Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Calling on Muslims to Protest Against Those Who Hijacked Islam

Elza S. Maalouf
Many successful initiatives are led by Muslim visionaries all over the world to bring forth the true face of Islam as a religion and of Muslims as economists, educators, business people, journalists, inventors, mothers, fathers and just good abiding citizens. Efforts to reform Islam internally and reverse the stereotypes is gaining momentum, but not fast enough to counteract the violent mindsets that are destroying the Muslim culture from within. Unfortunately, Violence spreads much faster than pragmatism. The 24 hour news media feeds on such sensational stories, but will feature once a month a short segment about a positive projects led by a Muslim woman or man.

A story last week about another beaheading in a public square in Afghanistan motivated me to call on Muslims to protest against the hijackers of Islam from within.

I was in Dubai when Muslims banded together and rose to the occasion to protest the Danish Cartoons which they considered blasphemous. Many of my Muslim Colleagues were deeply hurt and outraged and decided to write articles to educate the West on why this act would be offensive to their religious sensitivities. In case that didn't work, they studied strategies on how to boycott Danish products and send an economic message that the West will understand. I completely respected their thinking, since this was a pragmatic way to deal with a potentially danger situation.

Alas, back then the pragmatists' voices disappeared and the flamethrowers fanned the violence and manipulated the masses leading narrow minded people in demonstrations and in burning of Western flags. An act of violent anger that never produces positive results; on the contrary it makes the Muslim world look like a monolithic entity of ignorance and barbaric reaction. Which is NOT a true depiction of reality.

With the news of this beheading, I ask: Why don't the pragmatist in Islam rise against such inhuman act and create the strategies to counteract the unhealthy tribal values of Taliban and defend Islam?

In the same spirit of defense of Islam that made the irrationals protest with violence, I am calling on the pragmatists to defend the spirit of Islam by demonstrating and protesting against the archaic treatment of women in the Taliban society. This story of Taliban executing an Afghan couple that eloped, brought back memories of beheadings in the public square that was practiced for more than a decade in Afghanistan...
The AP reports "A Taliban firing squad killed a young couple in southwestern Afghanistan for trying to elope, shooting them with AK-47s in front of a crowd in a lawless, militant-controlled region, officials said Tuesday.The woman, 19-year-old Gul Pecha, and the man, 21-year-old Abdul Aziz, were accused by the militants of immoral acts, and a council of conservative clerics decided that the two should be killed, officials said." Later the Telegraph reported that the girl was 14, and the young man was 17 years old!

Wouldn't you want to protest against such an inhuman act?

In the next few posts I will outline a MeshWork(TM) of solutions that will help in creating a Tipping Point for the emergence of the Muslim world. This MeshWorks is informed by systemic thinkers in the Muslim world, and designed according to the processes and principles of Large Scale Psychology.

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My Interview about the Future of Middle East with EnlightenNext: WIE Unbound

Elza S. Maalouf
WIE Unbound delivers fresh weekly audios, videos, and downloadable MP3s featuring the leading-edge visionaries, mystics, scientists, philosophers, and activists found in the pages of EnlightenNext magazine. http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/unbound/home.asp?ifr=hp-unb

This interview was part of a several interviews with Futurists.

Speaking with Futurists: Part III –
The Future of the Middle East

"In this interview with EnlightenNext senior editor Elizabeth Debold, Elza Maalouf outlines some of the most promising trends she sees emerging across the Muslim world." You can read part and listen to a part of the interview here: http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/unbound/media.asp?id=268

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