Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Over-Coverage of China

A few days ago, I came across an interesting post (in French) written by an old high school friend of mine. According to him, our media has focused too much on abuses of human rights made in China since the Summer Olympic Games will take place in Beijing, the Middle Empire's capital city. After all, in the last ten years, the Olympics have always taken place in Western countries and on the eve of the events, our media mostly paid attention to the athletes and their possible performance.

Just like my friend Léonard, I do agree that we, Westerners, have a propensity to criticize China's government for its repression. However, does our media actually represent our dream to see the world become a haven for democracy?

I don't think so.

Obviously, China is certainly not the only country that can claim responsibility for acting like a moron on the eve of the Olympics (article in French). In fact, who in Canada heard that nine countries (Brunei, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Virgin Islands, Netherlands Antilles and Liechtenstein) refused to send women at the Olympics?

These nine countries did it for different reasons. For instance, the Virgin Islands, the Netherlands Antilles and Liechtenstein are small and can't afford to send women at the Olympics, according to Anne-Marie Lizin, a Belgian senator. However, it's no surprise that the rest of the previously mentioned countries are all predominantly Muslims.

Which brings me to my point: when human rights are abused in China, we'd rather massively rant on about it in our news. However, when it's Muslim countries that do it, our media turns its back to them or just barely talk about it. Evidently, I have nothing against Islam and civilized Muslims, but if we care so much about our civilization's values, shouldn't we just stop thinking that abuses of human rights are only done in China? With that said, criticism about China's record on human rights have their place in our media. Nevertheless, people should try to look further than that.

The most ironic thing about that is that our media finds it so easy to criticize what some homegrown Muslim shames of ours do or say (like the imam Saïd Jaziri or those who beat Tarek Fatah to a pulp).

This is where my observation stops. For now. Geez, sometimes, as a Canadian, I'm often ashamed of our media.

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