Sonntag, Juni 29, 2008

Udo, Criticism and Intolerance...

One of the guys I studied with is Udo Ulfkotte. He's a professor at a German university and teaches security studies: not just political, but also how companies can ensure that what is supposed to stay secret actually does stay secret.

He is, bluntly, one of the good guys. Really. I've known him for over 20 years, and this is not some goofball. He points out that the emperor wears no clothes: that is his sin, nothing more, nothing less.

He spent quite a bit if time in the Middle East, as one the editors of one the premier German newspapers, the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung). He's walked the walk, spent more time than anyone realizes in countries like Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the Gulf States. He knows the people there, he knows their societies, he knows their culture and above all he knows their religion. He's been pressured, at times almost at gunpoint, to convert to Islam, but he hasn't. He is a confessing Christian.

He's an uncomfortable guy for a lot of people. He's smart, much more than many are comfortable with, and he isn't afraid to speak his mind. He has steadfastly been the thorn in people's side, he's written books that not only embarassed people in high places and politicians, he simply sees problems as they are, rather than the official white-washing and the nice corporate and political PR that covers up severe problems in the sincere hope that no one notices how badly things are really going.

You see, there is a world of denial going on right now in Europe and in the liberal (in the US sense of the word) areas of the US. The denial is that radical islam is not an existential threat, and that all you need is to let the police handle the problem. This is the standard rhetoric that you hear everywhere in Europe: that radical Islam is not a threat, that even if it were the police can handle it, that since it isn't we need to respect others' religion, that rhetorical calls for death and destruction is just talk and doesn't mean anything. In other words: denial, appeasement, and sometimes outright fear, subtly expressed, that saying the truth will just make things worse, leading to self-censorship and at the end of the day a fundamental cowardice to face the truth.

Some people can't take criticism.

Not Udo: if anything, the opposite.

There are three groups of people who can't take criticism in Europe.

The first group is those who are in charge, those who make the policy, those who enforce the policies. Criticize them and you are criticizing the technocratic elite in Europe, those who vastly prefer to run things according to their desires, who neither accept criticism nor appreciate it: if anything, they reject criticism, attacking those who dare question authority.

The second group is those who are in collusion with the first: the media in Europe - critical reporting is as strange a concept to them as computers and the internet would be to a 12th century monk - and the oh-so-cool journalists who earn their money by ensuring that there are no critical voices heard. There are critical voices out there, but the key to ensuring that they are not heard is to make them look ridiculous, to make them marginal, to ensure that the lies of European society are not exposed (lies such as how pensions are secure, how high taxes ensures that the poor are taken care of, that ties between the state and big corporations are fair and that the politicians represent the will of the people: hah!).

The third group that does not take criticism is the disenfranchised immigrant youth of Europe: all they have, literally, is their pride, pride in simple and mean things, pride in petty crime and humiliation, pride in a cultural heritage that has little or nothing to show in modernity.

This last group is the problem here, but it ties in with the other two.

Udo is married to Doris.

Somebody, somewhere, in Germany, decided to have fun with Udo and Doris.

They made a video. Claiming to be Udo and Doris.

I'm going to put in English what Udo has written: this is my translation, on the fly, and I've taken the one or the other liberty. But the core message remains...

What would you do, if your telephone rang and someone said that thousands of Turks wanted to kill your wife? You probably wouldn't take them seriously. As you are reading these lines, more and more Turks are looking for a single German, who put up a video on YouTube and insulted not only Turks, but the founder of the religion of Islam, Mohammed. This spread like a wildfire within the Turkish community, and now they are trying to find Doris Ulfkotte and are threatening her with death. Doris Ulfkotte is the wife of the author of these words - and she neither knows the people who made the video for YouTube, nor does she have anything to do with them. The police know this as well. Nonetheless, literally thousands of Turks have called for the death of Doris Ulfkotte. Several District Attorneys have started investigating, the authorities have been notified and the German equivalent of the FBI has started to investigate. A pogrom has started, and the victim cannot defend herself.

On Sunday, 22 June 2008, at 3:56 in the afternoon, my wife's mobile rang. She was called by someone from Berlin, who wanted to tell her that she was in danger. According to the caller, my wife's murder was being organized. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, no one takes something like that seriously. At first. You think it's some sort of bad joke. However, the caller insisted that we take it seriously. And there was proof: a video on YouTube. This was the first time that my wife had ever watched a video on YouTube: we found the link, and found a horrible video, one that called for racial anger (it's been removed from YouTube in the meantime), during which a young German for more than 5 minutes lets loose a tirade of insults against Muslims, Turks and Mohammed. The woman shown in the video - not even half as old as my wife - calls herself "Doris Ulfkotte".

