GrokMart

Spanning the globe for insights into human behavior and persuasion.

7.26.2005

 

Darkness Hates Light

New York Times columnist Tom Friedman says part of the War on Terror should be exposing the anti-western propaganda:
We need to shine a spotlight on hate speech wherever it appears. The State Department produces an annual human rights report. Henceforth, it should also produce a quarterly War of Ideas Report, which would focus on those religious leaders and writers who are inciting violence against others. ...

Sunlight is more important than you think. Those who spread hate do not like to be exposed, noted Yigal Carmon, the founder of Memri, which monitors the Arab-Muslim media. The hate spreaders assume that they are talking only to their own, in their own language, and can get away with murder. When their words are spotlighted, they often feel pressure to retract, defend or explain them. ...

"Whenever they are exposed, they react the next day," Mr. Carmon said. "No one wants to be exposed in the West as a preacher of hate." ...

Every quarter, the State Department should identify the Top 10 hatemongers, excuse makers and truth tellers in the world. It wouldn't be a cure-all. But it would be a message to the extremists: you are free to say what you want, but we are free to listen, to let the whole world know what you are saying and to protect every free society from hate spreaders like you. Words matter.
Jarvis agrees, but says bloggers can shine a brighter spotlight than the State Dept can:
The point is not to stop the speech. The point is to expose the speakers. And why rely on a government body, especially the U.S. State Department, to do this. Rely instead on the civilized citizens of the world.

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