The brutal murders of 77 people in Norway in July by Anders Behring Breivik has drawn attention to so-called 'anti-jihad' writers and bloggers.
So far the focus has been on whether the writings of people such as Robert Spencer (above) and Pamela Geller 'inspired' Breivik's terrorist attack. It is virtually impossible to say if this is true, so they should be presumed innocent.
What is undeniable is that dire warnings about 'Islamisation' have become more frequent in Europe and America in recent years. Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders and US Republicans Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have now be joined by the first Irish politician to attempt to garner votes on the subject, co-opted Fine Gael councillor Joe O'Callaghan, who recently called for burkas to be banned.
Spencer and Geller are not marginal internet cranks however, they have appeared on Fox News, CNN and NBC in America. Spencer has advised the FBI on Islam and his best-selling books have been recommended for its agents by the FBI.
At first glance it would appear that their websites, Jihadwatch.org and Atlas Shrugs are committed to highlighting crimes and oppression by extremist Islamists. They claim to be defending human rights, religious tolerance, freedom of speech and equality for women from Islamic supremacists.
Articles posted on Jihadwatch.org in recent months detail the scandalously short sentences handed down to Islamists for the brutal lynching of three members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim minority in Indonesia, despicable honour murders against Muslim women by their families, repression under Sharia law and the persecution faced by people around the globe who leave Islam.
All very commendable, so far.
The more you look into the sites, however, the clearer it becomes that the 'anti-jihad' writers are not just targeting extremist and violent Islamists, but all Muslims.
Their argument, essentially, is that Osama Bin Laden is the true face of Islam (1) and that the root cause of extremist violence is the religion itself (2). Spencer, the intellectual heavyweight of the movement who regularly quotes from Islamic texts, derides the concept of 'moderate Islam,'(3) and claims that “there is no political Islam, no 'Islamism', no 'Islamists' -- there are only Islam and Muslims.” (4)
According to this school of thought, Muslims who say they don't agree with a violent campaign for world domination either don't understand their own religion or are lying and waiting until Muslims are in a strong enough position to reveal their inner fundamentalist.
The documentary Islam: What the West needs to know, which features many of the most influential anti-jihad writers, makes this point clear. A short TV ad is shown of ordinary Muslim Americans describing their backgrounds and finishes with the statement that “Muslims are part of the fabric of this great country and are working to build a better America.” The contributors to the documentary warn ominously however that the Koran allows Muslims to deceive non-believers in the service of Islam.
This is possibly the most reprehensible claim made by the anti-Muslim writers. If you accepted what they say it would mean that you can't trust your friends, relatives, neighbours or work colleagues if they happen to be Muslim. In fact, all Muslims are suspect according to this poisonous allegation.
Jihad Watch would be better called Muslim Watch as its modus operandi is to collate as much evidence as possible to prove that the Koran obliges Muslims to use violence to conquer the world - and ignores all evidence to the contrary. This is the trademark tactic of internet hate sites, similar to 'Gombeen Nation' which incites hatred against Irish speakers or the 'Jewish Crime Thread' found on neo-Nazi website Stormfront, which seeks evidence to reinforce pre-existing antisemitism.
Jihad Watch mixes real, harrowing examples of violence and oppression by Islamic extremists with transparent and ludicrous attempts to convince readers that Muslims as a whole are a threat to the rest of humanity. All conflicts between Muslims and others are interpreted as part of the global jihad. Resistance by Uighur Muslims to oppression by the Chinese government is therefore part of the 1,400 year struggle by Islam to dominate the world (5).
Spencer even refers to Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as a 'jihadist' (6) while Geller has described Kosovo as a “radical Islamic state in the heart of Europe” (7) and included Somali piracy as another front in the conflict. It is noteworthy that in the case of Kosovo, the anti-jihadi writers are targeting Europe's indigenous Muslims, people who have been living on the continent for thousands of years, not recent migrants.
