Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Books in the Arab World

This article states that the Arab world, in general, does not have the information to become nations that believe in liberity. There has never been an age of enlightenment in the Muslim world. But today, because of some people craving new ideas and the power of the internet (when not censored) the Arab world is starting to get a small taste of different ideas.

The Arab world is basically an Authoritarian society. Even in a country like Egypt, which elects a president, there is little chance of political diversity.

The article states that only about 10,000 books have been translated from the West into Arabic. This is a United Nations statistic so I am dubious to it estimation. But even if the number is 100,000 books that is such a small number. These numbers are total books translated over 1,000 years.

I think there are cracks in the shell of Arab society, where liberal Western ideas such as individual liberty, personal freedom, political dissent and the rights of minorities may be seeing the light of day. Not in the hallow halls of Arabic governments but in the minds of some of the young. The only way this is going to become effective is if we, the West, push back against these societies when they trample our citizens rights. We also need to export these beliefs and ideas every chance we get.

As it stands most of the Muslim world is dependent on the words of government officials, Clerics and Imams. Anyone speaking out and opposing these people is apt to be murdered or imprisoned. Like we did to the old Soviet Union we need to do these countries. Show them the good that can come from being free. I do not have high hopes that liberal Western ideas can get a toe hold. The authoritarian political beliefs within the religion are very strong. But maybe there is hope.
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