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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unstoppable Rage Boy

Professional protesters are a rupee a dozen. But here is a post about one extremely funny professional protester, the Rage Boy, with that classic profile of a Muslim with a beard and a cap - more on this later. About the every present protests and protesters themselves, Christopher Hitchens writes in the Slate about the professional kind and why we shouldn't bother to care about them.

I have actually seen some of these demonstrations, most recently in Islamabad, and all I would do if I were a news editor is ask my camera team to take several steps back from the shot. We could then see a few dozen gesticulating men (very few women for some reason), their mustaches writhing as they scatter lighter fluid on a book or a flag or a hastily made effigy. Around them, a two-deep encirclement of camera crews. When the lights are turned off, the little gang disperses. And you may have noticed that the camera is always steady and in close-up on the flames, which it wouldn't be if there was a big, surging mob involved....

But our media regularly make the assumption that the book burners and fanatics really do represent the majority, and that assumption has by no means been tested. (If it is ever tested, and it turns out to be true, then can we hear a bit less about how one of the world's largest religions mustn't be confused with its lunatic fringe?)

The acceptance of an honor by a distinguished ex-Muslim writer, who exercised his freedom to abandon his faith and thus courts a death sentence for apostasy in any case, came shortly after the remaining minarets of the Askariya shrine in Samarra were brought down in shards. You will recall that the dome itself was devastated by an explosion more than a year ago—an outrage described in one leading newspaper as the work of "Sunni insurgents," the soft name for al-Qaida. But what does "Rage Boy" have to say about this appalling desecration of a Muslim holy place? What resolutions were introduced into the "parliament" of Pakistan, denouncing such shameful profanity? You already know the answer to those questions. The lives of Shiite Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Christians—to say nothing of atheists or secularists—are considered by Sunni militants to be of little or no account. And yet they accuse those who criticize them of bigotry! And many people are so anxious to pre-empt this accusation that they ventriloquize the reactions of Sunni mobs as if they were the vox populi, all the while muttering that we must take care not to offend such supersensitive people. [Slate]

His point about testing the majority, and then, if it is was the majority, what about the lunatic fringe theory, is worth keeping in mind. Also the rage never seems to about Sunnis killing Shias (and surely never about attacks on other religious groups).

In any case, snapped shot has post (pictures from Getty AFP archives) on a professional protester, the Rage Boy, from, where else, J&K, protesting about every slight to Muslims and Islam in every part of the planet (mentioned in Hitchens article early on).

See the post at Snapped Shot for the amazing rage of the Rage Boy

The Rage Boy's shots are always close ups and in similar grabs and the protests are about everything and anything. Extremely funny post at snapped shot with essentially just pictures.