What changed the course of history on “9/11” and inspired the “New Nationalism” may have come full circle with today’s coordinated attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Forty-nine worshipers dead, 20 injured in hails of bullets by the will of a handful of white folk defending . . . what, exactly?
Once again, someone’s medieval worldview erupts from the past to bathe the modern world in fire and blood.
Suspected Christchurch terrorist Bernton Tarrant apparently vowed to kill Muslims a day before the attack – and was praised after the heinous act by his followers on social media.
An anonymous user thought to be Tarrant wrote on notorious right-wing blogging website 8Chan on Thursday: ‘I will carry out an attack against the invaders, and will even live stream the attack via Facebook.’
To address how the world got to this ugly place in time, BackChannels suggests starting with Zawahiri’s visit to Russia. And then move on to about here with President Trump threatening democracy in the United States with intimidation.
In an interview with Breitbart News Trump said that his supporters are “tough” and that it would be “very bad” for people to cross them.
“I actually think that the people on the right are tougher, but they don’t play it tougher. Okay?” Trump said. “I can tell you I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump – I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point, and then it would be very bad, very bad.”
Extremist talk may be the glowering chest bumping between medieval-minded throwbacks that needs must prove each their case for the medieval prize of subscription.
There’s nothing fake about the Israeli video covering anti-Semitic speech in mosques in the United States. The synagogues, however, aren’t going to play that game, nor will the vast body of American churches whose attractions rest on their contribution to the civility of their communities rather than their encouragement of barbarous will will.
Until the hour someone sends me the “who, what, where, when, how, and why” on a breaking event, I, perhaps others as well, may not be able to do much more than add to the advocacy and compile whatever’s on the web in news and organizational support for this buffer that has been politically birthed between west and east, between democracy and narcissistic authoritarianism.
This Anzac Day weekend, we opened the first ever Free West Papua campaign office in Australia.
For more than 50 years, my people have suffered what I considered to be a slow-moving genocide under the repressive military occupation of Indonesia. During the second world war, the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” of West Papua came to the aid of Australian soldiers. Now it is the West Papuans that need Australia’s help in order to end human rights abuses so that my people can be free to live in peace.
Five West Papuans were killed when Indonesian military and police personnel shot into a protesting crowd on Monday, local media reported. Reports say the protesters were not separatist rebels, but community members angered by the alleged assault on a group of adolescents who had clashed with soldiers the previous night.
The protesters, some carrying ceremonial Papuan hunting bows that have a purely ritual function, expressed their grievance through a traditional Papuan waita dance, which involves shouting, running in circles and mimicking birdsong.
The police ordered the protesters to disperse and then struck them with batons and sticks when they refused to comply. Police and military personnel then fired live ammunition into the crowd.
For years I worked as a tour guide, sharing my knowledge of the region with those few individuals who desired a glimpse of what the National Geographic calls “one of the wildest, most isolated frontiers on earth.” But on this visit I wanted to verify a village burning in the Lanny Jaya area and continue filming the West Papuan refugees living in Papua New Guinea.
The Indians’ decision to make contact was not driven by a desire for material goods, however, but by fear. With the help of translators who spoke a closely related indigenous Panoan language, the Acre Indians explained that “violent attacks” by outsiders had driven them from the forest. Later, details emerged that their elder relatives were massacred, and their houses set on fire. Illegal loggers and cocaine traffickers in Peru, where the Indians are thought to come from, are likely to blame, according to the Brazilian government. Indeed, Funai’s own nearby monitoring post was shut down in 2011 due to increasing escalations with drug traffickers.
So what do anthropologists who specialize in first contact say? Are there ‘uncontacted tribes’? The short answer is ‘no’, and while I appreciate SI’s work on behalf of ‘tribal’ people, I find it disappointing to find that they still use this sort of language. Any one who reads the material on their web page will see that by ‘uncontacted’ they actually man ‘frequently in contact with, and victimized by, outsiders’. Let’s take a look at the evidence from SI’s website.
Caption statement by the Free West Papua Campaign: “West Papua, Melanesia. Rally organised by the KNPB. These are the images the Indonesian government is trying to stop the world seeing. The Indonesian government always lies to the world and says that West Papuans who want freedom are just small groups in the jungle. In fact the vast majority of peaceful civil society want freedom. This is why Indonesia dosen’t want foreign journalists in West Papua. Because every West Papuan who they meet tells them they want freedom. This is the truth in West Papua. That almost everyone wants to be free. This is the truth that Indonesia is trying to hide. West Papuans want to be free and Indonesia believes it has the right to torture and murder those who want to be free.”
Responding to the uprisings which surrounded the 1977 general elections in Papua, several military operations were launched in the Papuan highlands around Wamena. The response caused a further breakdown in the Papuan–Indonesian relations which had fallen apart at that time. The operations resulted in mass killings of, as well as violence against civilians. The stories of survivors recall unspeakable atrocities including rape, torture and mass executions. Estimations of the number of persons killed range from 5,000 up to tens of thousands. The research done for this report is consistent with these numbers, although restricted access to the area and ongoing intimidation of witnesses makes it difficult to confirm an upper limit of the number of victims.
Despite assurances made to the contrary, there is nothing under the pacific sun that is new regarding Indonesia’s deadly and demoralizing tactics used to terrorize anyone who would dare exercise any small amount of press freedom.
Their story is more evidence that Christian children are being taken from West Papua and converted to Islam – a practice officially denied after being revealed in Fairfax Media’s Good Weekend magazine last year. It also makes clear for the first time that knowledge of the practice reaches high into the upper echelons of Indonesia’s political elite.
