Saturday, August 15, 2009

Generation Islam

Just finished watching this amazing CNN Special "Generation Islam" with veteran Middle East affairs reporter, Christiane Amanpour. I really hope Pres. Barack Obama watched this too. It lays it out so clearly: the way to fight Islamic fundamentalism, jihadists, and suicide bombers is through books, not bombs. By building schools so that these children have alternatives, rather than dropping missiles on their homes and killing their relatives which only drives them into the arms of extremist recruiters. The program covers Greg "Three Cups of Tea" Mortenson, whose work we have already profiled on this blog, but also many others who are trying to win the hearts and minds of the younger generations in Afghanistan and Gaza through education and other peaceful means. It is an excellent production and a worthwhile way to spend a couple of hours.


  1. It’s a bit late and I’ve not watched this video, and I agree with you that nothing is solved or gain in theses conflicts by the way of the bomb, still being a person that I praise myself for being religious tolerant and one that tries to see the path to God in many religious practices, I have to say that when it comes to Islam, I am quite uncertain about what to think and sometimes I am tempted to believed that something is in the works in the underground in many countries that –as it should be- democratically allow Islamic schools and centers of worship.
    Someone send me today this YouTube video from one of the famous French supermarkets Carrefour.
    A large group of pro palestinian green clad people, walks in and storm the shelves taken away all the merchandise that comes from Israel, to be later destroyed. Unfortunately the video does not show if they paid for it.
    No security personal seems to be summoned from management in that market

    This is just one thing of this nature from many that we have witnessed or heard about.
    Well, a few years ago my mother was in her neighborhood food supermarket o “plaza” as we call them there and there was a semi-veiled Muslim woman shopping, I don’t know if because someone said something or because they were staring at her, but she commented to the other women around: “One day all of you will dress like this.”
    In this delicate and potentially explosive matter, I tend to agree with what Pres. Reagan said to the Soviets: “Trust, but verify”... or it may be too late.

  2. Unfortunately many European countries like Spain and France are having the same problem with immigrants from Islamic countries that North Americans have with Latino immigrants: different language, different culture and customs, different religion (US being still more Protestant than Catholic)..."Help! They're taking over and changing our way of life!"

    I'm not happy with any kind of religious fundamentalism but it is less likely among better educated people who can relate to each other in different ways without bashing each other over the head either with the Bible or the Koran.

    On the other hand, militant secularism isn't great either. I disagree with Pres. Sarkozy's war on the burqa and the nikab. Conservative Muslim women should be allowed to dress as they please. It doesn't seem right that we would permit a Catholic nun to wear her veil but not give that same freedom to a female high school student from a Muslim family. One unfortunate consequence of such rigid policies is that the family might withdraw their daughter from school and she will never get the education she needs to be able to make her own decision about whether or not to veil.