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Polish Magazine: “The Islamic Rape of Europe”


What was once old is new again. A Polish newsweekly that is popular on the right-wing published a racist magazine cover reminiscent of European fascist, xenophobic illustrations of the past. Poland has seen quite a number of Islamophobic and hateful events the past year, including a massive Islamophobic march in November but “The Islamic rape of Europe” cover line really takes the cake.

By Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post

A popular right-wing Polish newsweekly, wSieci or “The Network,” published a deeply provocative magazine cover this week. It shows a young blonde woman, garbed loosely in the flag of the European Union, being groped by three men. Only the six swarthy arms and hands of the assailants are in view, but the message is clear and barely needs the brutal cover line: “The Islamic rape of Europe.”

According to the Daily Mail, the Polish magazine said it was focusing on “what the media and the Brussels elite are hiding from the citizens of Europe.” An editorial in its pages, entitled “Hell Europe,” inveighed against a culture of “tolerance and political correctness” that supposedly led to the grim scenes on New Year’s Eve in the German city of Cologne and other northern European town centers.

Groups of men, many apparently of Arab or North African descent, went on a shocking criminal rampage that led to hundreds of complaints to the police of rape, sexual harassment and other abuse. The incidents fed into an already growing backlash against European policies welcoming migrants and refugees, particularly an influx from war-torn Syria.

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  • Weeeenis

    This is classic white supremacy at work … nothing get racists more worked up and anger then a false sexual assault. if you have the time look up

    Black Wall Street – Tulsa’s Dirty Little Secret!. looks like history is repeating itself again.

  • Reynardine
  • janna

    Well, here’s the bit I wanted to add.

    I think the efforts to sort the WHY are problematic, because they often encourage victims of abuse to search their brains forever and ever why “he” would do such a thing, and forget to protect themselves from the actual abuse. (I am using a he because I am thinking of abused women, but it can go either way.)

    Second, manipulators jump on that bandwagon with eagerness. For example, sex offenders love to play the pity card (I was once an abused boy so that’s why I do it to others).

    But… in the end you are right, and the WHY must be part of what we look at, both in the personal sense and systemic sense. I think the key is to keep the questions of WHY carefully separated from justifications, rationalizations and the like.
    Because, harming others is never ok. And two wrongs, as someone pointed out here, never make a right.

  • Reynardine
  • Reynardine

    I can’t speak to any generality on that, but in the antebellum South, the “poor white trash” were used as overseers over the black slaves in the way you describe.

    Interestingly enough, Tsar Alexander II, spurred by conscience to emancipate the Russian serfs after he read Turgenev’s “Hunter’s Tales”, then aided the Union in the Civil War by sending the Russian navy to intercept the British and French blockade runners that were trying to smuggle out Confederate cotton.

  • Reynardine

    Generally, the Dark Other.

  • Reynardine

    Elderberry extract

  • janna

    Yes, a horrible thing. There were many pogroms in Poland and Ukraine in the old days. Absolutely horrid, only outmatched by the mass murders by the Nazis (with Stalin pitching in as well). No denunciation can be strong enough.

    All the same, I want to point out, that the Jews were — partly thrust into, and partly gladly took — the role of “overseer” abusers of the Poles and Ukrainians. Here is how it stacked, to my knowledge (Reynardine please pitch in if I got it wrong): There was the predatory Polish nobility, who hired to Jews to do the dirty work of squeezing the peasants. There was virtually no Polish middle class. So when the Poles could not bear it, and revolted, they hit the Jews, and idealized the nobility. Sigh. This is how divide and conquer works. This is how dysfunctional families often work, too, by the way… not in term of pogroms, but in terms of the abusive dynamics.

  • janna

    Ilisha. Amen to that. Well, that whole thing about “us” being identified with our government is more and more to me irrelevant. The more I know about the world, the more it looks like the elites who run things are a nightmarish and unreachable cabal. Yes, I am American. Don’t things look bleakthese days? But I have been following Brit politics of late, and it sure looks bleak there too. (I am a fan of Scottish independence.)

    Likewise, I don’t understand Syria at all. They seem have two hideous choices: Assad, or the militants. But I did see a news item going by that Assad has agreed to an election in April. With Putin pulling strings, maybe something interesting will emerge out of it. I am not idealizing Putin, but he seems to be an excellent strategist, and maybe he’ll force a sorting out in Syria that can hold.

    As for Saudi Arabia, that is completely out of “our” hands. The Bushes were in bed with the Saudis, and so is Obama. So is EU. I mean… sheesh. Just because they have oil, everybody pretends the Saudis are… somehow ok? Calling Saudis allies is like calling Voldemort a friend. (Sorry, could not resist.)

    Anymore, I find political and religious divisions useless as well, in view of the goal of “sorting us all out.” For me, there are people of good will, and there are, the rest. And people of goodwill appear in all sorts of places, mixed in with all sorts of people. That’s why racism and other similar isms are so absurd. So for me, “us” is we civilized, and I mean it not in the term of “western civilization” (which is in many ways quite uncivilized) but in the meaning of civil, cultivated, enlightened, humane. So a tribal person can be civilized in this sense just as much as anyone, and I think at one time, many tribal peoples were far more civilized than those who swept over them.

    I do have quite a bit to say about your first para, and I have been thinking how. I just want to mention that when it comes to psychopaths, they are indeed only about 1% of us humans, a tiny minority statistically speaking, yet when it comes to harm done, 70 million psychopaths out and about is a frightful thing. And that does not even begin to cover people who are not psychopaths yet do harm in the world. A complex topic, and challenging. Have to sort out in my mind what I want to say. I am not sure if we have a profound disagreement here or not.

  • janna

    Get what? (The way these comments stack is confusing.)

  • Reynardine

    Where do you get it?

