Sunday, February 06, 2005

Enlightenment and Islam in the Arab World

George Shadroui analyzes a few questions while attempting to answer one big one, is democracy possible in the Muslim and Arab world? He concludes it's possible, and comments that intellectual leading the way is indeed a surprise
Ironically, it has been George W. Bush, a man some criticize for wearing his Christianity on his sleeve, who has embraced the notion that the Islamic world is open to change, that Muslims do want to self govern and that Muslim women do crave full participation in culture and politics. Bush’s formulations can be crude and even troubling at times, but surely he is not wrong to encourage open-mindedness where the hopes of millions of Muslims and Arabs, not to mention Israelis, are concerned. It won't be imposed, but it can be encouraged if we are realistic and tough-minded. If not for their sake, what about our own? Though I wish the president was a little less starry-eyed in his idealism, in the aftermath of 9/11, it remains a fair question.

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