India Uncut

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Where is Denmark?

I am chatting with Zafar Abbas, the head of BBC in Pakistan, and I ask him about the cartoon controversy, and the demonstrations against it.

“Most of the people demonstrating against the cartoons haven’t even seen them,” he says. “In fact, if you ask them where Denmark is, most of them won’t know.”

“So why bother to protest then?” I ask. “Who benefits from these protests?”

“The religious groups which organise these protests do so just to register their position,” he says. “In future, if they’re ever asked about this issue, they can point to the protests and say, ‘See, we took a stand.’”

“And is that the only way they know to register their protest?”

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