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_Andy_
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:03 AM
MrsGuga, thought you'd be interested in the happenings of your country.



50 Killed Over Miss World Article
Thu Nov 21, 8:30 PM ET

By GLENN McKENZIE, Associated Press Writer

LAGOS, Nigeria - Angry mobs stabbed and set fire to bystanders Thursday in rioting that erupted after a newspaper suggested Islam's founding prophet would have approved of the Miss World (news - web sites) beauty pageant. At least 50 people were killed and 200 injured.


The violent demonstrators in the northern city of Kaduna burned churches and rampaged through the streets until hundreds of soldiers were deployed to restore calm and enforce a dusk-to-dawn curfew.


"A lot of people died. We don't know yet exactly how many ... more than 50," said Emmanuel Ijewere, the president of the Nigerian Red Cross.


Street demonstrations began Wednesday with the burning of an office of ThisDay newspaper in Kaduna after it published an article questioning Muslim groups that have condemned the Miss World pageant, to be held Dec. 7 in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.


Muslim groups say the pageant promotes sexual promiscuity and indecency.


"What would (the prophet) Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them (the contestants)," Isioma Daniel wrote in Saturday's article.


The newspaper ran a brief front-page apology on Monday, followed by a more lengthy retraction on Thursday, saying the offending passage had run by mistake.


In Thursday's rioting, more than 50 people were stabbed, bludgeoned or burned to death and 200 were seriously injured, Ijewere told The Associated Press.


At least four churches were destroyed, he said.


Many of the bodies were taken by Red Cross workers and other volunteers to local mortuaries. Many people remained inside homes that were set afire by the demonstrators, Ijewere said.


Shehu Sani of the Kaduna-based Civil Rights Congress said he watched a crowd stab one young man, then force a tire filled with gasoline around his neck and burn him alive. Sani said he saw three other bodies elsewhere in the city.

Alsa Hassan, founder of another human rights group, Alsa Care, said he saw a commuter being dragged out of his car and beaten to death by protesters.

Schools and shops hurriedly closed as hordes of young men, shouting "Allahu Akhbar," or "God is great," ignited makeshift street barricades made of tires and garbage, sending plumes of black smoke rising above the city. Others were heard chanting, "Down with beauty" and "Miss World is sin."

Hundreds of police and soldiers were deployed to restore calm. Riding in pickup trucks, they fired tear gas at protesters marching through otherwise abandoned streets waving tree branches and palm fronds.

State government officials declared a curfew of 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Previous riots in Kaduna, a largely Muslim city with a sizable Christian minority, have escalated into religious battles that killed hundreds since civilian government replaced military rule in 1999.

Islamic fundamentalist groups have for several months warned of protests against the Miss World pageant, prompting organizers to postpone the finale until after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The pageant has also drawn protests from other parts of the world.

Contestants from five countries — Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa and Panama — are boycotting the event because Islamic courts in Nigeria have sentenced several unmarried women to death by stoning for conceiving babies outside wedlock. Nigeria's government insists none of the judgments will be carried out, although it has refused to intervene directly.

Miss World publicist Stella Din said pageant organizers hoped calm would quickly return to Kaduna.

"We are very, very sad that it has come to this — even if there is a loss of one life, it makes us sad. We are appealing to all to please exercise restraint," Din said.

Poe
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:07 AM
Muslim groups say the pageant promotes sexual promiscuity and indecency.

which of course would be wrong..

stabbing people to death, burning churches and buildings in the name of religion, however, is the path to righteousness

_Andy_
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:11 AM
hehehehe

Picol
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:14 AM
You need to understand this had nothing to do with Miss World, but rather a ill concieved story that had no matter or basis of truth in it. As much as I abhor violence and associated trends, lets not forget the strong believes that these people have and to to throw a incorrect, politically numbing story, into the general arena has and always will cause this grief. I do not think you need to look to far into the mix to see who is really behind this, it looks good for the so called rabble to play up, it will make it easier for other countries to "Fall into Line"

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:15 AM
Let's have more sexual promiscuity and indecency, please. They're always cheering after a tough day. I like them even more than smilies. All those religious nuts don't know what they're missing.

:bounce: :lick: :) :angel:

Scotso
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:19 AM
How horrible. :(

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:21 AM
That was irresponsable of the writer to write such an article while tensions are so high in the region over the pageant already.

I wonder if there are any laws on the books there to charge this person with inciting these riots. He did a good job in inflamming the populace there.

It's a shame that so many people lost their lives.

Picol
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:26 AM
I am glad that at least one other person seen the obvious attempt by the writer of the original story to be nothing short of "incite".

_Andy_
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:28 AM
Nigeria is on the brink of something...

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by CHOCO
That was irresponsable of the writer to write such an article while tensions are so high in the region over the pageant already.

I wonder if there are any laws on the books there to charge this person with inciting these riots. He did a good job in inflamming the populace there.


Oh, what sanctimonious rubbish. People are entitled to *write* what they like. If others respond with violence, that's entirely their responsibility.

Poe
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:36 AM
i agree with jouissant

people stabbed a man, poured gasoline on a tire, put his head through it, and burned him alive

and it's the reporter's fault? People are responsible for their own actions... if everyone responded that way everytime they read something that angered them imagine the horror

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:41 AM
It's not "rubbish" at all. Everyone knows that tensions are high already because of the stonning issue of the young lady for adultery. What did this guy want to proove by writing THAT type of article while contestants are already there now. He put many peoples lives in danger by taking a very sensitive issue (religion)and exploiting it just to make a point.

No doubt the government should be held accountable if it goes through with the execution of this woman.

I'm just hoping that the pageant can go off without too many problems and the contestants get out of there with their lives.

