Friday, March 10, 2006

Balance

In my last post I mentioned something about voices of reasoned dissent in Arab countries not often heard. In exploring that further I came across a voice I think everyone should hear. That is Mona Eltahawy a journalist and commentator widely heard and read in US, international, and Arabic-language media. I regret I'm so unaware that I didn't know about her sooner. Reading her past and current commentaries on issues in Arab/Muslim world politics, culture, and relations with the West and each other, justice, terrorism, religious zealotry, the Danish cartoons, and other matters, was like getting a breath of fresh air. She is intelligent, thoughtful, articulate, and provocative; and it struck me in particular how she demonstrated that one can be provocative, not necessarily by taking up an extreme position, but by merely exhibiting a sense of balance and empathy. Of course I realize that's just my point of view, but if you need this kind of intelligent commentary like you need food, water, and air, I suggest you check her out (link at right, a quote from her opinion column in last month's IHT).

"I am a Muslim who fully supports Jyllands-Posten's right to publish the cartoons of Prophet Mohammed, as I defend the rights of Muslims to be offended. But I find the daily human rights violations by our dictators to be more offensive to the memory of the prophet's life than a few cartoons ever could be." --Mona Eltahawy (Don't Yield to Extremists, International Herald Tribune, 09 February 2006)

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