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“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become more corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.” Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Maori and the Atheist on Islam

Following on from yesterday’s statement from David Rankin regarding the ban of the Muslim burka at Waitangi day celebrations, David talks to Newstalk ZB's Michael Sergel about why he believes Islam and Maori culture are incompatible.  I cannot easily imbed the mp3 file, however the short interview can be heard at the URL below:

The following audo track is from well known atheist and author Sam Harris.  In the first 14 Minutes he exposes the progressive liberal narrative of denial regarding the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, and just who is responsible.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

“Maori are starting to see Muslims as the new colonizer” – David Rankin

According to blogger ‘whaleoil’, Ngapuhi tribal leader David Rankin has called for a ban on burqas being worn at Waitangi, citing cultural reasons:

“Islam condemns cultures that do not comply with its rules.  We therefore see Islam as a direct threat to our rangatiratanga (sovereignty) and our culture,” he says.  

Mr Rankin, the senior descendent of Hone Heke, says that a number of Maori are starting to see Muslims as the new colonizer.  “They are coming to our country and refusing to accept the indigenous values of Aotearoa (New Zealand).”  He says he has had discussions with members of the Muslim community over the last twelve months who have said they oppose carvings on marae, which they see as idols, and oppose “our karakia, (prayer) our tangi (funeral) rites and rituals, our origin beliefs, and Maori faiths such a Ringatu and Ratana.”

“By banning the burqa at Waitangi this year,” says Mr Rankin, “we are reminding the world that no-one can force us to change our culture.  We respect other cultures, but they have to understand that they must respect ours.”

His actions will pose an interesting conundrum for the political left.  Both Maori and Muslims are deemed to be victim identity groups whose rights are to be relentlessly advocated irrespective of the circumstances.  What happens when the cultural rights of two victim groups conflict? 

Does Islam trump Maoritanga or vice versa?

If Maori carvings, crucifixes, or other icons of our cultural heritage offend Muslims in New Zealand, should they be removed in order not to give offense?

It could never happen?  Think again, Spanish soccer team Real Madrid removed the Christian cross from its logo in order to appease Muslim sensibilities and to seal a ‘strategic alliance’ with Abu Dhabi bank.

Meanwhile, here in New Zealand local Muslim MP, Ashraf Choudhary advocated for the Christian Cross to be removed from a tower owned by the city council in Plamerston North.

According to MP Winston Peters, Muslim MP Choudhary had lived in New Zealand for 27 years prior to making these demands.  I guess he must have skipped ‘cultural integration’ class.

It seems that some cultures integrate easily, while others prefer to colonize.

We can be thankful that at least some leadership within Maoridom is less affected by political correctness than our present crop of politicians and civic leaders.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Susan Devoy champions Free Speech – no wait…

The executive director of the SPCA in Auckland Bob Kerridge, has found himself the subject of condemnation from Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy, and Mangere MP S’au William Sio, and the reason?

He was truthful about the link between the ethnicity of dog owners, and frequency of dog attacks.

Mr Kerridge told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme this morning he stood by his comments.

"I think the figures speak for themselves," Mr Kerridge said. "If you look at Manukau City and its make-up of population then obviously it is a very varied population - both immigrants and ethnic people.  In terms of our own prosecutions for dog offences, a very, very large percentage of those are also ethnic and also from South Auckland.”

Mr Kerridge declined any suggestion that he was racist. "I haven't got a racist bone in my body."

But according to Susan Devoy, Bob’s comments were ‘unhelpful’ and ‘incredibly offensive’.

Personally, I would have thought highlighting this problem in any community was remarkably helpful, because it gives both the individual dog owners, and their community an opportunity to address it.

Is it ‘unhelpful’ and ‘incredibly offensive’ to release information about the correlation between welfare dependency and child abuse?  Is it ‘unhelpful’ and ‘incredibly offensive’ to highlight the statistical over representation of Maori as solo parents or as prison inmates?

Are we going to close down all public discourse simply because someone might take offense?  As far as I know, there have not been any formal complaints to the Race Relations Commissioner over Bob’s comments, and even if there were, they should be simply laughed off, and not taken seriously.

Like Bob, I suggest that most New Zealanders don’t have a racist bone in their bodies.  For that reason alone, I find Susan Devoy’s comments ‘unhelpful’ although not ‘incredibly offensive’.

What I do find ‘incredibly offensive’ is an agency of the State attempting to turn every minority into a victim group, and one that needs to be shielded from the truth least they be offended.