The anti-jihadi narrative is that Islam and Muslims are the problem, so they must be opposed in all contexts. Spencer and Geller don't just confine their activities to the internet or TV, they organised the protests against the planned mosque and community centre close to Ground Zero in New York, claiming it was a 'victory mosque' to celebrate the murder of 3,000 people by Al Qaeda on 9/11. They have also targeted recently appointed New Jersey judge Sohail Mohammad (8), America's first Muslim Congressman - Keith Ellison (9), and David Ramadan (10), a Republican Party member who is running for the Virginia House of Delegates. Ramadan is labelled an 'Islamic supremacist' by Geller simply because he doesn't oppose the 'Ground Zero mosque'.
Comments by readers of Jihad Watch leave us in no doubt about the core issue. 'Quranimals', 'subhuman barbarians', 'parasites', 'savages', 'bearded apes in pajamas', 'people infected with the musloid faith', 'vermin', these are just some of the dehumanising descriptions of Muslims that Spencer allows on his site. He himself has called Pakistan a “den of vipers.” (11).
One commenter has called for anti-jihadis to form groups modelled on Irgun and the Stern gang (12), Zionist terrorist groups that were active in Palestine during the British Mandate period, and states that Anders Breivik “chose his targets well” but that anti-jihadi activists should not follow his example “at this time, anyway.” (13). “It's only a matter of time before there's a Pan-European parasite-cleanse,” another commenter predicts (14).
An indication of the grasp on reality that fans of the site have is the claim that “Ireland is becoming just as dhimmified as the rest of Europe. The last time I was there, I barely recognised Dublin. Jilbabs, niqabs, and saffron beards everywhere.” (15).
Anyone who doesn't buy into this world-view is unilaterally dismissed as a 'dhimmi', a term that refers to subjugated Christians and Jews who live under Islamic rule. The media are said to be part of a Leftist-Islamist conspiracy because they don't explicitly explain to the public that the Koran orders Muslims to commit violence against infidels.
If the anti-jihadi activists confined themselves to highlighting human rights abuses by Islamic extremists and governments the charge of Islamophobia would not be true. They go way beyond this legitimate activity however, and demonize all Muslims and all Muslim communities.
The one defence that anti-Muslim writers have to the charge that they are mimicking Nazi Jew-baiting is to say that Jews were not launching terrorist attacks against Germany in the 1930s (16). This is true of course, but just like the Islamophobes, the Nazis were able to mix facts, canards and prejudice to portray Jewish people as a threat to Germany.
It may be extremely difficult for us to comprehend how the Nazis were able to generate such a frenzy of hate against Jewish people, but examining how Muslims are being dehumanized today shows how simple it might have been for them to spread their doctrine of genocide.
All they had to do was highlight the disproportionate number of Jewish people in business, law, medicine, entertainment and the media and to use this as evidence that Jews were conspiring to dominate society. The Nazis also promoted the 'Jewish Bolshevik' conspiracy, claiming that Jews were an imminent threat to Germany through their supposed control of the Soviet Union.
Add in the latent religious antisemitism in Europe and soon you had a large group of people convinced that there was an intractable Jewish 'problem' that had to be 'solved' somehow. Jews could then be barred from certain professions, have their property seized and their citizenship stripped. The Nazis contemplated deporting Jews from Europe but then decided to murder them all as deportation was not 'practical'.
All of the above solutions to the Muslim 'problem' have been backed directly or indirectly by various anti-jihad activists. That's right, all solutions, including the final one. John Joseph Jay, a co-founder of the Spencer/Geller organisation American Freedom Defense Initiative (17) and a board member of its campaign group, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA) (18), has recommended “old fashion war with wholesale slaughter including indiscriminate death of innocents and babes. down to the last muslim, if necessary.” (19).
Robert Spencer says that Muslims should not be allowed to emigrate to Western countries (20) but claims he does not support the deportation of European or American Muslims. He is however an enthusiastic supporter of people who do, like Geert Wilders, the far-right Dutch politician who has said it may be necessary to deport millions of European Muslims (21).
Wilders mixes standard anti-immigrant rhetoric with attacks on the deviant minority du jour - Muslims, based on alleged concerns for human rights. He blames crime among Muslim communities on their religious background and ignores the link between petty criminality, poverty and inequality found in all societies.