The religious conversion of any young child is illegal in Indonesia, and the United Nations deems any transfer of a minor, even for education, as trafficking.
Posted on Facebook by the Free West Papua Campaign, March 3, 2014: “Indonesian police and plainclothes police can be seen taking sickening “trophy photos” of the corpses of West Papuan people they have just stripped and murdered and thrown into a drainage ditch used as a makeshift mass grave in the middle of a highlands village. According to sources, this is in the Central Highlands of West Papua, possibly the Puncak Jaya region and was taken relatively recently. What appears to be the National flag of West Papua, the Morning Star can be seen raised behind the horror. The raising of this flag has been made illegal by Indonesia and carries a 15 year jail sentence. As this photo has just emerged, we are currently finding out as much as possible about the details and cannot yet verify the exact date and location but what is for sure is that this photo, taken in the highlands of West Papua is 100% real and genuine, hard evidence of Indonesia’s 21st century apartheid and genocide in West Papua.”
I have yet to download a conflict photo loaded with EXIF/IPTC verbal data identifying the camera used, the photographer, and photographer’s title and caption. Most often too, these incendiary images come out of the special interest press representing religious denominations and organizations that repeat their use or transpose images taken in one place to captions representing another event. The Free West Papua Campaign, however, insists itself on locating the specific photographer who took it, when, and where. It believes in the veracity of the image enough to question its exact provenance, and therefore I believe in its accuracy too.
UPDATE, OCTOBER 16, 2017:for those coming off third-party sites using the above photograph — one has actually disinformed its public by putting “Rohingya Muslims” in place of West Papuans in its headline — I’m no longer certain of the forensic quality of the photograph: the bodies look related in hands-behind-head security postures; the police could just be checking ID in a most humiliating manner; or there could be some mix of dead and living. One had to be there, of course, and the one who was there to take the picture has not apparently distributed the same with captioning data intact.
How BackChannels views the West Papua Conflict: on the border between the Muslim and Christian worlds, the indigenous of West Papua struggle to keep their culture and land intact, refusing forced conversion and assimilation to the Muslim-majority state whose international boundary has overrun their property.
As is common and familiar to Muslim-majority states worldwide, the tack pursued with regard to West Papuans has been than of cultural annihilation and political suppression.
Coming from an American of European descent, this layout of the story would seem hypocritical, for as West Papuans may be to Indonesia, so Native Americans would seem to have been to European colonizing forces. However, these days, the Native Americans of the United States have title to reservation as well private properties, the freedom to arrange themselves and worship as they see fit, and in all other aspects to own businesses and enjoy or hate the American tapestry as they see fit within the bounds of the common law, which codes revolve most around the freedom and security of all persons.
America’s Native Americans are not getting their continent back, of course, but they are supported in their endeavors related to the defense of culture, family, property, and religion, the same as any, and every, American.
Coming from a Jewish background that includes lending attention to Israel as the unique cultural, political, and religious homeland of the Jews, the bond between the true indigenous of a land and indigenous elsewhere might apply, albeit in the progressive Jewish manner with adaptation toward modernity — some things will stay with the people forever in freedom, and some (like cannibalism) may recede into history.
In the larger scheme, our planet supports 6,900+ living languages, and it loses a few each month: it should be sustaining those few and perhaps working to encourage separable language evolution or new language development although natural language behavior is not like biology: we’re just not going to ship a healthy population of humans to an island, cut them off from social commerce, and visit them again in a thousand years (if they have survived their own company).
JONAH WENDA (voiceover): They were picked from different places like school, gardens, on the road and even taken from their home and kill them and throw them in the bush.
In May, Indonesia’s human rights record was assessed under the UN Universal Periodic Review. The government rejected key recommendations to review specific laws and decrees which restrict the rights to freedom of expression and thought, conscience and religion. In July, Indonesia reported to the CEDAW Committee. In November, Indonesia adopted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration, despite serious concerns that it fell short of international standards.
I’m all set up and am having real issues navigating next steps in one of the most modern societies in the world: I may only imagine what it’s like to be anonymous on the streets of a passive and teaming nation like Pakistan or a somewhat bureaucratized and Orwellian culture that erupts at the interface of person and government in the west. Without family or stable and helpful community-based networks, we have and sometimes number among a legion of nearly unaccounted and uncomfortably roaming persons. Some part of that may contribute to freedom and “rugged individualism” and some part, plainly, to horror.
With a soul like Jafarai, the person may be less lost than the state of origin and so many unwittingly receiving and subsequent and temporarily hosting nations as compelled migration — especially migration compelled by famine or war — and illegal immigration are a matched pair.
There’s plenty of trending news for cyberchat and cybergossip, but as I do here and others do in the various communities and forums that comprise the still emerging “Facebook civilization”, people reach back to make or suggest points or draw parallels between discrete or separated but analogous circumstances.
Community detention centers, tent camps, semi-permanent refugee camps correspond to reactions to disasters. We see so many of them each year — earthquakes and tsnunami, hurricanes and typhoons, sometimes volcanoes, sometimes, these days, damaged nuclear reactors, and then ever present conflict as well as community- or state-wide financial stress and disaster — that one wonders how far ahead of a bad circumstance the world less affected by a given emergency may make itself.
With the World Wide Web well established and robust, the suffering of distant people are no longer that distant in either common perception or space.
Ahmad Ali Jafari needed a place to land, or even if returned to Afghanistan, some program in which he was accounted and helpfully reoriented, integrated, and included.