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Old 12-29-2009, 08:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
LX
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For one thing Islamic culture is the farthest thing from being obviously barbaric. It has brought civilizing influences throughout the world. It has often spread in the face of "barbarism" toward colonial people by western powers. Please stop confusing power and the abuses of power with any culture.

Right at this moment people, both men and women, are protesting vigorously and dying if not facing imprisonment and torture. They are muslims. And if they prevail over time, they will continue to be muslim and live in a culture that does not truly reinforce ideas about subjugating women to a level of tyranny that is so clearly unacceptable. They are fighting against old men that learned all their tricks on how to hold on to power illegitimately, by those who inserted the Shah and kept him there for so long.

Women come out as the losers on both ends of the spectrum, in Iran, and all over the world. The decline of a once flourishing culture in the Middle East, can certainly be traced in some part to the slowing of the natural progress towards gender equality, and veering away from modernity. Religion is used as a vehicle for doing so, but it cannot be seen as the root cause. All religions have suffered from fundamentalism. There have been many instances in history where people thrived under a mixture of religious influences, in moves towards a certain universalism. Now we have tribalism everywhere, and it doesn't just happen in Iran. It's happening more and more under our own noses, and we don't even seem to notice.

Pay attention to the uses and abuses of power, and less to where they suggest their power comes from, because ultimately the power comes from us, whether it's through ignorance, indifference or the need to assert ourselves in a tribe of our own.
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