He has blithely spoken of deporting millions of Muslim from Europe. To highlight what this would actually involve, let us imagine that his plan was implemented in the UK. Wilders has said that Muslims who won't integrate should be stripped of their citizenship and deported. According to research 40% of British Muslims support Sharia law (22). In a city like Bradford this would mean deporting 30,000 of the 75,000 Muslims living there (23). But what if these English people don't want to leave their country for ever, what if some members of a family support Sharia but others don't? What if no country was willing to accept deportees? How much money would it cost to deport and compensate over a million people in total from Britain? Eventually other 'solutions' would be sought for this 'problem'.
This may sound like a far-fetched scenario, but once you start demonizing and dehumanizing an entire community you've begun to lay the tracks to Auschwitz.
The anti-Islam activists don't just fantasise about futuristic doomsday scenarios involving the ethnic cleansing of Muslims however, they include people linked with actual ethnic cleansing and killing of Muslims in Europe.
One of the contributors to Islam: What the West needs to know, is a man called Serge Trifkovic, a former spokesperson for the Bosnian Serb forces (24) that waged a bloody campaign of ethnic cleansing against Muslims and Catholics in Bosnia.
As Muslims were involved in the conflict, the anti-Islamic writers conclude that it was part of the global conflict between Islam and Judeo-Christian civilisation (the targeting by Orthodox Serbs of Catholic Croats is conveniently ignored).
Trifkovic was a spokesman for the Bosnian Serb government during their onslaught which killed at least 30,000 Muslim civilians (25) (26). This campaign of ethnic cleansing, which involved murdering, torturing and raping civilians, was designed to drive Muslims from their native areas and leave them too terrified to ever return.
He has supported indicted war criminals Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and denied genocide and planned ethnic cleansing took place in Bosnia (27) (28)(29). He spoke for the defence at the trial of convicted war criminal Milomir Stakic (30), whose fiefdom included the notorious Omarska concentration camp.
Trifkovic, whose writings on Islam have been praised by Spencer (31), was also an advisor to former Bosnian Serb President, Biljana Plavsic (32), who pleaded guilty to war crimes against Muslims (33). Plavsic was considered to be 'extreme' by yet another indicted war criminal, Vojislav Seselj. As hard as this may be to believe, Seselj claimed at his trial that Radovan Karadzic also considered her to be extreme (34).
You may never see an outright justification of the monstrous crimes committed against Bosnia's Muslim community by Robert Spencer, Pamella Geller or other writers, but what you will see are attempts to downplay or deny these crimes and repeated efforts to contextualise the Bosnian war as being part of a conflict between peace-loving Christianity and violent Islam (35).
The anti-Muslim writers are as thorough in ignoring extremism in other religions as they are in scouring the earth for evidence that Islam is violent. This may seem like a minor point, but without it demonization becomes much harder. To dehumanize a group of people it must be shown that they are different from 'us', that they are an 'other'. We are peaceful, they are violent; we are enlightened, they are backward; we treat women equally, they oppress women; we are honest, they lie.
If the anti-Muslim writers acknowledged that Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and others are not without sin, it would show that 'we' are not that different from 'them' after all, thus making it harder to turn Muslims into social outcasts.
As the quotes at this post show, the anti-jihadi message bears a remarkable similarity to the antisemitism of Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher, the editor of Der Stuermer. It includes the quoting of religious texts to prove the nefarious and conspiratorial nature of Muslims/Jews, the claim that the Left are allied with Muslims/Jews while governments stand idly by, the slur that Muslims/Jews are deceitful and the contention that criticising Muslims/Jews is not incitement to violence against Muslims/Jews.
Spencer et al would no doubt feign outrage at being compared to Nazis like Julius Streicher, and others may think it unfair or exaggerated. However, given the fact that he portrays the entire Muslim community as a threat, calls for legal discrimination against Muslims, supports advocates of future ethnic cleansing of Europe's Muslims, has collaborated with people linked to real life ethnic cleansing of European Muslims and makes every effort to downplay an act of genocide in Srebrenica (36) – the worst massacre in Europe since the Nazis, the comparision is entirely appropriate.
