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06. Mar 2006

Jyllands-Posten i The Guardian

Gary Younge skriver i dagens The Guardian om bl.a. Jyllands-Postens Muhammedtegninger, at det er for billigt at stille sig på den stærkes side mod de svage - og herefter stille sig op som forkæmper for ytringsfrihed og retfærdighed: "Those who choose Goliath's corner cannot then claim underdog status once David gets out his slingshot".

Vi læser bl.a.:
the days when courage referred to those who take on the mighty against all odds and face the consequences are, apparently, over. For, when it comes to attacking the weak and backing the strong, "bravery" has somehow become the mot du jour. A couple of years ago a British journalist won a major award for columns supporting the Iraq war on the grounds that to do so was "brave". Whether the award was deserved is irrelevant; the judges' adjective is the issue.

What, after all, is "brave" about supporting the policies of both your government and the sole global superpower against a country that posed no threat?
To align yourself with the powerful and then take aim at the powerless takes not one ounce of valour. To prop up prevailing hierarchies and orthodoxies rather than challenge them demands not a scintilla of bravery. True, like Summers, you may run into trouble. But just look who's covering your back. With the prevailing winds of war, prejudice or the state on your side, the odds are with you..
Take the Danish cartoons. They were first printed in a country that supports the war in Iraq, where the far-right Danish People's party receives 13% of the vote and where, according to the Danish Institute for Human Rights, racially motivated crimes doubled between 2004 and 2005. Barely had the ink dried on sermons extolling western civilisation last month than scenes of colonial barbarism involving British troops beating Iraqis filled our screens. Soon after came more images from Abu Ghraib, showing a handcuffed Iraqi with mental-health problems taunted by US soldiers.

We saw him pounding his head on a cell door and hanging upside down from a top bunk, clothed only in his faeces. These cartoons did not appear in a vacuum. In publishing them the editor of Jyllands-Posten had illustrated not just an insensitive Islamophobic jibe but a racist mindset that has consequences for Muslims worldwide. He had a right to print them. But to do so in this context was an act of bigotry, not bravery.
Younge spørger også, hvad det mon er for en "politisk korrekthed", som også den britiske højrefløj klager over, når nu kun 5% af det samlede avissalg i Storbritannien er af såkaldt "progressive" aviser? Man skulle tro, højreorienterede briter havde mere end rigeligt med plads til at få deres holdninger frem?

Ja, det har de skam - ganske som i Danmark. Men sandheden er, som vi også kender det her fra Danmark, at højrefløjen er nogle forfærdelige klynkere: De klager over at være undertrykte - ikke, fordi de ikke selv kommer til orde (for det gør de unægtelig), men fordi deres modstandere også gør.

Det er dem ikke nok at støtte de stærke mod de svage, de vil også applauderes for deres "heltemod" og ynkes, når nogen truer ytringsfriheden ved at vove at kritisere dem. Måske netop ynke-ligt? "Those who choose Goliath's corner cannot then claim underdog status once David gets out his slingshot".

Link til Gary Younges kommentar i dagens Guardian.