Where Chimes the Bell of Freedom
Christopher Hitchens "from the United States" (Hitchens is now an American citizen) debates the Baroness Williams on British TV on the question of whether Salman Rusdie's knighthood was an affront to Muslims worldwide.
The video is principally interesting as a glimpse into attitudes in Blighty. Of course the killer line is Hitchen's, when he points out to Baroness Williams that all the literary lions of the Islamic world had signed a petition in support of an Iranian author who had been condemned by fatwa, turning to her and saying, (I paraphrase) "So if you think that Muslims are offended by free expression then you are lumping them all with the most illiterate, backward and homicidal elments of the Muslim world. With people who didn't read the book -- who in fact couldn't read a book -- that identification of Muslims with stupidity and not Rusdie's knighthood is the insult to Islam." I think the remark captures the patronizing liberal attitude toward the Third World perfectly. On some subconscious level it is necessary for the people of the Third World -- as were the "masses" in history -- to be understood as something less than the human in order to make their manipulation from the Commanding Heights more palatable; and yes, "noble".