Thursday, September 05, 2002

Mona Eltahawy On The Two Forces Tugging At Muslims Today



She writes: Mohamed Atta and I were both born in Egypt, a year apart, and called ourselves Muslim. Why did his identity fill him with so much hate and lead to his murderous end, while mine gives me a much-needed core of solace?

We both lived abroad for several years. Why did his expatriate experience lead to Osama bin Laden's chauvinistic Islam while my years abroad injected my faith with tolerance and an acceptance of others?

On the most basic level, Mr. Atta and I represent the two forces tugging at Muslims today. His backward-looking faith, austere to the bone and stripped of compassion, sought to recreate an era that exists mostly in the imaginations of fundamentalists.

The rest is here

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