Thursday, 27 September 2012

Mona Eltahawy's spray paint mission proves a point. Too bad it is the wrong one.

Yes, those New York City subway ads are racist and despicable. But hey, that is free speech for ya. Not everybody feels the same way, yet we all have equal rights to express ourselves. 'They' get to say what they want, and 'we' get to say what we want. Deal with it. And then fight your battles appropriately. With words. Arguments. Debate. Collect some money for a counter ad campaign. Out-smart them verbally. Not with vandalism. 

I thought all of us 'decent' people had decided that was the adult way to deal with situations like this, when those 'savage' muslims started attacking American embassies* last week, because someone insulted their prophet. They were 'barbaric' in that they were incapable of formulating a proper response in words (or perhaps an equally offensive video - poorly made, of course) and chose to fight with their hands instead of their brains. 

Well, look who has now suddenly stooped to their level and needs blunt action to make a point? Way to take an excellent opportunity to prove your point and then park it on your own face: obstructing someone's freedom of speech is totally ok, as long as it is a message you do not agree with. Spray painting over hate speech makes you a 'proud savage', as per Altahawy's own words, whereas ripping up a flag and scribbling pro-al-Qaeda slogans on the wall of an embassy is just savage. 

I am disappointed in Mona Eltahawy. I had her pegged as an intelligent woman, very capable of fighting her battles with words. Not someone who, apparently lost for any form of verbal argument, can't think of anything better to do than to spray paint over hate speech. Like a four-year-old would do. That will show them. I'm sure Pamela Geller is crying in a corner somewhere because she has been so powerfully defeated. 

Additionally, read this. It is HI-LA-RI-OUS. And unfortunately very, very true.

(* I am of course NOT referring to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. That was clearly a planned mission by extremists that had little or nothing to do with that stupid movie. It was conveniently carried out under the cover of it.)

UPDATE: I translated the above into Dutch and published it at De Buitenlandredactie. Read it here.

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