CNN this afternoon fired their Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs, Octavia Nasr, following a controversial tweet that she posted earlier this week where she praised Hezbollah leader Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.
Nasr had written about Fadlallah that she was "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.. One of Hezbollah's giants I respect a lot.."
That earned her the rebuke of from some news outlets, as well as the Simon Weisenthal Center, who called on the cable news network to "repudiate her remarks." Repudiate, mind you, not terminate.
After she realized that the tweet was being taken with offense, the CNN reporter wrote on her blog to elaborate why she praised the leader of a group that is considered a terrorist organization, though it is also a major player in Lebanon politics.
It was an error of judgment for me to write such a simplistic comment and I'm sorry because it conveyed that I supported Fadlallah's life's work. That's not the case at all.
Here's what I should have conveyed more fully:
I used the words "respect" and "sad" because to me as a Middle Eastern woman, Fadlallah took a contrarian and pioneering stand among Shia clerics on woman's rights. He called for the abolition of the tribal system of "honor killing." He called the practice primitive and non-productive. He warned Muslim men that abuse of women was against Islam.