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:45 AM
So if I express some view that is unpopular in my society - say I live in a society that hates homosexuals and I come out in favour of gay rights in a strong way - and some fuckwit responds withj violence..... that's *my* fault, is it? So much for free speech.

CHOCO, you are full of bullshit.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:00 AM
just because free speech with some limits exist where you come from doesn't mean the whole world has the same amount of respect for free speech.

Again, the writer should've excercised some COMMON SENSE and not write such an INFLAMMATORY article. His paper should share in the blame for causing this bloodshed.

BTW, you know damn well you can't say anything and everything in your country without some consequences.

Just because I have free speech doesn't mean I can go into a crowded theatre and yell FIRE!!

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:24 AM
The newspaper ran a brief front-page apology on Monday, followed by a more lengthy retraction on Thursday, saying the offending passage had run by mistake.



Well...

King Lindsay
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:33 AM
Exactly what was the mistake? Did they accidentally print it? What a pathetic excuse, lol. Not that I think they should have to apologize.

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:39 AM
Well there's too much backing down, IMHO, in the face of attacks on free speech. Once again, irrational violence gets met with appeasement, so it seems.

As for the analogy with falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theatre, there *is* no analogy. That supposed analogy has been used by opponents of free speech since the shameful case of Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919). Anyone who relies on it, and claims to have any liberal credentials, should go away and have a good look at themselves when it is applied to this sort of situation.

No one in the Nigerian situation falsely shouted fire in a crowded theatre. If I read a goddamn *newspaper article* that I strongly disagree with and which makes me angry, and I decide to burn down the local theatre..... or, better still, burn up a few of my fellow citizens, the responsibility is with *me*.

Yes, there are restrictions on free speech in my country. Too many of them. I have had the guts to stand up and argue against some of those restrictions in my own journalistic writing, and I will continue to do so. In fact I'll do a bit more of it as a result of this encounter.

earthcrystal
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:52 AM
I'm sorry, but I for one am sick and tired of the "...they were provoked" defense of acts that are unutterably indefensible.

Was running the article an unfortunate error in judgement? You bet. But to say that these unspeakable acts (committed while shouting praise to Allah) are somehow understandable because they "were incited" is not even close to reasonable. If, as was suggested, this was orchestrated somehow by those politically motivated; more the fools they for taking the bait. A what a tiny morsel it was.

Did someone enter their homes; torture and murder their families? No? Then there is no rationalizing their actions...
They were a bloodthirsty barbaric mob that murdered people in the most ungodly ways possible. Period.

SM
Nov 22nd, 2002, 09:48 AM
i feel so sorry for those poor innocent people...freedom of the press should be one of the most basic demcratic rights, and its just sad to see the circumstances of what we would see as such a small(normal) thing in the western world. :(

shouldnt there be more freedom of religion too? just because someone doesnt agree with ever fine detail of a dated, imperfect bible it doesnt warrant acts like this. Get with the times :(

Gonzo Hates Me!
Nov 22nd, 2002, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by SM
and its just sad to see the circumstances of what we would see as such a small(normal) thing in the western world. :(



Ah, why I agree with Choco. Yeah, the people who did the acts are just stupid in our eyes. "They should know better." "They should control their urges." "No writing should provoke a person to that extent." But Goddamnit. They obviously take this stuff to heart, no matter how much you shake your head at how ridiculous the concept is.

gentenaire
Nov 22nd, 2002, 09:59 AM
No matter how much you're provoked, that's no excuse for starting to kill people.

per4ever
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:03 AM
I thought Belgium boycotted the event too? :confused:

gentenaire
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:04 AM
Miss Belgium boycotted it, yes. The runner-up did want to go, so she's now representing Belgium in Nigeria.

Picol
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by earthcrystal
I'm sorry, but I for one am sick and tired of the "...they were provoked" defense of acts that are unutterably indefensible.

Was running the article an unfortunate error in judgement? You bet. But to say that these unspeakable acts (committed while shouting praise to Allah) are somehow understandable because they "were incited" is not even close to reasonable. If, as was suggested, this was orchestrated somehow by those politically motivated; more the fools they for taking the bait. A what a tiny morsel it was.

Did someone enter their homes; torture and murder their families? No? Then there is no rationalizing their actions...
They were a bloodthirsty barbaric mob that murdered people in the most ungodly ways possible. Period.

No one is setting about to lay all the blame on the Journo. What some of us are pointing out is certain sections of society purposely provoked the situation and inflamed a intolerable situation, resulting in the blood shed seen today. The article was a catalyst for the riots.

SM
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:31 AM
mrs-guga stop suggesting us 'western' people are narrow minded...humane more like it! i can tolerate difference in the way they see the world and react differently but no EXCUSE for blood shed or violence .

earthcrystal
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:42 AM
Picol, I more than most understand what "agent provacateurs" do to "raise the blood" in an unstable situation. I've been politically savvy for a a very long time now. However, for me, the shame and the blame still lays on those who could not control themselves. Unless of course, you're implying that it's these same "agents" that did the killing...in order to cast these people in an unfavorable light in the world. It's been done. But I don't think that's the case here.

In any case, I'm off to sleep now. Too tired to debate further,

(Hey, we just survived our first quarrel!) ;)

Picol
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:49 AM
and what a argument it was. :) It was, well . Hey I got this filthy ....can't go there either. Pencil, come here I dare you.........

Gonzo Hates Me!
Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:41 AM
"Inexcusable." Well no offence SM, but get over it. No shit it's wrong to kill a person. Like duh. That's not what I do in my spare time either. But you know, it happens! People are mentally weak. Yes, there are people out there who actually kill other people. I am sorry to break it to you.

