Riots in Budapest and the Middle East

Riots have broken out in Budapest, following the Hungarian Prime Minister’s admission that his government had consistently lied to the country since their election. 

The BBC reports that more that 50 people have been injured in the riots, and protestors smashed their way into the state television headquarters, causing the station to go off the air overnight.

The people of Hungary have every right to be furious at their government, which has betrayed them.  It’s right that they are able to take to the streets to express their anger.  But recourse to violence by some elements of the crowd is unacceptable when so many other options are open to them.

I see a parallel here to the Islamic world’s violent response to the perceived offenses of the Pope last week, and those Danish cartoons of a few months ago.  Many in the blogosphere were quick (and correct) to condemn this violent reaction, but some went further, saying that such riots were not a part of European and US political discourse. 

It’s difficult to condemn people for rioting over their religious beliefs, when the citizens of one of Europe’s capital cities are smashing their way into TV stations because their belief in the power of democracy has been betrayed.

I wonder how bloggers will react to yesterday’s riots in Budapest, and whether any will see any similarities to Islamic riots?

1 thought on “Riots in Budapest and the Middle East”

  1. Hmm. Could one argue that in rioting FOR democracy, people are seeking to protect the rights of all people to hold their beliefs, while in rioting for religious reasons they seek to suppress the same rights? A slim line of definition, but there IS a line there between using violence to ensure freedom, rather than to oppress. Not quite sure where I’m going with this, or even if I agree with myself. hmmm. I shall think some more.

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