Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Culture Jamming

While organizations like Adbusters toy at subversion and revolution through culture jamming, it's bracing to see real culture jammers do their thing.

This piece by David Warren summarizes the details behind the Danish Cartoons/Islamic Riots story. Key points:
- The cartoons were ignored when they first came out
- Ahmed Abu-Laban, the Saudi-supported Imam of Copenhagen, created a dossier that was then sent systematically through the Muslim world -- to mosques, madrassas etc., starting in Egypt
- This dossier created the original 12 cartoons, and about 24 others that had been fabricated for Muslim consumption.
- The fabricated images were much more insulting than the originals. For instance, a photo of a man dressed as a pig, over the caption, “This is the real Mohammad.”
- The dossier also a cover letter which, says David, contained "outrageous lies about events in Denmark"

So the reactions in the Muslim world are not about the cartoons, they are about the dossier which was created, and spread, to spark exactly these riots. But when I turn on NPR I don't hear anything about the dossier, I hear about the cartoons.

Perfect, and chilling, culture jamming in both the East and West. It is remarkable how these individuals play so accurately into the blindnesses of both sides.


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