Saturday, October 21, 2006
Sympathetic portrait of the suicide bomber: Battlestar Galactica
Listen to today's Weekend Edition on NPR and hear Elvis Mitchell and Andrea Seabrook discuss the new edition of Battlestar Galactica, now on the SciFi channel. What is remarkable is that suicide bombing is presented in a nuanced, not unsympathetic light, as are veiled critiques of US practices (torture, imprisonment without charge) in Iraq. I've not yet seen the show but I'm going to watch as soon as I have the chance.
I also find it curious that there has been no media outrage about this, at least none that I'm aware of. And yet, when Fun^Da^Mental put out a song ("Cookbook DIY") that compares individual suicide bombers to scientists making weapons of mass destruction for governments, Fun^Da^Mental's frontman, Aki Nawaz, is massively criticized in the media and public figures call for him to be charged for "glorifying terrorism" under Britain's new anti-terrorism laws. As Aki says, artists like Harold Pinter call Tony Blair a war criminal and say he should be tried in a criminal court, and other artists and journalists push the envelope, and no one calls for them to be prosecuted. But just let a Muslim artist get "edgy" and a hysterical, moral panic ensued. According to Aki, it's because of racism against Muslims.