To attentive readers (from this part of the so-miscalled West) of news about culture and religion in the Middle East, it is becoming clear that something is going on. First a British General, not so explicitly but more than implicitly, admits the total failure of the war in Iraq, while explicitly concluding that Britain needs to withdraw its forces from Iraq as soon as possible. Then Mr Blair (on his last political legs) seems to agree with the military chief, indirectly admitting his incompetence as Bush-led Prime Minister. At the same time, an unprecedented campaign against the Islamic hijab and niqab is spreading throughout Europe as well as in some secularised (and not-so democratic) countries such as Tunisia.
First of all, we have to observe that during this last month there has been a lack of news about acts of terrorism (of course, terror that kills Iraqi, Afghani or Muslims is not counted), plots, and Muhammad cartoons. How can we enjoy our daily preferred newspapers with one hand juggling the breakfast coffee mug, the other tying the mismatched tie, one foot in a shoe, and the other jihading with the rebellious tongue of the odd shoe, without a succulent populist comment about the evil Muslims? Come on! Like my ancestors, the Romans, we want tragedy, blood, despair, heroes, suspense, and the victory of good over evil in the coloseum of the mass media. Of course, Muslims can only play the Caligula of this saga. In these days, male Muslims seem not to have scared even one flight passenger (and consequently being arrested under one of the other Terrorist Acts), with their most powerful bugbear: the extremist beard. Normally having no beard, Muslim women have been thrown to the lions of the coloseum by old-white-men like Jack Straw in the hope that fighting for their rights (and possibly for their livelihood and dignity and security) Muslim women may reveal a little flesh. Continue reading