Contrary to Kremlin Propaganda, It’s Russia, Not Ukraine, That Shelters and Supports the Anti-Semitic Far Right

March 11 2022

For many years, the Russian regime and its various mouthpieces have tried to paint Ukraine as a country dominated by neo-Nazis and fascists; Moscow has even dubbed the present war a “denazification” campaign. The claim, explains Oved Lobel, is doubly disingenuous:

Vladimir Putin reportedly dispatched over 400 operatives of [Russia’s] paramilitary proxy the Wagner group—which is replete with neo-Nazi members and traditions—to murder Ukraine’s Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Often referred to as a “Private Military Company” in media reports, all circumstantial and direct evidence has long since established that Wagner is merely a barely deniable arm of Russia’s Ministry of Defense. . . . Buildings in Libya occupied by Wagner were vandalized with Nazi slogans and symbols, while a tablet [computer] belonging to a Wagner operative revealed only two books related to politics: Mein Kampf and The International Jew. Investigations into the identity of Wagner fighters continuously turn up various strains of white supremacy, Nazism, and anti-Semitism.

And Wagner is far from Russia’s only neo-Nazi asset. Almost every major nationalist and racist violent extremist group in the world today, including those in Australia, got its start from the neo-Nazi Iron March forum, started by Alisher Mukhitdinov in Russia in 2011. . . . Russia provides training and safe haven for as many extremist groups as it can. On top of safe haven and training, the Kremlin funds and allies with far-right and neo-Nazi political parties across Europe and the world, which grants the Kremlin not only destabilizing political influence, but also the potential for state-backed neo-Nazi terrorism as a weapon against the West.

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Read more at Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)

More about: Anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis, Russia, Ukraine, Vladimir Putin

 

Salman Rushdie and the Western Apologists for Those Who Wish Him Dead

Aug. 17 2022

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder and supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa (religious ruling) in 1989 calling for believers to murder the novelist Salman Rushdie due to the content of his novel, The Satanic Verses. Over the years, two of the book’s translators have been stabbed—one fatally—and numerous others have been injured or killed in attempts to follow the ayatollah’s writ. Last week, an American Shiite Muslim came closer than his many predecessors to killing Rushdie, stabbing him multiple times and leaving him in critical condition. Graeme Wood comments on those intellectuals in the West who have exuded sympathy for the stabbers:

In 1989, the reaction to the fatwa was split three ways: some supported it; some opposed it; and some opposed it, to be sure, but still wanted everyone to know how bad Rushdie and his novel were. This last faction, Team To Be Sure, took the West to task for elevating this troublesome man and his insulting book, whose devilry could have been averted had others been more attuned to the sensibilities of the offended.

The fumes are still rising off of this last group. The former president Jimmy Carter was, at the time of the original fatwa, the most prominent American to suggest that the crime of murder should be balanced against Rushdie’s crime of blasphemy. The ayatollah’s death sentence “caused writers and public officials in Western nations to become almost exclusively preoccupied with the author’s rights,” Carter wrote in an op-ed for the New York Times. Well, yes. Carter did not only say that many Muslims were offended and wished violence on Rushdie; that was simply a matter of fact, reported frequently in the news pages. He took to the op-ed page to add his view that these fanatics had a point. “While Rushdie’s First Amendment freedoms are important,” he wrote, “we have tended to promote him and his book with little acknowledgment that it is a direct insult to those millions of Moslems whose sacred beliefs have been violated.” Never mind that millions of Muslims take no offense at all, and are insulted by the implication that they should.

Over the past two decades, our culture has been Carterized. We have conceded moral authority to howling mobs, and the louder the howls, the more we have agreed that the howls were worth heeding. The novelist Hanif Kureishi has said that “nobody would have the [courage]” to write The Satanic Verses today. More precisely, nobody would publish it, because sensitivity readers would notice the theological delicacy of the book’s title and plot. The ayatollahs have trained them well, and social-media disasters of recent years have reinforced the lesson: don’t publish books that get you criticized, either by semiliterate fanatics on the other side of the world or by semiliterate fanatics on this one.

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Read more at Atlantic

More about: Ayatollah Khomeini, Freedom of Speech, Iran, Islamism, Jimmy Carter