Monday, March 24, 2008

News Round-up Again

Gee, I take a few days off for Spring Break and hordes of things happen.

Remember that guy in Morocco who pretended to be a prince (link and update) on Facebook? Well, he's been freed.

The Foreign Minister for Switzerland, who happens to be female, caused a scandal because she dared to wear a headscarf when she visited Ahmadinejad in Iran. Gasp! Wait a minute, isn't that the law in Iran? And if she hadn't worn it, she probably wouldn't have been able to move around or even see Ahmadinejad? But I suppose it's better to condemn her because headscarves are cruel and oppressive.

Saudi Arabia has decided to "retrain" about 40,000 prayer leaders, in an effort to fight radical Islam. We'll see how that goes. And if I can find the link, Saudi Arabia has also just opened up the first all-female hotel, for women.

And in more Gulf news, Air Emirates will now allow you to use your mobile phone to make calls in flight.

Canada is having a battle over free speech. Personally, I'm kind of split over the issue. On the one hand, you have a major newspaper columnist spouting hate speech, which is his right (but should it be printed?). On the other hand, you have Muslims who are tired of hearing the hate speech. What do you do? One thing I like to do is to change the wording to focus on other groups. Sometimes words may not seem racist or prejudiced, but if you change the target group, then you can see the bigotry. If you want a good example, see this case (YouTube clip), which involves a state representative in Oklahoma saying that gays are ruining the country and are a threat worse than terrorism or Islam, and then claiming that's not prejudiced (bashing gays, not bashing Muslims). A blogger from her state switched the word "homosexuals" for the word "Jews" to show how bigoted her statement was.

Last, but not least, the BBC has video interviews with 5 Iraqis.

No comments: