European Theater

Al-Masri conviction reveals "free speech" double standard

This is cute. Just as the cartoon controversy is being portrayed as evidence of Western values of "free speech" versus inherent Islamic intolerance, comes the conviction of Shiekh Abu Hamza al-Masri in Britain—on charges of, basically, expressing his opinions publicly. That he holds some pretty awful opinions is beside the point. The jihad fan club in the blogosphere will have a field day revelling in this irresistibly ironic display of Western hypocrisy, as Jihad Unspun does in the below blurb. Note that the Sheikh was acquitted of the charges which actually sound vaguely legitimate, "solicitation to murder" and "threatening behavior."

Once more into the breach: Chomsky and Bosnia

As we noted in November, Noam Chomsky appears to have utterly lost his moral compass in his advancing years, jumping on the Bosnia revisionism bandwagon and, in one unsavory incident, engaging in blatanly censorious behavior towards a writer who dared to challenge him. His legions of supporters seem incapable of grasping the irony of this recent episode: On Oct. 31, The Guardian ran an interview ("The Greatest Intellectual?") in which writer Emma Brockes called him out over a letter he signed in defense of Diana Johnstone, whose claims in the Swedish left-wing journal Ordfront that the 1995 Srebrenica massacre was exaggerated had sparked a storm of (well-deserved) protest. Defending Johnstone on free speech grounds (that is, defending her right to publish) would be legitimate, even if an ill-chosen battle. But in the interview, Chomsky went further, praising her disingenuous and distorted claims as "very careful and outstanding work."

From there, the story only gets worse—much worse.

Kosova independence leader Ibrahim Rugova dead at 61

From London News, Jan. 22:

Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova died on Saturday aged 61, after a long fight with lung cancer. Mr Rugova was a key player fighting for peace in the region for more than a decade. He took on the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic and symbolized the struggle by Kosovo's majority ethnic Albanians for independence from Serbia.

Moscow: slasher attack at synagogue

From The Scotsman, Jan. 12:

A man armed with a knife wounded several people, including a rabbi, at a synagogue in Moscow yesterday. One Jewish official said the man called out as he burst into the building: "I will kill people, I will kill Jews."

Spain: top general warns of war over Catalan autonomy

As if the controversy over the Basque country wasn't enough, now a Spanish general rattles the proverbial sabre over moves by Catalonia, Spain's most industrialized region, to seek greater autonomy from Madrid. A lovely irony: as the world waits for Balkan republics like Croatia to outgrow recent fascistic leanings in order to gain European Union entry, we have EU member Spain displaying its own atavistic fascist tendencies. From Reuters, Jan. 6:

Moscow-Kiev tensions escalate

Tensions are mounting between Russia and Ukraine over the former's massive hike in the price of natural gas it sells to the latter. Ukraine has until now received cut-price gas in return for allowing Russia to pipe fuel across its territory to western Europe. But Gazprom, the state-owned Russian fuel company, has announced it is raising the price for gas supplied to Ukraine by more than 400%.

France: car burnings back to "average"

From The Scotsman, Dec. 26:

French police said about 100 vehicles were burned overnight, which marked an average weekend tally for urban violence and did not signify a flare-up of violence after riots last month.

Spain: more al-Qaeda busts?

From the BBC, Dec. 19:

Spanish police have arrested 14 people suspected of being members of an Islamist extremist group, with links to al-Qaeda.

The arrests were made in the southern towns of Malaga, Nerja and Seville.

Syndicate content