Demonizing and dehumanizing a community has consequences. In Streicher's case it had personal consequences for him, as he was tried and executed for crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg Tribunal despite the fact he had no part in the planning or implementation of the Holocaust. His anti-Jewish writings and speeches were enough to convict him.
Reacting to claims his writings inspired Anders Breivik, Spencer said that this was like blaming the Beatles for the Tate/La Bianca murders because Charles Manson said he was inspired to commit them by their song Helter Skelter (37). This comparison would only be apt however, if Helter Skelter contained lyrics which said Sharon Tate, Leno La Bianca and their friends were involved in an evil conspiracy to take over the US, that the media was helping them and that the US government, police and FBI knew of the plan to enslave the American people but refused to prevent it.
If indeed the Beatles had made such a claim would they be to blame for the Manson Family's violence? It's hard to know, but they would certainly be shunned by society for using such highly irresponsible rhetoric.
If Spencer, Geller and other anti-jihad writers want to show they are not hate-mongering crypto-fascists they must in future restrict their efforts to highlighting religious persecution and intolerance in all faiths, desist from publishing noxious anti-Muslim comments on their websites, end campaigns to restrict the religious and civil freedoms of Muslims and efforts to downplay horrific war crimes committed against Muslims. Above all they must stop targeting 20% of the world's population because they are followers of Islam.
Otherwise there will be no doubt that they are inciting hatred against Muslim people.
Below are quotes which highlight the disturbing similarities between Islamophobic and Antisemitic messages.
Ten statements by 'anti-jihad' writer Robert Spencer and Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher are compared.
Julius Streicher was the editor of Der Stuermer, a Nazi paper that spread vicious Antisemitic propaganda from 1923-1945. As Nazi Party leader in Nuremburg he organized the destruction of synagogues in the city.
He was not directly involved in the Holocaust but was convicted of crimes against humanity after WWII. He was found guilty of inciting hatred against Jews in Der Stuermer and was executed in 1946.
Robert Spencer is a prominent critic of Islam who runs the Jihadwatch.org website. He is the author of several best selling books on Islam and he has spoken on Fox News, CNN, NBC and other news channels.
He has organized protests against the construction of mosques in New York. He has advised the FBI on Islam and his books were recommended by the FBI for its agents.
The following is a comparison of their views on Muslims and Jews respectively.
1 Muslims/Jews have a religious duty to conquer the world.
“Islam understands its earthly mission to extend the law of Allah over the world by force.”
“Do you not know that the God of the Old Testament orders the Jews to consume and enslave the peoples of the earth?”
2 The Left enables Muslims/Jews.
“The principal organs of the Left...has consistently been warm and welcoming toward Islamic supremacism.”
“The communists pave the way for him (the Jew).”
3 Governments do nothing to stop Muslims/Jews.
“FDI* acts against the treason being committed by national, state, and local government officials...in their capitulation to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism.”
(Freedom Defense Initiative, Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller organisation).
“The government allows the Jew to do as he pleases. The people expect action to be taken.”
4 Muslims/Jews cannot be trusted.
“When one is under pressure, one may lie in order to protect the religion, this is taught in the Qur'an.”
“We may lie and cheat Gentiles. In the Talmud it says: It is permitted for Jews to cheat Gentiles.”
From The Toadstool, children's book published by Julius Streicher.
5 Recognizing the true nature of Muslims/Jews can be difficult.
“There is no reliable way for American authorities to distinguish jihadists and potential jihadists from peaceful Muslims.”
"Just as it is often hard to tell a toadstool from an edible mushroom, so too it is often very hard to recognize the Jew as a swindler and criminal."
From The Toadstool, children's book published by Julius Streicher.
6 The evidence against Muslims/Jews is in their holy books.
“What exactly is ‘hate speech’ about quoting Qur’an verses and then showing Muslim preachers using those verses to exhort people to commit acts of violence, as well as violent acts committed by Muslims inspired by those verses and others?”
