Invade Africa — all of Africa — to punish “woke Twitter” for the Notre Dame fire


Andy Ngo, always a reliable source of hypocrisy, started a Twitter thread to document all the wicked Leftists who expressed joy at the burning of Notre Dame. It’s bizarre, because many of those Leftists are making legitimate points. France led a colonial empire, but we don’t see as much grief for the murdered and exploited peoples. Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque was burning at the same time, and got only a tiny fraction of the attention. Notre Dame is the responsibility of the French state, and there has been bickering for years about the cost of maintenance with the Catholic Church, yet the church still uses it for religious services. Catholicism is an odious cult, yet it gets treated with unwarranted respect (again, Notre Dame’s historical value is preserved by the French Republic, yet this is treated as a loss for Catholicism). Americans demolish Indian lands to build ugly monuments or dig mines, but there’s rarely an outcry about disrespecting their history (well, Indians cry out; we rarely pay any attention).

It’s complicated. I think it’s important to preserve European historical sites, but I feel the same about Native American sacred sites and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Jagannath Temple and Borobudur and a thousand other places, even when I have little cultural connection to them and may even detest the religion that drove their construction. Human history is full of majestic accomplishments, but they’ve all got warts on them. We’ve got to appreciate the good behind them, but never forget the warts. A tragedy like the Notre Dame fire occurs, and people rush to both deify and demonize the building — let’s try to have some perspective, OK?

I sympathize with the people who feel some schadenfreude at the destruction of one artifact that represents crimes against humanity at the same time that it represents a great human achievement. I don’t mind them reminding us all of the badness that lurks within that monument — I’d do the same. As long as you’re tolerant, no matter how angry you are, and not plotting active destruction yourself, I can respect that.

The interesting thing about Ngo’s thread, though, is that, as you might expect, it’s drawn out the right-wing hypocrites. They’re all deploring how hateful the Left is for expressing a personal dislike of Catholicism, or French imperialism, or thinking it’s only fair that France feel the kind of loss other nations have felt. But they’ve got their own rabid bigotry that they overlook.

There’s the usual call to destroy Islamic holy sites.

You know, Al-Masjid Al-Haram is even older than Notre Dame. If you’re calling for its destruction, you aren’t motivated by an appreciation of history or art, but by simple ideological vengeance. Then you don’t get to complain when people have an ideological contempt for Notre Dame.

Or how about this delusional threat?

He, personally, is going to invade Africa. All of Africa. This vast continent, with a deep history and thousands of complex cultures, is responsible for burning European cathedrals, and he is going to march over there and spank everyone. His reason? To spite people on Twitter he doesn’t like.

Mr Ngo wanted to expose wicked Leftists, but ended up holding a mirror to his own clique.

Comments

  1. lakitha tolbert says

    This happened in February:

    Brazil National Museum fire – BBC News

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45395473?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cqv9j0w4yryt/brazil-national-museum-fire&link_location=live-reporting-story

    There wasn’t nearly as much hue and cry for the thousands of completely lost artifacts, (some from Egypt and Europe), that were lost in this fire, and can never be replaced.
    In fact, most people dont even know it happened.

  2. raven says

    Chickenhawk:
    For every 1,000 year old cathedral that burns down, I will invade Africa twice as hard.

    An idle threat.
    .1. What does Africa have to do with Notre Dame burning down?
    Zero, nothing.
    AFAWK, this was an accident possibly involving renovation construction.
    It makes as much sense as shooting Ronald Reagan to impress…Jody Foster (something that really happened).
    .2. The chickenhawk isn’t going to do anything.
    Someone this delusional couldn’t find Africa on a map much less cross the street without his minder’s help.

  3. blf says

    poopyhead@3, I think’s that a bit unfair — some of teh horde, such as myself, were inactive on the ‘Net at the time (for, in my case, reasons I won’t go into) — so seemingly-equating a “lack of comments” with a “lack of concern” is perhaps disingenuous. Albeit, considering how vocal teh horde can be, also quite understandable.

      ─────────────────────────

    Apropos of nothing much, the Al Aqsa Mosque fire seems to have been an quite minor affair. (Last I checked, even Al Jazeera hadn’t reported on it.)

  4. joel says

    PZ wrote, “Notre Dame is the responsibility of the French state, and there has been bickering for years about the cost of maintenance with the Catholic Church, yet the church still uses it for religious services. Catholicism is an odious cult, yet it gets treated with unwarranted respect (again, Notre Dame’s historical value is preserved by the French Republic, yet this is treated as a loss for Catholicism).”

