A man walks into a room and sees a whistle on a table. 'That's a funny looking
whistle,' he thinks, 'I wonder what it sounds like.' He picks up the whistle and
blows, but no sound comes out. 'Hello,' he thinks, 'that's wierd,' and calls
over his mate to have a look. His mate has a go on the whistle and neither can
make any sound come out. 'That's a funny whistle,' he says, 'lets go and let all
our friends have a go.'
Meanwhile, all the dogs in the neighbourhood are waiting in a pack outside the door.
Back when the tories used their 'Are you thinking what we're thinking?' campaign, they were rightly attacked for engaging in dog whistle politics. Say something innoccuous sounding on the face of it, but a certain section of the population hears something else.
Reading the Sun comments section about the new made up veil issue made me realise incredibly late that Tony Blair has done that himself this year. When he said that Muslims had a 'false sense of grievance', he may have thought he was doing so in the context of Iraq and Middle-East politics. But do you think that's what people like 'diamond-simon' thought? This is the guy responsible for the comment:
WITH THE POPPY APPEAL IN FULL SWING IT MAKES MY BLOOD BOIL TO THINK OF ALL THOSE BRAVE BRITS WHO GAVE THERE LIVES TO PROTECT THESE SHORES FROM FOREIGN INVADERS
AND NOW NOT ONLY HAVE THEY GOT HERE THERE TRYING TO TAKE THE P***, BY LAUGHING AT OUR TRADITIONS BY TRYING TO INSTALL THERE OWN AND JUST TRYING IT ON WITH EVERY LITTLE THING ONE INCH AT A TIME IF SOMEONE DOESNT PUT A STOP TO THESE LITTLE ITCHES NOW IT WILL BE A BIG SCRATCH BEFORE WE NO IT
AS FOR BATMANS WIFE PUT UP SHUT UP OR GET OUT
I think probably not. Anybody who regularly reads only the right wing press will have seen hundreds of stories about Muslims making unreasonable demands, most of them false.
Some are entirely invented. Like Natwest and Halifax banning piggy banks so as not to offend Muslims. Or hot cross buns being banned in Tower Hamlets schools so as not to offend Muslims (and others). Or Muslims hounding out our brave lads from their new house.
Still others are not invented from whole cloth, but Muslims are blamed for things that they're not responsible for. Like stopping people from flying England flags during the World Cup. Or banning German operas (although the opera was stopped for fear of protest by Muslims, there was never any actual threat that led this to happen). A police officer being excused from duties because of family connections becomes reported as a police officer being excused from duties because he is a Muslim. Melanie Phillips talks every other bloody week about how you can't criticsise Islam in her columns that criticsise Islam, saying ridiculous pantomime-villain nonsense about radical Islamists banning Christmas and pulling down churches.
Other things, like the Aisha Azmi case are framed in such a way that, again, Muslims are blamed for making unreasonable demands. The papers' focusing on the cost of the case have won in shifting the debate away from whether or not people should be allowed to wear what they like to focus on Muslims making expensive demands and taking taxpayers' money. So you get 'KWUK's' comment:
I was wondering if this case was funded by Legal Aid or not [...] My
thoughts today also went to the Muslim Police Officer who is sueing for
Racial and Religious Discrimination after being removed from Diplomatic Armed
Stories about Christians making demands to wear Christian symbols are not treated in the same way. They're framed by saying, 'well Muslims can wear headscarves' - shifting the focus towards things Muslims are allowed to do, even when they're not relevant to the case.
Whenever these goons hear anything about Muslims, they're automatically going to link it in with everything else they've heard about Muslims. So when they hear the Prime Minister saying Muslims have a false sense of grievance, they probably don't think of Middle-East politics at all, they think of banning Christmas, deliberately initiating a situation where they can sue people, or banning red blooded patriots from flying their own flag in their own bloody country.
Now think back to the image I opened with:
A man walks into a room and sees a whistle on a table. 'Oy, Jack!' he
shouts, 'come and try out my new dog whislte!'