Ordinarily, concern about global warming is one of the last things you’ll hear coming out of the Arab world. And why is that? Well, probably because it has absolutely nothing to do with the singular, overriding obsession du jour of that unlovely realm of the planet: the Arab-Israeli conflict; or, more specifically, as they see it, the unjustifiable existence of that nasty little Jewish enclave in the midst of holy Islamic soil.
And anyway, global warming is the kind of thing that only cockamamie infidels obsess over because what could be more uncontrollable than the weather? That is the province of God and, as they say in Arabic, when it comes to the weather or anything else, insh’allah (“if God wills it”).
But wait just a minute, says Al-Arabiya, the Dubai-based satellite TV channel set up in 2003 to directly compete with al-Jazeera TV. Maybe there’s something to this global warming after all. Or at least, maybe it can be used to make a point that is conducive to the Arab point of view, which is to say, maybe it can be used, even if in a convoluted and downright goofy way, to justify desperate people resorting to terrorism.
What follows is the transcript of a brief spot, presumably a kind of public service message, that appeared on Al-Arabiya on January 18, 2008. See if you can follow the logic.
Man in a restaurant: I’ll have the grilled chicken, please.
Voice-over: The preferred food for millions of chickens around the world is green soy beans. It is mainly imported from Brazil by ships like this one, which release tons of carbon dioxide, causing the ice at the poles to melt, and the sea level rises, and as a result, the water floods some of these beautiful islands, whose inhabitants flee to refugee camps, where some of them might undergo terrorist training, and from time to time demonstrate their “fine arts” to the world.
Suicide bomber detonates a phone-bomb.
These regular people are then compelled to change their clothes into military uniforms, ready to fight one of the new wars of the world â€“ a war might jeopardize the world’s energy supply, forcing the ships that carry green soy beans to cancel their journeys. Thus, it is impossible to ship soy to feed the world’s chickens.
The outcome is:
Waiter: There is no chicken today.
“Al-Arabiya â€” So you know more.”
And there you have it. Who knew that global warming was being caused primarily by ships hauling chickenfeed from Brazil? But that’s really beside the point. The main point seems to be that when “regular people” get screwed in some way, they might then feel the need to “from time to time demonstrate their ‘fine arts’ to the world.”
We’re not told in the spot where those hypothetical “beautiful islands” that got flooded by global warming are, which seems to infer that they could be anywhere on Planet Earth, which would suggest that any of the world’s “regular people,” if faced with such circumstances, might naturally resort to terrorism as a perfectly understandable means of redressing their thoroughly justifiable grievances.
All of which goes toward pushing the idea that if innumerable, seemingly crazy Muslims are now infiltrating every corner of the globe and self-detonating and taking out as many innocent people as they can find glommed together in one place, well, then, maybe that’s what any “regular” person would do if they were in the same grievanced circumstances.
It’s a stretch, to say the least. In fact, it’s demented, unhinged and bereft of reason. But that’s what passes for a public service message in the Arab world.
“Al-Arabiya â€” So you know more.”
It’s a catchy slogan, but it needs to be a bit more honest: “Al-Arabiya â€” so you don’t know squat and continue to fall further and further behind the rest of the civilized world.”
Greg Strange provides conservative commentary with plenty of acerbic wit on the people, politics, events and absurdities of our time. See more at his website: http://www.greg-strange.com/.