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Pretty near the core of American culture is the automobile. The average family owns two or three of them, and from high school on, all of us, men and women, see cars as the extension of our personality, our pride (well, for men at least!), and our freedom. Gas prices notwithstanding, we’ll keep driving! Saudi Arabia is the only country…
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You know from my last blog that large majorities of Muslims worldwide believe that women should have the same civil, political and professional rights as men. Many of you are thinking, “but doesn’t ‘Islam’ oppress women?” Let’s unpack that statement and see 1) what’s behind this perception, and 2) why Muslims themselves fiercely disagree with one another on these issues. For my Intro…
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First, when it comes to women and clothing, let’s get one misconception out of the way: “Islam oppresses women.” That is the default statement that even when not stated outright is assumed by non-Muslim westerners, while their minds dance with this image of Muslim women waddling down the road covered in black cloth from head to toe. Down through the…
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           Syria’s Ba’athist regime has a history of bloody crackdowns, especially at the hand of the current president’s father, Hafez al-Asad. Most infamously, he had 10 to 30,000 people massacred almost overnight in the city of Hama in 1982. No opposition could be tolerated by this secularist regime (likewise for Saddam Hussein, his Ba’athist neighbor), especially…