Proof that vilification leads to violence?

“My contention has been that media vilifications of ethnic or religious groups can lead to violence, and said as much in my letter two months ago to Standpoint, which they finally got round to printing in the most recent edition. While they printed most of the letter, they omitted that bit, despite the low hum of violence which has sounded for the last few years: an imam blinded in London, another suffering brain damage, a mosque being destroyed in Basildon, a man threatened with a chainsaw in Bolton, and this past weekend, a Muslim cemetery vandalised in Southall, west London….

“Recently, a pro-Israeli group paid various newspapers in ‘swing’ states in the upcoming American Presidential election, including Ohio, to distribute a propaganda DVD called Obsession, which features interviews with one anti-Muslim ‘expert’ after another and essentially portrays Muslims as Nazis. Some editors have refused to distribute it, and have faced accusations of ‘censorship’, as if newspapers did not have to make judgements from day to day (or week to week) on what to publish and what to hold, and as if the film cannot be downloaded for free off YouTube. It’s such a coincidence that last Friday night, a mosque was attacked in Dayton, Ohio. The thugs – terrorists, to some minds – who did this did not just pour petrol through the letterbox at night and set fire to the place; oh no, they sprayed a ‘chemical irritant’ into the building while people were praying their taraweeh.”

Yusuf Smith at Indigo Jo Blogs, 30 September 2008