Depends on your point of view, apparently:
MOSCOW ? About 130,000 people packed a square near the Kremlin on Tuesday, with tens of thousands of others turned away, in an emotional rally to express revulsion against terrorism and backing for tougher security measures.
Huge banners and hand-held placards expressed the crowd?s sentiments: “We Will Not Go Down on Our Knees Before Scum” and “We Will Defeat the Enemy.”
Energized by a nation?s sorrow for the 335 victims who died in last week?s school hostage seizure in the southern Russian town of Beslan, the officially sanctioned rally carried a strong tone of support for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his tough stance on terrorism. It also had an undercurrent of racism against people from predominantly Muslim republics in Russia?s Caucasus region, with some participants saying darker-skinned people should be driven out of Moscow.
Konstantin Raikin, a popular actor and stage director, declared to the crowd: “We are faced with a very terrible enemy: so-called people driven by a satanical, alien, hostile and destructive philosophy. They are aliens, extraterrestrials.”
Russian president Vladimir Putin has been critical of the West for continuing to sympathize with the Chechens, observing that most Western media outlets still call the Chechens “rebels” instead of “terrorists”.
It should be noted that the headline of the cited article reads, “Terror fuels Russian racism”. Not, “Thousands protest terror,” or, “Grief-stricken Russians demonstrate,” but “terror fuels Russian racism”. No wonder Putin is a little ticked.
Have we reached the point where sympathy for freedom-seeking Chechens must be replaced by condemnation for their tactics–or at least tactics employed in the name of their freedom? Has the cause of Chechen freedom, like that of Palestinian statehood, been hijacked by the demonic death cult of radical Islam?