Friday, March 25, 2016

Negan and The Walking Jihadists

Who or what is “Negan”?

Negan is a vile, evil character who will debut in April at the end of Season Six of The Walking Dead. Negan is a brutal tyrant who lords over an enclave of plague survivors and likes to smash victims’ heads with a baseball bat sheathed in barbed wire. He has a policy of extortion that requires other, productive enclaves to give him half of what they have in exchange for his not raiding, raping, enslaving, and killing their inhabitants and trashing their communities.

As one of their spokesmen said to others in an earlier teaser scene: “Everything you own now belongs to Negan.” His group or gang is called The Saviors. Negan’s crew are dedicated nihilists.

The comic book Negan, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan
Negan could be taken as a metaphor for the Obama administration, or for Islamic jihadists. Both entities are looters, plunderers, and destroyers.

Advisory: I am not a “zombie” fan or aficionado by any means. Out of desperation to watch anything of interest on Netflix, I tried the first episodes of The Walking Dead and found them intriguing in the personal conflicts and character growth of many of the characters. Nor am I enamored of the original and ongoing graphic comics rendition of the series, written by Robert Kirkman. The artwork in the comics is crude and without any redeeming value whatsoever, and the storyline in the dialogue is banal, naturalistic, if not repellant. Fortunately, the AMC TV series does not follow the graphic comics’ storyline.

The similarities between Negan and his Savior underlings and Islam and Muslims are striking to those observant enough to see the parallels and not afraid to point them out. The Islamic Negan has been raiding, killing, and trashing Western societies for decades. Note the latest raid in Brussels. Often these Negan jihadists and invaders are invited into these societies for a variety of political and economic reasons.  Daniel Greenfield as Sultan Knish wrote, and warned, in 2010, in his column, “Immigration Jihad,” and the incremental and inevitable Islamization of Austria:

Where once upon a time Islamic armies had to lay siege, plant gunpowder charges and finally breach the walls in massive costly charges-- today they can simply hop a plane. And so what started out as a few newspaper vendors, factory workers and janitors, morphed into a full blown cultural invasion complete with a network of Islamic schools where students are taught that Islam is incompatible with democracy, that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, and where 8.5 percent of the teachers surveyed said that it is understandable when violence is used to spread Islam. The pattern however is not limited to Vienna, it exists worldwide…..

But like any takeover in which the enemy is allowed inside the gates, it could not happen without the active collaboration of those on the inside. And they have their various motivations. Left of center politicians and parties often expect that Muslim immigrants will serve as a reliable voting base for them, and they are correct about that—in the short term. Meanwhile more middle of the road pols see rising population figures as a regional net benefit and a shot at elevating their own political importance, without examining the consequences down the road. Companies are always on the lookout for cheap labor, and particularly in countries and areas with a low birth rate, there are always some dirty jobs that need doing. The jobs that Americans, Austrians, Frenchmen, Israelis and Norwegians don't want to do. But those same jobs are also part of the critical infrastructure of a local economy. And by capturing them, they capture the base processes by which the system exists.

The production values of the TV series, however, are first-rate and profit from a first-class cast, half of whose principal actors, one learns to one’s astonishment, are British. Most of the characters are supposed to hail from twangy Georgia. But, not a vowel of tea-and-crumpets escapes their dialogue.

However, in literature, while there is a limited amount of malevolence one can accept in fiction, it is not, or should not be, an unlimited feature; a continual presence of evil or of a malevolent character or theme can dull one’s brain and make one hostile to any and all values.  In a story, evil or malevolence must be defeated at some point and rendered impotent. If it is not foiled and made powerless, but instead becomes a continuous presence and theme in a story, then there is no point in contemplating the story any further.

This is basically the state of literature and art today. There is little respite from the malaise. One finds relief where one can.

That is what is going to happen in The Walking Dead, and when it does, off will go my screen.

The almost drooling anticipation in many of the series’ fans of the debut of Negan in the finale of Season Six of The Walking Dead, which I have been watching as a dramatization of emergency ethics in an apocalyptic world, is not flattering to those fans. I sense that the writers and directors of The Walking Dead are going to at least partially pander to fans’ appetites for brutality and gore. Which would mean that I stop watching the series. 

Many strong characters emerged over the six seasons, chief among them, at least from my moral and esthetic tastes, Carol Peletier (played by Melissa McBride) and Daryl Dixon (played by Norman Reedus). 

Carol’s character blossomed from a self-effacing housewife with a brute of a husband (who dies early on) into an efficacious dreadnaught of a zombie fighter who finds values to fight for outside of her formerly shrunken realm of domestic chores.
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, and Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead's most heroic characters.

The character of Daryl evolved from an ambiguous, loud-mouthed, back-country redneck to one of moral certitude and honesty.

A bellwether indication of the direction the series is taking now is in the character of Morgan Jones, played by British actor and playwright, Lennie James, who in a very long episode is depicted as being converted to some pacifist philosophy of life – actually a martial art – Aikido, by a recluse. It is called “The Art of Peace,” in which “All life is precious.”  

Morgan encounters the Wolves, looters and killers. He easily defeats them – but does not kill them – and leaves them unconscious in an abandoned car, safe and sound. He encounters them again in a later episode, and again lets them go, who go on to kill again. Because “all life is precious,” and the killers can “change.”

What is the difference between the Negans of fiction and the Negans of the real world? The fiction will not kill you. The real ones can and will. As happened in Paris and Brussels and New York City and dozens of other places over decades. There are dozens of Koranic verses for violence that the fictional Negans could just as well adopt, such as:

An Islamic Negan: Kill them, slay them, take what is theirs.

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then, when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds; then set them free, either by grace or ransom, till the war lays down its loads. So it shall be; and if Allah had willed, He would have avenged Himself upon them; but that He may try some of you by means of others. And those who are slain in the way of Allah, He will not send their works astray.”

2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, and expel them from where they expelled you; persecution is more grievous than slaying. But fight them not by the Holy Mosque until they should fight you there; then, if they fight you, slay them — such is the recompense of unbelievers, but if they give over, surely Allah is All-forgiving,

Angela Merkel, the French, the Swedes, the Danes, and other European countries welcomed the hordes of barbarians into their countries because they believed that “all life is precious.” Substitute Allah for “Negan” and you get the horrifying idea that Muslims do not regard all life as precious, especially not the lives of infidels. If Allah can will it, so can Negan. These are the Negan Jihadists.

1 comment:

Steve Jackson said...

I tend to think it's over for Western Europe. France is already 10% Muslim. There was a story on Jihad Watch that 25% of high school students in France are Muslim. I've heard people (including Objectivists) say the problem is that European countries don't "assimilate" Muslims, as if that's something that can be done against people's will. And an "assimilated' Muslim population in France would mean that 10% of the police are Muslims (and 10% of people responsible for baggage handling and security at airports are Muslim, etc.) In some sense, I'd rather them remain unasamilated.

A few weeks ago I read a story that a Somali baggage handler at the Minneapolis airport was arrested on terrorism charges (don't recall if it was related to the airport).

The countries in Eastern Europe are doing better, but most are members of the EU and the Shengen Zone. So Muslims in, say France or Germany, can freely move to the Czech and Slovakian republicans (if I understand things correctly).

If I had children I'd teach them Russian. Belorussia is 0.2% Muslim, according to Wikipedia.