political dynamite

via Yourish, comes this tidbit on independent-minded Arabs trying to express themselves whilst under the heavy yoke of state censorship and control:

The title of the provocative article was no less biting than its content: "A call to Arab women: A single life is a thousand times better than marriage to a man in this miserable East."

Up to about half a year ago, Al Huwayder had no reason to write on the Internet. She was an important journalist for the Saudi newspaper Al Watan, where with great daring she expressed her views about the status of women in Arab countries in general and in Saudi Arabia in particular.

Last August, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah ordered that her work at the newspaper be terminated because she "damaged the foundations of the nation and wrote about issues not permitted by Shari'a" (Islamic religious law)." Al Huwayder is not the only journalist to have been dismissed in Saudi Arabia. Three months earlier, for example, the editor of Al Watan, Jamal Khashoggi, was fired in the wake of a cartoon he published. The cartoon depicted a suicide bomber with an explosives belt tied around his waist and religious rulings shaped like sticks of dynamite rolled up inside.

If I could find a copy of that cartoon, I'd print it out as a keepsake. I love that metaphor. I think that political cartoons are possibly the most potent weapon in changing the public mood, triggering self-reflection along certain avenues - and making the state very, very cognizant of their vulnerability to the Will of the people.

Of course an angry, dismissive women castigating the castrated also helps a bit.

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