Skip to main content

Crisis What Crisis

A Danish delegate very sensibly chose not to attend the conference I was chairing in Bahrain last week, even though I’m sure he would have been quite safe. His travel insurance company declined him any cover.

I see however, that in Pakistan, a cleric, Muhammad Yousef Qureshi, the leader of the hardline Jamia Ashrafia religious school in Peshawar has offered a £600,000 reward to anyone who kills the cartoonists from the Danish paper Jyllands-Posten. The reward also included a Toyota car, which is very generous I’m sure but I doubt that Toyota would wish to be associated with this particular brand awareness exercise.

Remembering the tragedy of Theo Van Gogh in Holland, one wonders who might be first to drive away the Toyota in Copenhagen?

"This is a unanimous decision by all imams of Islam that whoever insults the prophet deserves to be killed and whoever will take this insulting man to his end, will get this prize," Mr Qureshi said in an interview, which I suppose is alright then. In reply, I can announce I have now reconsidered the suggestion that I might pop over to Pakistan and help them with the design of their national eGovernment project. I have been known to use Lurpak butter on my morning toast in the past and such visibly liberal Danish sympathies might prove too risky in the present emotional climate.

A week ago, the news agency, Reuters, took the conventional line: that the cartoons had created a "crisis" between Europe and the Islamic world but not only is Europe ill-prepared to wage a "clash of cultures," it is not even willing to admit that it is in one!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia


A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.


One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.



More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!
A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…