So look at it this way: the dude shouldn't have written that to provoke those people who are actually capable of such horrible things that are "inexcusable..." but, what can I say, "inexcusable" things happen and we should do our best to prevent them. It's not okay to write things like that THERE.

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:50 AM
Sorry, but I totally disagree Mrs Guga. We must NOT be intimidated by the fact that there are fanatics in the world. If we followed your edict we could never challenge opinion in societies that have violent people. There could be no moral progress. Barbarism, slavery, violence and intolerance would still be the norm.

Freedom of speech is an absolute necessity. If people take it on themselves to respond violently to our speech, out of anger at our ideas, we are NEVER responsible. We must not feel responsible for that, or we will be paralysed in putting the truth as we see it. The buck stops with those who commit violence. Totally. Absolutely. Always.

Layla
Nov 22nd, 2002, 12:11 PM
I wholeheartedly agree with Jouissant, Poe, Earthcrystal, Tine and others. Freedom of speech IS a necessity, ESPECIALLY in countries where violence is fast becoming the norm.

This is not exactly the right analogy because it doesn't involve the freedom of speech, but touches upon other freedoms (the freedom to be who you are for one), but just as an illustration of how fed up I am of putting the blame on everyone but those responsible for violence.

A woman gets raped and what do we hear? What was she thinking, wearing that skimply little dress, her skirt was too short. How dare she look so desirable? She was clearly out to incite, no wonder the poor guy couldn't control his urges. She should've know better.

A gay couple is viciously attacked by a homophobic gang. Are they crazy holding hands in public? Didn't they know they were asking for trouble? Didn't they know their behaviour would incite the crusaders who are fighting to uphold morality? Clearly they were asking for it.

There are so many examples of that in the Western society as well. Spare me the sympathy for murderers, rapists and violent haters, ESPECIALLY when they do it in the name of God.

If a difference of opinion can lead to murder, there surely is hell on earth. :sad: No wonder so many have their eyes set firmly on the afterlife. :rolleyes:

ys
Nov 22nd, 2002, 01:48 PM
People who kill because of such things do not qualify as people. Just animals, unable to think..

Monique
Nov 22nd, 2002, 01:59 PM
[ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 10/15/02 ]

OUR VIEW

Pageant boycott a beautiful thing

Face it: Beauty pageant contestants are the last people on earth you'd expect to see in a political protest. So when several Miss World participants announced they would boycott the pageant in Nigeria on Dec. 7, the news got some well-deserved attention.

The boycott came after an Islamic court in Nigeria ordered the stoning to death of a woman for adultery under Islamic law, or shariah. Misses Switzerland, France, Belgium, Ivory Coast, Norway and Kenya found conscience to withdraw; others among the 110 participating countries may join.

Since 1999, about a dozen states in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north -- more than half the land area -- have adopted shariah, and thousands have been killed in clashes between Christians and Muslims. Islamic groups have vowed to disrupt the Miss World contest, calling it a "parade of nudity."

Nigeria is Africa's most populous country and its largest oil producer. The government's unwillingness to confront radical Islamic groups is thus cause for real concern. Only international pressure will force the Nigerian government to take action, and if that pressure has to come from beauty queens, well, stranger things have happened.

To their credit, the boycotting beauties have dismissed the pageant organizer's offer to collect petitions from the contestants and to broadcast a critical statement at the pageant.

"To organize a beauty pageant in a country where the rights of women are not respected should not happen this year or in the future," said Miss Belgium, Ahn Van Elsen. "Every year contestants say they are for world peace, but I'm not sure if it has any effect. The chance that I can really say something during the pageant is really small."

By the way, Miss America, Illinois' Erika Harold, a Harvard student whose platform of sexual abstinence created some controversy during the pageant, has yet to take a position on the boycott. Under the circumstances, her participation would clearly send the wrong message.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 22nd, 2002, 02:06 PM
To echo what many have already said - The writer bears no responsibility for the particular acts that were committed.

We have no reason to assume that he sat around at his keyboard and thought "gee, maybe I'll write this article so that people will start riots and kill each other. Splendid. God bless mind control".

I don't doubt that perhaps it was a touchy topic to write about, or that his timing was poor.

But it doesn't matter. The people guilty are those who committed those acts.

Human beings DO have the ability to think for themselves, you know (and forgive me, but I'm certain this isn't "just" a Western concept). We have the abililty to read, disgard, and interpret information.

So to blame some guy for writing an article that somehow led to some very very sick acts, is completely irrational IMO.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 22nd, 2002, 02:09 PM
Thanks for the extra article Monique.

"To organize a beauty pageant in a country where the rights of women are not respected should not happen this year or in the future," said Miss Belgium, Ahn Van Elsen. "Every year contestants say they are for world peace, but I'm not sure if it has any effect. The chance that I can really say something during the pageant is really small."

Just wanted to say that I agree with her. Not only should they not hold these pagents where the rights of women are not respected, they shouldn't hold them where they quite clearly aren't wanted.

What were they thinking?

gentenaire
Nov 22nd, 2002, 02:14 PM
Well said, Layla.

Iconoclast
Nov 22nd, 2002, 03:21 PM
People are partly blaming the journalist? Unbelievable. Did you even read the article?

Look at this sentence:

"Street demonstrations began Wednesday with the burning of an office of ThisDay newspaper in Kaduna."

The journalist was in mortal danger as a result of the article, and we are somehow asked to believe that he actually wanted this to happen.

If anything, he was trying to mend the waters. The Miss World competition was already highly unpopular with the radicals, and fears persisted that they would act violently to disturb the contest.

