Mickey Malta

Notes from the zone where 'normal' things don't happen very often

Posts Tagged ‘Decriminalisiation

Arabs with shoes on

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National sport: a Rocker looking down on an Arab from his high horse

I really think that it’s ironic how Rockers tend to look down from their high horse on the Arab and Muslim world. Many Rockers regard both Arabs and Muslims as a bunch of people stuck in a time warp thousands of years away from ¬†us. And they are right.

Now, for the record, I’m being generous here. Some Rockers can’t fathom the reality that there are many different cultures within the Arab world: that it’s not just one big country called Arabia. Worse still, many more don’t even regard them as humans at all.

The irony is that they fail to see the reality that our European cousins look at us in the same way we look at the Muslim/Arab world. The absence of divorce and our Quaker approach to abortion project a Neanderthal image in our cousins’ eyes. So the moral of the story is: before you start berating your cousins down south, keep in mind that we are to our cousins up north what the Muslims/Arabs are to us. An English friend of mine defines the Rockers as “Arabs with shoes on.”

These last few days I couldn’t help myself pointing out to those who were shocked and expressing their dismay at the Dubai incident that that this is a classical case of the pot calling the kettle black. It’s true that this incident an extreme case, but let’s not forget that the absence of civil rights and liberties here is equally shocking to countries that are more secular – and by consequence – more advanced: both economically and intellectually.

The common denominator between the two realities (us and them Arabs) is . . . . . surprise, surprise: Religion. I’m not going to go into how religions keep people backwards. I think that I made my case during lent, l and I don’t want to sound like a broken record.

Ironically, many Rockers jump at every opportunity to tell the Arabs how backwards they are whenever they interact with them. Yet, at the same time, these same people get all worked up and defensive whenever they are – rightly so – told that this Rock is still stuck in the 17th century. They retaliate by invoking foreign interference and by telling the foreigners to mind their own business.

I guess that some people are in a dire need of a reality check.

Written by mickeymalta

07/04/2010 at 16:46

Former Police man promotes cannabis legalisation

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I was never a fan of Sting’s music, but I’m starting to like his ideas. This is a report in The First Post published last Thursday (sorry for the delay).

As The Police man put it: "if you love someone set them free"

Campaigning rock star Sting has caused controversy in America by calling for the legalisation of cannabis and declaring that the war on drugs has failed. He made his comments in a column for the Huffington Post website in which he urged America to step out of its “comfort zone” and “explore new ideas”.

The British singer, who now lives in New York, said: “The War on Drugs has failed – but it’s worse than that. It is actively harming our society… We are spending billions, filling up our prisons with non-violent offenders and sacrificing our liberties.”

The 58-year-old, who made his name fronting the band The Police, claimed that the war on drugs had been used to “militarise” law enforcement in America and was “a pretext to lock people in prison for exorbitant lengths of time”.

He said he had become a supporter of the Drugs Policy Alliance (DPA), an organisation that campaigns for “science, compassion, health and human rights” in drugs regulation, after reading an article in the Wall Street Journal.

Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, said he was backing the group as he was “an activist for social justice”. He added that the billions of dollars saved by legalising cannabis could be used to fight poverty and pollution.

Unsurprisingly, his comments have not gone down well among less liberal drugs campaigners. A spokesman for the group DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, said: “He should stick to singing and not meddle in matters he doesn’t understand.

We do not need pop stars coming out and making irresponsible statements like that.” Sting has long been a campaigner on environmental issues and has supported causes such as Amnesty International and Live Aid. However, when The Police reformed they were labelled the dirtiest band in the world because of the amount of pollution created during their 2007-8 tour. And last year he was criticised for playing in Uzbekistan, which has an appalling human rights record.

Written by mickeymalta

04/04/2010 at 08:58

Posted in Politics

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