Tuesday, January 10, 2017
A teachable moment: Muslims burn German church. Or did they?
A Breitbart report that a Muslim mob attacked a German church has been taken up by many other publications and seems to be widely believed. German police, by contrast, say that the night concerned was "quiet". So whom do you believe? I would normally believe the police but the German police are well-known to either ignore or play dow any disorders associated with Muslims.
Other German sources support the police account. But Germany is very politically correct and you can in fact be prosecuted for hate speech if you say anything negative about Muslims. So, again, whom do you believe?
On balance, I suspect that the Breitbart account was exaggerated. But how exaggerated I have no means of knowing.
Medical journals regularly feature what they call a "teachable moment": A story about some adverse event in treating a patient which they believe everyone should learn from. I think this Breitbart story is a teachable moment for the press coverage of Islam and for political censorship generally. Leftists are behind both those problems. Their constant attempts to suppress news and views that they do not like has had a lot of success. They have largely destroyed impartial journalism.
And Leftist causes are suffering from it. Because we no longer have any reliable news sources, people will readily believe what could be false accounts about Muslims. There is no effective kick-back against the Breitbart story, for instance. The Left-leaning media are in the position of the boy who cried wolf. Even when they are speaking truth, what they say will now be widely discounted and dismissed as propaganda. So in their efforts to protect Muslims, they have in fact exposed Muslims to unfair abuse and the possibility of attack.
As is so often the case with Leftist policies, their censorship attempts may have achieved the opposite of what was intended. They have endangered Muslims not protected them. Their trust in deception has backfired. And their lack of moral principles is behind their trust in deception. It is the Left who have created the environment in which fake news thrives. They are now bemoaning it as it hits them but it is they who have enabled it -- by their own deceptive practices.
So what is increasingly happening now is a very wide split in the population. With the decay of generally trustworthy news sources, both sides retreat into reading news sources which tell them what they like. Leftists read Leftist sources and conservatives read conservative news sources. The two sides live in completely different mental worlds.
That can hardly be good for mutual understanding. And without mutual understanding you tend to get hate. And hate begets hate crimes. Which is where we are now. Leftist attack Trump supporters and to a limited extent Trump supporters hit back. If that continues to develop America could become like an ungovernable Latin-American hellhole where nobody is ever safe.
Leftist lack of moral anchors has led us all into a dangerous situation.
Below is an account from Germany disputing the Breitbart story:
Journalists have condemned a report by Breitbart news that claimed a mob of 1,000 men had attacked police and set fire to a church, calling the article a distortion of facts.
Breitbart wrote an article about New Year's Eve in Dortmund on Tuesday with the headline “Revealed: 1,000-man mob attack police, set Germany’s oldest church alight on New Year’s Eve”.
"At New Year’s Eve celebrations in Dortmund a mob of more than 1,000 men chanted ‘Allahu Akhbar’, launched fireworks at police, and set fire to a historic church," the alt-right website reported.
The report was attributed to local news site Ruhr Nachrichten, which fired back on Wednesday, accusing Breitbart of “using our online reports for fake news, hate and propaganda.”
Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out how Breitbart attributed separate unconnected incidents to a larger, collective "mob".
There was in fact a total of around 1,000 people gathered to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Leeds Square, including “large and small groups” of young, foreign men as well as families with children, according to Ruhr Nachrichten.
The original report by the local news site from that night describes how some individuals did start launching fireworks from within the crowd towards police, who told them to stop but were ignored. Broadcaster WDR reported that officers then issued orders for some people to leave and took some into custody.
While Breitbart wrote that the "mob" set the roof of Germany's oldest church on fire, Ruhr Nachrichten pointed out that this was also not accurate.
St. Reinold is not Germany's oldest church - that would be the Cathedral of Trier - and a small fire had started on some netting on scaffolding around the church, not the roof, due to one firework.
And while Breitbart states that the "fireworks were launched at" the church, there was no indication from local news outlets or from the fire services that the fire had been started intentionally.
The fire was small and lasted 12 minutes before firefighters put it out, Ruhr Nachrichten reports.
Police told local media that overall it was a quiet night.
In a report released on Thursday, Dortmund police stated that the number of times they were called out during New Year’s celebrations this year was down from 421 in 2015-16 to 185 in 2016-17.
Breitbart also wrote that a group of Syrians gathered at the square to celebrate the ceasefire in their home country, but claimed that a video posted by a Ruhr Nachrichten journalist showed them holding up a flag of al-Qaeda and Isis collaborators.
In fact, the video shows a man holding a flag widely flown by those opposing the current government.
Ruhr Nachrichten also accuses Breitbart of overemphasizing the fact that the celebrating Syrians chanted “allahu akbar” - which means God is great.
“This statement is a Muslim prayer as normal as ‘Amen’ in the church,” Ruhr Nachrichten's editor wrote. “Fake news producers are connecting the groups of people in Leeds Square to [terrorist] attacks… The fact is: there was no sign that terrorism was being celebrated in Dortmund.”
As Benjamin Konietzny from broadcaster N-tv wrote, the Breitbart report was problematic for how it presented the events. “There are differences in the critical details,” Konietzny stated.
“The report is a lesson on the deliberate over-twisting of facts,” wrote another journalist from the German Meedia industry publication.