The journalist tried to argue that the prophet Mohammed would have welcomed the contest. Certainly a naive proposition, but hardly a malicious one. Sure, the suggestion that Mohammed might even have married one of the contestants was a bit uncanny (although the prophet married more than 10 women in his lifetime), but what happened to the option of boycotting the newspaper or writing a letter to the editor?

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 03:47 PM
It's all easy for us to go "there should be freedom of speech everywhere, oh no, dont blame the journalist", while we're drinking a nice cup of coffee, wearing brand clothes, behind our internet-connected computer, only having to worry about what we'll wear tomorrow, and what's for dinner this evening...
(okay maybe a little oversimplified, but you get the point)

newsflash people: only a small part of the world has freedom of speech and just going "ooh, thats not fair, the journalist should be able to say whatever he wants" is just immature and unrealistic... it's like walking around harlem with a sign saying "i hate ******s" (wasn't that in some die hard film or so)... yeah, you "should" be allowed to do so, but noone will feel sorry for you if you get molested by a street gang in the meanwhile...

the point im trying to make is: (btw i didnt have the courage to read all your posts ;) so maybe i m not making any sense now)
of course the journalist is partly to blame, not alone, you cannot understand what happened without knowing about all the unrest there has been before and all about the fundamentalistic Islamitic groups, but the journalist should have realised that saying "mohammad would marry one of these halfnaked bimbo's" would be hugely offensive! WE don't think much of it, but remember: not everyone has the same view of the world as us, privileged WTAworld posters...

its a terrible situation, and hard for us to understand, but please, try to find a more realistic approach to the problem than just go "freedom of speech should be normal everywhere"
its like the contestants going "i want world peace and blah blahblah"

its simply naive................

CC
Nov 22nd, 2002, 04:04 PM
I agree with both sides of the argument. On one hand, you must realize that people behave differently when they are in large groups. In volatile situations, they lose all sense of rationality and become animals almost. However, the media has a tremendous impact on society. Specifically, it influences how people learn to feel about issues and form opinions, and yes, it can even incite reactions both positive and negative. Bearing that in mind, and the circumstances of his environment, the journalist made a disastrous mistake. Needless to say, there is a great deal of responsibility that comes with his profession.

Layla
Nov 22nd, 2002, 04:05 PM
In every society there were individuals who spoke out even though they knew they would be prosecuted and possibly killed for that. Those are the people I admire the most, not the ones who say "ooops, freedom of speech does not exist where I live, so I better shut up".

No, freedom of speech is not the norm, but it's an ideal, and not just in the west. While I agree that saying the journalists should be able to say whatever they want is unrealistic, or even naive, it is NEVER a sign of immaturity. On the contrary. Knowing that something worth striving for is not yet attainable at the moment does not make the quest immature. If we all just gave up whenever our ideas and goals seem unrealistic or too difficult to achieve, THERE WOULD BE NO PROGRESS IN THIS WORLD. I can't stress that enough, so please don't think I'm shouting by using all-caps, it's just for the sake of emphasis. ;)

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 04:12 PM
lol Layla, i agree with you in the fact that we have to be idealistic to make this world a better place

i apologize if my post was a little exaggerated but i couldn't believe people thought the journalist wasn't even partially to blame ;)

i just wanted people to realise, that we have the luxury to be idealistic, but we shouldn't take anything for granted...

Layla
Nov 22nd, 2002, 04:46 PM
Fair enough Penguin. :) I do agree that the journalist's comment was a bit irresponsible, but I don't want to speculate on his intentions. And if he chose to question a religious tenet, he should be able to do so without invoking the wrath of crazed killers with little but murder in their hearts and minds.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:04 PM
Mrs Guga, cc, and Penguin - you guys are right on point with your analysis. None of us are trying to absolve the people who killed, burned and behaved in this manner of the responsability for their actions. But the newspaper and the writer have to SHARE blame for inciting an explosive situation.

That's why the newspaper issued an apology and a retraction because the realized the error of their ways. That article didn't add anything positive to the debate about religion and beauty pageants THERE in Nigeria.

It's nice to think that we as posters behind our computer monitors can impose "our" norms and traditions on other societies right now, but that is naiveté. The reality is different and it takes time to move the societies ahead.

I applaud the UN for working quietly behind the scenes to help solve a very difficult situation in that region of Nigeria and the case of the young women who is facing dealth by stoning.

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
It's nice to think that we as posters behind our computer monitors can impose "our" norms and traditions on other societies right now, but that is naiveté. The reality is different and it takes time to move the societies ahead.


Not just time. Societies won't move ahead without a catalyst from within. As a journalist, it was the writer's JOB to provoke thought, to challenge orthodoxy. There's no point in writing anything if you're going to blandly restate the opinions of the masses. And I don't think that condemning mindless violence is specifically 'our' norm.

Agree with everything Layla, jouissant, Poe and earthcrystal said :D

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:17 PM
everyone condemnes the violence and killings sartrista (well everyone should ;) ), thats not what Choco means by "our norm"

its about the responsabilities of the journalist/newspaper... trying to change from within is a good idea, but if you do it carelessly, the consequences can be huge...

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:25 PM
Originally posted by Penguin
everyone condemnes the violence and killings sartrista (well everyone should ;) ), thats not what Choco means by "our norm"


I know. I was making the point that these people who feel that their 'norms' have been violated obviously have no qualms whatsoever about breaking other universal norms. In any case, what are these norms which the journalist should have tiptoed around? Surely 'tolerance of free speech' is a pretty fundamental value as well? The comment the journalist made was *not* inflammatory in the slightest. It's a flippant comment which is also valid opinion. If some over-sensitive fundamentalist lunatics choose to take umbrage at it, it is their problem. Or, more accurately, they ARE the problem.

