The British writer and commentator Douglas Murray recently asked a question on Twitter.
The article concerned – “How the world was changed by the slogan ‘Je Suis Charlie’” – appeared on the BBC News website on January 3rd and the relevant passage is this one:
“The day after that, another – much bigger – hashtag peaked on Twitter, “Je suis Ahmed,” which used the name of a policeman, Ahmed Merabet, who was killed in the attacks and was a practicing Muslim.
“Je Suis Charlie attributed some kind of nobility to the content of the newspaper, which I couldn’t really agree with,” says Dyab Abou Jahjah, a Belgian writer who tweeted that tag. “My problem with them is that they publish racial stereotypes of Muslims.”
“Of course it’s their right,” he adds. “But it’s the right of people to be appalled by it as well.””
As Douglas Murray rightly points out that highly sanitized description of Abou Jahjah fails to clarify to audiences that the man whose opinion is considered important enough by the BBC to be highlighted in this article joined the terrorist organization Hizballah in his youth. That, however, is by no means all that can be said about the ‘writer’ given asylum in Belgium: as the CST has documented, his writing includes promotion of conspiracy theories about Israel and Zionists.
More relevantly to the subject matter of this BBC article, Abou Jahjah also has his own history of publishing offensive cartoons.
“A Dutch appeals court has found against the Arab European League for publishing a Holocaust Denial cartoon on its website in 2006… […]
At the time that the AEL published this cartoon it was run by its founder, Dyab Abou Jahjah, who has since left to join the Iranian-run International Union of Parliamentarians for Palestine (IUPFP). At the time, he defended the AEL’s use of Holocaust Denial in strident terms:
‘People in Europe are not allowed to do a free historical examination of the Second World War and the holocaust and freely express an opinion on it that is different than the dominating dogmatic line. Any attempt to have deviant historical examination of the holocaust will earn you the title of revisionist, anti-Semite and a jail sentence.
You don’t even have to go that far, I would be curious to see the reactions of these champions of the freedom of speech in case that same Danish paper would have published pictures of Jewish rabbi’s, or Moses for that matter, with a Jewish nose, the star of David and represented him as a greedy banker, or other form of economical parasite sucking the blood of the people referring to stereotypes on Jews. Or of King David with the same typical Jewish features and outfit conspiring together with other Jewish prophets to dominate the world inspired by the protocols of the Elders of Zion.
Yes Arabs and Muslims are uptight when you touch their religious and national symbols, but Europe had made of political correctness and the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion and is even more uptight when you touch that. Europeans might not respect their flags, and they might laugh with Jesus and Mary but if you touch their new religious symbols, they will bombard you with indignation and persecute you in the best European inquisition tradition.
I am for the absolute freedom of speech everywhere, and that’s why I call upon every free sole among Arabs to use the Danish flag as a substitute for toilet paper. To illustrate every wall with graffiti making fun of everything Europe holds as holy: dancing rabbis on the carcasses of Palestinian children, hoax gas-chambers built in Hollywood in 1946 with Steven Spielberg’s approval stamp, and Aids spreading fagots. Let us defend the absolute freedom of speech altogether, wouldn’t that be a noble cause?'”
That particular cartoon was not the only one published by Abou Jahjah to have caused outcry.
So if BBC Trending really could not find anyone other than Diab Abou Jahjah to comment on Charlie Hebdo cartoons and the hashtags which appeared after the terror attack against the magazine’s staff, in the interests of impartiality it should at least have given audiences some idea of the “particular viewpoint” underpinning those opinions.