The Corner

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Berlin Redux


The New York Times is reporting that officials in a “deeply conservative” (in other words, radical Islamic) Pakistani province have begun public burnings of “obscene” materials. Apparently “the burned material included English-language, Indian and Pashtun films, as well as pornographic films and films of Turkish dancing.”

Turkish dancing?

And, yes, there is more than a touch of 1930s Berlin about the image this presents. We’ve seen these types of “official” before, self-satisfied in their self-righteousness as they make a bonfire of “offensive” materials before a cheering crowd of fanatics and other fools.

In the aftermath of the horrors of the last century we no longer need to turn to Heinrich Heine (“Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned”) to remind us where it usually ends.

With people.