Thursday, May 22, 2014

Blaming the Sunflower Movement for the 521 Massacre

Pro-government pundits are accusing young activists of warping social values and creating an environment in which extreme acts of violence are possible 

Ever since the Sunflower Movement burst into the chambers of the Legislative Yuan on March 18, their detractors in government and the media have done their very best to discredit the activists’ efforts. Some accused the protesters of violence, of drunkenness, or even of engaging in orgies. Others more incredibly compared them to Nazis, even to al-Qaeda, the international terrorist organization. To this list of absurdities we can now add remarks by a few individuals in the wake of the terrible subway knife attack on May 21, which left four passengers dead and 22 injured, some of them critically. 

The accusations during the occupation of the legislature were more than simple false analogies by legislators and hyperbolically inclined talking heads (KMT Legislator Chiang Hui-chen [江惠貞] made the reference to al-Qaeda). For one thing, they were disrespectful to the countless of people who fell victim to the abuses of Nazi expansionism and the Wahhabist ideology that convinced Osama bin Laden and his cohorts of the virtues of crashing commercial aircraft into skyscrapers. Given that the body count resulting from the occupation of the legislature was exactly zero, the comparisons were in fact nothing short of libelous and were clearly intended to cast a pall on the motivations and accomplishments of the student-led movement. 

My article, published today on Thinking Taiwan, continues here.

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