Monday, September 18, 2006

Dumb-ass protest of the week

OK, so can anyone tell me how a general strike in Kashmir called by the Hurriyat, Daktar-e-Millat and others, is an effective protest over the Pope quoting Manuel Palaeologus in a speech? I guess it works like this:

"What? Quoting 14th-century Emperors is he? I'll show the bastard - honey, we're closing for the day! If he thinks he's gonna get a plane from the Vatican, come here and buy any household goods today, then he's got another thing coming!"

I think for the benefit of their future dignity, someone maybe should tell the Hurriyat that the point of a strike is to exercise traction (often economic, always political) over the body being protested against. And that shop owners in Kashmir don't have any traction over the Vatican.

This is a not dissimilar argument, by the way, to the one that says burning effigies in the street is not a good way to protest accusations that your faith was spread by the sword.

And yes, I know lots of Muslim leaders have come out and accepted the Vatican's apology, condemned violence, etcetera, before anyone decides to cite the obvious. And, just as obviously, that the majority of Muslims would be horrified by violence in the name of protest. Nevertheless, it seems to me that such protests as there have been range from from the bizarre to the vile.


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