Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

BareNakedIslam - Never Knowingly Fact-Checked

One of the things I try to teach my students on their internet courses is to use common sense in deciding whether something you find on the web is trustworthy or not. For example, when we were practising web searches I suggested using Wikipedia, and was greeted with a chorus of disapproval because "Wikipedia isn't reliable". I then had to try to explain that yes, Wikipedia might need to be treated with caution if you were reading articles about, say, Hugo Chavez, Margaret Thatcher, or gay marriage, but it was unlikely that anybody had been applying their own agenda to the bonding structure of diborane, or the capital of Angola. (Though the capital of Israel might be another matter....)

None of which bothers Bonni the batshit Nazi when it comes to reposting rubbish from the web on her hate site. For Bonni, if it accords with her prejudices, she'll spin it, amplify it, add to it, embellish it, but never ever question it. For example, take this post. Copied from some randon American blogger (with a UK-registered blog) but with additional and utterly irrelevant bollocks about mixed bathing from Bonni herself, this story actually originated with an Egyptian news site. I'm not too well up on which ones support the regime or not, but I'd certainly treat them all with a little caution - and in this case I would be dead right to do so, as a little Googling and a visit to an Indian news site suggests. So the Egyptian story has "enactment of citizens' arrest", and mentions that tourist agencies had been checking to see if this was right. (It also mentions that some politicians were alarmed at the possibility of Egyptians starting to arrest each other.) Well, it wasn't right: there was no law enacted, merely advice from the Prosecutor-General. The army (who have a degree of influence in these things!) immediately told the P-G to shove it up his rear end as they had no intention of letting anyone do anything of the kind: and the man himself said that all he was doing in any case was promoting existing legislation which encourages citizens to do their bit if they see a crime being committed. So more the Neighbourhood watch than the NKVD. But notice that even the Egyptian's exaggeration wasn't enough for Bonni or the ultra-rightist she cribbed the story from, who describe the "new law" as allowing "unrestricted arrest of foreigners" as though it only applied to them. They also mention arrests for "blasphemy", though this is nowhere to be found in the original Egyptian piece, which is worried about disputes with shopkeepers. The actual statement from the prosecutor's office lists various offenses which (already) require citizens' arrests, such as sabotaging state facilities, disrupting public transport and acts of terrorism. (Not, you will note, "suspicion of spying" or "blasphemy".)

So Egypt already encourages people (unwisely, you might think) to tackle folk trying to pull off another 7/7 or Oklahoma bombing. Egyptians were worried that encouraging this might lead to a rash of haggling traders arresting each other. And the industrial Islamophobes spin this into a "new law" allowing "unrestricted arrest of foreigners". But then, these are the people who believe that a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is a breach of the US Constitution, so I suppose we shouldn't expect much from them in the way of reading comprehension. And I'm sure none of Bonni's regular commenters will bother even to follow the link to the Egyptian source, let alone apply any scepticism to the report.

Oh, and according to Bonni tourism is Egypt's "only money-making industry"? Aye, right. And the only reason to visit Egypt is sex tourism? Oh, of course, because these ignorant hillbilly hicks don't realise that Europeans have no need to go that far for sex when there are cheap flights to Amsterdam or Copenhagen (hell, if I wanted to pay for sex there are plenty of places in walking distance of my home). And what else don't they realise? That people whose idea of culture isn't restricted to scribbles that my school art teacher would have torn up for incompetence might be interested in these, this, or even this. Or indeed this (remembering that Cairo is where Aida was first performed).

Poor, poor Bonni. You really do have to laugh: every time she hits the keyboard she knocks more nails into the coffin of her pretended university education and urban sophistication. The woman's a hick, and a home-schooled hick at that.

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