Friday, September 29, 2006

Community Censorship Plagues the House of Islam
By Bashir Goth

Even worse than the official censorship is censorship imposed by the community, which then becomes self-censorship. Friends, colleagues and even ordinary acquaintances all impose strict censorship rules on me under the guise of being concerned about my personal safety or honor. They demand that I tone down my strong views about sensitive issues.

Freedom of the press in the Muslim world cannot be separated from freedom of expression in general. Journalists, due to their conspicuous public role, risk their lives everyday. They have been targeted and killed in Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Somalia, Sudan and other countries. The Muslim world is not a friendly place for freedom of speech at all.

Journalists, creative writers and artists all share the same fate. The writer in a Muslim society is in shackles. Every time I put pen to paper it is a struggle against the tyranny of community-imposed self-censorship. Nowhere is Rousseau's statement that "Man is born free; and everywhere he is in chains," truer than in the House of Islam.
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tailrank and Censor Watch.
Why No Action in Darfur? Race
By Bashir Goth

Looking at the prolonged suffering of the people of Darfur, one wonders why the world fails to act? There is a nagging explanation that comes to the African's mind: The question of race.

Back in July 2004 the two chambers of the U.S. Congress passed a resolution declaring the atrocities in Darfur genocide. Since then the world has been making a lot of sympathetic noise but taken no tangible action to pacify Darfur. Apart from the African Union's under financed and ill-equipped peacekeeping force, the world has been turning a deaf ear to what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.
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Politics Precedes Religion
By Bashir Goth

Looking at the Middle East and the Muslim world in general one can see that Pope Benedict's tongue in cheek apology didn't go down well. One of the renowned scholars, Sheikh Yousef Al Qaradawi, said in his popular Al Jazeera Television program that he thought the Pope had not apologized. Qaradawi had even called on Muslims to hold a day of " anger" on Friday, the last Friday before the start of Ramadan.
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