Introduction

Read the attached article “Satellite Sheiks” and listen to the video lecture below. This article was printed January 3, 2009 in the New York Times. Just like the printing press and the radio, techonology allows individuals to impact thousands, millions with a message. The article highlights a trend in predominantly Islamic societies such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia. These societies are bursting with young people who are tuning in to listen to a new breed of Islamic preacher.

Prompt

1) From this quote, what American TV program would Mr. Shugairi’s program be most similar.

Mr. Shugairi’s main TV program, “Khawater” (“Thoughts”), could not be more different from the dry lecturing style of so many Muslim clerics. In one episode on literacy, the camera follows Mr. Shugairi as he wanders through Jidda asking people where to find a public library (no one knows). In another, he pokes through a trash bin, pointing to mounds of rotting rice and hummus that could have been donated for the poor. He even sets up “Candid Camera”-style gags, confronting people who pocket a wallet from the pavement and asking them if the Prophet Muhammad would have done the same.

2)Some critics believe that sending youth to the internet and satellite TV is dangerous.After encountering Shugairi’s site, they could find the websites of more radical Islamic leaders who promote violence.What do you think of this criticism and how does Shugairi respond to it?

3)The last line of the article is a quote from one of Shugairi’s followers.He says “Ahmad showed us a middle way in everything,” he said, “in relationships, in working, in fasting, in prayer.”How will this teaching change the face of Islam?

SPECIFICATIONS

Post your opening response to the questions early in the assignment period so that others have time to respond to you.

A thoughtful opening response will consider the teachings of Islam and the discussion of contemporary reform movements on ppgs 498 – 501 in our textbook.

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