Wednesday, April 29, 2009

UAE and torture

"One of the few notes of condemnation inside the Middle East came from the Iranian Press TV which said Sheikh Issa "has reaffirmed all the behaviours stereotyped in western films, media and literature about the basic and cruel nature of desert dwellers" – a fair point, except that the Iranian regime itself is no angel in these matters and has its own axe to grind against the UAE." Before Brian Whitaker dispenses praise on Iranian TV, he should know that in fact this is a big story in the Middle East and I am receiving links to the tape and criticisms of it probably hourly, and from Arabs around the Arab world. I like and respect Whitaker (and I still recommend his critique of MEMRI and of Arab Development reports) although I did not like his book on gays in the Arab world but he should make more of an effort to destinguish between regime and people.