March 18, 2006

Doha Debate on Extremism

Tim Sebastian has always been one of my favorite journalists, and tonight a debate on Extremism will be re-broadcast at 22:10 GMT and also tomorrow on the 19th at 9:10 GMT on BBC World.

Two members of the UN group, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and John Esposito, founding director of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, were among the four panelists answering questions from a student audience. They were joined by Hamza Yusuf, the US-based Islamic scholar, and Diana Buttu, former spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority.
-The Doha Debates


Balushi said...

There is No Such thing as an Extremist!!! If there is anything than that is Freedom Fighters!!! - Who are fighting the freedom for this planet earth from the Tyranny of the west.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Welcome Balushi, good to have you here.

Indeed your point is exactly what they were discussing at the debate. The need to see extremism also in a context, all be it, social, political or economical.

Desmond Tutu was part of the panel, a man who won the Nobel Peace Prize but at one point in his life also was called an Exremist.

It is a term often defined by those in power surpressing the struggle for freedom of others.

However the extremism that takes civilian lives and the kind we are seeing in Iraq today, canot be justified under the banner of freedom fighting when they blow up school girls at the side of the road.

Boo! said...

Managed to catch the second half of the show. Hamza Yusuf was impressive, as always... and so was Archbishop Tutu. The other two were, I thought, just stating the obvious and repeating what we hear on and off from other sources.

As for extremism, there are always multiple contexts in which the word may be used. Recently, it seems to have taken the meaning "killing people without regard to anyone's life (not even one's own) for a cause". I was glad the debate left that particular topic and went on to women's equity issues as well.

What was disappointing, despite being expected, was the fact that even though the topic was religion-neutral, the discussion mostly revolved around extremism in Islam and Muslim societies.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Yeah he certainly was, and there is an element of disarming charm to Archbishop Tutu that I find refreshing.

I know what you mean, the focus was definately on the muslim world however Hamza Yusuf as always brings up the issue of women, thankfully.

I really liked it when he said regarding the Quranic verse of the girls asking why they are buried alive. He said "There are many ways to bury someone alive, not just in a hole in the ground. I feel we bury our women (in the muslim world)."

Ahh gotta love Hamza Yusuf.

Boo! said...

As Hamza Yusuf said, we feel a need to protect our women in our societies. I think most men can't stand it if their women don't need them.

Even if parents encourage their daughters to study and work (which I think is happening a lot more these days), once the girl gets married, her husband has something to say about it. I think it stems mostly from men's insecurities... we all want highly educated and qualified wives, but not many know how to be with someone who can think for themselves!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Ahh true indeed. I know of many men who have said that they feel their manhood is being compromised when the woman is not needy of them.

The problem lies deeper, in the idea of manhood being established at the cost of a woman's ambition.

Farrukh said...

I would have loved to discuss this with Tim - had spotted him at the IAA World Congress last week. But just saw your post tonight - or is it day - 4 am.

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Ahh lucky you farrukh!

What is all this nightwatching you are doing? Go to bed!