Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Reach exceeding grasp with the BBC. Unparalleled in its cultural reach to find out what's happening somewhere completely obscure (I think the AP is too biased even to count, and Reuters' bread and butter is found in obscure reporting- yet the BBC lavish correspondents all over the world despite being just another national broadcaster), and capable of tallying these things into a story, the BBC has little clue why things happen, relying on a very tired stock of ideas and the words of utterly unreliable governments who by moral equivalence have to be worked up into possessing some kind of authoritativeness.

Hence, an allegedly cancerous man's bus suicide bombing in China is explained via a tired old template that you sense is well known to the Chinese authorities:

'The motive for Monday's attack is unclear, but it follows criticism by medical professionals that the costs of healthcare have risen beyond the means of many people living in rural areas.'

So rather than chalk this one up to the global jihad, as this poster would have it, we are supposed to think this is a protest at globalisation and the loss of Chinese socialist security.

According to the Jawa's reasoning:

'What many people in the West are unaware of, is that China is fighting a low-level Islamist insurgency in its Western provinces. Fujian Province, however is not in Western China but in Southeastern China. Not generally a hot bed for Islamist sentiments.'

Well, all I can say is their awareness would not have grown from the BBC's reporting of the incident. But really- a suicide bombing to protest at lack of cancer treatment? Well, maybe in China... I don't know.

However, one commenter at the Jawa thought very differently:

'Fujain province is 30% Muslim and they had huge riots there about 6 months ago as the Muslims want Sharia law.
This is certainly Islamist 72-virgin job.
Shame on Islam and Muslims who support Islamic government (which is about 80% of Muslims).
Criticism of Islam should be decriminalized.'

As I mentioned, I don't know the full truth of this, but Reuters carries the same story with the same apparently state-sponsored explanation, and a little more detail. Remembering the way that eyewitnesses proved unreliable in London, and remembering that eyewitness in police states can be a touch influenced by official expectations, we can't give too much credence to the lucky lady who got off the bus early. Neither Reuters or the BBC stress the haste with which the Chinese Government's explanation has covered all the interpretations of the story.

Meanwhile, as this story reports:

'Both the Russian and Chinese governments are confronted by mounting Islamist radicalism and separatist movements on their soil that are believed to be fueled and financed by al-Qaeda. The US-led military operations against the Taliban and al-Qaeda were therefore perceived in Moscow and Beijing as being in their interests. '

Could it be that this bombing is one more shot across the bows of the Chinese Government?

And this source may shed some light on the issue:

'The conflicting movements of Uighur separatism, abetted by Islamist organizations abroad, and Chinese internal and economic interests, suggest that further and serious conflict may be expected.
The dearth of research into radical Islam in Asia is in itself a cause for concern. One reason for this may be that states affected by separatism such as the Philippines, Thailand, and China prefer not to admit to a problem. This may be cultural. The Asian concept of saving face may be an element of the difficulty. It may, however, be a fear of losing overseas investment if there is an emphasis on factors that suggest future instability.'

China certainly has an Islamist problem. How far it extends is an interesting question- but Fujian is one of the historic stopping off points for Islam in China and undoubtedly part of the sphere of Islam's historic ambition.

This as Mauritania goes the way of all Islam infested backwaters, and the BBC finds someone to blame it all on the US and Israel: 'Most Mauritanians believe that the US has double standards when it comes to dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict... The Americans have failed the Mauritanian regime... a large Israeli-built hospital in Nouakchott is boycotted by most Mauritanians on principle... there is a feeling that US President George Bush is leading a crusade against Islam.'

But it's ok- all is well with the world- like so many 'leading journalists' he's Londonistan-based.

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