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Interesting Developments in Islamic Culture

Shereen El Feki gave an inspiring TED talk about Islamic youth culture [1]. She shows some interesting exerpts from the 4SHBAB TV network which is known as “Islamic MTV“, the music video from the US was of particularly high quality – while I expect high quality videos to be made in the US I don’t generally expect quality Islamic videos from the US (or anywhere else really). She also notes that the videos show a “kinder gentler face of Islam“.

She contrasts that with a clip by Haifa Wehbe [2] – a Lebanese pop star who appears to have a lot in common with Britney Spears (Shereen describes her as a “pan-Arab pinup-girl”).

She cites the comic “The 99” which has Islamic super-heros who represent the 99 attributes of Allah. One thing that I found very interesting was that the 99 character Jemi is shown using what is obviously an OLPC.

This seems to indicate some very positive trends for the interaction of Islamic culture with the European and American culture which is Christian and Atheist dominated.

Kavita Ramdas gave an interesting TED talk about radical women embracing tradition [3]. She highlights a woman who teaches girls to read in Afghanistan based on the religious edict that every Muslim should read the Koran and a Croatian Lesbian choir that sings traditional folk songs.

Naif al-Mutawa gave an interesting TED talk about the creation of “The 99″ [4]. He starts by comparing some of the characters in the Justice League of America to Christian traditions and then describes the back story behind his Islamic super-heroes. His major aim is to provide positive role models for Muslim children.

Apparently a cross-over production involving characters from The 99 and the Justice League of America is being developed at the moment – Wonder Woman wears clothing that is less revealing than usual though. It’s worth noting that Naif is a practicing psychologist who’s clients include victims of political torture, so he seems to have some insight into the problems that most people will never have.

2 comments to Interesting Developments in Islamic Culture

  • adn

    Is it Islamic or Middle-Eastern or Arabic Culture you’re talking about?

  • etbe

    adn: Islamic. The references I cite refer to Islamic super-heroes in the US, using the Koran to justify teaching girls in Afghanistan, and the Islamic MTV.

    I know that Islamic culture differs greatly in various regions. But there are common traits and the evidence I cited shows that there are developments to promote a more liberal view of Islam.