[Marxism] Response to Macleans magazine racist cover story
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Oct 26 07:21:46 MDT 2006
Maclean's magazine goes over-the-top with racist, provocative cover story
For some time now, Maclean's has been morphing from a rather staid
mouthpiece of Canada's elites into a shrill, increasingly offensive
and downright racist publication. Even before they went right
over-the-top, the founders of Seven Oaks were cranky about what was,
at least until recently, Canada's "magazine of record". When we
starting our modest little on-line journal, we printed promotional
stickers with an unsubtle wink to the vocabulary of television
censorship: "Forget Maclean's, Read SevenOaksMag.com".
This week's issue of Maclean's (October 23-30, 2006), however,
renders obsolete such corny little pokes in the eye at what has
become a glossy weekly of hate mongering. The cover and accompanying
story, "Why the future belongs to Islam," written by Mark Steyn, is
an overtly racist piece of propaganda.
At the end of this article I've included Maclean's contact
information, for those individuals and organizations that feel
compelled to make formal complaints or mount letters to the editor
campaigns. At a minimum people should encourage unsubscription (for
anyone one might know who still subscribes to the decreasingly
popular magazine) and to generally expose this outrageous racist
provocation. Of specific concern is the fact that Maclean's still
features "teacher subscription rates" for classrooms and school
libraries: Among other things educators and school administrators
should be asked to cancel their orders.
Before I briefly describe the putrid "thesis" of the article, a
description of the cover picture is in order. The dark, ominous image
features a background mass of people entirely covered in full black
face veil. In the foreground, a young pre-teenaged girl -- the only
one with her face uncovered -- looks up with a dark menacing stare.
The subheading on the cover hints at Steyn's argument: "The Muslim
world has youth, numbers and global ambition. The West is old, barren
The fear mongering rolls out from there, barren of logic and
exhausting all the old racist notions imaginable. Steyn asserts that
the "Muslim World" -- which is defined, of course, to 'other' even
and especially those of Muslim faith who live within and/or are
citizens of the "western" world -- represents a menace that threatens
to overcome good, non-Muslim (though he doesn't identify Christian
specifically), "western civilization". Although the article focuses
on the influx of Muslim populations into Europe, the fear mongering
is obviously designed to be universal. Europe, Steyn laments, is "too
enfeebled to resist its remorseless transformation into Eurabia..."
Steyn's language mirrors some of the far-right rhetoric warning of a
"reconquista" of the United States by Mexicans and other Latin
Americans (much of the southwest United States was, after all, stolen
through war from Mexico). This alone makes his writing despicable.
Seen within the "War on Terror" hysteria aimed at criminalizing
Muslims in general, the rise of Islamophobia fanned to help at once
justify war abroad and repression at home, and the particular context
of the ongoing outrage at the infamous cartoons, Steyn's article must
be understood as a deliberate, hateful and provocative act.
Some brief excerpts should suffice to illustrate the nature of the
article, beginning with the author's adoringly absurd attempt to
identify the "social democratic welfare state" as a cause of
terrorism and societal decline.
-"Big government is a national security threat: it increases your
vulnerability to threats like Islamism, and makes it less likely
you'll be able to summon the will to rebuff it."
-"The children and grandchildren of those fascists and republicans
who waged a bitter civil war for the future of Spain now shrug when a
bunch of foreigners blow up their capital." [The fascists won that
"civil war", given their superior foreign backing from Germany and
Italy (Steyn doesn't tell us which side he'd have been on), and the
2004 ousting of their Iraq War supporting government is among the
Spanish people's greatest victories since the end of Franco.]
-"In the old day's the white man settled the Indian territory. Now
the followers of the badland's radical imams settle the metropolis.
And another difference: In the old days, the Injuns had bows and
arrows and the cavalry had rifles. In today's Indian territory,
countries that can't feed their own people have nuclear weapons."
[I think Steyn just converted the North Koreans to Islam. He also
unwittingly confirmed what leftists and indigenous activists are
always told to stop bringing up: That there is a direct connection
between the racist, colonialist genesis of today's imperial centres
and their racist, neo-colonialist war-making in the
hinterlands/"Injun territory" of today.]
-"Of course, not all Muslims support terrorists -- though enough of
them share their basic objectives (the wish to live under Islamic law
in Europe and North America) to function wittingly or otherwise as
the 'good cop' end of an Islamic good cop/bad cop routine. But, at
the very minimum, this fast-moving demographic transformation
provides a huge comfort zone for the jihad to move around in."
Anyway, I wish I could conclude by saying that it is only the
wing-nut editorial board of Maclean's we need to worry about, but
sadly it's getting harder all the time to distinguish the
Maclean's/National Post "bad cop" from the Globe and Mail "good cop"
in their right-wing routine.
In terms of the future belonging to Islam, let us hope that the
future belongs to people of all faiths, ethnicities, and backgrounds,
who will learn to live together on our fragile planet in equality,
genuine sustainability and justice. We might also wish for a future
where the peoples of the Middle East and Central Asia, in particular,
will no longer have to live under the gun of wars of occupation and
resource-theft. Surely the future, in fact, can and should belong to
the world's poor majority, so long excluded, marginalized, scorned,
criminalized, and blamed for their own oppression.
The good news is that Maclean's, the National Post and the rest of
the corporate print media are in sharp decline, their influence ever
waning, albeit too gradually. The more determined we are in
developing and popularizing critical, independent media and in
organizing against empire-building and racism in all its forms, the
sooner Maclean's will belong to the past, and the sooner the future
will belong to all of us.
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