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Monday, February 12, 2007

Moshe Elad: Islam out, West in - Israeli Arabs are changing

http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/02/moshe-elad-islam-out-west-in-israeli.html

We need to hope this is true.

Islam out, West in
 
Westernization of young Israeli Muslims limits Temple Mount protest
 
Moshe Elad Published:  02.11.07, 16:37 / Israel Opinion
 
 
Israeli Muslims' meager response to the Islamic Movement leader's call to protest the Mugrabi Gate bridge renovations proved that it is not the al-Aqsa Mosque that is in danger, but rather, the Movement's leadership.
 
The heads of the Movement, who once excelled in fanning the flames of incitement, encountered a more mature audience this time around.
 
The intermediate generation, and particularly the younger generation, didn't buy into the spin that an esoteric engineering problem could turn into a global religious war and expressed its dissatisfaction through its absence. The Israeli Muslim public apparently doesn't believe that the "whole world is a narrow bridge," as the popular Israeli song goes.
 
 A series of surveys and studies have pointed to a trend, which the Islamic Movement leaders are trying hard to conceal – the power of religion is waning, while the power of Westernization is on the rise.
 
A survey conducted among hundreds of Arab youth to find out who their role models were, found that more than half admire artists and pop stars, and over a quarter identify with athletes and intellectuals, whereas politicians (11 percent) and religious clerics (6 percent) were the least popular role models.
 
The Islamic Movement understands that its problem lies in its youth and in its women, and therefore launched a campaign called "our sons are in danger" in 2004. Its aim was to make its youngsters and women return to their religion. Surveys show that more and more Muslim youth describe themselves as non-religious, and there has been a significant drop in the adherence to Islamic laws (Ramadan, prayers.) More students are enrolled at ordinary academic institutions, and more youngsters enjoy spending their time at shopping malls alongside their Israeli counterparts while wearing the same brand-name shirts and jeans.
 
 Muslim youth dance to the same rock and rap music, use the same cellular phones, and drink and smoke the same stuff.
 
Drop in bigamy
 
The Movement's leadership is concerned by the fact that more and more women are discarding the Hijab and ignoring the rules of Islamic traditional dress. Many Muslim women take driving lessons, travel in mixed vehicles to their jobs and studies, bear fewer children and divorce more.
 
Much to the Islamic leadership's regret, the last decade has seen a drop in bigamy and polygamy; while at the same time Muslim women's associations have been working to apply the rulings of family courts on the Muslim community as well. Another concerning aspect is that hundreds (perhaps even more) of Muslim men are in relationships with Jewish women.
 
Overall, the average Muslim family makes use of multi-channel TVs, and the home distribution of personal computers and Internet access is quickly reaching the level prevalent in the Jewish community. As a result of this, the use of Israeli and English terminology is becoming increasingly widespread.
 
For Muslim youth, who constitute half of the Muslim population, the Mugrabi Gate sounds more like an Internet blog than a disputed area, and they would much rather surf the Temple Mount than gather around it.
 
 Moshe Elad is a researcher at the Samuel Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology 


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at http://zionism-israel.com/israel_news/2007/02/moshe-elad-islam-out-west-in-israeli.html. Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.

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