“In Der Stuermer no editorial appeared, written by me or written by anyone of my main co-workers, in which I did not include quotations from the ancient history of the Jews, from the Old Testament, or from Jewish historical works of recent times.”
7 Islamic/Jewish texts encourage violence against non-believers.
“'And slay them wherever ye find them, and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter...' -- 2:191.”
Koranic verse quoted by Robert Spencer on Jihadwatch.org.
“'And when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally: men and women and children, even the animals.' (Deuteronomy 7:2.).”
Biblical verse quoted by Julius Streicher in Der Stuermer.
8 Christianity is peaceful while Islam/Judaism is violent.
“There is no Muslim version of 'love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you' or 'if anyone strikes you on the right cheek turn to him the other also'.”
“The Jew is not being taught, like we are, such texts as, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,' or 'If you are smitten on the left cheek, offer then your right one.'"
9 Muslims/Jews are uniquely violent.
"(Islam) is the only major world religion with a developed doctrine and tradition of warfare against unbelievers."
"No other people in the world has such prophecies. No other people would dare to say that it was chosen to murder and destroy the other peoples and steal their possessions."
10 Criticising Muslims/Jews is not incitement to violence against Muslims/Jews.
“There is nothing in anything that I have ever written that could be reasonably construed as an incitement to violence against anyone.”
“Allow me to add that it is my conviction that the contents of Der Stuermer as such were not (incitement). During the whole 20 years, I never wrote in this connection, 'Burn Jewish houses down; beat them to death.' Never once did such an incitement appear in Der Stuermer.”
Ó thosaigh an feachtas Uachtarántachta táthar ag caint ar leasú a dhéanamh ar théarma na hoifige. Faoi láthair maireann an téarma seacht mbliana agus tá cead ag an Uachtarán dhá théarma a chaitheamh san Áras.
Ceann de na moltaí ná go leanfadh an téarma ar feadh cúig bhliana ionas nach mbeadh Uachtarán sa phost ar feadh 14 bliain dá gceapfaí iad faoi dhó.
Sílim gur cheart an post a leasú – ba cheart an téarma a fhágáil ag seacht mbliana, ach srian téarma amháin a chur ar gach Uachtarán.
Ceannaire Stáit gan chumhacht atá san Uachtarán agus tá sé nó sí ceaptha bheith 'os cionn' na polaitíochta. Ní bhíonn aon bhaint acu le riaradh na tíre agus is annamh a dhéantar cáineadh orthu.
An t-aon am a tharla sé sin, in 1976, d'éirigh Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh as an bpost “to protect the dignity and independence of the presidency as an institution”.
Bhí roinnt conspóide ann in 2004 nuair a ceapadh Máire Nic Giolla Íosa don dara théarma gan toghchán. Abraimis go raibh toghchán ann - bheadh uirthi teacht anuas ón ardán neamh-pholaitiúil ómósach go gáitéar na polaitíochta arís.
Tá sé feicthe againn le cúpla mí anuas cé chomh salach agus gaingeadach is atá toghchán na hUachtarántachta, agus ní bheadh sé ceart ná cóir go mbeadh ar an Uachtarán bheith páirteach ina leithéad d'fheachtasaíocht mhíchuibhiúil.
Dá mbeadh an bua ag Nic Giolla Íosa in 2004 fillfeadh sí ar Áras in athuair, ach is cinnte nach mbeadh an meas céanna ag an bpobal uirthi dá mbeadh sí ag argóint leis na hiarrthóirí eile.
Mar sin molaim fad an téarma a fhágáil ag seacht mbliana, ach srian téarma amháin a chur leis an Uachtarántachta.
Bradley was in the process of asking a question in Irish (which he was going to translate to English), when he was interrupted by David McNarry of the UUP (you can read the transcript here).
McNarry is an extremist when it comes to Irish, having tried to ban the language in the Assembly a number of years ago.
Bradley objected to being barracked by McNarry, but instead of being allowed to carry on he was asked to sit down by the Deputy Speaker, Roy Beggs. He refused and was later sent a letter by the main Speaker, Willie Hay, saying he would be denied speaking rights for an unspecified period.
