Celebrating their 200th anniversary, the University of Oslo held the 2nd of its 4 Idea Festival Saturdays yesterday, on June 18th. I went to the documentary screening and subsequent debate titled «Orientalism and islamophobia before and after 9/11».
The first hour was a screening of the documentary «Edward Said on Orientalism», which was utterly fantastic and enlightening. The late Said tells us among other things the US version of orientalism is quite different from the French and British orientalisms, as the latter two had a more hands-on experience with «the Orient», having once been colonialist masters in the Middle East and Arabic areas.
The US brand of orientalism, however, is much more based on the Israeli worldview, where all other peoples than the Israelis themselves are deadly enemies waiting for a chance to attack Jews and blow things up.
Increasingly, America has been jazzing up this enemy image of the Arabs, even for decades before 9/11, through movies, computer games and the US version of TV news, in order to still have an enemy after the evil communist Soviet Union collapsed (incidentally because the same America had funded and trained 100,000 Mujahideen fighters – among them one Osama bin Laden – in order to crush the Soviets in Afghanistan).
Having military bases in about 100 nations globally and a military budget at least twice the size of the rest of the world combined, the Americans were in great need to uphold at least one big foreign threat in order for their military spending to seem reasonable to their own people. Their choice – of course, as we all know now – fell on the Arabs and Muslims. Every time Arabs and Muslims are featured in movies, news and computer games, they are angry, masked, shouting crowds burning US and Israeli flags, and so on and so forth. You get the picture.
Now, for the second hour after the break, the Idea Festival had set up a panel to debate the issues, consisting of Elisabeth Eide, Iffit Qureshi and Sindre Bangstad. Master of Ceremony was the indestructable Documentary Cinema boss Ketil Magnussen.
The panel spoke at some length about orientalism and islamophobia, and about 9/11 increasing the level of and cultural acceptance for islamophobia – which used to be called simply racism – but I felt these were pretty obvious and toothless observations with little emphasis on context and causes, so I raised my hand and got the first comment from the audience.
I said Edward Said in the documentary had made it very clear that a huge industry of militarism in America and the West was dependent upon the Arabs being seen as a real and dangerous enemy, and that this image of the Arabs needed to be maintained and increased as time went by. I also said there is reason to believe that both the 9/11 operation and the train bombings of Madrid and London were planned and designed precisely to increase the level of islamophobia and to jazz up the enemy image of the Arabs and Muslims.
For these comments I was myself subjected to a form of orientalism, where Ketil Magnussen dismissed my thoughts as subjects for another time and space, and not for this discussion about 9/11 leading to increased islamophobia. And out of the three comments from the audience, only the other two got answers from the panel.
I find this rather peculiar, and sad, really, as I know for sure that at least half of the panel/moderator team share at least parts of my views on the origins of the 9/11 attacks. But here we are, almost ten years after the 9/11 operation which immediately was blamed on Osama bin Laden, just like the Oklahoma bombing after half an hour was blamed on Arab extremists, as Said mentioned in the film, and still there’s no room for discussing all the evidence pointing in a totally different direction as to the source of the attacks.
We’ve established a clear motive, what with the Israelis wanting to paint all Arabs and Muslims as Evil Terrorists, and the Americans needing to jazz up this threat as the successor of the Terrible Communist Threat to keep and increase their vast military budgets, and we have piles and piles of evidence of complicity, explosives and careful cover-up, and yet we are not allowed to discuss these things, not even at an Idea Festival at a University in a presumably free country.
Utterly sad, for the only possible way to decrease the level of hatred and islamophobia goes through exposing the real 9/11 terrorists and real bombers of the Madrid commuter trains and the London Underground.
People will never forgive these vast crimes just for the sake of multiculturalism, that should now be clear to both academics and the rest of us. That’s why these crimes need to be solved, not covered up even more. And it is in fact very easy to prove that the crimes have been covered up, plus we know who’s been covering them up.
If one assumes the London 7/7 bombings were an Anglo-American-Israeli operation that succeeded, then it is a most successfull and well-planned strategic mass slaughter aimed exactly at increasing hatred and islamophobia to a whole new level. Think about it: 4 ordinary everyday «homegrown» British Muslims teaching kids to play football and expecting babies; even these people are capable of blowing themselves up on the tube right next to you, just because they’re Evil Arabs and Dangerous Muslims.
No other Western military intelligence operation could’ve achieved the goals better than that.
I will end this sad rant with an appeal to Norwegian and Nordic academics and intellectuals to be brave and fearless, and speak their minds freely, as we approach the Tenth Remembrance Day of the operation that killed close to 3000 American civilians, quoting two lines from a Swedish song by Imperiet:
den fege dör tusentals gånger
den modige dör bara en