The old adage that if you want to know what Rupert Murdoch is thinking, you should read a few Sun editorials, can also be applied to at least one of the paper’s regular columnists. Trevor Kavanagh is the ultimate insider, the faithful retainer who has been part of the inner circle of the Cosa Rupra for long enough that when he posts his “opinion” on any potentially controversial subject, it is done with his boss’ implicit approval.
Why did Kavanagh cross the road? Because he understood that it was in his interest to do so
It is with this thought in mind that his singularly disturbing rant yesterday headlined “We need to root out evil lurking behind migration - as Donald Trump warns leaders they MUST defend Western values … The US president was talking about Islamic extremism and rogue states such as North Korea but he was also making reference to mass immigration from Africa” should be read. Western values. Do as The Donald says.
We know all about those so-called “Western values”. As Zelo Street regulars will already be aware, writers at Newsweek, The Atlantic and Elite Daily picked up on the Combover Crybaby using loaded remarks like “The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive”. Trump’s “West” is a Christian and white west. His was a racial and religious message. Kavanagh is obediently recycling it for Sun readers.
That would be those readers who have already been fed a constant diet of Muslim bashing copy for some years now. Kav casually chucks a match on this driest of tinder as he opines “Even tolerant, welcoming countries like Sweden resent the sheer number of single, unemployed young men amid claims police are covering up a surge in crime, especially sex crime”. Sex crime. Sheer number of single young men.
There was more: “Expressions of concern have been muted by taunts of ’racism’ and ‘Islamaphobia’ … But they are exploding afresh this summer as TV images show thousands of illegals from Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan swarming ashore in Italy and Greece”. Exploding. Illegals. Swarming. And it gets worse.
“This crisis is nothing less than an oil-and-water clash of civilisations”. Civilisation once more. “Very large numbers of the new arrivals have no experience of civil society”. It’s OK to call them dirty. They can’t use the bathroom properly, you know.
“They have mostly known only poverty, repression and corruption - the reason they upped sticks … Some will recreate these conditions rather than adopt a Western respect for the rule of law”. No go areas. The country going to hell in a handcart. Something imposed on us by “the other”. And who is “the other”? “More painfully to the point, almost all are Muslim”. Well, knock me down with a feather. It’s the Scary Muslims (tm) again!
Then Kavanagh lies to his readers about Islam. After all, most who read the Sun only know what they’ve been fed by the paper’s propagandists, so it’s an east hit. “Individually, Muslims are no worse and no better than anyone else, but they belong to an exclusive and frequently intolerant faith. They might accept our rule of law, but their first duty is to Allah … They believe the entire world belongs to Allah, not the nations in which they happen to reside”. A foreign body in our country. “The other” wanting to take us over.
“No Muslim dares question the Koran, the holy book which sets out these 7th Century teachings of the Prophet Mohammed”. See, it’s medieval! Oh, and forget that the Bible, which includes the Old Testament, which has more than enough violence in it, is an even older work. Think only of people with foreign names. And “the other” in our midst.
On drones Kavanagh: “We cannot have satire, criticism or jokes about Islam without risking death … those innocent men, women and children who have perished in their hundreds on the streets of Britain and Europe in recent mass killings … The argument that such killers were not ‘true Muslims’ does not wash”. And then he drops it.
“Of course, only a handful of Muslims would actually inflict such slaughter. But too many privately - and not so privately - applaud their actions”. Don’t worry, Sun readers - it’s OK to abuse all those Scary Muslims (tm), because they’re all at it. And there is yet more.
“It is not always easy to distinguish between news footage of boatloads of young men in orange lifejackets and CCTV images of young men in blood-soaked suicide vests … When they sometimes turn out to be the same people, Europe’s leaders must surely understand how badly they’ve got this wrong”. Stop being sympathetic to drowning refugees! They’re all part of “the other”! They’re coming here to kill you!
Small wonder that activist Miqdaad Versi has passed adverse comment on Kavanagh’s disgusting incitement of his readers, observing “Disgusting piece in the Sun by Trevor Kavanagh saying it is "painful" that most migrants are Muslim & attacking all Muslims' views … He does not even try and mask the bigotry in an attack on the faith of Islam …Instead he associates all Muslims with actions of a few & appears to intentionally distort the faith of over 1 billion Muslims”. But he misses the main point.
And that is that Kavanagh’s article takes a white supremacist view of “The West” and “Civilisation”. That is what underpinned Trump’s Poland speech. And worst of all, if Kavanagh is saying it, it’s come from the top. Rupert Murdoch is Trump’s number one cheerleader in the US media. He will have had no problem with Kav’s outpourings.
What has appeared in the Murdoch press is sheer poison. Worse, it is managerially sanctioned poison. For the inmates of the Baby Shard bunker, it is now open season on followers of The Prophet. But when the next white van gets driven into a crowd outside a Mosque, it will be a lone wolf. Or a mental health issue. Or something.
Our free and fearless press had the opportunity to give leadership, promote dialogue, and instil a climate of rational debate on this issue. Instead, the tabloids seem hell-bent on instilling intolerance instead. And that’s not good enough.