While I think Charlie Hebdo creating ‘nice’ cartoons of the Islamic ‘prophet’ is dangerous, I think the danger is that a ‘nice’ image could lead to more converts, and eventually him being the logo for halal food like Colonel Sanders is for KFC!
How Independent is Britain?
While I am joking, I think stranger things have happened, and the corporate business leaders who are at the moment Islam’s supposed enemies, will be very open to the idea!
Trainspotting author Irving Welch was on the news last night, saying he wasn’t Charlie, and he reckoned the British newspapers say they are but won’t publish the controversial images because they and a lot of businesses are already dependent on Arab money.
This week I saw a documentary on the Incas, and it described how their empire-building left the cultures they controlled pretty much carry on as they had done, as many colonisers have done throughout history.
Anti-Americans might cite our reliance on them, and their bases and technology being on our island, but they are allies of our Arab allies too, such as Saudi Arabia.
So how far is Britain away from being totally controlled by outside interests, to the point of being a colonised country? Or are we already, and nobody much notices in our globalised world?
I don’t know that we are, or how close we might be, I was just wondering.
Morning News Provocation Frame Dominated
I was particularly wondering this morning after a provocation frame dominated the state television news coverage I saw about the Charlie Hebdo magazine’s new issue.
Framing is how a news story is covered, with one issue or view usually more prominent than others, so the story is framed towards that angle.
An imam described the cover as a provocation, although Saira Khan talked well in saying that images of the ‘prophet’ have been used throughout history, and the banning is a modern phenomenon.
Muslims in Paris also said it was a provocation.
There weren’t any French people, cartoonists or journalists in the studio discussion that I saw, between 8-9am; there might have been earlier?; who might have put forward a freedom of speech and expression frame.
So the discussion was just about Islam and whether it was being provoked, rather than about France and the historic importance of freedom of speech and expression.
To be fair to the state broadcaster, last night’s Panorama did provide a good discussion about the battle for Britain’s Islam, including its fondness for casting itself as the victim: something I was arguing 10-15 years ago, after the KLA started the war in Kosovo and persuaded NATO to fight it for them.
Now, a week after hardline Islamists went on the rampage in Paris, some of their religious leaders are trying to say that a nice image and sentiment on a magazine is a provocation… for next time? Hopefully not!