Monday, July 13, 2009

Two measures, two weights

“The outrage of so many outraged people outrages me.
On the scales of world opinion, some Muslim corpses are
light as a feather, and others weigh tonnes.
Two measures, two weights."
(Andre Glucksmann)

Z-word's Eamon McDonagh posts:

"Writing in
El País today, Moisés Naím condemns the silence of the Muslim world in the face of Chinese repression of the Uighurs and contrasts it with the indignation produced the the publication of a few cartoons in Denmark. Readers will be able to figure out for themselves the relevance of all this for the themes with which this blog mainly concerns itself. The following is my translation of Naím’s article."

Caroline Fourest wrote in Le Monde (translated by commenterPaula):

“The Arab world gets inflamed over the Palestinians but never over the Uighurs. Rebiya Kadeer [the Uighur leader who lives in exile in the U.S.] has an explanation: “In their eyes we are just Asians, and foremost, we are not oppressed by either the United States or Israel, therefore they are not interested.” Whereas 12 small Danish drawings sent shockwaves, the fact that Korans are burn by Chinese officials in Xinjang (information given by Rebiya Kadeer which I have not been able to verify) doesn’t give rise to the slightest of murmurs. When Uighur dissidents seek refuge in Muslims countries, they are immediately sent back to the Chinese authorities.”

Reminder: Martha Nussbaum about the silence of the world following the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat:

"I am made uneasy by the single-minded focus on Israel. Surely it is unseemly for Americans to discuss boycotts of another country on the other side of the world without posing related questions about American policies and actions that are not above moral scrutiny. Nor should we fail to investigate relevantly comparable cases concerning other nations. For example, one might consider possible responses to the genocide of Muslim civilians in the Indian state of Gujarat in the year 2002, a pogrom organized by the state government, carried out by its agents, and given aid and comfort by the national government of that time (no longer in power). I am disturbed by the world’s failure to consider such relevantly similar cases. I have heard not a whisper about boycotting Indian academic institutions and individuals, and I have also, more surprisingly, heard nothing about the case in favor of an international boycott of U.S. academic institutions and individuals. I am not sure that there is anything to be said in favor of a boycott of Israeli scholars and institutions that could not be said, and possibly with stronger justification, for similar actions toward the United States and especially India and/or the state of Gujarat.

I would not favor an academic boycott in any of these cases, but I think that they ought to be considered together, and together with yet other cases in which governments are doing morally questionable things. One might consider, for example, the Chinese government’s record on human rights; South Korea’s lamentable sexism and indifference to widespread female infanticide and feticide; the failure of a large number of the world’s nations, including many, though not all, Arab nations, to take effective action in defense of women’s bodily integrity and human equality; and many other cases."


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