Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rami Khouri - and Octavia Nasr - on the Death of Grand Ayatollah Fadlallah

Rami Khouri pens a typically eloquent piece on Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah, a towering figure in Lebanese Shii society as well as an "object of emulation" for Shia not only in Lebanon, but worldwide - including Iraq, where one of his many followers is Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Of course, because he encouraged popular resistance to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and had ties to Hezbollah, the US neocon right are celebrating his death, as well as vilifying those who might express some admiration for him.  One of the latter is Octavia Nasr, a journalist of Lebanese origin who was a senior editor for CNN until she committed the "mortal sin" of twittering some comments about her admiration for Fadlallah, who spoke out for women's rights in Lebanon, and specifically against "honor killing."

A number of pro-Israel hard-liners screamed foul over Nasr's "tweet."  The result?  CNN has let her go.  And she may not be the only journalist who'll fall.  As the Daily Star reports,
an Israeli Foreign Ministry official told the Israeli Ynet website it would be “interesting” to see how the UK Foreign Office reacts to the newest praise of Fadlallah by UK Ambassador to Lebanon Frances Guy who eulogized Fadlallah on her personal blog. . . . 

Guy had written Fadlallah was one of the figures she respected and enjoyed to meet the most in Lebanon.

Here's hoping that the UK Foreign Office has more courage and integrity than CNN, the self-proclaimed news leader that features a former top AIPAC official (Wolf Blitzer) as one of its "stars."

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