Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Sense of humour

I was having a quiet drink in a corner of a bar in Rue Monot, a cobbled street in Ashrafieh, an exclusively Christian quarter. Rue Monot is very popular with the young generation, because of its bars, its night clubs and restaurants. People of my age do not usually frequent that area. My presence in that bar was to meet a young lady who had sought my assistance for a job.

Our quiet chat was violently shattered by the noise of a riot out in the street. We later learnt that a band of hooligans armed with heavy gourds and clubs, had descended on Rue Monot to chastise young Christians who usually congregate in that area to avenge a TV skit which apparently had dared to mock the leader of Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah. The end result of that attack was that several young men were taken to hospital with head or body injuries, not to mention damage to property.

I had stayed in my corner throughout the attack, and only left when the army and security forces intervened.

The moral of that incident is that Moslems, unless deeply impregnated with western culture, have no sense of humour and that cult figures, such as Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, should not be made the object of ridicule.

It would be pointless to point out to Sheikh Hassan that there has not been any western leader who has not been, at one time or another, the object of ridicule on TV or in the papers. The readers or spectators watch or read and have a good laugh. There is little hope for Islam until such time as Moslems start taking themselves less seriously.