The Policing Of The Discourse, Ctd


It seems the British ambassador to Lebanon - as well as US allies King Abdullah of Jordan and prime minister Maliki of Iraq - are terror-supporters as well. I have absolutely no brief for Fadlillah - but to make a complicated point about a man who supported terrorism and who stood up for some modicum of dignity for women in Islam does not seem a firing offense to me. As Stephen Walt puts it:

This incident is also distressing because CNN was essentially caving into a black/white, us vs. them, good vs. absolute evil view of the world. Because the United States had labeled Fadlallah a "terrorist," expressing any sort of positive comment about him was a firing offense. But the real world is more complicated than that: people who support some good things sometimes embrace bad things too, and we ought to be able to acknowledge and "respect" them for their positive actions while recognizing and condemning their errors or flaws. Nasr is correct to have expressed regret for having tweeted on a subject that requires more nuance, but her firing will only reinforce the simplistic stereotypes that already prevail in mainstream political commentary.

She really should be given back her job. The precedent this sets is chilling in the extreme.