A free society preserves the right of individuals to be offensive, and allows them and their comments to be judged in the furnace of public opinion.  We don’t need a State funded agency to police remarks that may cause offense, particularly when they are factual, thank you Susan.

Secularism vs Islam in France

In the space of 500 years a once robustly Christian Europe has all but abandoned its historical faith in favour of liberal secularism. Nowhere is this more evident than in modern France.  And where better to indoctrinate children, especially Muslim immigrant children in this worldview than the education system?

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said this week the aftermath of the Paris attacks "Secularism must be applied everywhere, because that is how everyone will be able to live in peace with each other,"

New measures announced to help schools combat radical Islam, racism and anti-Semitism includes more teacher training and civic and ethics education in the country's secular curriculum.  These measures come after dozens of schools complained of pupils refusing to join a Jan. 8 nationwide minute of silence for the victims.

Around 200 incidents in which the national minute of silence was disrupted in schools were reported to the education ministry testifying to differences among many pupils about the limits of freedom of expression.

"There has long been a code of silence on these kind of problems in the national education system," said Valerie Marty, president of the national parents association Peep.

Conversely, in a report recently prepared for the Prime Minister, recommendations were made that France should reverse decades of strict secularism to integrate its immigrant population better, allow Muslims to wear headscarves in schools and promote Arabic teaching.

It said France, with Europe’s largest Muslim population, should recognize the “Arab-oriental dimension” of its identity, for example by changing street and place names, rewriting its history curriculum and creating a special day to honor the contribution of immigrant cultures.

Among the proposals presented by senior civil servant Thierry Tuot and a group of experts, was to forbid authorities and the media to refer to people’s nationality, religion or ethnicity, and the creation of a new offence of “racial harassment”.


Confused?  That’s hardly surprising. On the one hand the French are saying they want to strictly enforce secularism as the core of their national identity, and on the other they are making recommendations to further accommodate Islam by teaching Arabic, revising its history curriculum (which is new speak for removing all references to the Jewish holocaust) renaming streets, presumably in Arabic, and celebrating ‘Immigrant day’ – perhaps the Muslim holiday of Eid?

To add the icing on the cake, they would like to ban the media from making any references to a person’s religion or ethnicity.  Best not to risk damaging community cohesion with reports of young Muslim men rioting and burning a 1,000 cars every New Year, or to mention that it was Muslims gunning down innocent Jews and Journalists in Paris.

Let’s suppose for a moment that the appeasers loose the argument, and the civil authorities decide to vigorously promote secularism as the antidote to radical Islam.  How successful is that strategy likely to be?

To answer that question, you have to look at the roots of secularism and to understand its genesis.  Secularism is a child of the enlightenment, which was a child of the Christian reformation that took place in Europe during the sixteenth century.   It was a thoughtful and newly tolerant Christianity that provided the soil in which secularism took root and prospered, and it is 1,000 years of Christianity that has provided the social capital that still sustains secularism in Europe today.

A Secularism that promotes tolerance, and a respect for the faith and cultures of others is simply not found outside of historical Christendom.

Nowhere will you find the values of secularism in Islam and those cultures formed in North Africa and the Middle East.  When it finds itself in a dominant position, Islam is intolerant of other faiths, and people of no faith.  When it is in a minority position, it demands everything from its host culture, and concedes nothing.  Demands that secular nations observe Islamic blasphemy laws is just one of many examples.

Because secular host cultures place a high value on tolerance and diversity, they typically make concessions to the demands of the Muslim community, from the building of mosques, to the banning of pork, to welfare support for multiple wives, to the establishment of Sharia law courts, exclusive swimming times for Muslim women at public pools, the establishment of prayer rooms, employment concessions for Muslims during Ramadan, the disestablishment of Christianity’s preferential status at civic events, the list is long and repetitive throughout Europe and the UK.

Initially, concessions to Islam are made at the peripheral of secular culture, but eventually they enter the core.  In the end it comes down to will power.  Will the culture that is determined confident, quick to anger, and playing the victim triumph over tolerant secular liberalism?

Difficult questions:

Islam asks difficult existential questions of secularism that Christianity has not forced it to confront in the past.  For example, how does a secular ideology that has inclusion, tolerance and diversity as its core values engage with a culture that is religious, uni-cultural and highly intolerant?

Is it appropriate to be intolerant of intolerance?

If it is appropriate, what form can that intolerance legitimately take before secularisms core values have been compromised?

On what objective basis can a secular cultural relativist claim that their values are any better than those advocated by the proponents of Islam?

