Reform in Islam?

Reverend Blair

Council Member
Apr 3, 2004
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It isn't just internet access though, Dexter. It plays a large role in Iran because there is access, but other things work in other areas. Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders have both run programs to supply camcorders to oppressed people. Khomeni took over Iran long before the internet was commonplace and an underground press survived using little more than mimeograph machines. In Saudi Arabia the outlawed extremists communicate through the mosques and the outlawed human rights/democracy workers communicate through cell phones and personal meetings.

You see similar things throughout all countries and societies that seek to oppress people...a resistance builds. When it meets critical mass, things change. Remember Lech Walesa going on strike...that had more to do with the end of the Cold War than anything Ronnie Rayguns did. Remember when the Shah of Iran was deposed? That was the Iranian people standing up and saying, "Enough!" That many of them didn't want religious rulers kind of got lost in the news spin, but all were tired of the devil they knew.

The same is happening throughout Islam. People are seeing that there is another way of life, and they like it. They are looking into Islam, actually reading and thinking for themselves instead of listening to the Imams, and finding that they justify listening to music and watching movies. That's a powerful thing, one we underestimate here.

Such things do undermine the authority of dictators and extremists. Knowledge and ideas always do.
 

Dexter Sinister

Unspecified Specialist
Oct 1, 2004
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I'm still hoping a Muslim will come along and shed some light on this discussion. Yo! Any Muslims lurking out there? Let's have your 2 cents worth.

Again, Reverend, I agree completely, in principle, with your position. If I've read you right, you're saying information is important and does make a difference, and technology is a major enabler for that. Agreed, but we may disagree on the details of how effectively or quickly it can make a significant difference. However, I've been surprised before by how quickly things can change, so I freely concede I may be wrong this time too, and in fact I hope I am. I remember when the Berlin Wall came down, something I didn't expect to see in my lifetime, and it amazed and delighted me. That resulted from very sudden and sweeping change inside the old Soviet Union. It had more to do with Mikhail Gorbachev and glasnost and perestroika than anything Ronnie Rayguns (great name for him, BTW) did, though he cheerfully--and dishonestly in my view--took the credit for it.

A very personal note:

I keep hearing my father's voice in my head while I'm thinking about these things. He was a young man in the 1940s, joined the Hamilton Light Infantry, the regiment that was cut to pieces at Dieppe in 1942. I remember complaining to him after I'd finished school that all my friends seemed to have found jobs in different cities and moved away. His comment: when I was your age, all my friends went to Europe and got killed. The point, of course, is that he could remember a time when things seemed far worse than they ever have at any time in my life, and I try to keep that in perspective. Yes, there are some truly awful things going on in the world, people are doing horrible things to each other, but there was a time when things were worse. A world without Hitler and his gas ovens doesn't seem so bad.

Yeah, I think things are getting better. But too slowly.

Dex
 

moghrabi

House Member
May 25, 2004
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Well, as a Muslim, I am taking my time to digest all the responses to a very good question. Unfortunately, my mother just passed away and I haven't been around much. I'll put my 2 cents worth and explain my opinion about fundamentalism that we see today. One thing I do not agree with is from the first post when it was said that all terrorists are Muslims. This is totally wrong. You have terrorists in Ireland, in the USA, China, Japan(train gas) and so on.

be back with a full picture.
 

Dexter Sinister

Unspecified Specialist
Oct 1, 2004
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Regina, SK
Sorry about your mother, Moghrabi, but glad to have you in this thread. My own mother is still with us, but failing badly and rapidly; she's 86, and clearly doesn't have much time left. I'll be away for the weekend visiting her and some of my brothers and sisters in another city. I need to see her one more time while I'm still sure she'll recognize me. I've been thinking about starting a discussion thread called something like "Life, Death, and the insufferable injustice of it all." Well, maybe later...

I will await your further contributions to this thread with great interest.

Dex
 

Reverend Blair

Council Member
Apr 3, 2004
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Again, Reverend, I agree completely, in principle, with your position. If I've read you right, you're saying information is important and does make a difference, and technology is a major enabler for that. Agreed, but we may disagree on the details of how effectively or quickly it can make a significant difference.

But the information war has been going on for a very long time. All that's required is for things to reach a point where the people go public. I think we're very close to that in Iran and would likely be much further along without the Iraq war. Once Iran changes you will very likely see other coutries follow suit quite quickly.

Sorry to hear about your mother Moghraibi. My condolences.
 

moghrabi

House Member
May 25, 2004
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Thank you, Rick.

The reason for my disagreement about that statement is that not all Arabs are Muslims and not all Muslims are Arabs. You have Arabs who are Christians and even Jews. You have Moslem's who are Chinese. So we are comparing apples and oranges.