Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Reformation Will Be Televised

Things are starting to change in the Middle East. In Egypt, the most popular TV show is a soap opera which is running a story which criticizes terrorism:

…But every night at 10, the Refaat family gathers in their living room to watch the most talked about show in the Middle East, “Al Hoor al Ain” (The Beautiful Virgins). It’s loosely based on the November 2003 bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 18 people, all of them Arab. And it’s one of a handful of shows aired here this month that are challenging the view that Islam justifies terrorism.

“This show is very important because it is treating a very delicate and crucial subject,” says Rafiq al Sabban, an Egyptian film critic. “It’s not solving the problem, but that’s not the job of art. It is forcing viewers to confront the problem and think about it.”

This TV show may not solve the problem, but it could be an indication that people are beginning to feel free to talk about creating an Islam which is not at permanent war with the infidel.

In further news, for the first time since the 7th century, a Christian Church is to be built in the Persian Gulf, in Qatar. Hat tip: The Anchoress)