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The Beast is Back

Yellow badge Star of David called "Judens...

Nazi or Saudi?

“Once again, across Europe, respectable liberals are turning a blind eye to hatred and – when they do that – we know the Beast is back…” (Jon Ronson, The Return, Channel 4, 1996)

Extremist literature is always dispiriting. Propaganda, whether from the extreme left or the ultra-religious right demeans the higher human ideals. It does so by asking the reader to attack and devalue another group in order to feel better about themselves. It is a false promise because, after the hate and the pain and the lies, the emptiness will remain.

From the Balkans to Bermondsey, there are those who who want to string-up anyone who is gay, black, Muslim, refugee or Jew… simply because they are ¬†different. It is up to the honest and honourable majority to prevent them.

The research carried-out for the BBC programme Panorama, which aired last night, showed Saudi-sponsored textbooks in Islamic schools which described Jews as being ‘like pigs and monkeys’.

Whilst government agencies made the appropriate noises to assure us of greater vigilance and inspection, is it not time that we saw such propaganda as on a par with the publications of the National Front, the British National Party and the English Defence League?

These parties frequently use (or used) demeaning images of animals to describe their chosen victims. Latterly, white fascists in Britain have started to pillory Muslims, some even defaming the Star of David by using it on their websites. But it wasn’t so long ago that these same people were likening black and Afro-caribbean people to apes and monkeys. The tactics are the same, it is just the focus that has shifted.

As a society, we have worked hard to ensure greater tolerance of all parts of our communities. It was difficult at times, but worth the struggle to create a world of greater tolerance, inclusion and acceptance.

It still is.

So, if it wasn’t acceptable or legal to promote racial hatred against our black neighbours back then, it most certainly isn’t on to demonise Muslims nor, indeed, for some misguided Muslims to pillory Jews in this manner.

It is time for the wider, more moderate, Muslim community in Britain to stand-up and be counted: shoulder-to-shoulder with their Jewish cousins, against the common enemy of fascism.

  1. It seems we are just not reaching people with our message for more tolerances. There’s so much spewing of hatred in the blog sphere.

    I used to think – when I was young and stupid – that it all was just a matter of sitting down, thinking things really through and then say out loud the conclusions.

    In reality, people are so full of fear and unlived life and needy and whatnot. And anonymous blogging only adds to the hatred and the fear.

    On the other hand, the re-education of the German people after World War II made a difference. It seems though as if governments and advertisement agencies have found out how much easier people can be manipulated if they are NOT educated.

    I have no answers, only questions.

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  2. Ian de Reybekill permalink

    Thank you, both of you!

    The last year or so, the rate and extent (and verocity) of attacks by the populist right party “Dansk Folkeparti” here in Denmark (where I live) has had me wondering if this tendancy will ever stop, before we end in civil war or major riots. Many a time I have wondered how far they intend to push us actually?

    What does the white pride community actually win out of destroying the society we live in, and the society I moved to in the seventies, amazed by the open-minded and egalitarian way of life in the social solidarity of Denmark?

    The opposition in this country is gradually gaining ground, and I do think that the majority still consists of reasonably sane individuals, but some of the time it almost seems as though time has gone in a loop, and we’ve back in our parents’ shoes again. But now they know how to get rid of enemies even more effectively!

    So sometimes, I simply play the ostrich. I go to my little island, in a discreet little archipelago, stick my head in the sand, and enjoy the peace and quiet.

    It’s just such an awful nuisance, that these people are still there, when I get back…

  3. Ian,

    Exactly how I feel! One ought to be political and do SOMETHING – if I hadn’t over the years found out that I am profoundly unpolitical. But there are forces out there that exploit that you and I rather read a book or make music (or whatever tickles your fancy).

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  4. Hi Alexa,
    Thanks. I think it works that you live your life and do what you think is right, and let others see what you’re up to, and maybe even why. Some statements are indellible, (but political statements aren’t usually ;0)
    Not that I’m against making a point, or taking part in actions that demonstrate a point; but I actually think that quiet perseverence in a direction deliberately chosen is something people cannot avoid noticing in the long run.
    I think that showing others what you mean, by using your life to do it, actually works. None of us can change the world alone, but if we get about it, we can move quite a lot of minds, and get them to think for themselves. THAT is a difference.
    I have been forced to notice that there are others that take hold of the signals I send, and help in their – also quiet – way, so like rings in water, we do affect our surroundings.
    Politicians and others that I mentioned before would have us hate all sorts, but that fix never brought any real satisfaction to anyone, you still feel empty at the end. I think we have to go the slow way, and maybe we’ll live to tell the tale ;0)

  5. Ian,

    Those are good words you give me!

    Perhaps, as a beginning, each blogger should sign with full name – like you and I are doing. People might spew less hate that way.

    Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

  6. Another thought might be to be vigilant and stand-up against those who wish to exploit or intimidate weaker parts of society, whether by writing / e-mailing to elected reps, sending letters to newspapers or contributing to blogs and online polls.
    These are our societies: if we do not take a lead, others will.

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