Sunday, September 30, 2012

Daoud Kuttab Reveals His Biases

In his most recent essay for the Huffington Post, Daoud Kuttab shows us just how much he lives in his own little world. At a time of great unrest in the Middle East, Kuttab picks an interesting if certainly questionable topic to write about. Let's take a look, shall we.

Kuttab's article is titled Jordanian Website Owners Rejects Attempts to Gag Them, and this is the first sentence:
"Among the most important rights achieved by Arab demonstrators in the past two years are the freedoms of assembly and of expression."
Have they really achieved that? He goes on to say:
 "Young people successfully used social media to communicate, organize and express themselves. Traditional print media, radio and television (especially satellite stations) also witnessed marked freedom and, more importantly, a retraction (although not an end) of government interference. Due to the Arab Spring, journalists (whether traditional or citizen journalists) felt more empowered to say things and cover issues that used to be considered taboo."
But there's a problem! The Jordanian government is (gasp!) "curbing" freedom of expression! Here's the government's side:
"unregulated proliferation of and the anonymous comments on news websites encourage character assassination and defamation of individuals without proof or opportunity for the injured party to properly defend itself.
Furthermore, governments claim that a number of news websites blackmail individuals and corporations by threatening to fabricate news about them unless they agree to buy ad space or offer other forms of financial reward."
Electronic blackmail? Character assassination? Certainly a sticky area in terms of free speech vs. slander and something that Western countries are dealing with as well.

But the question on my mind as I read this is: Where is Kuttab's priorities? Why is he more concerned about website registration in Jordan than about the worldwide protest surrounding the "Innocence of Muslims" video?

Kuttab has not written one word for the Huffington Post about the Innocent of Muslims video since the controversy started. Where is his blog post demanding freedom of expression for Coptic Christians living in America? Could it possibly be because he doesn't care about freedom of expression, just bashing the Jordanian government? Or perhaps because he agrees with the 57 Islamic countries that all called for banning the video and is keeping silent rather than revealing his hypocrisy for all to see?

By picking and choosing when attacks on freedom of expression are worthy of his attention, Daoud Kuttab reveals his biases.

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