More on the Secular Islam Summit from Phyllis Chesler
Phyllis Chesler continues her three-part article series on the Secular Islam Summit. Here's Part II:
An Islamic Enlightenment
What stood out most to me were her comments on the virtual media blackout of the event in the west:
One might think that the western media would have flocked to the summit in droves. It’s not every day, after all, that Muslim reformers and dissidents gather for a forthright discussion about the troubles of Islam and the Islamic world. Such was not the case. Both the Associated Press and NPR promised to come but did not show.When western liberals (i.e. the western mainstream media) start supporting Muslim liberals (in the true sense of the word), then the battle will be half won. Until then, we still have a long way to go...
To be sure, there were some notable exceptions to the media blackout--CNN's Glenn Beck devoted an entire hour to interviews with conference speakers; Bret Stephens covered it for the Wall Street Journal as did Jay Tolson for U.S. News and World Report and Christina Hoff-Sommers for The Weekly Standard -- but the various papers of record in New York, Washington, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles were, to the best of my knowledge, missing in action.
Curiously, both al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, not previously known for their support of Islamic reform, covered the conference, which aired live and in Arabic. It is an unhappy irony that these noble dissidents should face ostracism and grave danger in Muslim lands and only to be similarly ignored by the Western intelligentsia and media.
Cross-posted at Kesher Talk.