ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Archive for February 11th, 2011

Words Matter.

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Thanks to Bob for directing me towards a piece on the JC by Jennifer Lipman, here’s the concluding bit:

“Why cause a fuss.

Here’s why. Let’s look at where Mr Greenslade made the comment – in a blogpost condemning the intolerance and bigotry of the EDL.

An informed reader might well have recognised the wider point – that Jewish people, given the history of the last century, should be at the frontline in the fight against fascism.

It’s an important and logical argument. But here’s the thing. As the famous quote goes: “Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.”

History teaches us as Jews not only to stand up in the battle against bigotry, but also that bigots don’t always read newspaper articles in an informed way.

The generations of ordinary people who hated the Jews did so not least because of the ugly and cheap stereotypes peddled by respected writers and commentators.

They learnt intolerance from the politicians – in Tsarist Russia to Nazi Germany and beyond – who blamed public woes on Jewish conspiracies, from the caricaturists who saw in Jews an easy target, and from journalists who didn’t recognize, or didn’t care to recognise, the power of their words.

Words matter. As Greenslade knows (and blogs about regularly), especially online they have a life beyond themselves.

A throwaway headline in the Daily Star can become another tool in the EDL’s war-chest, regardless of what the story actually was.

A news article about a “Muslim’s” actions – when religion is of little relevance to the story – is fodder for the bigot’s cause.

And an unnecessary line about Jews having “negative views” about Muslims, from an informed and respected writer, is yet another piece of evidence for the antisemitic extremist as to why he hates Jews.
Words always matter. “

Written by modernityblog

11/02/2011 at 21:23

Suspected Arson Attack

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This is an exceedingly worry development, and as we know the Far Right have a long history of terrorism and bombing, Liverpool Antifascists have more:

“POLICE and fire crews are combing the scene of a huge blaze which gutted a social club earmarked to become an Islamic cultural centre.

North Wales Police and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service visited the disused Shotton Lane Social Club five days after arsonists torched in order to establish whether the building was safe to enter.

The blaze broke out in the early hours of Friday, and police have confirmed they are treating the incident as suspicious.

Detective Chief Inspector Graham Talbot said: “The former social club, which remains owned by a brewery, has been secured as a crime scene and when we can commence our investigations it will be subject to forensic examination, which should help determine the cause of the fire.”
About 100 residents were evacuated from their homes over fears strong winds might spread the fire to adjacent properties.

Superintendent Dave Owens said: “Because of the windy weather the fire took hold very quickly and was difficult to bring under control. There were also compressed air cylinders in the club, which popped.
“It was very close to houses and if the wind had been blowing in another direction people could have lost their homes.”

Flintshire Muslim Cultural Society (FMCS) had been trying to raise £150,000 to buy the club – which had been closed since August – and turn it into an Islamic centre.

The plans provoked strong protests and about 100 members of right-wing group the English Defence League (EDL) marched through the streets of Shotton last month to voice their opposition.”

Written by modernityblog

11/02/2011 at 14:11