Sense and Sensitivity

Galloway’s a funny guy. Maybe not as funny as Pat Robertson (‘I didn’t say “assassinate”!’ ‘Okay I’m sorry, I’m rilly sorry, I was just in a mood that day.’) but still pretty funny. Okay not really funny, more like disgusting, but I get so tired of pointing out how disgusting people are. Still – he is.

Mr Galloway, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, said TV executives had to be “very sensitive about people’s religion” and if broadcasters did not show sufficient sensitivity they “had to deal with the consequences”. He said: “You have to be aware if you do [offend people’s beliefs] you will get blowback. You should do it very carefully, especially if you are a public service broadcaster.”

Thenthitive. They have to be thenthitive – and if they’re not thenthitive enough, then blam! Okay? Got that? Be thenthitive or I’ll kill you.

Rushdie called him on it, as well he might.

“Is that a threat?” asked Rushdie during the debate at the Media Guardian Edinburgh international television festival. Describing Mr Galloway’s argument as “craven”, the author said: “The simple fact is that any system of ideas that decides you have to ringfence it, that you cannot discuss it in fundamental terms, that you can’t say that this bit of it is junk, or that bit is oppressive … we are supposed to respect that?”

It’s craven, it’s stupid, it’s mindless, and it means we can’t discuss things properly. Which is pretty much how things are: there are all sorts of subjects that don’t get discussed properly because there’s way too much senstivity about ‘people’s beliefs’. A lot of people believe that women should be subordinated, locked up, owned, and without rights, and a lot of other people who don’t believe that nevertheless keep silent on the subject out of brain-dead sensitivity to ‘beliefs’. Call it Gallowayism, if you like, or hypertrophy respectis.

Sad about Kashmir.

“I have a deep feeling for Kashmir, and I just had to write this book,” Rushdie said. “[But] it’s very hard to write about real events. It becomes unbearable. The challenge in writing this book was: how do you write about these things bearably without sweetening the pill?” Rushdie said Kashmir had changed since the 1950s and 1960s. “There was no radical Islam in Kashmir then – it was pacifist, Sufist – and it had nothing to do with jihad. But in the last half century this terrible fundamentalism has got hold of the region.”

Like so many regions. Terrible nightmare – and not one to be respectful or sensitive about; one to be resisted and fought.

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