I always believed that a sure sign for "seeing light at the end of the tunnel" will be once our antagonists too will be willing to look at themselves and be self critical (we sure do have our own share of critics from within). Well, while it's early days, I did come across the following Muslim and Arab critics who are doing a good job of "self examination" and criticism of the current Muslim and Arab culture. I think some already made made a good name for themselves while others are not as well known but I think they all do an important service for their own people and it's hopefully a good sign (or at least a start) for the rest of us as well: Here are a few links:
An extract:The Trouble with Islam Today is an open letter from me, a Muslim voice of reform, to concerned citizens worldwide -- Muslim and not. It's about why my faith community needs to come to terms with the diversity of ideas, beliefs and people in our universe, and why non-Muslims have a pivotal role in helping us get there.
The themes I'm exploring with the utmost honesty include:
the inferior treatment of women in Islam;
the Jew-bashing that so many Muslims persistently engage in; and
the continuing scourge of slavery in countries ruled by Islamic regimes.
I appreciate that every faith has its share of literalists. Christians have their Evangelicals. Jews have the ultra-Orthodox. For God's sake, even Buddhists have fundamentalists.
But what this book hammers home is that only in Islam is literalism mainstream.Which means that when abuse happens under the banner of Islam, most Muslims have no clue how to dissent, debate, revise or reform.
Another link is:
An Extract:Speaking as a native Arab and a professional journalist, Brigitte Gabriel offers a first hand account of her personal experiences in the opening salvos of Islamic Jihad towards the Western world in the Middle East.
Ms. Gabriel grew up in South Lebanon as the only child of a retired Christian governing administrator of the region and a successful businessman. Her Arabic society, culture and media taught her that Israel and Jews were the devil. As she turned 10, war broke out pitting the combined forces of militant Moslems and Palestinians against the Christian Lebanese.
In the Lebanon Civil War, Ms. Gabriel found herself in the first attack, beyond the Arab/Israel conflict, of Islamic Jihad against non-Moslems and the West. A barrage of Moslem rockets exploded in her house leaving her wounded and buried under the rubble. Her family lost everything and was forced to live the next seven years in an underground bomb shelter with little food, water or electricity.
In 1982 Ms. Gabrielâ€™s mother became seriously wounded; Israel was the only place to go for medical attention. For her mother, the trip to a hospital in Israel was a life-saving experience. For Brigitte it was a life changing-experience. She saw the Israelis demonstrate respect, humanity, compassion and generosity that she didnâ€™t know existed beyond her immediate family.
Ms. Gabriel realized she had been fed nothing but a fabricated lie for years by her government about the Jews and the Israeli people. She had to return to Lebanon to take care of her elderly parents but vowed that one day she would return to Israel. Brigitte kept that promise and more when she returned to Israel two years later and started working in Jerusalem as a journalist.
And yet another Link is:
An Extract:Honest and in-depth analysis of current issues involving Mideast culture and politics from the perspective of a woman of Mideast descent. The point is not to criticize the religion of Islam, but rather to bring about understanding of the Mideast and encourage Arabs and Moslems to have open and mutually respectful dialogue without fear, oppression or retaliation. A religion is judged by the behavior of the people who practice it. It is up to Moslem/Arab people to seek either International respect or International fear of their Religion. There is a lot of silence from Arab/Moselms after 9/11 and little outrage. Ms. Darwish is not ashamed to express her dissapointment and anger over what happened by the very culture she grew up in. This is not disloyalty but love for her culture of origin. She realizes that many in the Mideast and Moslems in America need to do much honest soul-searching. Many need to recognize the magnitude of the horrific events of 9/11, and cease the denial of Arab/Muslim responsibility. Ms. Darwish cherishes her Mideast background but she will defend America and its Constitution as all US citizens should. She takes her pledge of allegiance to the US flag seriously. Nonie Darwish is a writer, former editor and translator. She was born and raised in the Middle East and lived in the USA for over two decades. She is married with 3 children.
Nonie regularly gives speeches at universities and other venues. For booking