Het volgende bericht is mij doorgestuurd vanuit Manilla.

Ton Danenberg, een van mijn leraren van 1963-65, nu al 27 jaar een vriend, stuurt het mij toe.

Het artikel eindigt met de vraag of het van belang is voor het onderwijs.

Je kunt vragen of het van meer belang is dan alleen voor de Filippijnen.


De tekst is verder niet bewerkt

Naar het artikel van Mariane Pearl kun je doorklikken.



this story was taken from www.inq7.net

URL: http://www.inq7.net/opi/2002/mar/05/text/opi_mltan-1-p.htm

Posted:0:34 AM (Manila Time) | Mar. 05, 2002
By Michael L. Tan

“DO you want revenge?” the reporter asked the young boy in Tagalog. The boy’s sister had been beaten to death by classmates.

“No,” the boy answered even as he struggled with his grief. “It is not right to want revenge.”

The reporter persisted: “But don’t you want to do to them what they did to your sister?”

The boy paused, obviously tormented, and then finally replied, as any obedient child would do, “Opo.”

I am paraphrasing the interview, which appeared on one of those police-beat television shows the other night. I rarely watch shows like that because I don’t see what purpose they serve. These shows are part of the trend toward “tabloidizing” the media.

They claim to have moral lessons for the public—usually in the form of dire “You won’t get away” warnings to criminals—but really cater to the more prurient interests of the public with their gory reenactment of rape and murder.

But I was particularly upset by this segment about revenge. Here was a child whose moral compass was apparently set right, now confronted by a TV reporter who throws him off track. The message we’re sending out is that it is not only right, but imperative, to want revenge.

It isn’t just these police beat shows. Television newscasts—curiously the Tagalog ones and not those in English—routinely show police station scenes where victims confront suspects for crimes ranging from pickpocketing to rape. The victims pounce on the suspects, showering blows while the police watch at the side for a few seconds, obviously amused, before trying to separate them.

All this certainly isn’t limited to the Philippines. We are bombarded in local and American police-beat shows, newscasts and statements from the world’s leaders, all the way up to US President George Bush, with these messages: It is all right to want revenge; it’s all right to beat the hell out of whoever tormented you (or even those who didn’t torment you but who are suspected of harboring your tormentors, as in the case of Afghanistan).

In this 21st century, our definition of justice harks back to the hunting-gathering era.

In our blood-thirsty vengeful times, we find there are people who dare to be different. The little boy I mentioned at the beginning of this article, until he was “persuaded” to conform—and Mariane Pearl. I’m referring to the widow of the American journalist Daniel Pearl who was brutally murdered two weeks ago by Pakistani terrorists.

The widow, herself a journalist, was seven months pregnant. In a statement issued shortly after her husband’s death, Mariane reflects: “Revenge would be easy, but it is far more valuable in my opinion to address this problem of terrorism with enough honesty to question our own responsibility as nations and as individuals for the rise of terrorism.”

Mariane reminds us the war against terrorism takes many forms. Her husband had died as part of this war without guns. He had gone off to interview people claiming to be part of the Pakistani militant underground, living up to the mission of the journalist to get all sides to a story.

Mariane talks about how she will tell her son “that his father carried the flag to end terrorism, raising an unprecedented demand among people from all countries not for revenge but for the values we all share: love, compassion, friendship and civilization far transcending the so-called clash of civilizations.”

There is grief in Mariane’s statement: “Danny is my life. They may have taken my life, but they did not take my spirit.” And there is anger as Mariane labels the execution “an act of barbarism”. But there is courage, too, far more intense and inspiring than the kind you see in the calls for and acts of vengeance.

Mariane rightly recognizes that her husband’s murder was the terrorists’ way of making people retreat, “forever threatened by their ruthlessness”. But she refuses to be cowered: “I trust that our struggle will ultimately serve the greater purpose of resisting those evil people casting a shadow upon our world."

There is an amazing compassion in this woman, an ability to reach out to others even in times of great personal tragedy. In an interview with CNN, Mariane talked about the roots of terrorism, including “a lack of hope, lack of scope for people.” She observed how, in the month of February alone, 10 Pakistanis were also killed by terrorists: “So they’re suffering as much as we are, right?”

Mariane has her own call to arms: “No individual alone will be able to fight terrorism. No state alone will be able to wage this battle. We need to overcome cultural and religious differences, motivating our governments to work hand in hand with each other, perhaps in an unprecedented way ... We are all going to need courage and commitment. Let us inspire each other to goodness.”

Inspire each other to goodness. It is an important reminder for everyone, but I think the message is even more important for those of us working in print and broadcast media.

A full transcript of Mariane’s statement can be found on abcnews.go.com while the interview’s transcript is on cnn.com. I recommend both documents to teachers who like to instill alternative values in young Filipinos.
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