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The World Reacts to Robertson

Categories: East Asia, Middle East & North Africa, South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, India, Kuwait, Malaysia

In the global chatter about U.S. televangelist Pat Robertson [1]‘s remarks calling for the assasination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez [2] (for which he later apologized) [3], there is much reflection on religious extremism – and the extent to which it is tolerated in various countries.

Calvin Ng, a Malaysian Christian, condemns “Mad Mullah Robertson” [4] but then concludes: “My challenge to Muslim bloggers to similarly speak out that their own Mad Mullahs are wrong still stands.”

As Haitham blogged in this roundup post [5] yesterday, a number of Middle Eastern bloggers have been commenting. A Kuwaiti Online is unimpressed by the U.S. government's mild reaction to Robertson [6].

Indian blogger Harini Calamur writes at Point of View [7]: “When Osama asks for Bush and Blair’s head – he is a nasty terrorist. …It would be interesting to see the Bush Administration bring charges of ‘encouraging terrorism’ on Robertson.” (Via Sabbah's Blog. [8])

U.S. based Indian-born blogger Arnab digs up some of Robertson's past anti-Hindu rants [9], among other things.

Jewels in the Jungle, who blogs on Africa from Germany, has a long roundup [10] and asks: “What about all of those new anti-terrorism laws Congress passed last year? Isn’t this kind of thing against the law in America?” Jewels also points to discussion [11] of Robertson's ties to Liberian dictator Charles Taylor.

The Devil's Excrement, who is no fan of Chavez, thinks the whole Robertson thing has been blown way out of proportion [7] and didn't deserve the attention it got in the blogosphere. He thinks the Venezuelan government did the right thing by shrugging off Robertson's remarks as a loony rant.

David Sasaki followed regional Latin American reactions in his daily roundup posts here [12], here [13], and here [14].

What do you think? Do you think the Robertson story got way too much attention or does it have broader significance when it comes to how the U.S. is perceived around the world? Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.