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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Here's a helpful little idea from a Lebanese blogger, suggesting Arabs put a box on their sites saying they're not for terrorist. The comments that follow are interesting. Some people approve. Others think that Arabs shouldn't have to apologize for terrorism because they "have nothing to do with it" and it "stigmatizes" them to apologize. Needless to say, I find that a weak argument. First of all, it's the terrorism that stigmatizes them. Apologizing might clean up their image a bit. Second, when people are murdering innocents in your name, it kinda behooves you to say, "Hey, whoa, there, Jack, I don't really appreciate what you're up to, there." Kind of, you know, the way many Americans demonstrate against the Iraq War and others of us tried to fire the guy responsible for it...

I know some readers wish I'd stick to the screenwriting stuff, but screenwriting is all about words and images standing for big ideas, so I consider it on topic. (Anyway, it's still a free country, and it's my blog.)

Via Martine.


What's the old saying?

"Every revolution begins with someone saying "this isn't right."

If more people just stood up (or put a block on their blog) and said that, the world would be a much less confusing place.

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 8:46 PM  

You should definitely stick to the screenwriting Alex but not for the reasons outlined in your post.

Muslims have to 'clean up their image'? When I think of foaming at the mouth fanatics I'm more likely to conjure up images of fundamentalist Christians that Muslims. I’d rather see them out on the streets with placards apologizing for helping reelect George Bush.

You mention freedom of speech. Well, people have the right to keep their mouths shut too. The same way you don't have to post up a banner on your site condemning terrorism. It’s a personal choice. Conversely, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with a show of solidarity if that's what you feel impassioned to do. That kind of affirmative action is inspiring.

You talk about innocents being killed in ‘their’ name. How many innocents have been killed in Iraq or in Palestine? In whose name is that? In Italy certain sections of the press are calling for governments to take the fight against their own Islamic communities. To purge the cancer within. Far right groups in London are targeting Muslim communities and not everyone is complaining. And this is democracy? Thanks for perpetuating the sentiment on your blog.

By Blogger Matt Reynolds, at 12:04 AM  

Actually, the first thing Prime Minister Tony Blair did after 7/7 was to defend British Muslims, pre-emptively, from accusations and attacks. Ditto George Bush after 9/11. Muslim leaders don't seem so quick to disapprove of hate attacks, except in Britain.

And there have been PLENTY of demonstrations in the West AND in Israel against the deaths of civilians by the US Army and the Israeli Army. During the Intifada (but not so much during the suicide bombings), Peace Now used to get hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting the war with the Palestinians.

Not so much among the Muslims...

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 8:15 AM  

You might be a little more confused about who you wanted to demonstrate against if you were a muslim. Do you realize how many millions of children have been killed by sanctions against Iraqi children over the past decade let alone because of westerners who decided to bring on this most recent war? These are children that died because they were not allowed access to basic antibiotics because of sanction and also children and families that were constantly being bombed by "smart" U.S. Bombs. You folks in the U.S. and in the west are so isolated by these wars that you wage on people. Just go ahead and watch these wars safely from your T.V.'s and think you know what you're talking about when it comes to pain and suffering. You get hit once and think everyone should be on your side. Try losing half of your family and see what that does to you. Who's the real enemey? Wake up buddy.....

By Blogger marvelousd, at 5:38 PM  

Yes, and of course this is an EXCELLENT reason to murder women and children in the West.

What I take away from this is that people like you think it's okay to murder civilians in the West because the West has done Bad Things in the East.

Personally I think murdering civilians in either place is a Bad Thing. And I think the attitude of "terrorism is naughty but I understand it because" is barely a notch above terrorism itself: less reprehensible, but more craven.

And incidentally, the children died because Saddam didn't want to take the UN's Oil for Food deal -- he didn't appreciate being told to spend his oil money on medicines, not guns.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 9:30 PM  

Wait a second....I never said that anyone was justified to kill anybody. I was just trying to say that the enemy here is not just "terrorist" groups, but also the U.S. and the western governments that are providing their own terror and killing. The oil-for-food program was a joke. Also, the U.S. decided to punish a whole country consisting of millions of poeple with sanctions for over a decade denying a whole population of basic life sustaining supplies because of one horrible dictator that wasn't hurt one bit by sanctions. It also completely depleted the Iraqi oil infrastructure (which has now given Halliburton a great money making opportunity). And hey, don't forget it was the U.S. that funded Saddam Hussein with weapons and billions of dollars in aid even AFTER they knew he gassed and killed thousands of his own people in the 80s. The reason he got so powerful was BECAUSE of the U.S. War is awful for anyone. I just don't think the isolated countries in the west realize what this Iraq war has done to the moral of the people. You don't see it in the newspapers. All that this violence has done has created more hatred and feelings of revenge. More people losing their families and wanting to hide in a hole or worse yet bring misguided youth to want to join whatever crazy group they can to get revenge. Iraq was a secular country before the U.S. waged its war that was not at all aligned with Al-Qaeda. Now, it is more succeptible to aligning with such fundamentalist ideologies. And tell me, was the U.S. and England justified in waging this war? In fact, as we all know their reasons for going were proven to be untrue.

Bill, it's not about justifying terrorism, but to beat it we do need to understand why it's growing - not just decide to go and kill a bunch of people blowing up countries left and right. That tactic is obviously not working, but making things worse.

I agree with you, all of us need to say that none of this is right. Not just live life as normal as our american and english governments are advising. However, I don't think pointing the finger at muslims to do it for us is going to help the cause.

By the way, the muslim image you're talking about is what you've read and seen by western media. Not at all an unbiased picture. Most folks want the killing to stop. There have been plenty of muslim groups that have protested against terrorism, you just don't see it in the news. Try searching on Muslims against terror. By that token, there are plenty of muslims that are on all sides of the issue just like christians and other religious groups.

By Blogger marvelousd, at 5:57 PM  

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