Really, Paul?

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Paul Sheehan today informs us that when it comes to the Middle East, “we remain locked in a malignant cliche, a vision of the region and its peoples as seething and dysfunctional, divided between Islamic fundamentalists and those who fear them. Blood and terror is the dominant news story from the Gulf.”

How insightful and original. As usual with Sheehan, the reasons behind such racism aren’t articulated, so let me help. Our mainstream media is a prime culprit. While we remain convinced of “our liberation” of Iraq, America’s supposed belief in democracy and freedom in the region and label anyone who disputes the Bush agenda as terrorists or appeasers, Sheehan’s words, no matter how well intentioned, will fall on deaf ears.

For the real perspective on the Arab world, don’t rely on the Western press. Check out blogs or regional newspapers. Only then do we realise that many in the Middle East have no desire for Western influence or “liberation”.

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