The importance of discrimination

06 Nov

By “discrimination” I mean the faculty of making nuanced judgments about an issue. The heat generated here of late around the Mufti, Islam, and so on, is a case in point. Last night ABC-TV’s most important offering was not its celebration of fifty years but Compass, which dealt with the complexity of Islam in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim nation.

In this two-part special Geraldine Doogue travels to our near neighbour, the world’s most populous Muslim country, where a battle is underway for the hearts and minds of believers. Part One focuses on progressive Muslim leaders as they try to counter extremism, fundamentalism and a general swing to the right amongst Muslims, in a bid to promote an open, tolerant and pluralist version of their faith.

Part Two is next Sunday night. Such programs help us to become more objective, more nuanced, in our thinking, which is the polar opposite of the usual op-ed pieces in the Daily Telegraph or the usual pub talk or talkback radio talk, or indeed far too many blogs on the subject.

On the verdict on Saddam Hussein, read Baghdad Burning.

…Iraq has not been this bad in decades. The occupation is a failure. The various pro-American, pro-Iranian Iraqi governments are failures. The new Iraqi army is a deadly joke. Is it really time to turn Saddam into a martyr? Things are so bad that even pro-occupation Iraqis are going back on their initial ‘WE LOVE AMERICA’ frenzy. Laith Kubba (a.k.a. Mr. Catfish for his big mouth and constant look of stupidity) was recently on the BBC saying that this was just the beginning of justice, that people responsible for the taking of lives today should also be brought to justice. He seems to have forgotten he was one of the supporters of the war and occupation, and an important member of one of the murderous pro-American governments. But history shall not forget Mr. Kubba.

Iraq saw demonstrations against and for the verdict. The pro-Saddam demonstrators were attacked by the Iraqi army. This is how free our media is today: the channels that were showing the pro-Saddam demonstrations have been shut down. Iraqi security forces promptly raided them.Welcome to the new Iraq…

She lives there. Yes, just one view among many. Read it, and exercise your own powers of discrimination. But she has a good track record for being comparatively sceptical on all sides there.

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One response to “The importance of discrimination

  1. Go to Ahmad Shuja's site

    November 8, 2006 at 9:35 am

    Wednesday 8 November

    Go to Partial Justice Is No Justice for a serious critique of the significance of the Saddam Hussein verdict. Ahmad is a very young journalism student from Afghanistan living in Pakistan. He is far from being an apologist for terrorism or a member of the Saddam fan club, even if occasional right-wing comments to that effect have appeared on his blog — comments reflective of the commenter’s lack of thought, generally.

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