    This is what Wikipedia says about it: “Under a 1905 law, Notre-Dame de Paris is one of 70 churches in Paris built before that year which are owned by the French state. While the building itself is owned by the state, the Catholic Church is the designated beneficiary, having the exclusive right to use it for religious purposes in perpetuity. The archdiocese is responsible for paying the employees, for security, heating and cleaning, and for ensuring that the cathedral is open free to visitors. The archdiocese does not receive subsidies from the French state.”

    Maintaining grand old buildings is seriously expensive, beyond what most churches can pay, as evidensed by the number of old churches and cathedrals in the US that have become museums or condos, or have simply been torn down.
    A century ago France decided to create a list of 70 churches that they would spare from that fate, apparently because they thought France would be culturally poorer if they let it happen. Maybe it was a good decision, maybe not. I believe it was the right call, and I say that as someone who believes the Catholic Church is a criminal conspiracy with some redeeming qualities, rather than a beneficial organization with some flaws.

  5. consciousness razor says

    It’s bizarre, because many of those Leftists are making legitimate points. France led a colonial empire, but we don’t see as much grief for the murdered and exploited peoples. Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque was burning at the same time, and got only a tiny fraction of the attention. Notre Dame is the responsibility of the French state, and there has been bickering for years about the cost of maintenance with the Catholic Church, yet the church still uses it for religious services. Catholicism is an odious cult, yet it gets treated with unwarranted respect (again, Notre Dame’s historical value is preserved by the French Republic, yet this is treated as a loss for Catholicism). Americans demolish Indian lands to build ugly monuments or dig mines, but there’s rarely an outcry about disrespecting their history (well, Indians cry out; we rarely pay any attention).

    None of those things are legitimate reasons to “express joy at the burning of Notre Dame.”

    A tragedy like the Notre Dame fire occurs, and people rush to both deify and demonize the building — let’s try to have some perspective, OK?

    Okay then…. since when is “joy” an appropriate perspective to have? Is there any need to defend the purported leftists who you believe are on your side, while you direct your criticism to others in the opposing tribe? Where’s the perspective which tells us how the “demonizing” side is mistaken? You just forgot about it?
    I mean, I’m definitely getting a “fair and balanced” sort of vibe here, and with that comes the usual helpings of whataboutism. While you say something about hypocrisy, it seems like you don’t even notice that you’re merely shifting attention away from leftist bullshit, instead of confronting it. Either you think that ought to be criticized or you don’t. If it is a problem and not so complicated and not something you sympathize with, it would make sense to give a clear statement to that effect, not a bunch of noise which suggests otherwise. So I get the sense that you’re more interested in sliding those things under the rug and not so much holding up a mirror.

  6. blf says

    Alt-right spread anti-Muslim rhetoric after Notre Dame fire:

    Despite officials ruling out arson, far-right commentators share Islamophobic conspiracy theories after Notre Dame fire.
    […]
    Officials are still investigating the reason behind the fire, but have ruled out arson.

    French media reported that the fire might have been linked to the renovation work. The Paris prosecutor’s office said that “as matters stand” it was investigating a count of “involuntary destruction by fire”.

    Yet, alt-right provocateurs were quick to peddle conspiracy theories and spread insinuations against Muslims in the wake of the blaze, that gutted parts of the historic building.

    Richard Spencer […] said the fire would have served a glorious purpose if it pushed the White man into action.

    […]

    Similarly, Pamela Geller […] posted a photograph of two men who appeared to stand near the scene of the Notre Dame fire. In her post, she said: Jihadists reveled … sharing media photos of the flames billowing smoke, and comments expressing their joy.

    Al Jazeera could not verify the circumstances behind the photo, nor identify the men in the image.

    Far-right politicians in Europe have also attempted to link the fire to rising “intolerance” against Christians on the continent.

    Alice Weidel, the parliamentary group leader of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) […] linked the incident to previous attacks in France.

    […]

    During Holy Week #NotreDame burns. March: second largest church Saint-Sulpice burns. February: 47 attacks in France, Weidel wrote on Twitter.

    The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe speaks of a significant increase, she added, including a link to an article published in March in a German Catholic magazine.

    The brief fire on March 17 at Saint-Sulpice, a Roman Catholic church in Paris, left no one hurt and caused little damage. […]

    Meanwhile, Arab and Muslim organisations and public figures shared their concerns over conspiracies spreading on social media and on French and Western media outlets.

    Ali Abunimah, the cofounder of Electronic Intifada, an online magazine that documents the Israeli occupation, warned in a Twitter post that a narrative is being created “based on nothing”.

