Thursday, December 04, 2003

Freedom of Religion? Sure. As Long as it's Islam

There's always something interesting over at Little Green Footballs and today I found an article by an Arab-American woman named Nonie Darwish who writes about the tendency in the Arab world to present one face to each other and an entirely different one to outsiders . . . which is pretty much everyone else.

While I can't vouch for Darwish's insights they certainly seem to resonate with known practice.

For example, for western audiences the Palestinians always speak of the "Occupied Territories" as though they mean the West Bank and Gaza. Among themselves and according to their charter the occupied territories mean all of Israel.

Is Islam a religion of peace or submission? Depends on who you're talking to. Can a Muslim voluntarily convert to Christianity? That's not clear but according to Darwish the issue is touchy enough that Arab governments successfully lobbied to have that freedom struck from the UN charter on Human Rights and Religious Freedom.

Nonie Darwish

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