The Crow
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:29 PM
Maybe the "journalist" is partly to blame for the deaths of 50, but this is the only way to go to "freedom of speech" in a country, namely, from within (as sad as the deaths of those people is). Although I appreciate the gesture of Miss Belgium, that is NOT going to change anything. People in Nigeria standing up for their opinion will! Hopefully enough people (in Nigeria) will get the good sense (in time) to condemn the actions of the murderers and not of the writer.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:44 PM
Can you imagine in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11 the New York Times published an article titled US DESERVED THE TERRORIST ATTACKS BASED ON ITS FOREIGN POLICY. There would be an uproar and deservedly so. You use common sense and don't write that type of article in that situation despite "freedom of speech". There would be serious consequences for the N.Y. Times.

The Crow
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
Can you imagine in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11 the New York Times published an article titled US DESERVED THE TERRORIST ATTACKS BASED ON ITS FOREIGN POLICY. There would be an uproar and deservedly so. You use common sense and don't write that type of article in that situation despite "freedom of speech". There would be serious consequences for the N.Y. Times.

Which is sad.... If countries (not only USA) would stop ONLY blaiming "the others" all the time, maybe something could really change in this world....

nasty nick#2
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:51 PM
Stupid to have the competition is a U-Country like Nigeria in the first place. The last few years they have had it in Namibia, South Africa and Nigeria, hey wake up there are millions of saver countries.

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:51 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
Can you imagine in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11 the New York Times published an article titled US DESERVED THE TERRORIST ATTACKS BASED ON ITS FOREIGN POLICY. There would be an uproar and deservedly so. You use common sense and don't write that type of article in that situation despite "freedom of speech". There would be serious consequences for the N.Y. Times.

Well, there were many articles published in Western newspapers which had that as their theme. And yes, most of them were seen as quite controversial (and I found them very thought-provoking and, largely, excellent journalism). But guess what? Most of the people who disagreed with them didn't go out and start riots and burn people to death.

The Crow
Nov 22nd, 2002, 05:56 PM
Spot on, Alex. To be thought-provoking is the whole idea of journalism anyway.

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by The Crow
Spot on, Alex. To be thought-provoking is the whole idea of journalism anyway.

in developed countries "yes"

in countries like Nigeria thought-provoking articles have to be published with more care than here...

I know its not the way it SHOULD be, but its the way it is, and by publishing this article i hardly think Nigeria took a step forward...
2 steps backward is more like it, and thats what you get for CARELESS journalism...

Gonzo Hates Me!
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by sartrista7


Well, there were many articles published in Western newspapers which had that as their theme. And yes, most of them were seen as quite controversial (and I found them very thought-provoking and, largely, excellent journalism). But guess what? Most of the people who disagreed with them didn't go out and start riots and burn people to death.

LOL! Well, there's an incredible difference between the US and friggin' Nigeria! LOL!

Gonzo Hates Me!
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by Penguin


in developed countries "yes"

in countries like Nigeria thought-provoking articles have to be published with more care than here...

I know its not the way it SHOULD be, but its the way it is, and by publishing this article i hardly think Nigeria took a step forward...
2 steps backward is more like it, and thats what you get for CARELESS journalism...

OMIGOD! Thank you! Penguin, I think you and Choco are like the only people thinking empathetically... and whoever else agreed with Choco at the start.

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by Penguin


in developed countries "yes"

in countries like Nigeria thought-provoking articles have to be published with more care than here...

I know its not the way it SHOULD be, but its the way it is, and by publishing this article i hardly think Nigeria took a step forward...
2 steps backward is more like it, and thats what you get for CARELESS journalism...

As I said, I don't consider the article inflammatory at all. Should journalists have to tiptoe around the sensitivities of religious maniacs in order not to be careless, then?

And maybe Nigeria *will* take a step forward from this. These issues are now out in the open, and hopefully more people will now condemn the religious maniacs who seek to impose their values on all others, who have been responsible themselves for a large part of the civic tension in Nigeria.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:12 PM
The fact is the N.Y. Times didn't publish an article like that in the aftermath of the attacks on the twin towers. I could see it now, loss of revenue, ads, threats on the employees' lives in general and the writer's life in particular, threats on property damage,etc. if they did publish something so irresponsable, insensitive and inciteful.

The writer should've known that the article would inflame the pasions of religion in that area of Nigeria. He could've made his point in a more tactful manner. The newspaper realized their mistake and that's why they apologized and retracted the article. But it was too little and too late for the victims of the senseless murders.

Journalist should know that there are lines of demarcation that you just can't cross in certain situations in the name of "free speech".

Iconoclast
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:13 PM
Originally posted by Penguin
2 steps backward is more like it, and thats what you get for CARELESS journalism...
Just like the "Satanic Verses" was a careless piece of writing? You are aligning yourself with the radicals and fundamentalists who more than anything want to shield their religion from criticism, because they know what the consequences will be of submitting Islam to open and public scrutiny.

It's always the same accusations of being "insensitive". Taslima Nasrin was sentenced in absentia to a one year in jail by a court in Bangladesh for hurting these same sensibilities. Two years ago, 2000 people were killed in similar clashes at the same spot. This was destined to happen, they were waiting for an excuse to unleash their intolerance and anger.

The more extremely these people react, the more they will succeed in shutting people up. They are perfectly aware that intimidation is a powerful tool.

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:19 PM
Originally posted by Mrs_Guga
LOL! Well, there's an incredible difference between the US and friggin' Nigeria! LOL!

What, it's OK in Nigeria to start riots and kill people just because you get pissed off with a newspaper article?! An act of violence is an act of violence wherever it takes place, and it can't be absolved by location or culture.