    Tell MAMA, a UK group which monitors hate crime, called on people to “reject such narratives and Islamophobic dog whistles”, as it highlighted a series of posts from figures including Katie Hopkins, Frank Gaffney, Stefan Molyneux and Paul Joseph Watson.

  7. microraptor says

    I remember the posting about the Brazilian national museum fire, I just didn’t have anything worth sharing in reaction to it.

  8. raven says

    One of the frequent targets of right wingnut terrorism in the USA are…Islamic mosques.
    Dozens have been firebombed and/or targets of arson over the years.
    The mosque nearest my house was firebombed a few years ago.

  9. Jazzlet says

    I too remember the Brazilian national museum fire, it was such a huge loss, particularly of indigenous material that I was overwhelmed. What can you say of such destruction?

  10. lemurcatta says

    Agree with most everything here.

    One totally tangential thought I had , is that one thing we in the west seem to do well is opening up these sites (Vatican Museum, Notre Dame, etc) to everyone. I’d love to visit Mecca someday but never will be able to. Any thoughts here on this?

  11. johnson catman says

    from blf @8:

    Far-right politicians in Europe have also attempted to link the fire to rising “intolerance” against Christians on the continent.

    It seems to me that the greatest amount of “intolerance” is being directed by the christians instead of against them.

  12. blf says

    johnson catman@13, Yeah… I’d say by nazis — who, in Europe (pointedly including the UK) do seem to claim to be “religious”, and then define that as being xian — are visible and predominate in the current insanity.

  13. erichoug says

    OK, OK, I think I can do this.

    To punish people he doesn’t know, for a fire they had nothing to do with, he plans to invade a continent that wasn’t involved in any way, because of a religion that also wasn’t involved in any way.

    I think that’s it. Someone please correct me as I don’t really get it. I mean he might as well have said he was going to firebomb the local deli to protest ethnic cleansing in Micronesia. It makes about as much sense

  14. blf says

    he was going to firebomb the local deli to protest ethnic cleansing in Micronesia. It makes about as much sense

    Less sense than that. More like he will yell at the bogeymen in a child’s playground on the other side of another country because the local deli ran out of his most disliked pickled herrings.

  15. aziraphale says

    from lemurcatta @12:

    “I’d love to visit Mecca someday but never will be able to. Any thoughts here on this?”

    The West has no exact equivalent of Mecca. The Muslim equivalent of Notre Dame would be a major mosque, such as the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. That and many other mosques are open to visitors.

  16. microraptor says

    johnson catman @13: It’s the classic bullying tactic of claiming to be the real victim

  17. jrkrideau says

    @ 12 lemurcatta

    I’d love to visit Mecca someday but never will be able to. Any thoughts here on this?

    Good luck. The pressure on Mecca is so high that even doing umrah is tough if you are a foreigner. My old boss did the Haj but I think that was in the 1960s or 70s and he had a very influential father.

  18. vucodlak says

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t like to grieve in public. In my family, public displays of grief were punished vigorously, so I generally don’t do that. Silence was considered the only appropriate response. Well, silence and outbursts of anger, but I’m trying real hard to escape that part of my upbringing. As such, I will refrain from screaming at people who try to tell me how I should be grieving.

    I grieved at the destruction of Brazil’s National Museum as I do at the loss of any museum or cultural artifact (like the cathedral). The only thing I have posted about the Notre Dame Cathedral (on another site) was to share a song as an expression of anger at those people who have decided to blame Representative Ilhan Omar for the cathedral’s destruction. I feel much the same anger at these fools who are suggesting that we should destroy Muslim holy places, because… you know what? I’m not going to dignify their petty evil by suggesting they have any reason beyond ignorant hate.

    I am not silent because I don’t care about the museum, or the cathedral. I care deeply, but what is there to say? It is done, and there’s nothing left to do but mourn. How you do that is up to you, but don’t demand that I grieve the same way.

  19. says

    PZ:

    I think it’s important to preserve European historical sites, but I feel the same about Native American sacred sites and the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Jagannath Temple and Borobudur and a thousand other places, even when I have little cultural connection to them and may even detest the religion that drove their construction.

    Speaking of Indigenous sites…
    A Tahoe man is facing jail time for destroying land and items of great significance to the Washoe tribe in Nevada

    Timothy Brian Harrison, 50, of South Lake Tahoe pleaded guilty to two counts of illegally excavating and removing archaeological resources from public land and one count of possession of methamphetamine.

