Friday, December 29, 2006

Free Speech for the Oppressed

Another heartwarming article from the territories, "Gazans fear radio will lead them to civil war". Darn that divisive technology.
The recent fighting between Hamas and Fatah did not just play out in the streets of the Gaza Strip. The rival groups also pummeled each other over the airwaves...
The harsh rhetoric, coupled with the stations' ability to quickly rally their armed supporters in the streets, has led to fears that the local disc jockeys could fan the flames of the recent violence into a full-blown of civil war.
Is everything imaginable used for violence? Seems so.
During two weeks of violence, Hamas' Aksa Radio and Fatah's Radio Shabab enraptured listeners as they reported fierce clashes and angry marches, and gave airtime for their respective leaders to abuse their opponents. Callers routinely incited loyalists against rivals.
Sort of like the Fox News of Gaza - fair and balanced.
On Radio Shabab, callers described Hamas gunmen as "child killers"...
Not exactly insulting to child killers.
...or as "the mullahs" - a barbed jab at the Islamic group's close ties to Shi'ite Iran.

Hamas' Aksa Radio rarely reported aggression by Hamas gunmen, despite deadly assaults on Fatah targets. The broadcasts regularly labeled opponents as "mercenary death squads" and "coup plotters."

One senior Hamas official called his rivals "Zionists" - a virtual death sentence in Gaza's militantly anti-Israel society.

Whoah there. Call me a "mullah", "coup-plotter", "mercenary death squad", and "child killer" all you want. But call me a "Zionist" - them's fightin' words.
Even so, Daher and all the other stations said they tried not to incite people against each other.
Well, that settles it. I'm convinced.
"Radio is in every house, every car and every street. It can cause a revolution or quell one. That's a dangerous role," said Salah al-Masri, director of Al-Quds Radio, funded by the radical Islamic Jihad."I bet you, in a few hours, I can orchestrate a protest. The question is what kind..."
Yes, in his bare hands this man holds the power of life and death, war and peace, big protest or little. Goodness save us all.
"We can launch a protest against the Israeli occupation, or at (Abbas), or fire rockets," he said.
Hmm, tough choices.
"If we wanted, we could burn down Gaza," said a smiling Ibrahim Daher, director of Aksa Radio, the voice in Gaza of the Islamic militant group Hamas.
Now there's a thought...

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