That was the first blow. The caller showed us that at that point no fewer than 4500 comments had been posted, after less than a few hours, and that the video had been called up no less  than 140 000 times. A video calling for racial anger was suddenly the second-most viewed video in Germany on YouTube. Among the comments were no less than dozens of threats to murder "Doris Ulfkotte". New comments were flowing in, and the death threats did not disappear. And just a few minutes later, for the first time, we saw a previous address appear in a comment, with the appeal to meet and go to that address to murder "Doris Ulfkotte". And videos of this address have now appeared on the Internet.

It was at that pint that we realized that this wasn't just a video sliming my wife, but rather was an event that could lead to all sorts of consequences. We called the police, called government lawyers.

In the meantime, under the name of the video (Türken gewinnen gegen Kroatien, Turkey wins against Croatia), the comments section now shows over one hundred death threats, such as:

"I'm about to leave, whoever gets their first take some video, Doris you bitch you are dead and your fag husband as well"

"I sent the video to every Turk every Arab Albanian Kurd Moslem believe me that is your death sentence bitch and somewhere sometime oh shit what will happen to you and I hope that the police don't get there first, you fat cow you can't hide, you son of a thousand fathers"

"You bitch I am not Turkish I am Croat but Muslim reply to me you damned little nazis let's meet I will kill you and your little slut, you have to regret saying this, all muslims of the world, our beloved prophet is being insulted and our religion"

Now, these are only a few examples of the thousands of death threats that were posted before the video was removed; more than 10 000 comments were made and over 200 000 people viewed the video. Our company number has been now posted in the Internet, and the first death threats have already been caled in, others arriving per email. That neither my wife nor I knew of the video, that we find the content just as terrible as our German and Turkish countrymen, is of absolutely no interest whatsoever.

In the mean time, there is a chain SMS with the call to find us and to kill us. No one appears to be interested in the fact that we have nothing to do with this. Other sites have put the videos up, and the people who made the videos have made new ones, and continue to call themselves "Ulfkotte".

Please help the police, please help my family. If you have any information on the existence of any other site on the internet showing this video, let us know or the nearest police. We have to find who has made this video and who is behind it: the calls for our deaths have reached the Arab world as well.

Everyone making such death threats will be prosecuted, and the makers of the video will hopefully be found and punished. They have probably no idea how many police are now involved in dealing with this racial hatred video and the acute problems that it created.

We were the first who filed charges against the maker of the videos, as well as those making death threats. We hope that we can catch them. Please help!

Now, Udo has written more on this:

Have you seen pictures of refugees? People, fleeing from an enraged mob? A mob, that wants to lynch people? We've seen such pictures from the Third World, but such pogroms also exist in Germany. The media is politically correct and turns away, as long as the victims are German.

According to a study of the German interior ministry, every fourth young muslim is willing to use violence against unbelievers. We're talking about Germany here, not in some Third World country. When (and if) such numbers are reported, they are largely ignored. Now, in Germany there are between 3.6 and 4 mn muslims (depending on whether you take the numbers of the government or muslim groups), and if you can do math, you have a good idea of how many muslims are fundamentally prepared to do violence against non muslims. Once you've been impacted by such readiness to do violence, these numbers appear in a completely different light.

This auther has already shown how fast this population group can be brought to make death threats per SMS, in the Internet and by mouth-to-mouth propaganda. It just happens to be that the death threats have been made against my wife and myself. The State Attorney for Koblenz has publically stated that we - those chosen to be the mob's victims - are innocent. First of all the positive: many Turks have gone to the police to help them, and they have helped to identify those making death threats. They've also taken the initiative to make it clear in forums that my wife and I are mistakenly the object of the anger of the mob. Let me explicitly thank all the Turks that have helped!

However, there are also other stories.

Two Germans, who started this whole thing with their racial-hatred video on YouTube, have repeated themselves. They put up another video on the internet, whereby they do admit that they are not my wife and myself, but they've just added fuel to the fire. Instead of admitting they had done something stupid and to ask for forgiveness, they continued their rants of racial hatred. Let's be clear: we don't have anything to do with them. YouTube has also deleted the video, but that also means that their disclaimer, that they are not us, has also been deleted.

More than 200 000 internet users saw the first video; thousands called for our deaths. It is impossible to tell everyone involved that we have nothing to do with this: in the meantime, a bounty of 1000 Euors has been placed on the head of my wife. If we were in a joking mood, we'd be insulted that it is such a small sum.

