Seeing Islam in a different light - FINALLY...!
The Disappearance of the Nightmare Arab
How a Revolution of Hope Is Changing the Way Americans Look at Islam
Perhaps the two biggest surprises of all here: out of a culture that has notoriously disempowered women has sprung a protest movement rife with female leadership, while a religion regarded as inherently incompatible with democratic ideals has been the context from which comes an unprecedented outbreak of democratic hope. And make no mistake: the Muslim religion is essential to what has been happening across the Middle East, even without Islamic “fanatics” chanting hate-filled slogans.
Without such fanatics, who in the West knows what this religion actually looks like?
In fact, its clearest image has been there on our television screens again and again. In this period of transformation, every week has been punctuated with the poignant formality of Friday prayers, including broadcast scenes of masses of Muslims prostrate in orderly rows across vast squares in every contested Arab capital. Young and old, illiterate and tech savvy, those in flowing robes and those in tight blue jeans have been alike in such observances. From mosque pulpits have come fiery denunciations of despotism and corruption, but no blood-thirst and none of the malicious Imams who so haunt the nightmares of Europeans and Americans.
Yet sacrosanct Fridays have consistently seen decisive social action, with resistant regimes typically getting the picture on subsequent weekends. (The Tunisian prime minister, a holdover from the toppled regime of autocrat Zine Ben Ali, for example, resigned on the last Sunday in February.) These outcomes have been sparked not only by preaching, but by the mosque-inspired cohesion of a collectivity that finds no contradiction between piety and political purpose; religion, that is, has been a source of resolve.
It’s an irony, then, that Western journalists, always so quick to tie bad Muslim behavior to religion, have rushed to term this good Muslim behavior “secular.” In a word wielded by the New York Times, Islam is now considered little but an “afterthought” to the revolution. In this, the media is simply wrong. The protests, demonstrations, and uprisings that have swept across the Middle East have visibly built their foundations on the irreducible sense of self-worth that, for believers, comes from a felt closeness to God, who is as near to each person -- as the Qu’ran says -- as his or her own jugular vein. The call to prayer is a five-times-daily reminder of that infinite individual dignity.
it's about time somebody pointed out a few fundamental facts... islam is NOT a religion of fanaticism... the qu'ran's basic message is respect, compassion and service to your fellow man, all conducted from a peaceful mindset... the demonization of muslims and the religion of islam in general is a particularly vile and narrow point of view... it's absolutely equivalent to painting all christians with the same brush because of the extremist, violent actions of an abortion clinic bomber... Submit To Propeller