Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stockholm syndrome?

Yvonne Ridley was a British tabloid journalist who travelled to Afghanistan during the fighting there. She was captured by the Taliban, who after some time freed her when she promised she would read the Koran.

She admits that she would have promised just about anything to get out, but anyway, she claims she kept her promise. She then duly and publicly converted to Islam.

Conversion has been good for Yvonne, she was lambasted for the ill-advised adventure in Afghanistan, but upon conversion she has her own tv show (dreary though it is) and is able to keep herself in the public eye more regularly than in her days as a member of the Church of England.

Last night (actually two days ago now - I couldn't post because of stupid Blogger outages) we watched a bit of her show on the Islam channel - way up in the nosebleed section of the cable channels (where you can also find Christian Evangelical offerings such as the God channel).

The show itself was not terribly exciting. She was interviewing a Palestinian farmer who was a little difficult to understand - I really only got "to exist you must resist". And apparently, you can resist by buying his brand of olive oil. Although Yvonne did her best to enliven the proceedings by asking the farmer if those in Egypt and beyond were following the example of the "heroic resistance in Palestine". He admitted he really didn't know much about that.

What was much, much more interesting was the ticker at the bottom of the screen, apparently based on viewers' text messages. It constantly scrolled three texts, which I paraphrase:

1. when will we stopped being fooled by the lies of America and Israel?
2. Umma, when will we rise up and establish an Islamic state?
3. It seems that some members of the community are trying to stir up trouble.

Well-spotted, Viewer Number Three! Yes, call for the establishment of an Islamic state in the UK does smack of stirring up trouble.

Yvonne herself was stirring it up last night. Probably at the same time we were watching the pre-recorded show, she was at meeting of George Galloway's Respect party exhorting Muslims not to cooperate with the police, following a recent terror raid in East London.

Now we all know that the Met are hardly infallible. And maybe this raid was a colossal error following a malicious tip-off. But what are the police supposed to do? Yvonne Ridley seems to be encouraging both revolution with the ticker of terror and for an entire community to choose to become accessories before the fact.

No comments: