Stacey Eden is a mensch

The so-called “white savior,” Stacey Eden, posted a bit of video on Facebook of the verbal abuse of the Muslim couple on a train. It seems pretty clear that she didn’t take it or post it to show off, but to document the abuse and say “people, don’t do that.” She did a damn good job of telling the abuser “don’t do that.”

Here’s her caption:

So i sat there for a good 10 minutes before i started recording this, while i listened to this woman bad mouth muslims and call the lady sitting opposite me an ISIS supporter because she wore a scarf, then she told me to go join ISIS because i was sticking up for her. People like this make me sick. People who are so ignorant and disrespectful to other people who were clearly sitting there minding their own business.
She was saying some pretty horrible and hurtful things before i spoke up then as soon as i started defending them she stopped.
[Read more…]

Oh no, not a “white saviour”

Hey, it turns out it actually is the right thing to do to sit still when people are being verbally abused and do nothing to intervene. I know, I’m surprised too! I thought it wasn’t! I thought it was pretty assholish to sit like a lump and stare while people are given shit by a stranger in a public place. But nope! Nope nope nope! That’s the correct, non-white-savior thing to do. If you speak up you’re denying agency to the people being abused. Leave them alone, you colonialist!

It’s Ashitha Nagesh who sets us straight about this, in the Independent.

You may have already seen the video from Australia that has gone viral today. It shows a middle-aged racist in a train ranting at a young Muslim couple, making some confusing links between the woman’s hijab and the Islamic State, Al-Shabaab’s attack in Garissa, and Muhammad “marrying a six-year-old” or something. She made no sense, as hardline racists never do.

But cue superwoman Stacey Eden! A white knight in shining armour swoops in to save the day, protecting the couple from the onslaught of abuse being hurled at them from across the carriage. [Read more…]

Lettre ouverte aux escrocs de l’islamophobie

L’Obs today has extracts from Charb’s book, “Lettre ouverte aux escrocs de l’islamophobie qui font le jeu des racistes.”

Again, I’ll attempt a translation; tell me what I get wrong. (I know some of you are Francophones, you can’t hide.)

L’islamophobie, un concept mal taillé

“Les militants communautaristes qui essaient d’imposer aux autorités judiciaires et politiques la notion d”islamophobie’ n’ont pas d’autre but que de pousser les victimes de racisme à s’affirmer musulmanes (…) Si demain les musulmans de France se convertissent au catholicisme ou bien renoncent à toute religion, ça ne changera rien au discours des racistes : ces étrangers ou ces Français d’origine étrangère seront toujours désignés comme responsables de tous les maux.” [Read more…]

Capitalising much?

One of those times when the jaw drops so hard it hits the desk.


A tweet by Myriam François-Cerrah:

M Francois-Cerrah‏@MFrancoisCerrah
Capitalising much? Charlie Hebdo’s Charb publishes posthumous book on Islam … #bloodmoney

Blood money? Blood money? Whose blood is she talking about? Charb and his colleagues were murdered by the Kouachi brothers, not the other way around. Charb didn’t kill anyone, or order anyone killed, or incite anyone to kill. What blood money is François-Cerrah talking about?

And “capitalizing”? Charb is capitalizing on his own death, when he is dead? How is he doing that exactly?

He wrote the book before the Kouachi brothers murdered him and all those others. He’s not “capitalizing” on anything – he’s dead. Finished, story closed, no more books or cartoons, over.

“Sometimes I was sold. Sometimes I was given as a gift.”

HRW reports on what ISIS/Daesh is doing to Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq. HRW interviewed 20 women and girls who escaped.

ISIS forces took several thousand Yezidi civilians into custody in northern Iraq’s Nineveh province in August 2014, according to Kurdistan officials and community leaders. Witnesses said that fighters systematically separated young women and adolescent girls from their families and other captives and moved them from one location to another inside Iraq and Syria.

The 11 women and 9 girls Human Rights Watch interviewed had escaped between September 2014 and January 2015. Half, including two 12-year-old girls, said they had been raped – some multiple times and by several ISIS fighters. Nearly all of them said they had been forced into marriage; sold, in some cases a number of times; or given as “gifts.” The women and girls also witnessed other captives being abused.

I think that must mean they were all raped. I wonder if they’re not calling it rape if they were forced into “marriage.” (In my view forced “marriage” shouldn’t be called marriage at all. That’s not marriage, it’s enslavement. The two should be treated as radically different.) [Read more…]

What is that, if not discrimination?

Charb finished a book on the right to ridicule religion two days before he was killed in the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo.

Charb had received numerous death threats following Charlie Hebdo’s publication of cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad in 2006. The magazine’s offices were firebombed in 2012.

Charb’s book – which goes on sale on Thursday – is entitled An Open Letter to the Fraudsters of Islamophobia who Play into Racists’ Hands. [Read more…]

On a boat headed to Sicily

This is a tiny taste of what climate change is going to look like in the future – mass migrations, which by definition overwhelm the countries or regions people migrate to, because it’s not possible to prepare for them in advance. There will be horrors. There already are horrors, and they’ll get worse.

Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat headed to Italy.

The Christian migrants, said to be from Ghana and Nigeria, are all feared dead. [Read more…]

Don’t mention the Armenian genocide

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is mad at the pope for mentioning the Armenian genocide. The what? The Armenian genocide. I can’t quite hear you. THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE. Oh yes, the Armenian genocide.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he condemned the Pope and warned him to “not repeat this mistake”.

Turkey rejects the use of the term genocide to describe the killings, arguing it was a civil war in which both sides died.

It is calling for a joint study by historians of what happened.

As if no historians have studied it. [Read more…]

And in that they were exceedingly successful

The Washington Post has the whole text of Garry Trudeau’s speech on receiving the George Polk award, so we can do a thorough job of scowling at the wrongness.

I, and most of my colleagues, have spent a lot of time discussing red lines since the tragedy in Paris. As you know, the Muhammad cartoon controversy began [more than] eight years ago in Denmark, as a protest against “self-censorship,” one editor’s call to arms against what he felt was a suffocating political correctness. The idea behind the original drawings was not to entertain or to enlighten or to challenge authority — his charge to the cartoonists was specifically to provoke, and in that they were exceedingly successful.

Wait. I disagree that the idea behind the original drawings was not to challenge authority – and for that matter in doing so to entertain and enlighten. But to challenge authority? Fuck yes! Of course it was. It was to challenge theocratic authority that was saying You Must Not Draw This One Historical-Religious Person, because our religion says so. Disobeying that wholly illegitimate command is to challenge authority. Yes the religion in question is a religion of outsiders in Denmark, so yes that complicates things, but it doesn’t make Islam not authoritarian. If only it did. [Read more…]

Well, voilà

I started to say I hate to agree with David Frum, but then I paused and decided I don’t, really – I’ve seen or heard him say reasonable things more than once, so it’s fatuous to hate to agree with him just because he’s a conservative.

He wrote about Garry Trudeau v Charlie Hebdo a couple of days ago, starting with a compliment to the Anglo-American liberal instinct to sympathize with the underdog.

This is not a universal human norm. Across much of the modern world, human beings still follow the ancient Roman rule,vae victis—woe to the loser. But the liberal tradition appealingly sees its core task as standing up for the weak against the powerful.

[Read more…]