A New Dialogue in the Arab Middle East

[Ha'aretz] Zvi Bar'el - Ranged against hundreds of websites supporting bin Laden's teachings are new, powerful sites whose writers do not hesitate to denounce his zealous preachings. Millions of participants in Internet forums, freed from the bonds of political or religious censorship, criticize daily not only the preachers or their teachings but also the way they were educated by their regimes. They do not support President Bush, but they distinguish between his policies and the domestic failings of their own regimes that are responsible for their problems. In Algeria, the state with the largest number of victims in the war with extremist organizations, a national reconciliation was achieved and most Islamic movements laid down their weapons. In Egypt, the Islamic group that produced the murderer of Anwar Sadat expressed remorse and its members wrote a "new book of principles" that eschews violence. In Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of bin Laden and most of the 9/11 perpetrators, a new dialogue is taking place on religious education, and preachers who once taught bin Laden's creed changed their positions.

2008-09-18 01:00:00

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