Another guest post by Jogo
The assassination of Khalil al-Zahawi was reported on BBC. If you google the man's name you will find pages upon pages of results, all containing the words "world's most revered Islamic calligrapher shot dead."
A few interesting observations:
* I tried to find -- beyond the news that he had been killed -- SOMETHING about HIM (you know, such as websites about him, as you'd think there would be about a man of his stature). I scanned a hundred google-returns. Result: NOTHING. It is as though his death made news, but not his life. You will find plenty on the Internet about other Islamic calligraphers ... but not about this gentle and harmless man, presumed to be the greatest of them. To me, that's inexplicable and weird. Was he so modest that he worked completely in a hermetic spiritual realm that never crossed over into secular realms -- even sec-scholarly or sec-calligraphic realms? ..... or what?
* As I say, dozens of Internet sources reported (or recycled the same story of) al-Zahawi's death -- even islamonline, and a Tunisian guy's blog that I read. But there was nothing about it in the Guardian, the NY Times, the Washington Post or the Times UK. Not one word. Not even on a back page. I searched and searched. This is weird, too.
* Someone posted the story on democraticunderground.com, a widely read far-left netroots blog of dailykos/Cindy Sheehan ilk. The "reader comments" were vile and disheartening. For the majority (almost all, actually), the death of Khalil al-Zahawi was not something to mourn. None expressed the slightest grief for him. None raised the remote possibility that this "insurgency" in Iraq might be a vicious and primitive anti-cultural and evil force, like Red Guards or Khmer Rouge, and that Leftists ought to be condemning it furiously. Some even joked about the matter.
No, the fixation of the posters was almost entirely on Amerika and Bush. As though BUSH had caused this to happen. Again, no AGENCY, no such thing as human wickedness, only the sinister tentacles of Bush. Brown (even Olive) people have no Agency -- they are but puppet-agents of the world's most sinister evil agent, Bush.
Well, you know how I feel about this kind of thing. There is a deep and strong current within the activist American Left that is (if you're looking for equivalencies) the moral and intellectual equivalent of anything on the dreaded Christian Right (barring the reverse-iconic clown Fred Phelps, of course).