The sorry episode is another example of hostility to the Irish language among Unionist politicians. It shows that they oppose the language even when spoken by peaceful constitutional nationalists like the SDLP.
All bases are covered in Stormont when it comes to the language. If it's a few words of Irish at the start of a speech it's tokenism, if it's half in Irish and half in English it wastes time and if simultaneous translation was proposed that would be waste of money. The message is clear - no Irish speakers about the place.
Antipathy to the Irish language has been a feature of British politicians in Ireland since the Middle Ages, so this is not something new.
Various reasons are given by today's Unionist parties for their hostility to Irish, one of which is that it is a threat to Northern Ireland's Britishness, an argument that has been made by people in the DUP, UUP and TUV.
These parties' entire world view is defined by being British. They are British in the same way that Americans are American or Danes are Danish, yet many of them don't seem to understand what 'British' actually means.
British, by definition, incorporates cultures and characteristics that are indigenous to or have developed in the United Kingdom. We are told that it is an inclusive, 'umbrella' term which covers English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish identities. It allows people to be English and British, Scottish and British, Welsh and British etc.
The Unionist parties say that Northern Ireland is British, which is why they often have images of the six counties covered in the Union Jack, so that means that cultures indigenous to Northern Ireland are also British (this also holds for the rest of Ireland for people who use the term 'British Isles').
Scots and Welsh people complain that many in England use the word 'British' when what they really mean is English. It seems that many Unionist politicians in the North think the same too.
If they believe Northern Ireland is British, they have to accept that the Irish is a British language in the same way as Unionists in Scotland and Wales say their indigenous languages are. In fact, compared to the respect shown to Scottish Gaelic and Welsh in Britain, Unionist opposition to the Irish language is downright anti-British.
Of course, the above definition of Britishness is the de jure one. The de facto definition has been different - culturally and politically, Great Britain can often seem like Greater England.
In terms of language, one thing is clear, the Union has been a complete and utter disaster. Manx, Cornish, Channel Island French and Irish (in the parts of Ireland that remained in the UK) have been wiped out as community languages, Scottish Gaelic is at death's door, Scots has been ridiculed and marginalised while even Welsh is under severe pressure from English in its heartland.
The de facto definition of Britishness promoted in Britain and Ireland until recent decades was Englishness, essentially. Things have changed in Scotland and Wales, and some people in Northern Ireland like the UUP's Basil McCrea have too , but it's about time other Unionist politicians realised that English and British are not the same thing. www.twitter.com/colmobroin
Bhí mé ag breathnú ar X-Men The Last Stand tamall ó shin agus thug mé rud éigin suimiúil faoi dheara faoin bplota.
Sa scannán déanann ceannaire na X-Men, Professor X, iarracht smacht a choiméad ar Jean Grey, baill den ghrúpa 'sóiteáin'.
Tá dhá phearsantacht ag Grey, ceann deas agus ceann fíochmhar. Bíonn sí stuama agus sochar nuair a chuireann Professor X a cumhachtaí faoi smacht, mura ndéantar é seo tiocfaidh pearsantacht dainséireach Grey chun cinn, an Phoenix.
Mar a deir ceannaire na X-Men: “whereas Jean is calm and thoughtful, the Phoenix is pure will, instinct, glee, rage...she has to be controlled.”
Ní féidir le Jean Grey srian a chur ar a pearsantacht dainséireach í féin. Tá an Phoenix oll-chumhachtach ach níl aon chiall ná réasún aici, mar sin is baol an-mhór í do gach rud mórthimpeall uirthi, an domhan é féin san áireamh.
Mura gcuireann na X-Men an bhean seo faoi smacht éireoidh sí mí-loighciuil, mí-réasúnta agus rialóidh a cuid mothúchán céard a dhéanann sí, ní a hintinn.
Mar achoimre, caithfidh na fir an bhean seo a choiméad faoi smacht nó rachaidh sí ar mire agus scriosfaidh sí an domhan.
