apparently i don't exist
In the past week I've made efforts to comment on an article on Stuff regarding the availability of firearms and their prevalence in American killings. I've also attempted to post a comment at the Herald online on an article written by a lady who compared Europe's attitude to Jews in the '30's to Europe's attitude to Muslims today. Then there's my attempt to get a comment - any comment - from the Federation of Islamic Associations of NZ.
FIANZ has not gotten back to me and so we can't say what their position is on the current Sheikh al-Azhar's statement that all who leave Islam should be put to death. Or whether Malaysian Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman's statement that supporting a secular political party puts a Muslim outside the faith and into the House of War (dar al-harb).
If I wanted to be nasty I'd read into that their tacit agreement with these Muftis. But that wouldn't be fair at all would it? They probably just didn't get the email I sent on their website's contact form. Or the second one I sent a couple of days later. And hey, people are busy. Perhaps, even if they received my questions, they may have decided to ignore me as I might be an Islamophobe just looking for opportunities to misrepresent them. As always, let's give people the benefit of the doubt.
I submitted several comments to Stuff, citing some facts & figures - even a personal anecdote - about gun deaths in America. They decided I had nothing to contribute and wouldn't publish despite repeated attempts. Neither would they respond when I asked why. I submitted a comment to the Herald about the Jews=Muslims article. In fact, here it is!:~
"To channel Christopher Hitchens: "Ah yes, we all remember the Jewish suicide bombers in the 1930's, their attacks on cafes and night clubs, their beheadings, the fact that Christian churches needed soldiers to guard them (like all Synagogues & Assyrian churches in France do today)."
To rapidly devolve to the "fascist" meme is not a good sign of a writer with a genuine understanding of the issues. In Feb 2015 ISIS said they were going to flood Europe with 500,000 migrants and have their men among them. Since then we've had Bataclan, Cologne at New Years, Brussels airport, the Paris policeman and his wife etc.
And to advise caution is now to be called a Nazi. I really think we could be a tiny bit more helpful than that."
Too blunt? Too caustic? I'll just have to guess. Based on my (very limited) experience I'm left wondering how many other thoughtful, factually based comments are deleted from articles because they might upset the narrative de jour.
However, I am not alone! There remain 7,000 who have not "bowed the knee to Baal nor kissed his lips". Phyllis Chesler has this insightful article based on her own long experience of invisibility.
The American Gulag
For years, beginning in 2003, I have personally faced both censorship and demonization. When I began publishing pieces about anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and Islamic gender and religious apartheid at conservative sites, I was seen as having "gone over to the dark side," as having joined the legion of enemies against all that was right and good.
My former easy and frequent access to left-liberal venues was over. I learned, early on, about the soft censorship of the Left, the American version of the Soviet Gulag. One could think, write, and even publish but it would be as if one had not spoken--although one would still be constantly attacked for where one published as much as for what one published.
Since then, Left censorship has only gotten worse. (There is also censorship on the Right--but not quite as much.)
A week ago, a colleague of mine was thrilled that a mainstream newspaper had reached out to him for a piece about the violent customs of many male Muslim immigrants to Europe. He discovered, to his shock, that his piece had been edited in a way that turned his argument upside down and ended up sounding like American Attorney General Loretta Lynch's view, namely, that home-grown terrorists need "love and compassion," not profiling or detention.
I told him: One more left-liberal newspaper has just bitten the Orwellian dust. He could expose this use of his reasoned view for propaganda purposes--or wear out his welcome at this distinguished venue.
"But," I said, "on the other hand, what kind of welcome is it if they change your words and the main thrust of your argument?"
That same week, right after the Jihad massacre in Orlando, another colleague, long used to being published--and published frequently at gay websites--wrote about the male Muslim immigrant/refugee physical and sexual violence against girls and women (their own and infidel women); against homosexuals--and paradoxically, also against young boys. He counseled gays to understand that the issues of gun control and "hate," while important, were also quite beside the point, that "homosexuality is a capital crime in Islam."
His piece was rejected by every gay site he approached. One venue threatened him: If he published his piece "anywhere," that his work would no longer be welcome in their pages.
I welcomed him to the American Gulag.
He told me that he finally "had" to publish the piece at a conservative site.
Gently, I told him that what he wrote was the kind of piece that was long familiar only at conservative sites and that he should expect considerable flack for where he's published as well as for what he's published. Another gay right activist told me that when he described Orlando as a Jihad attack, he was castigated as a "right-wing hater." He, too, had to publish what he wanted to say at a conservative site.
I published two pieces about Orlando. I said similar kinds of things and I privately emailed both articles to about 30 gay activists whom I know. The silence thereafter was, as they say, deafening. I was not attacked but I was given the Silent Treatment.
For a moment, I felt like gay activist Larry Kramer might have felt when, in the 1980s, he tried to persuade gay men to stop going to the baths and engaging in promiscuous sex, that their lust was literally killing them. Kramer was attacked as a spoilsport and as the homophobic enemy of the gay lifestyle. Alas, Kramer had been right and many gay male lives were lost to AIDS.
Thus, gay activists see their collective interests as best served by marching, lock-step, with politically correct politicians who view "mental illness," "gun control," and "American right-wing hatred of gays"--not Jihad--as the major problems. Such gay activists also prefer "Palestine" to Israel. It makes absolutely no difference that Israel does not murder its homosexual citizens and that in fact, Israel grants asylum to Muslim Arab men in flight from being torture-murdered by other Muslim Arab men.
A number of European activists have recently visited me. They described what has been happening to women who undertake the journey from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Turkey; along the way, the girls and women are continually groped and sexually assaulted, even penetrated in every possible orifice, by gangs of male Muslim immigrants. If they want to live, their husbands and fathers can do nothing. So much for Muslim immigrant women on the move.
And now, European women are being told to "dye their hair black," stay home "after 8pm," "always have a male escort at night;" a group of German nudists, whose tradition goes back 100 years, have just been told to "cover up" because refugees are being moved into the rural lake community.
Where will this all end? In Europe becoming a Muslim Caliphate dominated by Sharia law and by all its myriad misogynist interpretations? In Muslim immigrants assimilating to Western ways? In Europeans voluntarily converting to Arab and Muslim ways? In non-violent but parallel Muslim lives?
Bravo to England which has just taken its first, high risk steps to control its borders and its immigrant population.
So too it seems those of us in New Zealand who have honest questions and a different point of view are also being placed in a cordon sanitaire. We celebrate all kinds of diversity here in New Zealand, God's Own Country - sexual, racial, religious, political - you can belong to any kind of group and we'll accept you. It's just diversity of thought that we have problems with. Keep parroting the party line and everything will be OK. But step out of line and, actually, nobody will ever know. Either you will simply vanish or your ideas won't be repeated in anything but the most unfavourable light.
Another problem is that once we have partitioned people into their particular ideological "tribe" we expect to hear only certain things from them. Religious or socially conservative people are expected to be unintelligent, bigoted and reactionary. They say only stoopid things. That's what we expect, so that's what is heard. We religious social conservatives can also be guilty of this. We've decided on a matter before we've heard the other side out. Not what grown ups are supposed to do. Is it?
Most dangerously though, instead of being part of the solution, it seems to me that part of the media's job is to reinforce such bigotry. No doubt this is not a new thing. It's just that most won't discover its existence until they try to speak out and they experience the jolt for themselves.