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Rohit Singh
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Wed, 08 Feb 2006

Right From the Horse's Mouth...

...Or something like that- a German journalist whose paper reprinted the Danish cartoons talks about why his paper printed it. Essentially: "we didn't print it 3 months ago because they were in bad taste, now they are news so we printed them". Something like the rationalization behind the Abu Ghraib photos. Fair enough. And he gets in a zinger about the US Govt, "which likes to see itself as the home of free speech", advocating restrictions on such speech elsewhere.

Had a discussion with my officemate y'day, where we were lamenting that Muslims (read: Middle East) missed a great opportunity to take the moral high-ground in the general debate about Islam. An issue that could have been made into the poster-child for West's insensitivity to Islamic culture- afterall, the photos really were in bad taste considering the general Islamic tabboo against idolatry-- has been made into a issue where Muslims (read: Middle East) are again being lectured about free speech and tolerance. It is left to *non-muslims* to point out that the West in general and Europe in particular does place limits on free expression, so it really is quite proper to debate the logic in printing these pictures of Mohammed. What a pity!

Kinda like the Palestinian issue, really. Tactically speaking, it should be so easy for the Palestinians to portray themselves as the injured party and raise money and turn international opinion against Israel that it really is a miracle how disliked they have made themselves. Even the IRA, despite its bombings, was better at maintaining some goodwill outside UK (especially, in the USA).

In this respect, all fundies should take leaf out of the conservative Christians' book. Those guys have the art of protesting, boycotting, and putting-on-a-general-air-of-injured-innocence down pat. Heck, they have perfected the technique of going after the soft spots of their targets, e.g., focusing on the sponsor of a TV show, rather than (ineffective) letters to the network itself.

I am not saying that we should all become fundies- far from it! But if you really do want to protest, at least do it effectively. Christian and Jewish groups are past masters at these methods; Hindu groups are learning the tricks; and the Muslim groups are ...well...

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