The other day, in Melbourne, an anti-Islam rally was announced by the United Patriotic Front, and, in immediate response, a counter-rally was quickly organized, to be held at the same time, and same place, by a group of assorted leftists eager to confront the anti-Islam group. It was billed as the “No To Racism” rally. And the two groups went at it, while the police, with great difficulty, tried to keep them apart.
It was depressing, if unsurprising, to see how the event was reported.
First there was Al Jazeera. Its headline to the story reads: “Anti-Islam protest descends into violence.” A hasty reader might be forgiven for thinking that the “violence” was a product of, came from, was caused by, those taking part as supporters of the “anti-Islam protest.” But of course it takes two to tangle. It was the anti-Islam rally that had first been announced, and there would have no violence at all had the “No To Racism” rowdies not shown up, but decided, instead, to hold their own rally at a different time and place.
Even reporters clearly sympathetic to the “anti-racism” side were compelled to convey what had been caught on tape – the “anti-racist” people, armed with poles and sticks, were the ones hell-bent on violence, as they “persistently circumvented police lines”:
“There was a heavy police presence, fighting against the crowd as the two sides marched toward each other, but the anti-racist activists persistently circumvented police lines, armed with poles and crates.”
The subheading to the Al Jazeera report affixed yet one more flattering epithet to those protesting against the anti-Islam rally: “Police arrest seven as violence breaks out between anti-Islam and anti-fascist groups in Melbourne.” So the counter-protesters are also now being described for readers as “anti-fascist,” a word that through overuse and misuse has largely been emptied of meaning, but still employed by left-wing groups everywhere as one of those self-labels that puts them on the side of the angels, and credulous and lazy reporters are perfectly happy to pass on that label to their lazy and credulous readers.
Jihad Watch’s genius domus never tires of asking the question “What race is Islam again?” and, in the reports from Melbourne, that question ought to have been asked many times. “Anti-racist” and “anti-racism” appeared all over the place. For example, here:
“Police in Australia have used pepper spray to separate more than 300 angry protesters as anti-Islam and anti-racism groups clashed in the streets of Melbourne, the country’s second biggest city.”
If one group of protestors describes itself as “anti-racist” because it is opposed to another group that calls itself “anti-Islam,” the sleight-of-word conclusion for those too lazy to think, is that being “anti-Islam” is to be “racist,” and thus, Islam becomes a “race.” Q.E.D., in the nonsense world of the universal Left, which for a long time has been winning the battle of language, with its humpty-dumpty strategy: when the Left uses a word it always means what the Left wants it to mean.
Meanwhile, the violence seemed clearly to be more pronounced on the “anti-racist” side.
Even Al Jazeera had to admit that their “anti-fascist” and “anti-racist” good guys had been violent:
“In one incident, a member of the United Patriots Front (UPF), which organised Saturday’s anti-Islam and anti-immigrant rally, fell to the ground [and] was kicked several times by two anti-racism activists.”
And the report from another source, television’s 9News, included a statement from the police that suggested, obliquely, that the “anti-racism activists” were less sinned against than sinning:
“We [the police] will be looking at the footage to track these people down….We saw inappropriate and cowardly behaviour of people wearing masks and hiding their identity, making them more violent.”
On which side were the mask-wearers? These are the very same “Anonymous” or “Guy Fawkes” masks favored by Leftist protesters ever since Julian Assange was in the headlines; the police statement suggests that the worst violence came from those wearing the masks, “hiding their identity, making them more violent,” that is, the “anti-racist” side.
With its loaded epithets, 9News did just as Al Jazeera had done:
“Opposing rallies in the north Melbourne suburb of Coburg have erupted into violence, with anti-racism activists clashing with the extreme right-wing United Patriots Front.”
For 9News, in this corner, wearing white, were “the anti-racism activists” and in that corner, wearing black, was “the extreme right-wing United Patriots Front.” The viewer or reader has his adjectives, and thus his attitudes, supplied at no extra cost.
The coverage in The Guardian began and ended with the same sentence: “In November, a survey by the Western Sydney University found that Muslims in Australia experience racism three times the national average.” We have no idea what questions were asked, or how they were answered, for anyone to arrive at such a conclusion. (How many times you received dirty looks? How many times someone shouted at you? What exactly constituted “experiencing racism”?) More importantly, this (pseudo) information is irrelevant to the coverage of the clashing groups. But it is most relevant and useful if your aim is to keep raising the issue of this putative “racism” against Muslims in Australia, and thereby to support, and not merely report on, the leftist “anti-racist” protesters. And between the two identical sentences at the beginning and end of The Guardian’s piece, there was still more mention of “anti-racism,” including the caption to a photograph that accompanied the text:
“Riot police use capsicum spray to separate more than 300 rival protesters after things turn nasty between anti-Islam and anti-racism groups.”
I checked the Huffington Post of Australia; its coverage of Melbourne contained a photograph of an “anti-racist” protester’s poster: “Muslims Are Welcome, Racists Are Not.” The text mentioned a “No To Racism” rally. And the Huffington headline was to the (anti-) anti-Islam point: “Seven Arrested in Melbourne Anti-Islam, Anti-Racist Rallies.” It might have read: “Seven Arrested In Clash of Protestors.” But then it would no longer be the Huffington Post.
A glutton for punishment, I then decided to see how the French and Italian television news covered the Melbourne clashes. But I stopped counting the number of times — once I had reached fourteen — that the word “anti-racist” (and an occasional “anti-fascist”) was used to flatteringly describe the leftist protesters.
So whatever the medium, the anti-Islam groups (in Australia, in Germany, in Austria, etc.) are always described as “racist” or “fascist” or “anti-immigrant” or “hard-right,” and those protesting them, no matter how hard left they may be, as “anti-racist” and “anti-fascist,” defending too against those who, it is claimed, are “anti-immigrant.”
Why did I bother subjecting myself, and you, too, come to think of it, to this tedious toting up of the tendentious? Because we all need to keep reminding ourselves that one of the weapons of Jihad is the war of words, a war the Jihadis are winning because we in the West allow it. It is the steady stillicide of these words, dripping into our collective (un)conscious, that causes so many to assume that Muslims must be the victims of “racism.” Mere repetition imposes its reality.
So do your bit. If among the unenlightened company, and The Subject comes up, unhesitatingly point out, that Islam is not a race, by continually asking, in the Spencerian manner, “What race is Islam again?” Put others on the spot; force them to try to defend what is indefensible in both senses of that word, force them to think. Don’t tire of the task. “What race is Islam again?” Repeat ad libitum. Run that up the collective mental flagpole, and you might be surprised at who, if you keep at it, starts to salute. And if you are asked by a frustrated opponent to supply another name to describe the protesters who are against the people who are against Islam, why not offer something both simple and true? What about “pro-Islam”?
If instead of reading that “anti-Islam and anti-fascist groups” or “anti-Islam and anti-racism groups” clashed , you were to read: Anti-Islam and Pro-Islam groups clashed in Melbourne, that would be much closer to the necessary, if dismal, truth.
Why not run that up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes?