Thursday, May 30, 2013

  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Elder of Ziyon
As you are no doubt aware by now, the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet published an obscenely anti-semitic cartoon to protest circumcision. Here is my translation:



As JPost describes it:
It showed police officers looking on as a bearded man wearing a black hat and black coat sticks a three-tooth pitchfork into the head of a blood-soaked baby while holding a book.

Another unseen person cuts off the baby’s foot with a bolt cutter as a woman in a long-sleeve shirt and a hat shows the officers another blood-spattered book and tells them: “Abuse? No, this tradition is central to our belief.” The police officers apologize “for interrupting.”
The cartoonist, Tomas Drefvelin, emailed to a Jewish organization that he had no anti-Jewish intentions:
The strip is not meant as a criticism of either a specific religion or a nation.

The cartoon is intended as a general criticism of religions (all of them) the opportunity to wriggle away from what I perceive as the abuse of children (and also the oppression of women etc, if one takes the point of the strip), by referring to faith and tradition.
I gave the people in the picture hats, and the man a beard, because this gives them a more religious character. (Many religions have a penchant for hats and beard, it appears.)

This is a classic example of people reading more into a drawing than what it actually there. I have deliberately refrained from naming any holy book and the fork, perceived as a Devil Fork, is actually just a fork.

Jew-hatred is reprehensible. It would never occur to me to draw a strip to create hatred of a people, or against individuals. Let me repeat: My criticism of religion in general, not anything else.
Dagbladet echoed Drefvelin's defense, claiming that it is as liberal as possible and therefore completely against antisemitism. They also add that it is not obvious that the baby in the cartoon is a boy.

Let's see if this argument holds water.

Two major religions mandate circumcision: Judaism and Islam.

Only Jews routinely circumcise boys when they are infants. (Some Muslims will have doctors circumcise boys in the hospital soon after birth, but not in their homes.)

Only religious Jews are associated with black hats and beards.

Muslim circumcision, and female genital mutilation when practiced,  is not a ceremony with prepared texts from prayer books.

There are only about 1300 Jews in Norway, while there are over 100,000 Muslims.

Despite his protestations, Drefvelin is clearly aiming this cartoon at the minuscule Jewish population of Norway, not the growing Muslim population.

Whether consciously or not, it seems far more likely that Drefvelin (and Dagbladet) know that they can attack Judaism without worrying about being the target of death threats - or any worries about actually being murdered.

Also, Muslims often complain about "defamation of religion." Here is a textbook example of exactly that. Yet I cannot find a single Muslim organization condemning this cartoon.

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