Wed, 08 Feb 2006
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...