Saturday, May 21, 2005

US following Europe for a change?

This story's been running for a while now, and it wasn't very interesting to start, but it's developing into something... well, European is the best word.

The story so far. Days after it turned out the Newsweek 'bombshell' on the
'desecrations' was false, an Arab student at UCLA (who is also a member of several radical organizations, but the press somehow manages to overlook this) buys a second-hand Koran thru Amazon. On arrival, the book alledgedly contains profanities, among which "Death to all Muslims".

Muslim interest groups get involved, and manage to get Amazon to apologize profusely, overcompensate the customer, investigate the matter, reorganize their organization and sack persons who may or may not have been involved. They also
indefinitely suspended Bellwether from selling Korans through Amazon and said that if the problem recurred, Bellwether would be banished from Amazon.
Bellwether being the actual seller of the book. It also was not aware (if indeed guilty) of any wrongdoing, but took measures nonetheless:
[Richard Roberts, owner of Bellwether] apologized to Basarudin, said any employees found desecrating the Koran would be fired, and offered to replace the book. He also promised to assign, in the Los Angeles Times’s wording, “a quality-control officer to rigorously check incoming and outgoing books.”
Keep in mind that all of this happened because a radical Muslim student CLAIMS she received a 'desecrated' Koran thru Amazon. Claims that even if true can never be substantiated, but nevertheless remain exactly that: Unsubstantiated.

If all the upheavals over an unproven claim by a suspect person, right after another scurrilous story turns out untrue, if this doesn't fit
Bat Ye'or's definition of dhimmitude (which, btw is MANDATORY reading for anyone who values Western society more than that of Saudi or Pakistan), I don't know what does.

And I don't even want to get into why 'desecrating' the Koran should evoke anything more than a desire for a refund.

Update: This is the e-mail I sent to Amazon, c/o Patty Smith
Dear Ms Smith,

I am a regular customer of Amazon. And I am very disappointed with Amazon's handling of the alledged Koran desecration involving ms Basarudin and Bellwether.
First of all, the claim is totally unsubstantiated. There was no cause to do anything more than offer compensation due to a sense of customer-friendliness. You did nothing wrong, and neither did Bellwether. Until such a wrong was clearly proven, the burden of proof lies with the buyer.

This is all the more important in the light of my second argument. This claim comes at a time when Muslim extremists want to fan the fires of the previous non-incident, involving the alledged but demonstrably untrue 'desecration' of a Koran at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and it is uncannily timed.

If you think you're making friends of radical Muslims by jumping to their every whim, you are mistaken. And you are alienating customers like me, who would have liked to see a much more firm position on such an unproven and unlikely claim. Such appeasement is ugly to see, and I'll be reconsidering where I buy my books from now on.

You should do likewise.


Blogger P-BS-Watcher said...

Amazon will have no difficulty adapting its business model once shari'a is imposed. See Amazon Dhimmis Respond

4:50 PM  

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