These questions strike at the heart of secular ideology, and prevent its adherents from formulating a coherent strategy to defeat radical Islam.  Such is the confusion that in France you have secularists proposing diametrically opposite ‘solutions’, one based upon reinforcing secular values, the other based upon greater accommodation of Islamic ‘diversity’.

The recent atrocities in Sydney and Paris have served to highlight how liberal secular ideology has prevented western governments from honestly and publically identifying the problem, and then to formulate a meaningful strategy to address it.

In the mean time we are forced to pretend that we face some kind of ‘generic’ terrorism, unrelated to any religion, and it can be solved by increased surveillance, and better education.   

Saturday, 24 January 2015

"We have to keep our heads," John Kerry speaking at Davos on violent [Islamic] extremism.

John Kerry, Speaking to world leaders in Davos Switzerland made the following statement:

"We have to keep our heads," Kerry said. "The biggest error we could make would be to blame Muslims for crimes...that their faith utterly rejects," he added.

Mr Kerry, I know of a number of people who would like to have kept their heads, including James Foley, Stephen Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning just to name a few westerners who lost their heads in Iraq at the hand of the Islamic State.

Their decapitators claimed to be Muslim, they quote verses from the Quran, they emulate the example of the prophet Mohammad, tens of thousands of Muslims from Europe and elsewhere have traveled to join them.  If you say they are not Muslims, well I guess you would know?  But seriously, if what you say is true, how come so many Muslims misunderstand their faith?

There are also two Japanese prisoners of the Islamic State that are about to loose their heads if the Japanese government does not pay a $200 Million dollar ransom, which they have so far refused to pay.

CBS News went on to reflect that Kerry's comments highlighted a 'rhetorical division' between the U.S. and its closest allies. French President Francois Hollande told the same audience earlier Friday that Islamic extremism is a problem that must be opposed.

Such a statement would never be issued from the Obama administration. They have steadfastly refused to use the words ‘Islam’ and ‘terrorism’ or ‘extremism’ in the same context – ever, least people get the wrong idea about the religion of peace.

Kerry may have not (yet) lost his head, but his contribution to International Politics is so shallow and enfeebled, as to be meaningless.  In fact it’s worse than meaningless, as it attempts to minimize and to disguise the greatest existential threat to western civilization the world has faced since the Second World War.

If you dare not name your enemy, haven’t they already won, or to put it another way, how can you defeat an enemy you refuse to name?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Racists and bigots

I am privileged to have traveled to both the UK and Europe several times over the last couple of decades.  I particularly loved Florence and Paris for a variety of reasons, renaissance art and architecture being two that easily come to mind.

Over the last couple of decades it has been easy to observe changes on the streets brought about by both legal and illegal immigration. Hawkers appeared; predominantly of North African origin selling everything from sunglasses to handbags on blankets spread on the footpath.  Then there was the Roma, a somewhat nomadic gypsy people whom I watched cooking on an open fire in the city of Rome.

Immigration can be both a blessing and a curse.  A healthy immigration policy sees people with diverse skills coming in to add value in the local economy, stimulate demand and create wealth for both themselves and their host country.  Most western countries also allow for a limited intake of refugees, usually they are displaced people from war torn countries.  They are welcomed on compassionate grounds alone and not on the basis of the skills they may contribute.  This is entirely appropriate.

Problems with mass immigration of the type that has taken place in Europe and the UK over the last 20 years have arisen from politicians failing to give sufficient thought to the question of cultural compatibility.  The rise in crime rates and domestic terrorism in both the UK and Europe, predominantly originate from immigrant communities.  For example, 60% of France’s prison population is Muslim, even thought they only make up approximately 8% - 10% of the population. 

This has highlighted the cultural, religious and values gap between those arriving, and those communities who receive them.  The most recent atrocities in Paris are simply one of many homegrown terrorist events that highlight the problem.

The media has done its best to frame the anti-Islamification marches taking place in Dresden Germany as a reaction from the ‘far right’ and not truly representative of the general population.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  One mother interviewed during one protest march observed that the German language was rarely heard in the main street of her village.  She had four blond daughters, and could no longer live there.

She didn’t expand upon the reason why having four blond daughters might be a problem when living amongst a highly Islamic immigrant community, but who are we to say that her fears were unfounded?

While commentators like myself are free to opine from a distance, residents like this women and her family are being forced to make decisions about their future as a result of an influx of immigrants from another culture whose people hold different values, attitudes and aspirations.

