Let me put aside the obvious shocking factor of being utterly disgusted by the event (is there a way to be shocked and yet not surprised), but there is something that interests me here and that’s the international media’s reaction. Did anyone notice that this crime took place in August of 2007 and is only now being reported by the international media? This story is being reported like it happened last week. Did something get lost in translation? Literally?
As fellow GVO blogger Jillian York points out, the main reason it’s getting picked up now is due to a recent statement made by the Saudi Sheik, Ali al-Maliki, who said said in what must have been a grand moment of lucidity for him: “Facebook is a door to lust and young women and men are spending more on their mobile phones and the Internet, than they are spending on food.”
I think some of the international press even amended their earlier articles to include the time frame after its late discovery. Reading this Telegraph article on the day of its publication, I don’t remember seeing this supposed drop-in. But I could be wrong about that and my eyes could be playing tricks on me. I mean I have been seeing leprechauns lately, and I do try to ignore them, but what can I say, the little green men want what the want (mostly for me to burn things). Although since others have noticed it too, I guess I’m not going crazy (yet).
It’s not only interesting, but kind of ironic, how things in this fast-paced digital age still take a while to spread and get to the right sources. The Danish cartoons literally took several months before getting picked up by the press in the Muslim world, which explains why riots took place long after their publication (the first time around). The second reprinting may just be a demonstration of the mechanics of all this are simply getting a bit better and a bit faster (which in this case, is not always a great thing).
Secondly, I don’t what’s the deal with judging everything as the reincarnation of the devil. Technology, particularly the Internet, is undeniably a Pandora’s box, but so is every thing else, including books. Should we ban the Quran simply because we don’t like “The Satanic Verses” or “The Da Vinci Code” for that matter? Okay, that may not be the best example I can think of right now, but you see my point.
Why is the first reaction to these reactionary systems of government and religion, always involve banning things, censoring them, cutting them up, setting fire to them, or even worse, declaring them Islamically, haram; a sin?
Are they under the impression that we are the only conservative culture in the world that is left to deal with the woes of technology? America deals with it on a daily basis. We see it all the time on shows like 20/20 or 60 Minutes or Dateline: someone has a problem with MySpace or Facebook or blogging. Technology, especially the Internet, evolves. It’s meant to evolve to solve these problems. There are ways to control what our kids do on the Internet by using utilities such as CyberNanny; ISPs abroad will even offer blocking services for parents who ask for them.
The idea is to find a compromise; an evolving status quo where we can use certain technologies for good, and weed out their negative aspects.
Not make them haram, and certainly not kill people over them.