Have you noticed that word disproportionate?Exactly!
It keeps popping up in relation to Gillian Gibbons and the teddy bear.
The Archbishop of Canterbury called her jail sentence:
"absurdly disproportionate response" to a "minor cultural faux pas".
while the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (Fosis), which represents more than 90,000 Muslim students in the UK and Ireland, said it was:
"deeply concerned" at what was a "gravely disproportionate" verdict.
It was not a misunderstanding of culture on the part of Gillian Gibbons. And the verdict was not disproportionate.
The arrest and imprisonment of this teacher was a political act, not a cultural or religious one. Its aim is not cultural preservation but terrorising the population. It is the classic move of a totalitarian state supported by a mob.
Why wasn't it disproportionate? This word implies that some sort of censure was required but that imprisonment was too much. The punishment wasn't out of proportion. It was unwarranted, outrageous, insupportable.
The use of the phrase "disproportionate" is offensive.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Just comment from the Times's Daniel Finkelstein: