08 February 2006

English Club Starts Again

I started meeting with the law students again today after nearly two months of time off (at least for me; the students had exams).

I brought up their blogging and several seemed to think it was a good idea. Since there is no internet access at the law school and none of them have the internet at home, I'll have to run the blog but I don't plan to write much, if anything, there. Since the point of my being there is to help them with English, I'm encouraging them to write in English if possible. But I'd much prefer that they write in Russian than write nothing at all. I'm hoping that we'll be ready to start in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

I asked them about the Muhammad cartoons. One of the students most vehemently against them was one of the Russian students. They all thought the cartoons should not have been published. They generally seemed to agree that violence wasn't the way to go. Certainly none of them had been involved in any kind of violent protests. But they did seem to think the cartoons were the worse part of the mess, not the violence. And I think that's where the real difference was between our two perspectives. If we hadn't wanted these violent protests, the cartoons should have not been allowed to be published.

It was good to be back with the students again. They are very interesting to talk to. I hope some of them decide to write so you can see that too.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder what they would think if Hindi people had large protests and burned their embassies, because they serve beef kotlets in restaurants in Bishkek? Because, after all ... cows are sacred to the worlds huge Hindu population, and serve beef is a violation and disrespect of their beliefs.

    For that matter, Muslims could and should have protested and burned buildings before this, as every newspaper has portraits of live animals - clearly forbidden graven images by the koran.

    Forbidden portrayal of Muhammed applies to followers of Islam. The protests were far more disrespectful towards the nations that published these images, out of a belief in free speech - than the original publishings of political cartoons.