever "finger-wag and lecture Muslims about the difference between ‘our’ values and ‘theirs’." (Lenin)

I am particularly shocked that thanks to Western imperialist intervention, a traitor to the Musllim faith has escaped having his head cut off for the crime of changing his religion.

If only the judge had read Edward Said he would realise that this Orientalist interfrence merely expresses a "rigidly binomial opposition of 'ours' and 'theirs', with the former always encroaching upon the latter (even to the point of making 'theirs' exclusively a function of 'ours')."

10:02 pm  
Blogger Temporary said...

Another Photo link for you :
Marc Vallee's Photos of the event

Perhaps the most varied photos I've seen of the event so far. He also managed to capture photos of the small group of Jihadi Wannabes who were said to have showed up (even though I was unaware of it occuring at the time), aswell as our Fanatic fighting "Bullfighter" with the Danish flag.

P.S : Marc's Photos are all Copyrighted. So if you want to use, them apparently you need permission from him first.

11:14 pm  
Blogger publicansdecoy said...

Lenin's argument is a strange one. He claims that races do not exist, but that racism very much does. How so? Because people still (mistakenly, in his opinion) group other people together as races. Apparently, this is what people have done with 'Muslims'. He may be right on some people, but I would like to state for the record that I, and many other people I have seen on this blog and met at the MFE simply do not do this. People have a number of concerns specifically and only related to the RELIGION of Islam and the IDEOLOGY of Islamism. For me, it is overwhelmingly the aggressive evangelism and refusal to accept criticism of its own ideas that I find vexing. Is this racism? I would strongly argue not. It seems quite clear to me that Islam or Muslims are not 'a race' and I am concerned only with the ideas. If Lenin wishes to claim that that this is racism I would argue that it is phim who is making incorrect, sweeping assumptions. By claiming that there is no such thing as race, he has simply given himself carte blanche to call any behaviour he does not like 'racist'.

9:40 am  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Runnymede Trust:
The Runnymede Trust has identified eight components that they say define Islamophobia.
This definition, from the 1997 document 'Islamophobia: A Challenge For Us All' is widely accepted, including by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.
The eight components are:

1) Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
2) Islam is seen as separate and 'other'. It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
3) Islam is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive and sexist.
4) Islam is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism and engaged in a 'clash of civilisations'.
5) Islam is seen as a political ideology and is used for political or military advantage.
6) Criticisms made of the West by Islam are rejected out of hand.
7) Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
8) Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural or normal.

10:31 am  
Blogger publicansdecoy said...

I do wish people would quit with the incessant focussing on Islam. It is critics of the march that do this, not supporters. Yet when supporters take the time to reply to their accusations, they are the ones who in turn are accused of being obsessed with Muslims!

Islamophobia is a very unsatisfactory word, for me. Its meaning is unclear, and I do not believe it should be bound together with words like 'racist'. I have seen that 8 point list before. If we are to accept that number 5 is 'Islamophobic' and therefore bad, then most mainstream Muslim organisations in this country, not to metnion many foreign governments are guilty of Islamophobia, as they insist on conflating the religion Islam with the political ideology Islamism.

10:50 am  
Blogger Dan said...

A few more links...

My photos - taken with my phone but not the worst I've ever seen...
David T's round-up at Harry's Place
Marc Vallee's photos
Samizdata's report
Another good placard

And a report on Radio 5 Live's "Up All Night" by Chris Valance:Pods and Blogs.

I sound bloody ill, although the reason my voice is wobbly is that Chris interviewed me whilst we were legging it towards the pub to get out of the rain! Peter sounds a lot better, but practice makes perfect, I'm sure :)

Don't forget to listen to Little Atoms tomorrow too!

11:46 am  
Blogger Anonymous said...


And anyone who's THAT upset about "not enough" cartoons at the rally:-

Who'se comments on this blog prevented my wife from going anywhere near the march FOR FEAR OF HER LIFE FROM IDIOTS LIKE YOU.

No wonder you complain about censorship - it affects your ability to spread your purile message. Glad you're pissed off - it's a very good sign that Voltaire did something right.

You were going to use the march for your sick aims weren't you?

Muslim, British, and Proud.

11:02 am  

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