Selective Demonisation 375

I am delighted by the apparent sea-change in media opinion on the treatment of refugees, but concerned that in modern society compassion only seems able to operate in a wave of emotional hysteria rather than as a fundamental, underlying everyday principle. There is also a danger that those arriving in the Mediterranean and Balkans are viewed, quite wrongly, as in some way different from those in the awful camps at Calais, who have been demonised all summer, reaching its peak when a child being killed by a train led to vicious media headlines about delays to British passengers.

Cameron and May’s apparent willingness to budge at least minimally in admitting more from Syria must be matched by a willingness to admit those from the Calais camps who are genuine refugees. I still have a home in Ramsgate from which you can actually see France. I for one am willing to make accommodation available at no charge to help out in the crisis.

These are troubling times. In London the National Youth Centre has cancelled a play, Homegrown, which explored Islamic radicalism, because it had an “extremist agenda”. By this they mean that it did what it was meant to, it explored the reasons that attract young people to terrorism including a revulsion at western foreign policy and the alienation from society of urban youth in a society that values materialism above all but increasingly restricts access to prosperity and choice. These are precisely the issues that modern playwrights ought to be considering, if they are worth anything.

However it goes against the government’s insistence that radicalisation is nothing whatsoever to do with our invasions and bombings of Muslim countries or the huge and burgeoning wealth gap in our society. We are supposed to view terrorism as a spontaneous outbreak of pure evil, for no reason. So the play was cancelled, after consultations between the National Youth Theatre and the Metropolitan Police. When you have the police deciding on the content of plays, you really are on the road to being a fascist state: we already have the police involved in what can be said in universities under the government’s definitively illiberal Prevent strategy.

Just as there is still no official admission that our invasions and bombings greatly boosted terrorist organisations, so there is still no official admission that the wave of terror and destruction we helped unleash on the Middle East, either by direct invasions or bombings or by proxy, by funding and through the Gulf States, is the root cause of much of the refugee crisis. It is good we are moving a tiny way towards helping. We should do very much more. And acknowledgement of our own culpability in the crisis should be an essential part of a new attitude.

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375 thoughts on “Selective Demonisation

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  • Beth

    The road to Damascus
    Blessed with biblical history (as Mark Twain once said: ‘Go back as far as you will in the vague past, there was always a Damascus’), this medieval UNESCO world heritage listed beauty can’t fail to charm even the most seasoned of travellers. The Syrian capital serves up citadels, ruins, religious, architectural and archaeological sites and a labyrinth like souk. Damascus is also significantly richer in local colour than its Gulf counterparts, so visitors can expect to share the streets, restaurants and hammans with real, live Syrians. Easily one of the most magical cities in the Middle East (legend has it that when Prophet Mohammed first viewed the city, he refused to pass through the gates because, he said, man could enter paradise only once), you’ll find yourself returning again and again. Or as French archaeologist Andre Parrot put it: ‘Every person has two homelands; his own and Syria.’

  • John Goss

    In vino veritas

    ” . . . The refugee crisis has been brought about by the rise of fantatical Islam in the region. No one wants to hang around in a place where human barbecues and beheadings are the order of the day – except some of our own home-grown jihadis, of course, who are travelling in the opposite direction.”

    I realise the racist UKIP supporter Anon1 is extreme but last night I am sure he was drunk because he was getting even more irate and extreme than usual. The above comment is indicative. I left the first sentence out because it was quite incomprehensible. Earlier he tried to transfer his drunken guilt onto Fedup with a cans of cider gibe. His sheer hatred really makes darkness visible in the above comment. He brings shame on this green and pleasant land we call England, the islands we call the United Kingdom and the whole world.

  • Mark Golding

    The only tyrants in the sense and psyche of those who lives are based on compassion, are the overlords of a totalitarian world dominated by fear and espionage.

  • Macky

    HabbaClownTroll; “The above seems to imply that Craig posted new threads as a result of you going off on a long weekend.”

    Your pitiful stupidity is only matched by your despicable vileness, which defines you.

    Your transparent diversionary tactic of posing idiotic personal “questions”, in this case to avoid discussion of the points made in Craig’s Post, is only fooling your fellow feeble-minded trolls. This post has certainly got you & other Islamophones foaming, the racist supremacistism manifesting itself this time, in the usual expressions of genocidal hatred of Islam & all Muslims.

    Like all merchants of hate, what unites is the fascistic mindset, and there is no real difference between this blog’s resident trolls, and the extremists who kill in the name of religion; same deluded self-righteousness, masking an misanthropic nihilism, caused by impaired mental, emotional & spiritual development, in other words that which normally separate Man from the beasts & reptiles that eat their own kind.

  • Habbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    Mr Goss

    “So Habbabkuk now we know you support war criminals”

    Is the above an example of the logic you were taught in ToyTown?

