Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Very few people use their own names when writing about the Religion of Peace nowadays. This is quite understandable, considering, especially in the areas where there are significant minorities thereof. I don't, however, think that Finland is one of those areas - yet.

The level of fear is pretty high, even here. I realized it when I started getting emails from people (BTW, thank you, guys, once again) offering to help with the song video, but strictly anonymously, and people suggesting that even if I write under my own name I shouldn't give out any other useful information.

Personally, I don't think the danger here in Finland is all that high right now. OTOH, you never know what tomorrow will bring. One of the reasons this blog is in my own name is simply that when I started it I had no idea I would write so much on this particular topic. I also had no idea Theo Van Gogh would get killed, etc.

If I ever start feeling that this is getting dangerous, I will start a separate anonymous blog just for this topic, either by myself or with other people.

The reason I am thinking about all this today is that Sheik Yer'mami got "outed" by Cairns Post journalist Gavin King, who approached him for an interview and guaranteed him anonymity, and then went on to reveal his name, age, address, birthplace and place of business in the printed article.

I certainly respect Sheik Yer'mami's and everyone else's desire for privacy and safety, but I don't think that in general there is much safety in hiding. I think that it is safer for everybody if everyone who can decides to stand up and be counted - especially in places where it's still not very dangerous to do so. This would assure that it would remain not very dangerous to do so.

As for dangers - one danger I never thought about before this year: will it ever be safe for me to visit a Muslim country? Considering that my name is quite rare, if any of them google the visa applicants they will surely find my writings. (The question became current for a moment, but now it is theoretical again, especially since after this summer vacation my passport will become unfit for travelling in most of the Muslim world).

Remember those innocent old times when Khomeini's fatwa against Rushdie was a new and absurd thing, and American newspapers printed cartoons with the First Amendment and a note "void where prohibited by ayatollah"?

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