Hmm...táim ag ceapadh go bhfuil ábhar tráchtais anseo do mhic léinn patrarachta!
Last month people in America and around the world commemorated the ten year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. On that day 3,000 civilians were murdered by Al Qaeda.
In response to this massacre the US government launched a massive worldwide campaign to destroy Osama Bin Laden's group. It invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power because they were sheltering Al Qaeda.
It got a resolution in the United Nations which called on all countries “to work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of those terrorist attacks and stressed that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harbouring them would be held accountable.”
George Bush said that anyone helping terrorists were terrorists. The US built the Guantanamo Bay prison camp and kidnapped and tortured people it suspected of being involved in the 9/11 attack.
It eventually caught up with Osama Bin Laden in May of this year and killed him.
Now imagine that the US had taken a different approach to the greatest single act of murder against its citizens. Imagine that the investigation had been wound down after two months. Imagine that leads were not followed up and that US authorities ignored strong evidence that a foreign government had helped the terrorists to carry out their bloody attack.
Imagine that survivors who were campaigning for justice were placed under surveillance by the FBI. Imagine that police and Department of Justice files on the case went missing. Imagine that for years there was no official commemoration of the event and that the families had to campaign for a monument to the victims.
Imagine that the Taliban refused to share information they had on the attack but the US continued to have friendly relations with them. Imagine that Al Qaeda carried out more terrorist attacks on America while the Taliban continued to give them shelter.
It's hard to imagine such a scenario, but one just like it happened, and continues to to happen, in Ireland.
The Dublin-Monaghan bombings were Ireland's 9/11. It was the single biggest crime in the history of the State. 33 people were killed, including one pregnant woman, when bombs went off in Dublin and Monaghan town in 1974.
The UVF were suspected at the time of being behind the atrocity, and they finally admitted responsibility in 1993. Evidence suggests that the loyalist paramilitary group did not act alone, and that the British government's security forces, MI5, the British Army and the RUC, may have helped them to carry out the terrorist attack.
As you might guess from the paragraph above, the Garda investigation into the attack was stopped after two months and leads indicating UVF involvement weren't followed up. The families of the victims were outraged and began a campaign to find the truth. Garda Special Branch officers surveilled the families at protests and commemorative events. Garda and Department of Justice files on the case have disappeared, presumed destroyed.
The families eventually forced the government to holding an inquiry into the attacks. It concluded that the allegation that British forces were involved in the attack was “neither fanciful nor absurd” but that as the British government refused to cooperate with the inquiry, it could not give a definitive answer. A parliamentary report ohttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifn inquiries into other loyalist attacks in the Republic accused the British government of engaging in 'international terrorism'.
Earlier this year newly-elected Taoiseach Enda Kenny asked David Cameron to hand over files the British government it has on the bombing. He refused. This is how things stand at the present – the Irish government half-heartedly asks the British government for the files, they say no and we say ok, no worries.
Given the way the Irish and British states have dealt with the attacks since 1974, it's hard not to suspect that both governments are happy to allow the situation to remain as it is.
All the while the British government was, at best, refusing to reveal all its knew about loyalist attacks in the Republic, at worst, actually involved in them, the Irish government was helping the British government to stop the IRA from attacking the UK.
If you're not from Ireland you may be totally baffled as to the reasons the Irish government has basically covered up Ireland's 9/11. If you're Irish you may have an idea, but it'll most likely be one that is almost never openly discussed in Ireland.
It's got to do with the implications of possible British involvement in the attack. If it so happened that the British government organised the bombing, it would mean that they had launched a terrorist attack on their nearest neighbour and had committed an act of war. This would have massive international repercussions.
More importantly for Irish governments, it would cause massive outrage in Ireland.
The main priority of the Irish establishment since the beginning of the Troubles has been to maintain 'stability' south of the border. This means keeping support for the IRA in the Republic as low as possible. If it were known that Britain bombed Ireland, support for the IRA could grow. Looking the other way with regards to the Dublin-Monaghan bombing was done in the name of protecting the State.