Excellent post, Iconoclast. Similarly, the French writer Michel Houellebecq and the Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali both received death threats after publicly characterising Islam as 'stupid' (Houellebecq) and 'backwards' (Hirsi Ali), specifically regarding its attitude towards women. Yes, mindless Islamophobia is wrong, but as Julie Burchill once pointed out, mindless Islamophilia is much more dangerous; you always have to point out an institution's faults if you want to effect change.

(Incidentally, the French courts acquitted Houellebecq of incitement to religious hatred, stating that there was nothing in his statements which overstepped the boundaries of free speech.)

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by sartrista7


As I said, I don't consider the article inflammatory at all. Should journalists have to tiptoe around the sensitivities of religious maniacs in order not to be careless, then?

And maybe Nigeria *will* take a step forward from this. These issues are now out in the open, and hopefully more people will now condemn the religious maniacs who seek to impose their values on all others, who have been responsible themselves for a large part of the civic tension in Nigeria.


YOU don't consider the article inflammatory, but you don't live in Nigeria!

its like the Venus-Serena blackface thing: I never thought painting you face black with coal was offensive, but now i know more about the complex history of "blackface", i understand why people in the US did... (ok, i know this incident didn't get 50 people killed in the meantime, but you get my point i hope)

and yes: in countries like Nigeria, if journalists want to change the peoples view, they have to be very carefull, and use extreme caution. The human race doesn't change it's views of the world easily, and in order to be succesfull, you have to be cautious!
being careless usually does more harm than good...

if journalists in the developed world want to condemn Islam fundamentalism, they can write almost anything they want, i'll agree with them, but real change has to be made from within, and then you have to be more careful in order not to make things worse...

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by Penguin
YOU don't consider the article inflammatory, but you don't live in Nigeria!

its like the Venus-Serena blackface thing: I never thought painting you face black with coal was offensive, but now i know more about the complex history of "blackface", i understand why people in the US did... (ok, i know this incident didn't get 50 people killed in the meantime, but you get my point i hope)


But the 50 people killed ARE the point. It doesn't matter what society you live in, it doesn't matter what the local situation is. The 'blackface' stunt offended and upset most people, and it was dealt with in a civilised manner. This article clearly offended some people in Nigeria, who reacted in a very uncivilised way. It's the reaction to the article which is the root of this! It's a fucking basic principle: you don't kill people, end of story, no matter what you've read in the paper that day. That can't be absolved by local culture - if you're suggesting that it can, I'd say that the local culture you're talking about is inferior to most cultures and needs to be eradicated as soon as possible.

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:29 PM
we all agree about the fact that killing people is wrong!
but the problems Nigeria is facing can't be solved by just stating the obvious, they can only be solved by trying to understand the underlying views that caused them...

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:30 PM
"The newspaper ran a brief front-page apology on Monday, followed by a more lengthy retraction on Thursday, saying the offending passage had run by mistake."


Even the newspaper realized the enormity of its mistake.

Gonzo Hates Me!
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:32 PM
Originally posted by sartrista7


What, it's OK in Nigeria to start riots and kill people just because you get pissed off with a newspaper article?!

Never said that was okay.


An act of violence is an act of violence wherever it takes place, and it can't be absolved by location or culture.


Never said this was okay either.

If you guys are so anti-violence and such, then you would agree that the article was obviously going to spark a violent reaction from these people, and that it should not have been written where people are that religiously sensitive to an extent where they go and kill people.

It's not okay to kill people over a newspaper article. Atleast in my opinion. Hmm, I wonder what Islamic Nigerians think of that statement

Gonzo Hates Me!
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by sartrista7


It's a fucking basic principle: you don't kill people, end of story, no matter what you've read in the paper that day.

Here's an idea. Just take a plane to Nigeria and say this to them. Let's see what happens LOL

Dunno about you, but I'd be quite afraid. LOL!

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:45 PM
Originally posted by Mrs_Guga
Here's an idea. Just take a plane to Nigeria and say this to them. Let's see what happens LOL

Dunno about you, but I'd be quite afraid. LOL!

Which is why *they* are the problem, not the journalist. Penguin - you talk about 'the problems Nigeria is facing'. One of the main problems Nigeria is facing *is* this faction of lunatic Islamists who are trying to impose their law over the whole country.

Incidentally, I'd be willing to bet that none of you who are slamming the journalist would be willing to live under the notoriously harsh trictures of sharia law.

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by sartrista7


Which is why *they* are the problem, not the journalist. Penguin - you talk about 'the problems Nigeria is facing'. One of the main problems Nigeria is facing *is* this faction of lunatic Islamists who are trying to impose their law over the whole country.

uhuh, i agree, so by saying Muhammad would ve married one of these scarcely dressed women is going to stop them? :irony smilie: (i don't like to use the rolleyes smilie, i think its offensive ;) )


Incidentally, I'd be willing to bet that none of you who are slamming the journalist would be willing to live under the notoriously harsh trictures of sharia law.


hell no! of course not! when did we say we'd love that? I'm perfectly happy behind my computer, lucky to be able to excercise my right to free speach on this board...

we're not slamming the journalist, but we're not surprised by the effect his article had...

Penguin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:58 PM
okay i got to go now, it was fun discussing with you all

:wavey: mrs G
:wavey: choco
:wavey: sartrista

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:59 PM
Penguin - you were great. :wavey:

sartrista7
Nov 22nd, 2002, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by Penguin


uhuh, i agree, so by saying Muhammad would ve married one of these scarcely dressed women is going to stop them? :irony smilie: (i don't like to use the rolleyes smilie, i think its offensive ;) )

Well, it all ties in with the question of how Islam treats women, doesn't it? Organised religion is notorious for its attempts to repress sexuality, especially women's sexuality. It's an issue which needs to be confronted, otherwise it'll just continue. I'm not saying the article was a beacon of activism, but it's a start.


