Sunday, August 27, 2006

The price of Muslim blood

According to Kitty Ussher MP the Muslim community in Burnley have been asking why it seems the blood of Muslims seems cheaper than that of Jews and Christians?

An honest answer to this rhetorical question would have to include the observation that 'Muslim blood' has no fixed price but varies according to who is shedding it.

Christians shedding Muslim blood provokes outrage, although this too can vary. It is a much more serious matter, for example, if the 'Christians' in question are American rather than Serbian.

But of course this is nothing like as grevious than the most serious of all - this being the context of the article - when it is Muslim lives being taken by Jews.

On the other hand, Muslim lives being taken by other Muslims isn't anything like as serious. The pro-Nasrallah 'left', for example, are not only a little less than - how to put this delicately? - forthcoming in their condemnation of Jewish civilian casualties; they seem unpeturbed by the fact that Arab Israelis were also amongst the victims of Hizbollah's rocket attacks.

In other situations interest in the phenomenon of jihadis killing their own co-religionists is limited to the question of whether and to what extent Israel, the US, Britain and the West in general can be held responsible for it.

But even with this connection it really has to be on the telly for anyone to take much notice. For example, the thousands of Shia Muslims slaughtered by Saddam Hussein in southern Iraq and by the Taliban in central Afghanistan were much less important than the lesser number of Shia killed during the Israeli bombing of Lebanon - the latter being on the telly and involving Jews.

Where no explict link can be made to Western foreign policy and/or Israel, those who are usually so promiscuous in the use of the terms 'ethnic cleansing' and 'genocide' slip into semantic argument mode in the case of Darfur, for example. Here Muslim blood is indeed very cheap.

But if you are an indigenous Christian in Iraq, Pakistan or Indonesia I'm afraid you should expect only quieter voices to ask the question as to the price of your blood - the louder ones being those who have no constituency that is sufficiently interested in your plight.

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