Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blog action against Islamism

There is a site that periodically announces "blog action day", i.e. appeals to bloggers to write posts devoted to a particular subject on a particular day. However, I think we don't really need special days and a special site or another authority to call us to blog action. Any ordinary blogger can do the job as well. So I use the opportunity to appeal for blog action against Islamism. My idea is to react to every major action of Islamists by numerous anti-Islamist texts, images, videos, music and whatever else comes to mind.
While some of the anti-Islamist and anti-Islamic propaganda could, in isolated cases, change the views of our opponents, this is not what I am pursuing and certainly not what I am hoping for. The core of my idea is to try behaviour modification on Islamists. Behaviour modification means influencing another person's actions by rewarding him for wanted behaviour and/or punishing him for unwanted behaviour. It is widely used in animal training, upbringing and education of children, and virtually all aspects of adult life. Islamists use it on us all the time, while we most of the time unduly abstain from using it on them. Let's change things. They don't want anti-Islamist and anti-Islamic stuff in public space? Let's guarantee that when they resort to coercion or terror, they'll get more of what they don't want. As said Christopher Hitchens in his must-read essay God-fearing people: Why are we so scared of offending Muslims?, "It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways... And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy."

Proposed rules for Blog Action against Islamism:
1) Write explicitly that your post is participation in blog action and specify to which event you are reacting. That is, make it clear that without the particular undue Islamist action your anti-Islamist or anti-Islamic post would never appear on your blog. This is especially important for blogs that are Islamophobic all the time.
2) Try not to write things you may regret later when you calm down. We claim to stand not only for our interests but also for universal principles. So we regard all people as humans with rights, no matter how malicious their views may be. Besides, it's good to remember that were we born in a Muslim community, we would most likely be quite like the people whose behaviour we condemn now.
3) It isn't necessary for the published material to be new and created by you. However, if you are using another person's work, cite properly the original author, unless he prefers to stay anonymous. While it isn't practical to ask specific permission from the author, you should consider whether he would mind his work republished on your blog and proceed only if you think he wouldn't. This rule has an exception - Islamists wouldn't want their words to be cited in such context, but still I think it is OK to do so.

Of course traditional media can also participate in such action, which they actually are already doing. In 2006, after Denmark became target of Islamists because of the famous cartoons, a number of European newspapers republished them. Earlier this year, a group of Danish newspaper republished the cartoons again as a reaction to an Islamist plot to assassinate one of the cartoonists. However, most people cannot publish in media other than blogs, therefore I am writing specifically about blog action.

No comments: