Danish TV station, DR 1, aired a valuable news segment yesterday on the manufacturing of the Cartoon Jihad yesterday.
The station took the BBC to task for erroneously attributing the now-infamous French pig-squealing contest photo–exploited by a delegation of Danish imams to foment fear of anti-Muslim sentiment in Denmark–to the Jyllands-Posten newspaper. The BBC has since acknowledged its error and role in spreading false propaganda. (See Biased BBC for more. And see also Marc Landers on how the British media is saluting the blogosphere.)
As noted here previously, the origin of the pig snout photo was first exposed by blogger Dennis Nixon at NeanderNews. The Associated Press, which originally snapped the photo, is now protesting the use of its pic in the imams’ propaganda.
Here’s a short clip of DR 1’s intro to the segment, which features an overlay of the AP photo with the imams’ Xeroxed pamphlet copy:
Download and view video (Windows Media .wmv file).
One of the Danish TV network’s reporters also aggressively interviewed Danish imam Ahmed Akkari, who was part of the traveling delegation that spread this pamphlet (via the Counterterrorism Blog and Ekstra Bladet) containing the 12 Jyllands-Posten cartoons and unrelated propaganda across the Middle East.
There was a heated exchange after the anchor showed video of one of Akkari’s fellow imams displaying the pig snout photo during a trip to Cairo and describing it, in English, as “one of the worst pictures ever” supposedly disseminated by Danish anti-Muslim bigots. The imam claims that the hand positions of the piq-squealing contestant were intended to mock a praying Muslim.
Download and watch the video (Windows Media .wmv file).
The Danish TV broadcaster refused to let the pig snout swindle go unchallenged and aggressively engaged Danish imam Ahmed Akkari. The full news segment is available at DR 1’s website. Here’s the transcript (translated by the Mollers of Copenhagen – thank you):
Interviewer: We have pictures of your predecessor as spokesman from ‘Islamisk Trossamfund’ who sits in Cairo and shows that the picture has been shown there and says that is one of the worst pictures. Should we see what he is saying in this recording from Cairo?
Unidentified imam with dossier and pig photo: This is one of the worst picture that anyone ever imagine. They imagine our prophets [unintelligible]. [Pointing to the pig-squealing contestant]. The hands of a man praying and the face of a pig.
Interviewer: Recordings from Cairo when you were on tour. There was not much to get wrong: “It is one of the worst pictures.” But that wasn’t published in Denmark.
Akkari: That picture was not part of the drawings in JP, and everybody knows that.
Interviewer: That is not what I am asking.
Akkari: That is what it is about.
Interviewer: That picture was present in the tour in the Middle East, in the folder that your predecessor is holding and is shown to your co-religionists.
Akkari: I think we should try and ask in Cairo and in the Middle East generally if it that is the picture all the people are mad about. And if that is the case I will give in. If it is not then, and I don’t think it is, then we must realize that this is about the 12 drawings in [the Jyllands-Posten] and not about a stunt like that.
Interviewer: Why did you include that picture in your folder?
Akkari: To show what provocations can come from writing articles to [the Jyllands-Posten] . It was some answers to some provocations that had come.
Interviewer: But the picture that you showed your co-religionists has not been publicised in Denmark.
Akkari: Nobody said that.
Interviewer: Why should it be shown as you say and it is said by your predecessor.
Akkari: It was shown after a number of papers and what it is about right now, is to see the folder in its entirety. To extract a few seconds from a conversation can easily be manipulated, it can easily be misinterpreted. And if the statements of Danish experts hasn’t been good enough to let us understand that this is not a case of manipulation, then I can understand that somebody tries to shift the blame to us to free themselves of the responsibility.
Interviewer: Ahmed Akkari, you are talking in circles, I am sorry to be so blunt. That picture was present in the Middle East and presented as some of the worst shown in Denmark, but it is from a pig-party in France. Is that the truth or is it a lie, what you have shown in the Middle East?
Akkari: The questions you ask now and the way it is presented is not the truth either because it is taken out of context and you don’t let people understand what the complete case is about. Because what is is about is to show what anonymous pictures Muslims have received as a provocation. I don’t think that anybody has claimed that it is something JP has publicized and you are welcome to travel about and ask.
Interviewer: What do you want to tell Danish people who thinks: That man is sitting and lying.
Akkari: I think they should hold back because we haven’t intended to lie in any way. We hope that everybody can take responsibility. If it is shown that there is something wrong, we are willing to correct that misinformation, if it is that which has released all this anger. Let us try to investigate this together, we won’t refuse to try to investigate what this case is about, and if it is that which has released the angers, I am going on live TV in a moment and explain that. Let’s hope we can do it together.
Interviewer: That was the chairman of Islamisk Trossamfund.
In the pamphlet and in interviews, Akkari claims the pig snout photo and two others pictured at the top of this post were included in anonymous hate mail letters. He has promised to produce them to at least one reporter–FOX News reporter Jonathan Hunt–but despite his pledge to “investigate this together,” Akkari refuses to show the letters or name the source of the pictures to anybody. (Maybe the Egyptian Muslim radicals whom Akkari and his delegation visited in December can enlighten us.)
It’s worth a reminder that the phenomenon of manufactured hate crimes by Muslims is something we’re quite familiar with here in America:
Meanwhile, the Islamist-directed theater continues: “100,000 Muslims to vent anger in London at cartoon protest.” More on orchestration and state-sponsored incitement here.
On a related note, Saudi Arabia has decided to snub Denmark by disiniviting the country from the Jeddah Economic Forum this weekend. Judith Apter Klinghoffer notes that Al Gore and Steve Forbes, among many other Western public figures and dignitaries, are scheduled to attend. Will any of them stand up for Denmark?
Amir Taheri sums up the “Rent-a-riot ABCs.” Scott Johnson at Power Line has a round-up of the latest revelations of the “Cartoon Intifada.” He points to MEMRI’s translation of a rage-stoking sermon by Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi. Solomonia has video. And Austin Bay follows up on the BBC’s role in the pig snout swindle and information warfare.
The New York Times has a story about the Danish imams’ Egyptian tour.
And Wretchard at The Belmont Club analyzes the collateral damage:
This is going to rank right up there with the fake Koran-flushing story which got people killed in Afghanistan. No one has a right to expect perfection from the media. Like intelligence agencies, which they resemble in some respects, the media sometimes gets things wrong. But I’d argue that some publications have a dangerous tendency to believe stories like “right-wing Danish publication portrays Mohammed as pig” because they want to believe it. This phenomenon is called bias and bias is dangerous not because it predisposes one to a wrong set of opinions but to the wrong set of facts.
Ironically, if the BBC had published the cartoons it would inevitably have discovered that the pig picture was not part of the Jyllands-Posten cartoon set. But instead of presenting the dry facts it substituted hearsay and for days the world was inflamed over a set of images described only at second-hand; wrongly described at that and imagining the worst about what were actually a very mild set of drawings. This violent debate occurred precisely because organizations like the BBC, whose job it was to present the facts, failed signally in their duty. Instead they went through the mummery of piously refusing the show the images “out of respect for Islam” when in fact they were actually, though perhaps unintentionally, contributing to the obscurantism surrounding the whole affair. That is the kindest interpretation I can put on the matter.