Sunday, March 29, 2009

Time Magazine covers a "soft revolution" in Islam


Robin Wright has a major story in the March 30 issue of Time, “Islam’s Soft Revolution: Across the Muslim world, a new generation of activists, bloggers and preachers is discovering new ways to synthesize Islam and modernity”, on p 34, link here.

The article describes an activist, Dalia Ziada, who attempted to stage a human rights film festival in Cairo. The government apparently closed down the theater at the last minute, so she rented a boat for the festival, beyond the reach of the law, it seems, sailing out of jurisdiction. (Does that sound like gambling on riverboats in the United States?)

The new revolution is anti-jihadist and anti-political, but at the same time socially conservative. While resisting the worst abuses of patriarchal values, it still emphasizes the importance of family. It purports to become a "kinder, gentler" Islam.

The article says that polls show that most Muslims in the middle East want a blend of theocracy with democracy. For example, they probably want democratic elections but want to follow religious law or Sharia. Muslims are still angry about the West’s support of anti-democratic regimes for self-serving purposes.

Also, today, Carlos Lozada has an provocative (and double-edged) proposal on p B01 of the March 29 Washington Post: "The Big Idea: Want to Fight Terrorists? Try Mocking Them", link here. Sounds risky.

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