Wednesday, March 08, 2006
In the midst of the cartoons craziness, voices of progressive Muslims, Islam adherers who want to combine their faith with the values of liberal democracy, is often unheard both in the West and in the Islamic world. These voices are the saviors and they deserve to be heard by us.
The Christian Science Monitor had an interesting piece on these progressive Muslims and how they reacted to the cartoons affair.
"The middle ground in Muslim communities is between a rock and a hard place," says Omar Shah, an Afghan-Danish commentator on Muslim affairs. "The moderate majority is having to decide where they stand."Today, these voices are like someone singing Old McDonald Had a Farm right in the middle of a packed football stadium. Let's hope that one day their voices will prevail over the forces of stupidity.
In Denmark, where the cartoons were first published, Muslims who want to live in a pluralistic, secular, and tolerant Danish society have formed a new group to publicize their ideals.
In Britain, meanwhile, the new Progressive British Muslims group defended newspapers' right to publish drawings of the prophet. "Although it is forbidden for Muslims to pictorially display the Prophet Mohammed, it should be remembered that living in a pluralistic and secular society Muslims cannot expect those who do not follow Islam to respect its boundaries," said their spokesman, Dr. Shaaz Mahboob, in a statement.
"All these groups who call themselves progressive are just marginal at the moment," concludes Malik. "But they are a voice that needs to be heard ... only time will tell if they turn out to be significant."