Friday, June 1, 2007

Roots of terror

by Steve Hammond from the Asian News

Meghnad Desai, former professor of economic at the prestigious London School of Economics and now a Labour peer, says: "it is the reversal of the modernist reforming trends, (in Islam) and the resurgence of textualist tendencies such as the Wahhabi school which have distanced Muslims from the sceptical rationalist tone of much of modern life in the West.....This is why the emphasis on religion in the Western Muslim diaspora strikes an odd note for many people. While we all must understand it, we also have to be critical of such religiosity, as one would of such tendencies in any other religions minority."

Modern times, Islamic rules in Saudi Arabia

by Betsy Hiel, from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

In the coastal city of Jeddah, religious rules permeate every aspect of life, from dress to speech to architecture. Coffee shops and restaurants are all segregated, with a "singles" section -- meaning single men -- and a "family" section for women alone or with male relatives. Foreign women are required to wear abayas but not veils, or hijabs. Yet a prudent visitor wears one around the neck, as a scarf, in case the religious police scream or she wearies of the gaping stares of locals ... On the highway to Mecca, the pavement splits and signs in English and Arabic declare "Muslims only." Another sign points back to Jeddah with the message, "Obligatory for non-Muslims."