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Moderation in the Face of Chaos

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Taylor Marsh has an intriguing video clip up at her blog that I wanted to call to everyone’s attention.  In the face of all the rhetoric, the fear-mongering, the vitriol and the outright lack of understanding of the issues involved in our so-called Global War on Terror (or whatever acronym the White House is using these days…seems like it’s been changing monthly of late, and I’ve lost track of whatever name we’re using), this debate between two opposing points of view is an enlightening experience.

The video is a little grainy, but you can see right away the stark differences between the beliefs of the woman on your left and the man on your right in the above photo.  They represent the fight between factions within Islam itself, between a hope for the future and a clinging to the past, and it is a debate worth watching in full.

Too often, Islam becomes a monolithic cartoon boogeyman in the American media who either doesn’t take the time to understand that, just like Christianity, there are different sects and differing degrees of practice — or they think that we won’t take the time to understand it, so they don’t bother with any explanations.  The moderates in the faith far outnumber the radicals by most accounts that I’ve read (not being Muslim myself, I can’t say that for sure, obviously, but most scholars I’ve been reading tend to agree on that point).

When we ignorantly lump all Muslims together into one, radical, bloodthirsty horde, we are wrong.  Very wrong.  Just as anyone who lumps all Christians into one wacky, Pat Robertson-following horde would be.  (And how would you like your faith defined by all things Pat?  Yeah, I thought not.) 

Moderate voices within the Muslim community need more coverage — the "silent majority" is something we’ve discussed here again and again in terms of American politics, but it is just as applicable for this.  And when was the last time you heard of anyone in the Muslim sphere described as "secular" in the American media?  This woman goes about her daily life with the same hopes and dreams as we have — safety, prosperity, peace, happiness, friendship.  But she now does so with a threat leveled at her head for daring to speak her mind about her own faith — in herself and in humanity.

Watch this video and see if you don’t agree with Taylor that this is the bravest woman in the whole world.  Peace to her, and safety.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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