I seldom blog about race and religion. It’s a sensitive topic. I do not know if our people, or our conservative government, is ready to discuss it openly.
On the one hand, people tell me we need to desensitize our people to such volatile topics. We need to open up public discourse to discuss, debate our differences, tensions and insecurities. On the other hand, any discussion on race and religion inadvertently, always, leads to the consequences that we all try to avoid. We are not as matured as we think.
So there I was talking to my associates on Phar-East Festival when a young man walked in with a Nazi symbol on his jacket. He looked more like he was an aide at a metal rock concert than a delegate visiting Pharm and Biotech Festival. Now all the talk in the newspapers about Watain begins to make even more sense to me.
Death metal has a big problem. It’s a Nazi-sized problem, pardon the pun. And there’s no point ignoring it any further. I decided to blog it.
If you have been visiting Mars and not read the papers, Watain is a Swedish death metal band. Our dear Government just pulled the plug on them hours before the concert.
Who are these people? They call themselves a Satanic band. Yet, they also subscribe to philosophies like Odinism and Wotanism, that celebrate old Norse gods.
But there is a darker side. These are the same philosophies attracting Neo-Nazis, far-right fascists and white supremacists in Europe and America. Metal bands in America like Skrewdriver and RaHoWa have been leading white supremacist groups for decades. (RaHoWa, by the way, is an acronym for Racial Holy War). Any self-righteous politically correct activist worth their salt should start with these people first.
Now, some metal fans and musicians might say that adopting Nazi imagery is purely an aesthetic choice. But this is the world of Trump. This is a world where fascists no longer care about subtlety. When people lie about a restaurant running a paedophile ring, real people do go out and shoot people.
Since Watain sings “Fuck your Jewish God!”. Since they have abused animals and used their blood and organs as props on stage. Since their lead singer has openly celebrated the oppression of Christianity. Worse, they glorify and sing about death and suicide to their young impressionable audience. As a medical personnel, let me assure you these are not trivial matters to be ignored. Watain has to be taken at their word.
Their lead singer agrees that “I think criminal activities and metal are naturally connected.” (https://www.revolvermag.com/music/watains-erik-danielsson-theres-never-been-any-line-weve-been-afraid-cross).
Their guitarist has been photographed giving the Nazi salute (http://www.metalsucks.net/2018/03/27/watain-photo-of-guitarist-giving-the-nazi-salute-surfaces-online/ )
Their lyrics and behaviour have to be taken at face value.
Back to our friend I met the other day. He wears a leather jacket with a red Nazi swastika on the back. What race do you think the man was? I don’t want to sound racist. But you would probably get it right.
There is a very strange obsession amongst them with Nazi symbols. Whether it is a mindless attempt at anti-establishment behaviour, or some kind of aesthetic choice, or just their fashionable hatred of Jewish people, it is still appalling to celebrate an ideology that murdered millions of innocent people. Try wearing a shirt with Pol Pot face in Cambodia.
The crazy thing is that many of these young men would themselves be targets in Europe by the Islamophobia being vehemently stoked by Metal bands and their fascist fan base.
I wonder how would they feel about the lyrics from Orkan, a song from another Norwegian metal band, Taake. It goes:
“Til Helvete med Muhammed og Muhammedanerne/
To hell with Muhammad and Muslims/
I didn’t say that. Another metal band did.
Would it be ok if we allow a Christian metal band to perform “Oppress Muslims, Kill all Palestinian and Arabs’’? Or a Chinese singer singing about “Kill all Malays, Kill all Indians?’’ A big “No’’ for me, for sure. For those with the middle fingers, hope you get the drift.
If we all agree that a band or a preacher expousing anti-Islam content should be banned, but that explicit anti-Christian lyrics should be allowed, then what you’re really saying, is that Muslims cannot handle religious insults but Christians can. That’s quite racist. And that’s the real reason why Watain was banned. It is just good policy. Nothing to do with being secular or not.
I am just disappointed that IMDA didn’t do it earlier in the first place.