    U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez sentenced Harrison to one year and one day in prison and ordered him to pay $113,000 in restitution. Prosecutors had recommended 24 months.

    According to court filings, Harrison stole tens of thousands of artifacts, such as arrowheads, and destroyed sites people from the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California visit with children to learn about history.

    The racist trashfire ransacked, pillaged, stole, and sold items that are estimated at 8,000-10,000 years old.

  20. Louis says

    I once invaded Asia because my nan said something fatuous on Facebook. Does that count?

    Louis

  21. William George says

    Nice to see the cliche of someone with an anime girl avatar being someone to ignore is holding true.

  22. Ichthyic says

    I once invaded Asia because my nan said something fatuous on Facebook. Does that count?

    ah, but did you invade it “twice as hard”.

    I’m betting not, so: INVALID.

  23. wzrd1 says

    I was aware of the Al-Aqsa fire at the time, the official statement was some children were playing in a courtyard and a modest fire resulted, which caused minimal damage.

    The loss of the museum in Brazil was and remains distressing.

    I wouldn’t mind invading a bit more of Africa. I’ll bring The Book, an ever increasing book of recipes gathered during my various travels. Recipe exchanges are always well received. :D

  24. says

    Three historically black churches were recently burned in Lousiana. Maybe they should look for white supremacists if they suspect someone is burning churches.

  25. Alt-X says

    Just looked at that idiots twitter. He’s currently crying about not having a girlfriend. Enough said. Hah.

  26. blf says

    robertbaden@26, In case you didn’t know, the arrested suspect has now also been charged with hate crimes (in addition to arson), Louisiana church fires: prosecutors add hate crime charges against suspect:

    […]
    The white man [Holden Matthews, the son of a sheriff’s deputy,] suspected in the burnings of three African American churches in Louisiana will remain in jail after being denied bond on Monday, as state prosecutors added new charges declaring the arsons a hate crime.

    […]

    [Louisiana fire marshal Butch] Browning said federal officials also are considering filing additional federal hate crime and arson charges against Matthews.

    […]

    There are also a number of fundraising efforts to help rebuild the burnt churches, Black Churches Destroyed by Arson See Spike in Donations After Notre-Dame Fire.

  27. Dunc says

    Just looked at that idiots twitter. He’s currently crying about not having a girlfriend.

    I can’t imagine why, he seems like such a great catch.

  28. nomadiq says

    I don’t care much for European history and it’s historic buildings. It just doesn’t interest me much.

    Having said that, I can appreciate the historic importance of Notre Dame to the French and I mean them no harm. I feel sad for people who lose things important to them. But a fire also does not erase history. Maybe just our ability to view it up front.

    The way I put this in context while discussing it with my wife was, ‘it’s not like France lost her democracy’. At the time I wasn’t aware that the ‘woke left’ had sent it’s attack dogs on to Twitter. But yeah, I guess that’s me too. Silly me to think that freedom and democracy is more important than wood and stone and even tradition. And I do think questioning France’s commitment to freedom and democracy beyond its own boarders is a topic worthy of discussion.

    When you lose a building:

    c’est la vie

    When you lose your self determination:

    يمارس الجنس مع الفرنسيين

    (Fuck the French)

  29. blf says

    First Dog on the Moon in today’s Grauniad, Notre Dame: we can’t even burn a building down without everyone carrying on like idiots any more (cartoon). One panel: “Here in Australia, loads of non-Indigenous people regularly climb one of our most important cultural monuments and literally shit on top of it. They are asked not to climb but they do it anyway.
    “Settler Australians are currently knocking down the 800 year old Djap Wurring sacred birthing trees to build a highway. You can’t rebuild an 800 year old tree.”

  30. Ichthyic says

    At the time I wasn’t aware that the ‘woke left’ had sent it’s attack dogs on to Twitter.

    thanks for using such a tired dogwhistle that it immediately alerts me that I can safely ignore everything you say.

    saves me time.

  31. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I read a couple of thoughtful articles that were critical of the prevalent reaction to the fire. And then I also left a Facebook Atheist Memes group because of all the “LOL, sending thoughts and prayers” and other ‘funny’ memes that filled my feed.
    On one hand, I can appreciate the cynical side of that particular comment, but on the other… it just made me sad. My first association when I think of such historical places just isn’t the religious institution that built them, but their historical, artistic and architectural value. So that so many atheist in this particular group just had to jump in making jokes because hey, a church was burning… it was just one of those things that makes me ashamed to associate with atheist groups.
    I like that PZ can appreciate the fact that it’s complicated.

Leave a Reply