Sunday, September 25, 2016

Note of caution

Left (via Petra News Agency),  Jordanian writer Nahed Hattar who was assassinated in Amman today. Hattar effectively had a target painted on his back by being put on trial for insulting Islam as a result of sharing a derogatory cartoon on Facebook. That should be a warning to foreign policy elites about the virulence of violent Islamism in what's seen as the region's bulwark against it.

One other point: it will be appealing for western media to present Hattar as another freedom of speech casualty and move on. In fact, Hattar was a controversial figure in Arab politics and had gotten into a few scrapes in Lebanese politics in particular over the last couple of years. Presenting him in this more complex light is important in understanding the fault lines in regional politics regarding the Syrian war.

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