Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Riots Effective

Iranians have learned what appears to be the best argument in the modern world: riot when you are unhappy. Azeri's have managed to have a newspaper closed and its editor and cartoonist detained. Why?

On Friday, the Farsi-language paper Iran published a cartoon showing a cockroach speaking Azeri, the language of an ethnic group in northwestern Iran.

The cartoon provoked riots in Tabriz, the capital of Eastern Azerbaijan province, on Monday. Police fired tear-gas as rioters smashed windows of the local governor’s office.

Culture Minister Saffar Harrandi appeared on state television Monday and apologized for the cartoon. He promised to punish the paper’s editor and cartoonist.

Of course this is nothing new in Iran given that "Iran’s conservative judiciary has closed more than 100 newspapers, mostly pro-reform, since 2000." but it certainly helps foretell where the West may be a few years down the road if we continue to pursue similar policies.

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