Originally posted by Penguin

hell no! of course not! when did we say we'd love that? I'm perfectly happy behind my computer, lucky to be able to excercise my right to free speach on this board...

we're not slamming the journalist, but we're not surprised by the effect his article had...

But you seem to place more blame at the feet of the journalist, rather than the ****s who rioted...

now I am going to go and cook myself some pasta.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:14 PM
Red Cross says about 100 killed in rioting sparked by Miss World article

D?ARCY DORAN
Canadian Press


Friday, November 22, 2002

KADUNA, Nigeria (AP) - Christian youths retaliated against Muslims in northern Nigeria Friday in the third day of riots triggered by a newspaper article about the Miss World pageant. Red Cross officials said about 100 had died and 500 were seriously injured in the violence.

Beauty pageant spokeswoman Stella Din said organizers were "saddened" by the deaths but would not cancel the event, scheduled for Dec. 7 in the capital of Abuja, some 360 kilometres southwest of Kaduna, scene of the fiercest rioting.

"The show definitely will go on," she told reporters in Abuja.

Sporadic gunshots and shouting could be heard in Kaduna, where angry mobs have stabbed and set fire to bystanders and rampaged through streets. At least four churches have been destroyed by fire.

The violence began Wednesday, when the Kaduna office of ThisDay newspaper was torched after the paper published an article questioning Muslim objections to the pageant. The article, published Saturday, suggested the prophet Mohammad would have chosen a wife among the contestants.

The newspaper ran a brief front-page apology Monday and a longer retraction on Thursday.

On Friday, plumes of black smoke rose above Kaduna, a tense, religiously mixed city of several million people, and authorities extended a round-the-clock curfew - although many ignored the order.

Young Muslim men shouting "Allahu Akhbar," or "God is great," ignited makeshift barricades of tires and garbage. Others chanted, "Down with beauty" and "Miss World is sin."

In neighbourhoods dominated by minority Christians, witnesses said youths smashed windows and set fires in mosques used by the ethnic Hausa and Fulani Muslims who dominate Kaduna.

Fearful residents sought protection at police stations and military bases.

"The soldiers have been very helpful, giving us bandages and first aid. Everyone is here - Muslims, Christians and pagan. We are all afraid of going home," said Habiba Ibrahim, who spent the night in the city's defence academy near the government clinic where she works. "Only God knows when this will end."

The bodies of those slain in the streets were taken by Red Cross workers and other volunteers to mortuaries. It was not clear exactly how many were killed.

Nigerian Red Cross officials reported about 100 dead by Friday morning, said George Bennet, head of the International Federation of the Red Cross delegation. He stressed an exact figure was impossible to confirm.

Other Red Cross officials said Friday that more than 500 people had been injured.

Previous riots in Kaduna, a predominantly Muslim city with a sizable Christian minority, have escalated into religious battles that killed hundreds since civilian government replaced military rule in 1999.

Islamist groups have warned for months that they would protest the pageant, prompting organizers to postpone the finale until after the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Muslim groups say the pageant promotes promiscuity and indecency.

Security forces patrolled other major cities Friday, including the northern trading hub of Kano, where Muslim women peacefully protested.

"We are calling on the government to stop Miss World, this show of shame. For women to expose herself to men other than their husbands is forbidden," said one of the protesters, Hadiza Usman.

Miss World organizers insist contestants have respected conservative Muslim values by dressing conservatively.

The pageant also caused controversy elsewhere; at least five contestants are boycotting it to protest judgments in Nigeria's Islamic courts that condemned several women to death by stoning for getting pregnant while unmarried.

Contestants from Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa and Panama stayed away.

Nigeria's government insists none of the judgments will be carried out, although it has refused to intervene directly with the Islamic court system.

Iconoclast
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:32 PM
The newspaper was torched. Any one associated with it is in danger of losing their life. Of course, they run a retraction. Mayhem is lose in the streets, and radicals are blamingly pointing fingers at them, trying to direct attention away from the real, unadulterated culprits.

There is a vast difference between tracing causality and assigning blame. It seems people confuse the two.

I don't think any one can seriously suggest that the writer and the newspaper expected massmurder as a result of a few sentences in a column. Even if they were a bit far-fetched.

gentenaire
Nov 22nd, 2002, 07:34 PM
Judging by the severity of the riots, I get the feeling that there would have been riots and fights between Muslims and Christians, had that article been published or not. It wouldn't have happened now, but probably once the contest got into full swing.

Josh
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:11 PM
The problem is that these people seem to think that when they are offended by a comment on their religion, they have the right to act and throw their own religion overboard.

There is really no justification in this kind of violence. After all we are speaking about people who claim that a miss contest is degrading to women and an insult to their religion, yet they burn down houses, churches, shops and kill hundreds of people. Speaking of hypocrisy...:rolleyes:

CC
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:15 PM
Originally posted by Beggin' Beguine
Judging by the severity of the riots, I get the feeling that there would have been riots and fights between Muslims and Christians, had that article been published or not. It wouldn't have happened now, but probably once the contest got into full swing.

From the news articles alone, we can feel the intensity of the situation. Imagine if we were there in Nigeria in the weeks and days before the riot. Wouldn't we be able to see it coming? We would have been able to see that the Muslim radicals were bent on having things their way, and would resort to violence if the organizers of the pageant persisted, as they said they will. Now, the journalist is living there and is fully aware of the extreme passion of the event opposers, yet he was brave enough to make such an evocative statement.

Maybe he intended to be a catalyst.