In a similar way, we have friends who live six months of the year in an historic walled village in Southern France.  It’s not on the tourist route and they stay in a rented three-story house, one room wide built into the village wall.  It’s all very romantic and picturesque.

However, Muslim immigrants now account for 40% of the village population.  The cafés are all exclusively filled with Muslim men.  There are no women and no locals.  During Ramadan, when the Muslim men are fasting the locals reclaim their cafés.

How is multicultural immigration working out for them?

A young Frenchman from Toulouse came over for dinner last night, a friend of our children.  He was here on holiday and looking to obtain a working visa.  He volunteered that his mother has stopped using the subway because she no longer feels safe. No doubt there were violent criminals in Toulouse prior to mass immigration, but one cannot help but sense that the everyday lives of ordinary Europeans have changed dramatically for the worse.

Politicians appear deaf to their concerns.  Angela Merkel has gone so far as to say that protesting Germans have ‘hate’ in their hearts, and none of them appear willing to reduce the flood of immigrants into their countries. 

It’s easy to condemn these people from a distance as narrow-minded racists and bigots, especially if you don’t have to live where they live, or commute on their subway, but are they really?  Don’t they also have a right to raise their children in the village in which their family has lived, possibly for hundreds of years?  Should they really have to accept the increased violence and the threat of domestic terrorism as part of the immigration package?

The fact that there has been very little push back by local communities this far is testament to the tolerance and resilience of the European people.  Once senses however that Europe is reaching a tipping point that could have easily been avoided. 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Jews – Europe’s canary in their multicultural mine

Before the days of our present technological sophistication, coal miners used to take a canary with them down into the mine.  If dangerous gases like methane or carbon monoxide were present in the mine, the gasses would kill the canary before affecting the miners, thereby providing them with a warning, and giving them every opportunity to exit the mine safely.

Today, Jews are the canary in Europe’s multicultural coalmine.  The BBC reports a top EU official warning that Europe faces a ‘huge challenge’ in persuading Jews not to emigrate in response to anti-Semitism.

"In some [EU] states the majority of the Jewish community is not sure they have a future in Europe," he said.

Meanwhile in the UK Government minister Theresa May has ‘pleaded with Jews not to leave Britain’.  ‘Without its Jews, Britain would not be Britain’ she warned.

Naturally, she then went to sayjust as without its Muslims, Britain would not be Britain.’

Ah, quite so.

Without terrorism, bombings, beheadings, forced marriages and honour killings, 21st century Britain would not be Britain.

The Jews are not only ‘chosen by God’, but for some reason radical Muslims also single them out for special attention.  Be it terrorist attacks in Mumbai, Brussels, or Paris, Jihadists it seems never miss an opportunity to slaughter Jews.

It will come as no surprise that Mohammad slaughtered Jews and Islam’s Scriptures endorse their killing.

Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said, "You (i.e. Muslims) will fight with the Jews till some of them will hide behind stones. The stones will (betray them) saying, 'O 'Abdullah (i.e. slave of Allah)! There is a Jew hiding behind me; so kill him.' "

If you are a hard-core follower of Islam, that’s the way it rolls.

If you are a Jew, you know very well that you can take no comfort from Theresa May, or from her French counterpart.  You know from history that Muslims cannot live peacefully side by side with Jews, despite what they or the modern apologists for Islam will say.

Jews remember the line from the poem written by Pastor Martin Niemoller about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis rise to power, and the subsequent purging of the Jews.

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

While British and European politicians insist that just a little more accommodation with Islam is all it will take for peace and harmony to emerge in their multicultural utopia, the Jews are voting with their feet.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A welcome first step

British Muslim community leaders are expressing indignation over a letter sent to over 1,100 Imam’s by Government Minister Eric Pickles urging them to do more to root out extremism and prevent young people from becoming radicalized in their faith.

This is a logical and long overdue step by the British Government, and one I’m sure they agonized over for some time before sending.  Sooner or later Muslim leadership needs to take responsibility for the radicalization of their young people. The text of the letter in part states:

“You, as faith leaders, are in a unique position in our society. You have a precious opportunity, and an important responsibility: in explaining and demonstrating how faith in Islam can be part of British identity.

“We believe together we have an opportunity to demonstrate the true nature of British Islam today. There is a need to lay out more clearly than ever before what being a British Muslim means today: proud of your faith and proud of your country. We know that acts of extremism are not representative of Islam; but we need to show what is.”

