by Gary Fouse
I have written previously about Yvonne Ridley, British journalist who became a radical convert to Islam after her detention by the Taliban while trying to cover the allied invasion of Afghanistan after 9-11. She came to UCI to speak a couple of years back. On that occasion, she spoke in humorous terms about her Taliban captors, whom she described as sort of curmudgeonly, but harmless characters, who eventually released her although or perhaps because she drove them crazy- in her words. Of course, she never mentioned the executions in the soccer stadiums of the women who had committed adultery. In the wake of the recent protests in Iran and the Viva Palestina fiasco in Egypt and Gaza, I have thought again about this woman. You see, aside from being a fierce opponent of Israel and overall radical, Ridley has also been employed by Press-TV, the Iranian English-language press organ, which has been giving such sympathetic coverage to the George Galloway/Viva Palestina convoy. Since Ms Ridley has read my blog and once sent in a nastygram comment to something I had written, I thought she might like to answer a couple of questions in light of recent events.
Ms Ridley, what is your reaction to the death of the Egyptian policeman, who was killed by Gazans at the Rafah border crossing as they were awaiting Sir George's arrival? I noted that your reporter colleagues at Press TV neglected to ask Sir George anything about that policeman when he arrived at Heathrow Airport.
But more importantly, do you support the Iranian government crackdown on Iranians protesting in the streets? What about the people shot down in the streets?
What about the tortures and the hangings? What about the hangings of homosexuals in Iran?
What do you think about the persecution of members of the Bah'ai faith in Iran? When I say persecution, I mean arrests, torture, murder, and rape.
That is the Iranian government you work for, Ms Ridley. What say you?
And while we are at it, would you care to comment about those Taliban soccer stadium executions of women during their rule in Afghanistan?
What say you, Yvonne Ridley?