  • Reynardine
  • moraka

    This bears being brought here from another forum:

    In a country as Poland that is ashamed of his past for killing thousands of jewish,it is unreasonable to be in the front of defending a wrong idea.

    On 10th July 1941, 1,600 Jewish men, women and children were butchered and burned alive in the small Polish town of Jedwabne.

    The massacre followed on from other pogroms in other Polish towns Radzilow and Wsosz, where similar numbers were killed.

    Contained within Polish archives were vivid descriptions of villagers massacring scores of Jews. One section describing the scene at Jedwabne reads: “Around the tortured ones [they included a 90-year-old rabbi] crowds of Polish men, women and children were standing and laughing at the miserable victims who were falling under the blows of the bandits.”

    At a separate pogrom, villagers are described burying an eight year-old boy alive.

    In the light of this,it is simply brutal the attitude of polish people who simply are hypocrites.

  • Ilisha

    But doesn’t that mean we have to sort out who is willing, and who, in fact, is not and wishes us harm?

    Yes, I think it does. I would also say we should sort out WHY some people wish “us” harm. Do they have any legitimate grievances that can be addressed? Have they tried to address these grievances through valid avenues and been denied justice? Or are they people who would just despise us and want to do us harm, no matter what we actually did on our side? I don’t think there are many people who fall into that last category, not because there’s no one who actually hates us, but because regardless of their feelings, most people just want to get on with their daily lives. When someone is driven toward violence, I find myself wondering why, exactly, they would go to such lengths.

    Of course there is the problem of “us.” Does that mean Americans? The West? The French? Our alleged allies, the Saudis? And who is “them”? Muslims? All of them? What about Muslims who fit into both categories, being Muslim and living in the West? Are they us and them??? It gets complicated when you start really parsing the situation.

    I think one thing we can do (I don’t know if you’re American?) here, is ask our government to not support ISIS either directly or indirectly. That means not training and arming “moderates” who are likely to defect (as they often do) to ISIS, and not supporting some of the Gulf regimes, chief among them the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia–that’s a really dubious alliance, I think, anyway. I think there’s a lot to examine in terms of our foreign policy.

    Unfortunately I find the situation in Syria very confusing, so it makes it difficult for me to make any sort of reasonable comment on that subject. Who are the good guys and the bad guys? Does it even break down like that? Should we pack up and get out of that mess, or is this a situation when it absolutely has to be diffused–or contained–or the repurcussions will be even worse than just letting the Syrian forces sort things out? I really don’t know! I wish I did. I very much hope smarter people than I am with the means to make something work actually make something work that ends the suffering of the Syrian people. All I can really do is pray for them.

  • janna

    I heard somewhere that the Russians and Americans are saying there will be ceasefire in a few days? Hard to know what it means though… It would be awfully nice to get some good news about Syria, especially something that would give Syrian refugees real hope!

    As for the banner, I would not call it merely unhelpful. I would, and do, call it hate speech, intimidation, and incitement to murder. Yes, there is a concerted effort to portray the refugees in a negative fashion, but some of that effort comes from them, via their behavior. If there are Muslims here who oppose and condemn such hate speech and intimidation, I would love to hear that.

    As to why these people would show themselves in this light, my guess is that a small but not insignificant minority among them are bullies who will intimidate, grope, steal, falsify papers, lie about their ages and where they’re from, etc etc, as entitled bullies do, when they want to get what they want to get. And hey, it works for Erdogan, so why not try it at the border? (Btw, none of these protesting people are Syrians. Syrians are being let though, and a couple of other countries’ people.)

    I am all for working together. But doesn’t that mean we have to sort out who is willing, and who, in fact, is not and wishes us harm?

  • mindy1

    I don’t think it was supposed to black men, it was probably supposed to be Arab men-not that that makes the bias better of course.

  • Ilisha

    “Open or die”? I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to mean. It’s not as if refugees can defeat a country’s army? Maybe they’ve adapted P. Diddy’s “vote or die” campaign. :) Seriously I don’t understand the thinking behind that very unhelpful banner.

    It seems to me like there’s a concerted effort to portray these people in the most negative light possible. I don’t know if it’s to capitalize on the growing resentment people feel, or some other reason. If there are millions of refugees, and one small group make a sign line this, while 19 others engage in criminal sexual assault, we are definitely going to hear about the latter. I’m not saying the wrongdoing of refugees/migrants–or anyone else–should be covered up in the name of political correctness. Certainly not.

    But I am a bit suspicious of some of the coverage. I also think while this anger, there’s been incredible support and ourpourings of kindness, compassion and love in many of the European countries among the people. I’m sure many of the refugees have responded in kind and are grateful. The media focus myopically on the negative sometimes.

    That said, it woudn’t surprise me if groups of desperate people sometimes do desperate or unpleasant things. I can’t imagine having my world turned upside down and begging at the borders of various countries for asylum. That must be terrible.

    I think we should probably be looking at the broader picture and considering why we have this crisis in the first place. The Western imperial powers need to rethink the tearing up an destabilizing of other people’s nations, often for economic gain. This goes for Iraq and Syria, but also for Pakistan and beyond. I’m not sure this is obvious to people because a lot of it is behind the scenes and even when it’s not, it’s underreported. Some of the neocolonial economic schemes are sophisticated and not easy to explain or understand.

    But so long as the Western imperial powers continue to rob, plunder and create chaos, this is going to happen, and it will involved Western countries that were not even involved in creating the mess. Instead of anyone “blaming” anyone in some collective sense, I really think we all need to work together to change in a fundamental way.

    I heard Assad asked Syrians to come home. Immediately thereafter, ISIS started some major bombing campaign. Figures.

  • janna

    Awesome response.
    For flu, nothing matches a few goblets of elderberry extract. Highly recommended. :-)

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