This article is from 2006.
In times of fear and conflict, it is often easier to plump for the knee-jerk reaction, to seek the lowest common denominator and rush to quick and simplistic judgments. With the recent terrorist scare in Britain, Rageh Omaar’s Only Half of Me is more valuable than ever. The man from Somalia who recently swapped the BBC for Al Jazeera hopes that those who are brimming with irrational hatred of all things Islamic remain in the minority and the threat which is brewing in our midst from Al Qaeda operatives doesn’t permanently damage Britain’s open-minded, liberal tendencies.
After gaining a reasonable amount of fame for his nightly appearances in Baghdad and being somewhat tastelessly dubbed the ‘Scud stud’, Omaar has since reflected upon his time there with sour feelings. While he appears to have been fully behind the removal of Sadaam, the carnage that has occurred since the dictator’s downfall has left him doubting the Allies means and motives. In particular, he has been quick to lay charges against the western media for what he sees as a ‘fraud perpetrated on viewers’ with the coverage of the war. While few still needed confirmation that the war was misguided, when a establishment voice such as Omaar’s speaks out in dissent, you know that something has gone badly wrong. (Brian Donaldson)
26 Aug, 4.30pm, £7 (£5).