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Miss World, I Love You

Babes, Murder and Blame.

by Sal Rosken
November 25, 2002

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Miss World, I Love You_Sal Rosken-Babes, Murder and Blame. Last week over 200 innocent Nigerians were killed and an estimated additional 500 innocent victims were seriously injured by rampaging Muslims, outraged by a local newspaper article covering the Miss World beauty pageant; in which, the Muslims alleged, a reporter blasphemed the Prophet Mohammed. The murderous rampage lasted three days and became so horrendous the pageant organizers were forced to quit the Nigerian venue, and relocate the pageant to London.

This week the attempt to assign blame for the massacre has begun in earnest. In the Arab News, Saudi Arabia’s only English language daily, the editors condemned the Miss World beauty pageant organizers, placing the blame for the deaths firmly at Miss World’s door.

Speaking of the organizers the Arab News editorialized, “Though they have attempted to distance themselves from the deadly riots that followed the blasphemy produced by a local newspaper, the tensions that were unleashed had been building for weeks as a direct result of their actions.”

The Saudi paper then sought to exonerate the local Nigerian government by writing, “The organizers are hinting darkly that they made a mistake in assuming that Nigeria was a sufficiently stable country to host what they keep trying to pretend is a genuine and important international event. Blaming Nigeria, however, is unfair. Of course, those Nigerians who were party to organizing the unseemly parade are certainly guilty of a grievous lack of judgment, the worse because a moment’s thought would have told them that even were the event suitable for a country with devout Muslims, the timing was totally inappropriate.”

And finally seeking to exact a “sharia” like punishment for the beauty pageant organizers the Arab News proclaimed, “It must be hoped that those who perpetrated this awful mistake will be properly pilloried for their error.”

Pilloried or not, the Miss World organizers did not find things any better once they decamped to London.

Former Actress, now British parliamentarian, Glenda Jackson immediately led a call for the cancellation of the pageant declaiming, "The best thing to do after such fratricide and blood-letting is to cancel the whole competition," and “Anyway”, she added, "it's such an antediluvian concept."

Following Miss Jackson’s lead, Australian feminist Germaine Greer described the Miss World organization’s plan to continue the pageant in London as "horrifying"

But neither Ms. Jackson nor Ms. Greer were able to match the rhetorical heights achieved by the righteous indignation of writer Muriel Gray who sputtered, "These girls will be wearing swimwear dripping with blood."

Now one can reasonably argue that beauty pageants are silly, demeaning, sexist or worst of all passé, but by placing the blame for over 200 deaths and 500 injuries on those whose only sin was, shall we say, a retro ignorance of political correctness, one only shifts the blame from those who are truly culpable, and who deserve the full measure of the world’s opprobrium.

The murderous rampage began in Nigeria on Friday afternoon following Muslim services at the mosque in Kaduna. Flowing from the mosque a marauding horde of irrational Islamists, set upon destruction and murder, first torched the offending newspaper’s office and then, their religious thirst for retribution not slaked by mere property damage, proceeded to engage in bloody murder and mayhem.

What happened in the Kaduna mosque to so inflame the Islamists? What sermon did the Imam preach that day to so blind the Islamists to the humanity of those they so senselessly slaughtered?

If one wishes to assign blame for the tragedy of Kaduna, should one not start within the mosque at Kaduna from which the murdering Islamists emerged?

Without American foreign policy to scapegoat, and without a fictitious Israeli Zionist conspiracy to blame for this Nigerian bout of Islamic violence, apologists for radical Islam have turned to the tried and tested method of blaming the victim.

But since Islamic apologists are quick to point out that Islam is the Religion of Peace and Tolerance, is the world not justified in asking, “Where was the toleration for Freedom of the Press in Nigeria?” and “Where was the toleration for Freedom of Expression in Nigeria?” and “Where was the Peace in Nigeria?”

An assortment of ill educated, illiterate, poverty stricken murderers are presently being rounded up in Kaduna and will no doubt be made an example of, to a degree. But it is very uncertain, indeed improbable, that those who cloak themselves in religious garb, and exhort their followers to kill in Islam’s name will be brought to justice.

Besides it's just easier to blame Miss World.

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