    I replied to your question (by the way, when are you going to reply to mine?) by saying that I do not believe that PM Netanyahu is a war criminal.

    Your response is to say that I support war criminals.

    But you see, Mr Goss, that is an error of logic.

    Since I do not believe PM Netanhayu to be a war criminal, my support for him cannot be interpreted as me supporting war criminals except insofar as you believe he is a war criminal.

    And whether you believe he is a war criminal or not is not germane to my belief.

    Alll clear now? 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)


    “This post has certainly got you & other Islamophones foaming,…”


    “Islamophones” ?

    Are you referring to those who “talk Islam” ? Mullahsand imams perhaps?

    No, thought not.

    I’ll leave it to sane readers to judge who’s been foaming. 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    Mr Goss

    “I see you believe in bombing people to death, bombing them out of their homes, that you believe in bombing and poisoning drinking water supplies and that you believe war-criminals have the right to do this (that’s a decent person’s understanding of war-criminal but I accept you do not agree). When people are bombed and maimed it is torture for them and for their families who witness the suffering of their loved ones.”

    Thank you for that powerful and moving iteration of (some of) Assad Junior’s war crimes against his own people.

    Whence the change of heart – was it “Beth”‘s reference to Damascus?

  • Mary

    September 7, 2015
    Turning the Cradle of Civilization Into its Graveyard
    by Diana Johnstone

    This Monday, September 7, seven Syrian citizens go to court in Paris to pursue their civil suit against French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. The five men and two women all lost family members and close friends in massacres by armed rebels supported by Fabius in word and deed. They are asking for one euro of symbolic damages.

    In the end the suit will almost surely be thrown out. The September 7 hearing is on an appeal against an earlier ruling that the courts cannot judge acts of the government in this case, even if the complaint is founded. And yet this futile lawsuit makes a crucial point that Western politicians and media would much prefer to ignore.

    Western leaders share major responsibility for making much of the world unfit for normal human habitation. And so far, they are getting away with it. The massive refugee crisis swamping Europe is just the beginning of the troubles that these unscrupulous leaders have brought on their own countries.


    Note Fabius’s connections.

    Also note how the senior troll here has gone into overdrive as the ‘no jaw but more war’ theme hots up.

  • Habbabkuk (scourge of the Original Trolls)

    “This Monday, September 7, seven Syrian citizens go to court in Paris to pursue their civil suit against French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. The five men and two women all lost family members and close friends in massacres by armed rebels supported by Fabius in word and deed. They are asking for one euro of symbolic damages.

    In the end the suit will almost surely be thrown out….”


    Exactly, Mary.

    Because the is a politically motivated, silly, vexatious publicity stunt.

    The sort of thing, actually, various Excellences would get up to if they could be arsed to do anything concrete rather than just foam away on this blog.


    BTW, have you had any further thoughts about taking in a refugee for a couple of months in your house in Surrey? The South of England is where the jobs are and such a gesture could be helpful.

  • twoleftfeet

    This is very funny.
    The State of Israel – a land in which immigrants fleeing from persecution in Europe made the desert bloom – has been and is still surrounded by beastly, corrupt and murderous dicatorships, autocracies and terror organisations.
    The said beastly, corrupt and murderous dictatorships, autocracies and terrorist organisations have, over the decades, caused the death of countless tens, perhaps even hundreds of thousands of (usually their own)people.
    As such, they have obviously earned the support of the fascists on this blog.

    The Jewish invaders didn’t make the desert bloom, they stole the blooming desert from the people who had already made it bloom. If they didn’t like what was already blooming or they wanted to deprive the real inhabitants of making a living from it, they would (and still do) destroy it.
    You’ll be heartened to know that the mother in the recent firebomb attack has now died. Don’t pretend that the suspects will be brought to justice. They were released the day after they were apprehended (without the same publicity as when they were arrested). Bearing in mind that some Palestinians are detained for years without trial, it’s inconceivable that the suspects were so quickly cleared of any wrong doing.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Have you thought about the relationship between ‘Karma’, DNA, epigenetics, (re)birth, death, String Theory?” Alcyone.

    Yes, constantly.

    And music, don’t forget music. It’s all geometry, man, it’s all… fractals in the sky.

    I’m not being cynical – I love that stuff.

    But I’m not sure what you mean in this context of Syria? Are you talking about Israel? Please could you explain. Thanks.


    Did anyone address my point about Israel accepting, or not accepting, Syrian refugees? It is a hot potato in the Israeli media right now, I think. Sorry if someone did and I missed it. It runs to several hearts of the matter (in the Graham Greene sense).

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, Macky. Yes, exactly. God sake, you must be telepathic or clairvoyant or whatever the term is. Or maybe I’d read your post and forgotten and then forgotten that I’d forgotten. Anyway, you see what I mean (or I see what you mean).

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