Media Boycott Of Moderate Muslims?
Barbara Kay, in the National Post:
We keep saying we want to hear from influential moderate Muslims who oppose the worrisome rhetoric and occasional deeds of anti-western Islamists, but what good is our wanting to hear from them if, when they come along to speak to us, the media ignores them?
Today I had the privilege of attending a private meeting with Morad El Hattab, who is visiting from France. M El Hattab, who identifies himself as a Muslim, not an ex-Muslim, is a scholar and a well-known public figure in France, a respected philosophe whose book, Chroniques d'un buveur de lune - Essais sur le Mal et l'Amour is considered by a number of American scholars as "one of the greatest books since the beginning of the 21st century." El Hattab has won distinguished literary prizes, a prize "for peace and tolerance" and preaches peace and cooperation with Israel.
El Hattab has said, "I think that the criminalization of the State of Israel is the cancer of the 21st century." He has traveled extensively in Israel and the West Bank, knows members of the Palestinian Authority, and maintains friendships with both Jews and Arabs in the area. He has read widely in Jewish literature and history, enthusing that "I am richer for it." He thinks the Jewish state has accomplished miracles and "I want my Muslim brothers to understand this."
Wouldn't you think that a Muslim intellectual of such open-mindedness, prestige, learning and deep understanding of both the Muslim and Jewish worlds would be of interest to the media? He spoke today at the Université de Montréal but not a single media outlet in Quebec wanted to meet with him or interview him. Indeed El Hattab characterized the media's snubbing as a "boycott." A few weeks ago I wrote a column about the silence of the francophone media on the Islamists in their midst. When will the media in Quebec get a grip on the single most important issue of our time?