Thursday, February 8, 2007

A spokeswoman for mainstream Islam(!)

If you are among those who believe that moderate voices in islam ought to try harder to make themselves heard, meet Gina Khan. She's a Briton who despises the radicalization of her fellow Muslims in Birmingham and celebrates Britain as a nation of opportunity for Muslims, especially women. She wants to see British authorities do even more--specifically, to crack down on madrassas and imams who inculcate the young with hatred and imprison women with arranged marriages and informal polygamous arrangements. In other words, she wants Britain to present itself as the liberal society it is by condemning and attempting to root out illiberalism.

I'm not sure how liberal societies can "root out" illiberalism and anti-modernism, because they are by nature laissez-faire about personal morals, but I wish someone could find a way at least to counter them in public. In any event, an intriguing and hopeful portrait, courtesy of the London Times.


german said...

not sure having britian involved is the best idea since they did create the state in the first place. kinda reminds me of the old days of the europeans coming to civilize the natives and i don't think that worked well in the long time as well. i think they need to create change from within and an open dialog to see the ills of their society in the confrontation of western values. each group of people can hold their own values but in a modern society

moville said...

i completely agree...I don't think you change other people by force, I think they have to change themselves. And probably a lot of Britain's problem is colonial baggage...they DID create much of the modern middle east, for their own convenience, and they DID import thousands and thousands of Pakistanis to Britain to man the textile factories in the 50s and 60s. Besides unemployment among the second generation, people say that you can perceive the disdain for them in some quarters, as "ex-colonials." People don't seem to feel that here.

SS97 said...

According to the Lebanese Middle East expert, Brigitte Gabrile, mainstream Muslims dont speak out against the radicals because they dont dont like to think of themselves as western sympathetizers. In other words, they might be opposed to the actions of the radical fringe,but their disdain for the west deters them from speaking out (