Written by D. J. Mitchell and Susan Cain
In our last post about YouTube & Politics, we explored the anti-American propaganda of Islamic extremists. But there’s no shortage of anti-Islamic propaganda either, as evidenced by the video above.
In this 1940 cartoon by Leon Schlesinger Studios, Porky Pig finds himself in the French Foreign Legion, under attack by Ali-Baba, “Mad Dog of the Desert.” After fending off various would-be Arab assassins, the final assault is by a small man with a bomb strapped to his head, who is very eager to use it– a suicide bomber. All the male Arabs shown in the clip are bad guys.
Perhaps this was excusable in pre-WWII America. YouTube brings this little racist piece out of the mothballs of history, and makes it available in the here and now.
Anti-Islam propaganda is not relegated only to ancient cartoons. On a clip of a TV show by Pastor Joe Van Koevering, self-described former Palestinian terrorist and converted Christian Walid Shoebat “proves” that the mark of the beast found in revelation is the badge of Islam (even though Islam was still 500 years from being founded when the Revelation was scribed). The theme has been adopted by numerous evangelical Christian ads and messages, spreading hatred based on false theology.
Then there’s this admittedly funny but clearly anti-Arab comedy clip of an Arab terrorist going through customs. It’s not in English, but you won’t need the dialog to understand what’s going on.
And this clip, a warning in French about the need to “Save France” from the coming “Eurarabe: Islam in Europe.” This video suggests that western civilization itself is in danger of being overrun by crazed Muslims, and graphically equates Islam with the French riots of the past few years.
Here’s a series of anti-Islamic cartoons from AIPAC, the pro-Israeli lobbying organization, as exposed on YouTube.
Freedom of expression is an important ideal. As S. G. Tallentyre attributed to Voltaire,
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
The internet has made possible free exchange of ideas on a scale previously unimaginable, and YouTube is an important tool in that exchange. Yet free expression also means that extremist views have increasing access to our thoughts and minds. Now more than ever, we must question what we read and hear.