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Archive for August, 2009

Iran

What has been going on in Iran during the month + has been nothing short of inspirational.  Numerous individuals – including many women – from all social classes have joined together to peacefully protest elections that very much appear to be rigged.  Ever since Sept. 11, Islam has been demonized for being a religion of war or aggression and that it could not coexist with the modern world.  The majority of Muslims claim that is not the case, that their religion (and Islam is obviously not monolithic) remains compatible with the modern world and that extremists have distorted Islam’s meaning and role in the world.  Even though numerous counter examples to extremism have existed since Sept. 11, the Iranian protests and demonstrations appear to present to the West, for the first time in a form that the West will understand and listen to, a unified, spontaneous, peaceful Islamic movement designed to change the status quo.  Beyond wishing the Iranians well, hopefully one further side effect from these demonstrations will be that the West realizes Islam’s compatibility with our current world and that the extremists are not main voice, just the most disruptive, so receiving the most attention.  Also, hopefully Western governments will continue to stay out of the internal politics and let Iranians decide for themselves what democracy they want and Islam’s role within it. Leaders should voice concerns over human rights, justice, and fairness and leave it at that.

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