Monday, May 03, 2004

Arabs vent anger at sex abuse of prisoners: "Arab countries have reacted with rage and revulsion after images of US troops abusing Iraqi prisoners were broadcast around the world. The sight of a female soldier taunting a naked male prisoner and scenes of male prisoners allegedly forced into sexual poses with one another 'are playing on the most sensitive things for Arabs', an Arab diplomat in Washington said.

"They offended the region's traditional, conservative attitude toward masculinity and personal modesty and a taboo about homosexuality, said Shibley Telhami, a Middle East specialist who holds the Anwar Sadat chair at the University of Maryland. For America's already poor image in the Arab world, 'it's going to have serious ramifications, reinforcing the fears, resentment and distrust of the United States'. For another Middle East specialist and academic, Mary Jane Deeb, said the danger of this anger was that it could be manipulated by al-Qaeda and by radical Islamists eager to foment hatred towards the US."

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