Maybe he has revolutionary ideals.

Hurley
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:16 PM
If that's commonplace in Nigeria, the only way to help the country is to keep writing this sort of article.

Hurley
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by CC
Maybe he intended to be a catalyst.

Maybe he has revolutionary ideals.

Maybe he wanted to be burned in his office.

Or maybe he just, you know, wanted to be a reporter and give people the news.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:41 PM
Or maybe he just, you know, wanted to be a reporter and give people the news


no...he wanted to sell newspapers by sensationalizing a very sensitive issue.






The article, published Saturday, suggested the prophet Mohammad would have chosen a wife among the contestants.



that's incendiary folks in the current climate.

Josh
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:43 PM
You know, his motives don't matter, an article should not provoke this kind of reaction.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:45 PM
Josh - I agree that the article shouldn't have provoke it, but it did.

Josh
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:47 PM
Not his fault....these fanatic lunatics cease every opportunity to create trouble. Does that mean freedom of speech should be abolished?

gentenaire
Nov 22nd, 2002, 08:51 PM
That doesn't mean the journalist is to blame for the riots. Layla gave a very good example with the rape case. Pretty girls walking around in sexy clothes know they'll catch the attention from men, they want that attention. When such a girl is raped, is it her fault then? Is she to blame?

CC
Nov 22nd, 2002, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by Hurley


Maybe he wanted to be burned in his office.

Or maybe he just, you know, wanted to be a reporter and give people the news.

Maybe he wanted to give his opinion.

And no, I don't believe he is solely to be blamed, but how do we know that he didn't want to stir the pot. Come on, he lives there. Unless he is just naive. Unless he thought he was in America and elsewhere where a few sensational headlines spark a great fury of debate and controversy. Only.

Crazy Canuck
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:16 PM
Wether or not he wanted to stir the pot is irrelevant to wether or not he is responsible for other peoples barbaric acts.

CC
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:18 PM
They are responsible for their own actions, but his contribution is not "irrelevant."

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:25 PM
You can be arrested here for 'inciting' if you go in the media say or write something irresponsable that causes the death of someone, damage to property or threats to injure, period.

griffin
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:37 PM
OK, fine - the reporter should not have written an inciteful article.

I fail to see how that gets people off the hook for burning other human beings alive.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 10:49 PM
I fail to see how that gets people off the hook for burning other human beings alive.


hmmm...quite to the contrary, no one here is excusing or absolving the people who actually killed people and destroyed property. They should be held accountable for their actions just as the paper and writer.

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:16 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
Can you imagine in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11 the New York Times published an article titled US DESERVED THE TERRORIST ATTACKS BASED ON ITS FOREIGN POLICY. There would be an uproar and deservedly so. You use common sense and don't write that type of article in that situation despite "freedom of speech". There would be serious consequences for the N.Y. Times.

I'm rolling around the floor laughing at this. I don't know about the NY Times, but the newspapers and magazines here were full of people expressing exactly that sentiment. I know that there were similar sentiments expressed in the US. People (including me) were upset about it, but no one rioted, tortured or murdered in retaliation. I managed to get an article published somewhere with a few nasty remarks about it, and that was the extent of my retaliation.

Give it up CHOCO. I know your heart is in the right place, and I'm a bit sorry I'm being so hard on you - you're not someone I want as an enemy. But you're wrong on this one.

CHOCO
Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:26 PM
jouissant - that's alright buddy. :) we can agree to disagree on this one. although, beneath everything that has happened in this situation, we both agree that murder, senseless killings and mayhem has no room in civilize society.

~ The Leopard ~
Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:33 PM
Okay, thanks. :) And I might leave it at that. I guess I've got my views on the record pretty clearly. ;)

Layla
Nov 22nd, 2002, 11:37 PM
Originally posted by CHOCO
Can you imagine in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11 the New York Times published an article titled US DESERVED THE TERRORIST ATTACKS BASED ON ITS FOREIGN POLICY. There would be an uproar and deservedly so. You use common sense and don't write that type of article in that situation despite "freedom of speech". There would be serious consequences for the N.Y. Times.

I'm glad you brought this up because it seems to me that's exactly what you're saying here. Do you believe that the US government is to blame for this horrible attack because it incited the terrorists with its foreign policy, knowing full well they will retaliate? Because the situation is quite similar. No matter what the USA did, nothing and I mean NOTHING justifies this horrendous act. The US government is partly responsible for the state of the world, but it is NOT responsible for the death of so many innocent people in an act that I will never recover from. The terrorists alone are responsible for that imo. I wonder where you stand on that issue?

I guess what I'm asking is, do you hold the US government accountable like you hold the reporter accountable?

Btw, I'm not trying to accuse you of anything. Just food for thought. ;)

Fingon
Nov 23rd, 2002, 12:01 AM
I am for once sick to hear every time muslims are involved in violence (that happens everywhere, all the time), they have been provoked.

Everyone has to be so careful not to hurt their feelings or they burn you alive.

It reminds me when the Iranians wanted to kill a writer because they didn't like what he wrote.

This has to be stopped, and not by "not offending" the sensitive muslims.

Layla
Nov 23rd, 2002, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by CHOCO
jouissant - that's alright buddy. :) we can agree to disagree on this one. although, beneath everything that has happened in this situation, we both agree that murder, senseless killings and mayhem has no room in civilize society.

Well, at least we agree on something. :)

CC
Nov 23rd, 2002, 03:05 AM
So they will move the pageant after all. It's going to London.

Picol
Nov 23rd, 2002, 03:58 AM
The debating of the issue now is worthless and time wasting. What we should be doing is trying to come up with answers to stop this sort of thing happening again. Everything in life starts at a grass roots level.