1.11.2005

Good from bad

Moxie has a great post about the recent tsunami and some people's hesitancy to support countries whose populations tend to support Usama bin Laden. Even though it should be obvious, she points out that not all Muslims support UBL, and that the right thing to do is to help out as much as we can. Relatedly, Abu Aardvark continues a series of posts on Muslim reactions to this disaster:

The brilliant Lebanse liberal Hazem Saghiye writes in today's al-Hayat that the weak Arab response - both in feeling and in financial terms - to the tsunami has raised painful questions about the Arab world for Arabs and non-Arabs. He points out the irony of Arabs demanding that the world pay attention to their issues, while remaining completely uninterested in the issues of others. He attributes this to the unfortunate rise of a politics of identity and authenticity in Arab political culture. He dismisses stupid attempts to politicize or religion-ize the natural disaster, dismisses conspiracy theories about American-Israeli nuclear experiments. The weak Arab response to the tsunami, he muses, reflects a damning parochialism, which has left Arabs isolated from the broader trends in the world. Along the lines I've been noting the last few days, Saghiye writes that it is time to link up this problem with the more general challenge of reform.

So it seems like change - or at least the possibility for change - is spreading across the Muslim world. Afganistan, Palestine, Iraq, and now SE Asia.