Thursday, January 24, 2008

kill the journalist to undermine the media

The key justification of western and their military wing, NATO, presence in Afghanistan is bringing democracy. Neither Afghans nor westerners believe in hunting down 9/11 suspects anyore but rather saving Karzai from definite collapse in the hands of Taliban and their alikes nesting inside the regime.

The story of Parvez Kambaskhsh reminds us where Afghanistan is actually standing. Parviz a 23 years old journalist was detained three months ago. The allegations are downloading an article written by an Iranian scholar that allegedly contains Anti Islamic sentiments. the accused was sentenced to death by hanging by primary court of Balkh. Neither the accused have been given the chance nor has the advocate been appointed to exercise his/her rights to defence.

Mawlawi Shams has reportedly said that he has insulted Islam and it cant be tolerated. Mawlawi Shams, a religious figure, has the power to make significant decisions which are unconstitutional and undemocratic. This power is vested in him by the government. This is a power game, Karzai government has been critical of media for awhile, this incident allowed the religious scholar to rampage a journalist. In big picture it shows where power lies and where Karzai can rely. Parviz is a victim of the politics game. Media has a voice in the Afghan society, media feeds values into the power system. This game is about whose voices are heard and whose voices are marginalised. media has made a lot of noise after the Taliban, far more than mullahs and Karzai government dont want the power to go out of the classical circles into the hands of ordinary people. Mullahs and religion is a good tool to sanction unwanted groups which are perceived banal and dangerous. 

The notion of freedom of expression and freedom of thought is that society can produce an objective and verifiable measure of meaning for media content as well as production. This is impossible to achieve if fanaticism rules. Fundamentalists ignores the issue of perspective and denies the textual meaning of media content. Polysemy and diversity in the meaning of media content and allowing individual thought and interpretation is not only the characteristic of advanced western democracy. Media content of many Islamic countries could be interpreted variously; as long as fundamentalism, in its primitive form, is not the social ruler. Fundamentalists can tolerate media content and messages as long as it creates noise; media content could be tolerated by fundamentalists if it serves their power politics purpose. A good example is Taliban not only tolerating but working with media. Karzai regime is made of fundamentalists which are not much different than Taliban in character and media is no more serving their power politics purposes, unlike the Taliban. A fundamentalist vision of society is served by creating a culture of code-governed meaning which is not susceptible to rational reconstruction, as a matter of fact fundamentalism is an opponent of any reconstruction. We witnessed this vision under Taliban rule. However, historically speaking the fundamentalists and fanatic warlords of Karzai government have failed to create such a society because they were too corrupt to maintain any social order and eventually resulting in the emergence of Taliban.