Unfortunately the 'State' in this case does not include the citizens of the State, and more specifically the 33 citizens killed on 17 May 1974. They, their families and the truth have been sacrificed in the name of the 'State'.
Since 1974 Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Labour, the Progressive Democrats, the Green Party and Democratic Left have been in power and have been involved in this scandal. Remember this the next time you hear people from these parties pontificating about law and order or morality.
Scríobh Breandán Delap alt ar Beo.ie tamall ó shin a mhaígh go raibh blagadóireacht na Gaeilge chomh marbh le hArt.
An fhianaise a luaigh sé don ráiteas gruama seo ná an easpa chlúdaigh a thug blagadóirí na Gaeilge don scanall ionsaí gnéis i gColáiste Cholmcille agus an laghdú atá tagtha ar ghníomhaíocht ar bhlaganna áirithe.
Ina measc bhí Garraí Johnny Mhorgan, iGaeilge, An Druma Mór, an tImeall, Dónal na Gealaí, Blag Mháirtín Uí Mhuilleoir agus Blag na Gaeilge.
Scríobhadh an t-alt, Blagadóireacht na Gaeilge RIP, ag tús na míosa, agus d'fhéadfaí a rá gur léiriú eile é ar easpa beochta na blagadóireachta Gaeilge gur thóg sé mí orm freagra a thabhairt ar an maíomh éadóchasach seo.
I rith na míosa chaill Ciarraí Craobh Pheile na hÉireann in éadan Bhaile Átha Cliath. Samhlaigh dá scríobhadh saineolaí spóirt alt faoin méid a bhí déanta ag foireann Chiarraí le deich mbliana anuas agus gur luaigh siad na cluichí a chaill an Ríocht in aghaidh na Mí, Ard Mhacha, Tír Eoghain (faoi thrí), an Dún agus Baile Átha Cliath.
Samhlaigh gur sin an méid a bhí san alt, agus nár luadh na craobhacha a bhuaigh Ciarraí in 2004, 2006, 2007 agus 2009. Is ionann sin agus an t-alt faoi bhlagadóireacht na Gaeilge.
Níl sé ceart ná cóir an drochscéal a lua agus neamhaird a dhéanamh den dea-scéal. Má táthar chun cur síos a dhéanamh ar na blaganna atá imithe le sruth ní mór na cinn atá beo agus gníomhach a lua chomh maith.
Ní mór cuir san áireamh chomh maith go bhfuil gach seans ann go bhfuil neart blaganna Béarla imithe le sruth ó thosaigh an bhlagadóireacht in Éirinn. Ní fheictear domsa ach an oiread go bhfuil mórán tionchair imeartha ag blagadóireacht an Bhéarla ar an bpobal i gcoitinne in Éirinn.
Ó thaobh an bhlaig seo de ba cheart dom níos mó a scríobh air, an t-aon chúis nach ndéanaim amhlaidh ná am, ach dar ndoígh, ba cheart dom níos mó ama a chur ar leath-taobh don bhlag.
Cuireann an t-alt ar Beo.ie ráiteas i gcuimhne dom a rinne craoltóir Raidió na Gaeltachta, Máirtín Mac Donnchadha, roinnt blianta ó shin go raibh Gaeltacht Mhaigh Eo 'chomh marbh le hArt'. Anois tá's againn go bhfuil cainteoirí dhúchais beo beathach i Maigh Eo, agus go bhfuil páistí á dtógáil le Gaeilge, cé go bhfuil cúrsaí ag éirigh níos laige i gcónaí.
Seans nach bhfuil tuiscint iomlán agam ar an mbrí atá le 'chomh marbh le hArt' ach shílfeá gur rud nach bhfuil ann a thuilleadh atá i gceist. Más féidir a rá go bhfuil Gaeltacht Mhaigh Eo chomh marbh le hArt céard faoi Ghaeltacht Liatroma nó Gaeltacht Ros Comáin, chomh marbh le seanathair Airt?
Tá an Ghaeilge lag a dhóthain cheana féin - níor cheart neamhaird a dhéanamh den laigeacht seo, ach níor cheart áiféala a dhéanamh air ach an oiread.