Arts historian also wants a say on the anti-Semitic Dagbladet cartoons

An art historian from the NTNU (where else?) has published his thoughts on the ongoing Dagbladet cartoons controversy. As expected, the learned historian turns to dirty rhetorical tricks to present the cartoon as an argument against child cruelty, and therefore a valuable and important contribution to the public discourse in Norway. It is of course a bogus argument, and reveals more about the learned professors lack of education and cultural sensitivities (now that we are living in a multiculti society) than it does about his specific knowledge about circumcision in general and anti-Semitism and how it has been expressed throughout the times in particular.

lifted from (bad google translate)

Unpleasant Truth
The real issue is the children’s legal rights, therefore the adult religious feelings trifles.
Published on 11 June 2013, at. 11:28 by
Jørgen Lund, Associate Professor of Art History, NTNU

RUNE BERGLUND Steen, Head of Anti-Racist Centre, launches an attack on Dagbladet on the 10th June and the infamous drawing referring to so-called circumcision. Certainly the cartoon “is unusually sharp, it is both as simple and as serious as that.” But what is serious and grave are the real actions that the satirical drawing shows, namely the abuse that currently still called “circumcision of male children» and which is also now official Norwegian policy to get into “proper forms” in the public health care system. It must be repeated and repeated: This case is neither about Judaism or other minority or religious issues, but about the health and integrity of a great deal of young male children that Christian US-Americans, Muslims and Jews become parents of and who have their healthy sexual organs cut into. It is tragic, and not infrequently directly cynical, that the ongoing work of getting a statutory prohibition that must, and eventually will come in today’s Norway, is derailed by reference to anti-Semitism and the “Jewish section”.

WHEN THE HEART of the matter is the children’s legal rights, the adult world’s  pictorial historical connotations and “religious sentiments” become and will remain mere trifles. It is simply about how to protect little boys from the abuse that takes place today, in the same manner that society finally prevented that little girls are subjected to what we a few years ago called “ritual female circumcision.” Giving children – regardless of their parents’ faith and tradition – the same rights to their own bodies as most Norwegian children today have, of course, has nothing to do with discrimination and injustice. Injustice and discrimination is inherent in the current practice, and to get anywhere internationally, we must begin in Norway.

YES, the motive depicted in the cartoon is unusually crude . But the wonderful thing is, Berglund Steen, that this case actually holds the option to finish the painful and crude, something, which might happen when we break away from the confusion and misdirection and realize who it actually hurts. It has always been the case, that through such honest, good and painful moments, that we are actually able to mourn  the abuses of the past and fight clearly against the same in the present.

Read the Rune Berglund Steen’s post “A hellish caricature.”

4 comments for “Arts historian also wants a say on the anti-Semitic Dagbladet cartoons

  1. de Bacle
    June 12, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    “…It is tragic, and not infrequently directly cynical, that the ongoing work of getting a statutory prohibition that must, and eventually will come in today’s Norway, is derailed …”

    It is even more tragic that Dagbladet and the pretentious support they dug up spends so much energy to force te authorities to protect those 2-3 boys a year in Norway
    “..who have their healthy sexual organs cut into..”

    while not spending a trace of energy to get these authorities to put a stop to all the neglect that makes an estimated 60,000 youngsters in Norway – traumatised, harassed, buliied, neglected – who themselves “have their healthy organs cut into”

    Dagbladet and NTNU joins a number of institutions in Norway that will be judged blatantly and hypocritically anti-semitic, a rational judgement
    “that must, and eventually will come in today’s Norway”.

  2. . )
    June 13, 2013 at 12:27 am

    de Bacle,

    for people that think they are smart we others sees how they use the old game and trow people they are fed up with to the Lions.

    One has to be critical to everything one read on the web in the news etc and in my opinion also in the Bible, one has to think what is a good solution for one self for in the end there is no one else to blame than one self for the misery one are in. And that is a sad fact to accept for us all!

    Some white washing one has to do or one become a extremist one self.

    The cartoon is not art, so odd that a anyone clam so.

  3. June 13, 2013 at 1:24 am

    I am a great admirer of professor Bernt Hagtvedt. He was featured in the NRK P2 radio program Verdibørsen a short while ago. Very worth listening to. He took both academia and the sciences to task for their repeated failures in fighting extremism and argued that education and information are no fire proof barriers to contain hatred with, as exemplified by the transgressions of the Nazi doctors and Nazi academics before and during WW2. The other person featured in the program was Prof. Øyvind Foss, who has recently written a book, research and genocide. A truly enlightening discussion, you should take the time to listen to it, here is the link (Norwegian only)

  4. ; )
    June 13, 2013 at 2:31 am


    thank you for your cold shower, glad it ended out in point that there is also smart people in Norway ; ) I also enjoyed the first part as well so it took some time, sorry.

    When I studied chemistry there was a very nice handicapped woman that washed the floor. One day she came to me and asked me if I could please let her know what was in the trash. I understood that she was deaf, but she could speak and it was possible to write to her. I understood at once that she needed that someone saw the situation. At that time all kind of chemicals went into the trash and it was very interesting to see how many intelligent that felt a deaf washing lady was nothing to really care about, that the chemicals should be handled in proper way was also nothing to really care about, it took time to think what one should do with the wast then. It is all changed now, thanks to a deaf woman that sad her opinions to people that regarded them self as better as her, me included, so its very important to work for ethics and humanity in science also today! BT has a good article about this in part two page 28.

    Have a lovely day ; )

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