We've tried to talk to the media about what has happened and to make sure that this multi-cultural pogrom with thousands of death threats is aimed at the wrong people. Our experience saddened us: with the exception of one radio station and the blog Politically Incorrect, no one wanted to talk to us. "If the situation was reversed: that a Dr. Udo Ulfkotte called for Turkish deaths - that'd be a great headline! But so? No thanks, no interest". That is what a large Berlin publisher said. We tried to get in touch with the widely-read German boulevard press, both by email (with copies of the death threats!) and we called them, but we have not received a single asnwer.

It hurt us even more, that the author of these words on 19 June 2008 was named in an article in a left-wing Berlin newspaper that was titled "The Opinion Terrorist". The author - a woman from an islamic Cultural group - wrote about islam critics, who she libelled. However, you can't find this article if you search for it online with my family name and the title of the article: however, those making the death threats against us are using this article to try and find us. Posts in some Internet forums seem to think that it is right and proper for someone, named as an Islam critic by such an author in such a newspaper, for that person to be the target of the mob's fury.

Thanks, editors of that paper, for giving the mob additional fuel for their fire of hatred.

There was a time when journalists had ethics and morals: this newspaper continues to call me an "Opinion Terrorist", as if nothing had ever happened (see note 2 below).

There are also Germans who are using what is happening to us. Just go to the German internet search machine Technorati and enter the name "Ulfkotte" (see note 1 below), and read the article "Die Verfolgung der Doris Ulfkotte" (The prosecution of Doris Ulfkotte). The writer of that article was recently sentenced by the Berlin count to pay me 10 000 Euros, his sentencing hasn't happened yet: no German blogger has ever been taken to a German civil counrt and been fined as much, let alone facing prison time. Can you imagine what it was he said?

You'd have a hard time doing so, since the German media did not report on this case at all. Not a single report. If you read the newest article of this convicted Berlin writer, and view the videos, you can imagine what sort of libel was invovled. The State Attorney has started a new investigation against this "journalist", but that takes time and in extremely unpleasant.

Now, my wife and I are refugees in our own country, based on what is happening to us. We've already been under police protection, for 18 months. We don't want that. We've left our apartment, and cannot return. That is our decision regardless of what the police say. There are simply too many people in Germany who live like refugees in their own country. This includes the author "Doris Glück", who publishes under that pseudonym. There are many of us, and our number is increasing: do you know the philosopher Robert Redeker in France? Or the student Ehoud J. in the Netherlands? We are grateful that the state has helped us escape the mob.

And we thank all who have offered us help and who have worked so that at least a number of those making death threats now know that we have nothing to do with this. As Christians we will continue. As Christians we will also politely point out, that one quarter of the Muslims living in Germany are willing to use violence against anyone who isn't muslim, and that this is a not a good thing. We know what the reality of the situation is.

So, now you know the current situation. If you read in the "quality" German press about death threats made against turkish soccer fans, you now know the true story.

PS: If you are shocked about the behavior of the German press, read this about my life: this author has, on connection with reporting about radical muslims in Germany, had his house searched a number of times under suspicion of passing on secrets. The problem wasn't what I wrote, but rather that this was to be kept a secret. However, Udo Ulfkotte is not a government official, and can't pass on secrets: he was working as a journalist. The media bias was clearly visible, and the media speculated on how many years of jail could be expected: TV and newspapers reported. What was surprising, though, was that no one - as far as the author knows - reported that all charges were dropped. A lot of mud was slung, and the clean up was the job of the one aimed at...

Even worse: After the charges were all dropped in September 2006, the German radio station HR3 reported, in the main news section of their broadcasts (and not just once, but rather a number of times!) in October 2006 that the author Udo Ulfkotte was facing up to 5 years in jail. This was a plain, bald-faced lie. Of course, those living around us believed the news, and we were pariah. We've moved since. We know the game now: so much for "quality journalism". There was one exception: the journalist Klaus R. at least was able to stop the further broadcast. Thanks!

Note 1: The links on the Internet were removed a few hours after this was posted. Whether they have been removed by the authorities or by the authors, I can't say. Sometimes they're there, someine not, but the investigating authorities know the links.

Note 2: Telepolis reports: this whole thing is more curious, as the woman in the video isn't Doris Ulfkotte. And apparently the Ulfkottes didn't know anything about this film. Who is actually behind the story? The police are investigating. Anything is possible". Aha, then we could actually be behind the whole story, behind the thousands of death threats? That is the politically correct view for these "supposed death threats". Thanks, dear Telepolis editors, thanks for your empathy!

This is the face of intolerance: that a critic be dragged through a living hell for something he didn't even do - and it's not him who has been targeted, but rather his wife.

Intolerance at its best.

Now there has been, of course, speculation as to who is behind this: Udo is not that well known for him to be an accidental victim. My guess is that this is a classic "black" libel action by political opponents who are deliberately interested in seeing Udo suffer for his "Burgerwehr" or civil courage.

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