Sunday, June 24, 2007

Self-Righteous Obsession Dehumanizes
By Bashir Goth
The tragedy of Alan Johnston and many other Western journalists before him who were either kidnapped or slaughtered in cold blood is not about neutrality or journalistic objectivity; it is about a people living in religious obsession losing their minds. The Muslim world is tangled in benighted hatred of the West. Even the dividing line between extremism and moderateness is blurring by the day.

It is a world consumed by extreme egoism and self-righteousness. People who see themselves as speaking on behalf of God are difficult to deal with. These are people who assume that their religion is the right one, their causes the only just causes, their dead the only martyrs and that no matter how much they kill, maim and slaughter each other, it is only when a Western bullet hits one of their own that all the world’s injustice is revealed. It is a world where children see suicide bombers as their best role models, where mothers celebrate when their sons and daughters take their own lives and the lives of other innocent civilians enjoying quality time with their loved ones in coffee shops and nightclubs.

It is also absurd to blame these actions on occupation or Western intervention because occupation and Western intervention in other parts of the world have not bred such hatred for humanity. The world didn’t witness suicide bombings in South Africa during the apartheid era, nor were Western journalists kidnapped or slaughtered in the former Yugoslavia during the American and NATO intervention in early 1990s.

It is humanly impossible to talk about neutrality and objective reporting in a world wallowing in self-pity and living with an obsessive feeling of victimization, where the only objective report they can relate to is to bloat their grievances and glorify their violence. I can’t see self-respecting Western journalists debasing themselves to describe suicide bombers as martyrs and repeating it ad nauseam in their news bulletins like Al Jazeera. And as long as the Muslim people view every Westerner as a Jew and every Jew as a legitimate target for hatred and bigotry, Western journalists have no option but to carry on the “white man’s burden” in the positive sense of the statement and continue with their noble mission, preparing to sacrifice the lives of more fearless journalists such as Daniel Pearl and Martin Adler and the freedom of more devoted reporters like Alan Johnston. Read More in Newsweek/WashingtonPost

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