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Jewish World Review
Nov. 22, 2006
/ 1 Kislev, 5767
The American press should count its blessings
In between breathless condemnations of the Bush administration for stifling
its free speech, endless court filings demanding classified and sensitive
information from the military and intelligence agencies, and self-pitying
media industry confabs bemoaning their hemorrhaging circulations (with the
exception of the New York Post), my colleagues in the American media don't
have much to time to give thanks. Allow me:
Give thanks we don't live in Bangladesh, where you can be put on trial for
writing columns supporting Israel and condemning Muslim violence. Just ask
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of Blitz, the largest tabloid
English-language weekly in Bangladesh. He is currently facing a sedition
trial for speaking out about the threats radical Islam poses in Bangladesh.
He has been imprisoned, harassed, beaten, and condemned. In court last week,
his persecutors read tese charges against him: "By praising the Jews and
Christians, by attempting to travel to Israel and by predicting the
so-called rise of Islamist millitancy in the country and expressing such
through writings inside the country and abroad, you have tried to damage the
image and relations of Bangladesh with the outside world." For expressing
these dissident opinions, he faces the possibility of execution.
Give thanks we don't live in Egypt, where bloggers have been detained by the
government for criticizing Islam and exposing the apathy of Cairo police to
sexual harassment of women. Just ask Abdel Karim Suliman Amer, 22, who was
arrested earlier this month for "spreading information disruptive of public
order", "incitement to hate Muslims" and "defaming the President of the
Republic." Ask Rami Siyam, who blogs under the name of Ayyoub, and has been
outspoken in his criticism of Egyptian brutality. He was detained this week
along with three friends after leaving the house of a fellow blogger. His
host, 24-year-old reformist Muslim Muhammad al-Sharqawi, had been detained
by the Egyptian government this spring as he left a peaceful demonstration
in Cairo where he had displayed a sign reading, "I want my rights." Sharqawi
was beaten in prison over several weeks.
Give thanks we don't live in Sudan, where editors can lose their heads for
not kowtowing to the government line. Ask the family of Mohammed Taha,
editor-in-chief of the Sudanese private daily Al-Wifaq, who was found
decapitated on a Khartoum street in September. He had been kidnapped by
masked jihadi gunmen. What did Taha do that cost him his life? He insulted
Islam, and dared to question Muslim history, the roots of Mohammed, and
other Muslims. Before his murder, his paper was shuttered for three months
and he was hauled into court for "blasphemy."
Give thanks we don't live in China, the world's leading jailer of
journalists and Internet critics. Consider Yang Xiaoqing, jailed for five
months because he reported corruption among local officials in the central
Hunan province. Or Yang Tianshui, sentenced to 12 years in jail this spring
for posting essays on the Internet supporting a movement by exiles to hold
free elections. Or Li Yuanlong, a Guizhou reporter for the Bijie Daily
jailed for two years on subversion charges because he dared to criticize the
ruling Communist Party on foreign websites. Or any of the other 32
journalists and 50-plus bloggers behind bars.
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Give thanks we don't live in Lebanon, where outspoken writers pay with their
lives. Journalist and Christian Orthodox activist Samir Kassir, who was
critical of Syrian involvement in Lebanon, was assassinated in a Beirut car
bombing in 2005. His colleague, An-Nahar newspaper manager Gibran Tueni was
killed in a car bombing last December. Lebanese TV anchorwoman and Christian
journalist May Chidiak survived a separate car bombing last fall, but lost
an arm, leg, and use of one eye.
Give thanks we don't live in Russia, where investigative journalists
routinely wind up dead. Last month, unreleting reporter and Putin critic
Anna Politkovskaya was found shot dead in her apartment. In the days before
her death, Politkovskaya had been working on a story about torture in
Chechnya, according to her newspaper Novaya Gazeta. She joins a death toll
that includes Paul Klebnikov, the U.S.-born editor of the Russian edition of
Forbes, who had been investigating the Russian business underworld, and was
gunned down outside his Moscow office in 2004; Valery Ivanov, editor of the
newspaper Tolyatinskoye Oborzreniye, also shot dead after investigating
organized crime and drug trafficking in 2002; and Larisa Yudina, editor of
the opposition newspaper Sovetskaya Kalmykia in southern Russia, who was
stabbed to death by former government aides.
Give thanks we don't live in Denmark, where the cartoonists who dared to
caricature Mohammed and challenge creeping sharia are still in hiding, in
fear for their lives.
Give thanks we don't live in Italy, where a spineless judge bowed to
jihadists and put famed war journalist Oriana Fallaci on trial for her
sharp-tongued critiques of Islam. She succumbed to cancer before they could
exact a vengeful penalty against the lioness. But they made the price of
"insulting" Islam known far and wide to the cowering Western media.
Give thanks we live in America, land of the free, home of the brave, where
the media's elite journalists can leak top-secret information with impunity,
win Pulitzer Prizes, cash in on lucrative book deals, routinely insult their
readership and viewership, broadcast enemy propaganda, turn a blind eye to
the victims of jihad, and cast themselves as oppressed victims on six-figure
G-d bless the U.S.A.
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Comment on JWR contributor Michelle Malkin's column by clicking here.
Michelle Malkin Archives
In Unhinged: Liberals Gone Wild
adj : affected with madness or insanity; [syn: brainsick, crazy, demented, distracted, disturbed, mad, sick, unbalanced]
The American Heritage Dictionary
*** Warning: Unhinged liberals are hazardous to the nation's health.
They're slashing your tires. Burning your lawns. Heaving pies at Republican pundits. Hurling racist epithets at minority conservatives. Nursing nutty conspiracy theories. And pining publicly for the murder of President Bush.
And they call us crazy?
In In Unhinged: Liberals Gone Wild, Michelle Malkin plays conservative Margaret Mead to the alien political creatures of the American Left. With uproarious detail and rollicking reportage, Malkin chronicles the bizarre world of leftists gone mad in their natural habitats: the mainstream media, academia, Hollywood, and Washington.
Unhinged unmasks liberals who've completely abandoned rationality and reality. They're taking chainsaws and bayonets to campaign signs. Running down political opponents with their cars. Setting fire to political opponents in effigy. Defacing war memorials. Swiping yellow ribbons off cars. And supporting the fragging of American troops.
In Unhinged, you'll meet:
- The Top 10 Unhinged Leftists, Celebrities, Media Liberals, and Politicians. - The Pennsylvania Democrat who repeatedly screamed "faggot" at his Republican opponents on the Senate floor. - The Florida Democrat who tried to run down former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris with his Cadillac. - The Democrat congressman who claimed the capture of Saddam Hussein was staged by GOP operatives to help the Bush re-election campaign. - The veteran newsman who claimed that Bush advisor Karl Rove and Osama bin Laden are working hand-in-hand to help the Republican Party. - And hundreds more unhinged liberals gone wild!
With wit, wisdom, and a bullet-proof vest, Michelle Malkin ruthlessly and raucously skewers the myths of liberal tolerance, peace, and civility. Unhinged shows how conservatives are driving their opponents mad. The good news for liberals? Self-help starts here.
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