Tuesday, June 19, 2007


"'If someone commits suicide bombing to protect the honour of the Prophet Muhammad, his act is justified,' [Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister Mohammad Ejaz ul-Haq] said, according to Reuters news agency.

The minister later clarified his statement, saying extremists could use it to justify attacks."

Rushdie diplomatic row escalates. BBC News.
You think? Every so often you've really got to wonder what people are thinking when they make public statements. I was always under the impression that politicians, no matter what the position or country, were supposed to be well, politic, in making speaking to the media. Here in the United States, politicians can be so circumspect that they can pontificate for an hour and a half without offending anyone, saying anything that they can be held accountable for, or even imparting any information at all. On the flip side of that coin Minister ul-Haq's statement strikes me as being neither shrewd nor tactful, but instead aimed at telling the British, "Well, now that you've knighted Salman Rushdie, it's your own fault when good Moslems start blowing themselves up in your streets."

As is often the way of such things, the minister's comments mainly drew fire from the West. There wasn't much in the way of high-profile condemnation from the Moslem world. Which might be surprising, in the face of the perception that Moslems are infamously touchy about implications that Islam is violent. Remember the reaction to the Pope's comments of some months ago? Although I suspect that more than a few moderates are shaking their heads in disbelief.

Given the common Western misconception that Islam is effectively a mono culture, with no real difference between one group and any other group, this sort of thing merely adds to the distrust. Allowing the Western press to be dominated by stories that depict Moslems, their religious leaders, and their governments as sanctioning violence doesn't do them any good. But I suppose that without a Moslem Office of Media Affairs in Mecca or somewhere, it's up to us to remember that we only see a small slice of a larger community in our media.

1 comment:

ben said...

Dude ... he's the fucking "Pakistani Religious Affairs Minister" - did you really expect more? It's a position that shouldn't even exist in government.

All religion sucks but, currently, Islam is doing a bang up job at REALLY sucking. :)