Monday, May 15, 2006

UK -"We call it Islamic terrorism because it is"

And this is in the Observer.

The United Nations held 'World Press Freedom Day 2006' earlier this month. I don't know why. Maybe the UN realised that so many of its member states stifled press and other freedoms they needed encouragement to do better. If so, the day was a wretched failure.

It began promisingly. At a meeting in Westminster, Roger Koeppel, editor-in-chief of the centre-right German paper Die Welt, gave a classic defence of freedom of expression. He had done what no British editor dared do and printed the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. He received the customary death threats, but didn't regret it, because 'it is essential to protect freedom of expression because of all the pain we have invested to keep our liberal, secular society'.

Dr Maleeha Lodhi, the Pakistani High Commissioner to Britain, opposed him. She denounced 'the tendency in the West to say, "We insult our own, so we can insult yours, too." Well, no. We do have a problem with that and we demand respect'. Her 'demand' for censorship was a faithful reflection of her masters' policy. The Pakistani military dictatorship not only has blasphemy laws, but also forces journalists to resign, arrests them and holds them in solitary confinement. The monitoring agency Freedom House succinctly describes the Pakistani media as 'not free', and they aren't.

Read the rest.

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