Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mohammed cartoons and the Holocaust

In Europe and the US, we've seen a lot of talk recently in support of the printing of the cartoons of Mohammed. We rally around "freedom of speech", and hold it up as a sacred right that trumps the sensibilities of others.

I think it's interesting that about a week ago, a British historian was sentenced by an Austrian court to three years for denying the Holocaust.

Should we not be applying our sacred freedom of speech consistently? Before we go spouting our values to the world, should we not apply them consistently to ourselves?

Either it's okay to publish the Mohammed cartoons, and it's okay to deny the Holocaust, or you should self-censor the Mohammed cartoons, in exchange for being able to send the Holocaust guy to jail.

The way I see it, you can't have both. Pick one.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

UAE bids to manage US ports

I guess one of the big news topics in the US these days is the UAE company bidding to manage part of some of the major US ports.

There's a big to-do about the security risks. I guess UAE had some connection to the 9/11 hijackers.

I think this is a valid concern.

On that note, there was another country that also played a role in 9/11. That country, for example, actually trained the hijackers to fly big jets. It wasn't just 9/11, though -- that same country sold large amounts of fertilizer to a young man back in 1995, fertilizer that was used to blow up a federal building in Oklahoma City.

I hope to god the US wouldn't allow anyone from THAT country to manage a US port! Think of the security risks it might present!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Feast of the Sacrifice

This week is Kurban Bayram, The Feast of the Sacrifice. It's one of the biggest Muslim holidays. When you see photos on the news showing millions of pilgrims crowding into Mecca, that means Feast of the Sacrifice is in full swing.

The holiday commemorates Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son Isaac.

I grew up in the Christian world, so I've been hearing that Old Testament story all my life. And yet here I am now in Istanbul, and on their biggest holiday they're celebrating the same damn story.

We're all celebrating the same stuff, honoring the same stories, and basically even reading the same books.

95% of what defines us human beings is the same. 5% is different, and too often we humans choose to focus on that 5%.

What a waste. What a ridiculous self-deception.