All pretty much motherhood and apple pie, and hardly cause for offense, however responses have been interesting to say the least:

Ibrahim Mogra, the assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, said imams had been working for years to "better educate" young people angered at Western foreign policy, and that the demand could fuel anti-Muslim sentiments in British society.

He warned that young Muslims are becoming angry at imams who feel obliged to condemn terrorist attacks that they have no culpability for. The letter will strike some imams as "hypocritical", with Muslims being "picked on" at a time of rising far-Right extremism. "When has a minister ever written to other religious groups like this?" Mr Mogra said.

The main source of radicalisation is the internet, not mosques, he said. "This is not a problem we can lay at the doorsteps of imams and mosques for them to solve."

Minister Pickles sends an open and reasonable letter, and Muslim leadership respond with the usual narrative of victimhood and anger.  All so tediously predictable.

If the problem were ‘the Internet’ as claimed by Ibrahim Mogra, then we would see thousands of Christians, Buddhists and people of no-faith all traveling to join the Islamic State.  Of course we don’t see this, and it is common knowledge that at least some Mosques in Britain are a source of radicalization.

There is a significant minority of Muslims in Britain who have no wish to embrace ‘British values’ or identify with anything other than the worldwide Muslim umma.  While it is unlikely that Pickles letter will make any substantial difference, it signals a change of attitude within the British Government.  For the first time they have demonstrated a desire to hold the Muslim community, and its leadership in particular accountable for the terrorist violence carried out in its name.

This is a welcome first step.  

Monday, 19 January 2015

Existential angst

The recent atrocities in Sydney and Paris have had the unintended consequence of raising the level of existential angst for citizens of western nations.  Even President Sisi of Egypt has felt the need to opine on Islam and to reflect upon its place in the modern world especially in its current form.

Commentators from both the political left and the right have put aside politics for a season, to engage on everything from free speech, blasphemy laws, terrorism, and the perpetually anticipated backlash against peaceful Muslims.

While I lament the cause of this renewed interest in culture, religion, and the values that animate civil society, I believe this is a debate that has been long overdue.  For the best part of sixty years we have embraced secularism with a passion, and pushed religious belief into the margins.  Christianity in particular has been progressively cleansed from the public square, while the religions of ethnic minorities have been welcomed and celebrated for their diversity.

It has become a mark of one’s liberal credentials to have Muslim friends, to opine on the golden age of the Ottoman Empire, and remark upon the contribution the Islamic world has made to arts and science.  It is past time that this airbrushed narrative has come under closer scrutiny, with the life and example of the Mohammad in particular getting greater attention.

What we believe matters. 

This was clearly understood by our forebears, and is now being brought into stark relief as Europe and the UK struggle to integrate large Muslim populations.  As we are beginning to discover, a significant minority of Muslims have no desire to integrate with the values and lifestyle exampled by secular western decadence.  They much prefer their own culture, religion, dress codes and values, and what’s more, a good number believe it is their responsibility to ensure that the rest of us submit to them as well.

It seems western politicians failed to anticipate the prospect of ‘reverse colonization’ when they opened the door to mass immigration.

It is very clear that western political leadership is at a loss to know how best to address this clash of cultures.  What makes it especially difficult is that the problem is essentially theological.  Our politicians have long since relegated belief in God to the realm of history and superstition. They are therefore profoundly ill-equipped to understand the issues, let alone address them.  If, as many of us suspect, Islam is the problem, then it is doubtful that turning to the local Imam for insight is going to deliver a meaningful solution.

To defeat a powerful idea, and make no mistake, Islam is a powerful idea in the minds of almost 2 Billion people on the planet; you need a more powerful idea.  It is clear that secular materialism is not up to the task, neither it seems are the humanistic values expressed in the enlightenment.

It is probable that a Western culture animated by a robust and confident Christianity would have been much better equipped to deal with the totalitarian impulses now evident at the core of Islam and Sharia law.  It is difficult to imagine Winston Churchill standing outside 10 Downing Street lamely attempting to convince a skeptical public that the latest Muslim atrocity had ‘nothing to do with Islam’.

In the absence of a more powerful idea, a western culture animated by a robust Christian faith, or a political leadership that understands the theological imperative driving Islam, what are our options?

If our politicians are to be believed they include more surveillance, stronger laws restricting freedom of speech, especially in relation to one particular religion, and substantially less personal liberty.  Seemingly, the way to defeat Islamic totalitarianism is with even greater Western totalitarianism. 

We owe it to our forebears our children and immigrant communties to come up with an answer more inspiring, and more effective than that. 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Are you Charlie or Brigitte?

This week, in the wake of the murders of Jews and journalists in Paris, former actress and French citizen Brigitte Bardot was fined 15,000 for writing: “Muslims are destroying France”. 

While Europe’s leaders march in the streets to ensure that Charlie Hebdo remains free to publish insulting images of the prophet Mohammed, Brigitte Bardot is fined for translating the same message into a textual format.

Bardot has form.  She had been convicted four times previously for inciting racial hatred, even though Muslims are not a race.  She was fined in 1997 for her comments published in Le Figaro newspaper. A year later she was convicted for making a statement about the growing number of mosques in France "while our church bells fall silent".

In 1998 she was convicted for making a statement about the growing number of mosques in France.

In her 2003 book, “A Scream in the Silence”, she warned of the “Islamicisation of France”, and said of Muslim immigration: “Over the last twenty years, we have given in to a subterranean, dangerous, and uncontrolled infiltration, which not only resists adjusting to our laws and customs but which will, as the years pass, attempt to impose its own."

For expressing that opinion she was fined €5,000.

To be fair, it’s not really the Muslims who are responsible for destroying France.  Oh sure, the ‘moderate’ ones burn a thousand cars in the streets of Paris and other cities every New Year, while the more ‘radical’ express themselves with bloodshed and violence.  But those who are really destroying France live in Brussels.  They are the ones who decided that it, along with all countries in the EU should be a nation without borders, without immigration controls, without sovereignty over it’s laws, immigration policy and justice system.

Equally culpable is the western political elite that refuses to acknowledge we are in a religious war with Islam.  Perhaps not all of Islam, but certainly the strain that is making all of the running in the world today.  From North Africa to Europe, the Middle East to Asia, America to the Pacific, Islamic militancy is on the rise.  Even the politically correct BBC has noticed, reporting 5,000 deaths at the hands of Islamic jihadists in the month of November 2014.

The political elite’s answer is threefold.  First, clamp down on free speech, especially on those like Bardot who have insufficient good manners to refrain from stating the obvious, and thereby avoid any meaningful debate on immigration.

Second, increase the powers of the Surveillance State over all citizens. Third, militarize the police force to deal with those whose religious ideology prompts them to murder their fellow citizens.  

Astute observers will have noticed that the religious war with Islam we are not having, has prompted a similar response from Governments throughout most of the western world.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

NZ Herald submits to Sharia Law.

Newspapers around the world have published the Mohammed cartoon found on the latest cover of the Charlie Hebdo magazine.  There have been a few notable exceptions where an editorial decision was made not to publish, including the New Zealand Herald.

The Herald's longstanding policy is not to publish imagery designed to cause offence to religious or ethnic communities.”

That’s the policy, but what is the motivation?  There is only one religion that is offended by imagery - Islam.  Only one legal system that forbids the publication of religious imagery, Sharia Law.


The Herald’s management may believe that risk to their staff from the threat of violence from the Muslim community was such that it did not warrant the risk of publication.

The thought that our nations largest newspaper engaged in self-censorship as a result of intimidation by a small group of Muslim religious fanatics living in Auckland is deeply concerning.  In times past they have expressed a good deal of moral outrage concerning the activities of the Christian Pastor Brian Tamiki and the Destiny Church.  Yet at the first hint of Muslim violence they fold into submissive silence.

Refusal to Offend.

It’s difficult to believe that a reluctance to give offence motivates the Herald’s editorial policy.  They were not at all squeamish about offending the followers of Destiny Church, or hurting their feelings.  Offence is still offence, whether it is delivered by cartoon or by journalistic opinion.  

It is also true that Islam has become the new gay, and consequently receives special protection and promotion from the mainstream media.  However it is inconceivable that the Herald would place the feelings of local Muslims above standing in solidarity with Charlie Hebdo following the recent atrocities in Paris - their longstanding policy not withstanding.


The Herald is first and foremost a commercial enterprise.  It is remotely possible that major shareholders or advertisers have pressured the newspaper and influenced its editorial policy on matters relating to Islam.

While the Herald has stated its policy, but not the rationale, it is evident that it has engaged in self-censorship at a time when it should have been unequivocal in its support of the murdered journalists and Jews in Paris.  

Failure to confront Islam in the face of violent atrocities like those committed last week ensures that the lights of western civilization dim just a little bit further.

Should they eventually go out completely, all that waits is the darkness of 7th century barbarism in the form of radical Islam.