First posted on my short-lived blog Tharwalizations.
Diversity in our region creates certain dynamics that are simply too complex to be tackled through some facile generalizations. In this regard, and while Arabs across the region and the world seem to stand in solidarity with Hezbollah, the Bedouins in Israel seem to have a different opinion on this matter. Indeed, the Bedouins seem to “bitterly resent Hezbollah,” since of its Katyusha rockets tend to fall at them. Also, and contrary to how many Arabs feel with regard to the US, the Bedouins of Israel “don’t think the U.S. is engaged in a war against Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere. They think Arab anger around the world can be laid at the feet of dictators who spread misinformation to distract people from inept rule.” Continue reading →
The recentarticleby Shaaban Abboud on Islamic Movements in Syria highlights the fact that, in the final analysis and after all is said and done, these movements are formed along provincial rather than ideological lines, with personalities playing a huge role in this regard. Different sheikhs have different followers, disciples and devotees. They will compete with each other, and vilify each other, now somewhat quietly but tomorrow quite overtly, but they will eventually agree on one thing: the Shariah. Continue reading →
The rise of Islamic Radicalism makes it more necessary than ever to come up with an equally Islamic alternative that can appeal to the Muslim peoples in the course of time. This alternative cannot be produced without reevaluating the very fundamentals of the Islamic faith, history and worldview, a process that will most likely assume the proportions of a full-fledged Reformation.
The argument here is that such a Reformation is indeed a must for the sake of salvaging the meager remains of Muslim identity and empowering the Muslim peoples to take a more active part in drawing up their future destiny(ies). The desired reformation, nonetheless, will need to satisfy certain secular conditions first so as to prove viable on the long run. After all, its influence is bound to extend beyond the sphere of practicing and believing Muslims to involve all the peoples of the world, religious affiliations notwithstanding. Continue reading →