A fun cartoon video about Hillary here
Let’s say goodbye to a UN that hates the free world
If the UN is to be believed, there are three Middle Eastern entities that deserve our condemnation and retribution. One is the Syrian regime, which stands accused of using chemical weapons against dissidents. The other is Islamic State, a genocidal jihadist army that decapitates Christians, sexually enslaves women and children and tortures dissidents to death. The third is Israel, a pluralistic democracy that celebrates equality, liberty, free trade and free speech.
With friends like the UN, the free world doesn’t need enemies.
Last year, the UN General Assembly and Human Rights Council adopted 18 resolutions against Israel. The final judgment of 2016 was the UN Security Council’s Resolution 2334, which declares that Israel has no right to land its people have inhabited since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Britain and France voted for the resolution while the US chose not to exercise its veto power.
According to Palestinian Media Watch, Fatah (the leading faction of the Palestinian Authority) thanked the UN with a violent image depicting a Palestinian flag fashioned as a weapon stabbing the Jewish settlements. Blood pooled on the earth beneath. Rather than take Fatah’s apparent threat as a sign that the resolution might facilitate mass murder, the UN is standing firm.
The threat to Israel is serious and without the buffering of settlement areas, the state is more vulnerable to attack from jihadists.
The UN should know the history. After Israel withdrew from Gaza and four West Bank settlements in 2005, Islamist terrorist group Hamas established itself as Gaza’s governing force. The notion that Fatah is the moderate reformist alternative to Hamas is appealing, but its response to the UN resolution has distinctly jihadist overtones.
Commentators have defended Resolution 2334 as beneficial to the future of the two-state solution. When pressed, it is common the hear the term “international consensus”. It is misleading. The international consensus, in this case, are the parties to the resolution. However, the citizens of those member states do not necessarily support it. The Republican-dominated US House of Representatives has passed a resolution to condemn the Security Council for censuring Israel over settlements. Importantly, the US resolution includes the call for the outgoing Obama administration to veto any future resolutions concerning the matter. However, fears persist that UN members are determined to pass new resolutions against Israel before president-elect Donald Trump takes office.
A central concern is that rules on the implementation of Resolution 2334 will be established at a Middle East conference in Paris on January 15. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants world leaders to respect bilateralism in negotiating a two-state solution, but Islamist and socialist leaders are keen to impose a supranational ruling.
The majority of member states that passed Resolution 2334 against Israeli settlements are Islamic or socialist in nature. Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, was judged by a panel of theocrats, autocrats and socialists. Of the five permanent Security Council members with the power of veto, three are Western: France, Britain and the US. It is predictable that France would defend the interests of Islamists in line with the socialist EU bloc, but Britain’s Tory PM Theresa May also backed the resolution. May is long-time ally of Israel, but believes the settlements impede a viable two-state solution. She might be encouraged to consider the role of Hamas and Fatah in preventing the two-state solution and the popular Palestinian desire for one state under Islamic rule.
[Australian] Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stated if Australia were a Security Council member, we would have opposed the resolution. Israel needs more than words. It needs action. Australia should withdraw funding to protest the UN’s pact with militantly anti-Semitic leaders in Palestine. We should oppose apartheid against Jews, including economic apartheid in the form of boycotts, divestment and sanctions campaigns, by preparing a broader and mutually beneficial bilateral trade deal with Israel. And the Australian government should withdraw foreign aid funding from states, regimes and supranational groups that act against Western interests.
The resolution is not only against Israel. It is against universalism, a core UN principle in theory. A common alternative to universalism is double standards, which divide populations and produce mass resentment. In the West, double standards are codified in discrimination law. At the UN, they are used to justify repeated denunciations of Western democracies by the world’s worst abusers of human rights. The UN resolution against Israel is a case in point. If Israel is forced to surrender settlements to the Palestinians, surely China, which voted in favour of the resolution, should relinquish Tibet. The Security Council should pass resolutions against Islamic regimes whose actions genuinely constitute a “flagrant violation of international law”. It could begin by imposing sanctions on Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. And the UN should be subject to the law of universality. It should be held accountable for violations of international law, including the violation of national security.
In late 2015, UN envoy Robert Serry noted a significant impediment to ending settlements in the West Bank. While he supported a freeze on settlement activity, Serry observed that about 500,000 Israelis live in them, raising the question of how the land could be transferred to PA control. In 2005, about 9000 Israelis evacuated Gaza. If made enforceable, Resolution 2334 would require the eviction of up to 800,000 Israelis. The UN has not elaborated on the fate of 500,000 Jews if evicted from their homes en masse. This story sounds all too familiar.
Thank God for Israel. If it weren’t for the Jews, the UN would have to battle despots, communists and Islamists. Instead, it observes a minute of silence for the murderous Fidel Castro. It rails against fascism while excusing the most murderous totalitarians of the past century: communists and Islamists. It channels free-world citizens’ money into corrupt regimes, despotic states and jihadist armies whose common resolve is to destroy liberty.
The Security Council resolution on Israel is the latest case of UN aggression against the free world. It’s time to say goodbye.
The female voice in song can be a most exciting thing. And none better than the voice of beautiful Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins below. It reduces me to tears. She sings it in the original Italian. Italy has given us much. The best known performance of the song is a duet between Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli at the Piazza dei cavalieri in Pisa but Jenkins has a much more powerful voice. She is, incidentally, a Christian.
The words and translation are here.
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated), a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on A WESTERN HEART.
Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
Posted by JR at 1:27 AM