“‘The enemies of Islam want to invade us with all possible means, and therefore they have circulated among us this doll, which spreads deterioration of values and moral degeneracy among our girls.’ On the photo, under the heading ‘The Jewish Doll,’ is a story titled ‘The Strange Request.’ The story reads: ‘One girl said to her mother: “Mother, I want jeans and a shirt open at the top, like Barbie’s!!” The dolls of the Jewish Barbie in her naked garb [sic], their disgraceful appearance, and their various accessories are a symbol of the dissolution of values in the West. We must fully comprehend the danger in them.’”
Buy a Barbie (or a CD with “permissive” lyrics, or a book of Sufi poetry), go to jail: The Saudi “Authority for the Promotion of Virtue” has launched its own Web site. Citizens can use the site to read about criminals and rat them out, too. From Memri.org.
“Deprived of any locally produced television since U.S. troops ousted president Saddam Hussein, Baghdad residents with electricity will be able to see the Iraqi flag on their screens, hear the national anthem and watch a three-minute address from Jay Garner, the No. 2 man in the U.S.-led civilian administration. But the Iraqi Media Network has postponed plans to air a half-hour live news program because of disputes over editorial control . . . The charges of censorship could reaffirm for many Iraqis the perception that Washington is not allowing them a free hand in building democratic institutions.”
The U.S. military is controlling the Iraqi airwaves in the interests of democracy.
“[Omar] Jamal [is] always trying to convince the Somali community that the way to work here is to organize, and that no harm will come to you if you stand up for yourself because you are protected by the Constitution. He’s done an amazing job giving Somalis faith in this system. But now that faith is really threatened. [If he’s deported] they’ll say, ‘Look, this is what we thought would happen. It’s just like Somalia — the big chiefs don’t want you saying things they don’t want to hear.’”
Omar Jamal spoke up for the civil rights of his fellow Somali Americans. Now he risks deportation: “Silencing an Uppity Immigrant,” from Alternet.org.
“Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism . . . Disdain for the importance of human rights . . . Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause . . . A controlled mass media . . . Religion and ruling elite tied together . . . Fraudulent elections . . .”
Sound familiar? Fourteen characteristics of fascism, from “Fascism, Anyone?” in Free Inquiry Magazine(via Metafilter.com).