Month: April 2011
“PEACEFUL, PEACEFUL”: The Arab World Sweeps Ahead in Global Social Change
These two words, the clarion call of millions of Arabs yearning to be free, are the two most important words in recent political history. There is a new form of pan-Arabism. It is a contagion, it is nonviolent, it is neither religious nor anti-religious, it is not mean-spirited but inviting to authorities and adversaries. It is the kind of chant and gesture that directly welcomes police and officials to join. In short, we have seen the spirit of Gandhi and King, and especially Ghaffer Khan, come alive in the Middle East.
If the contagion continues I am hoping that it becomes the pre-eminent form of social change and protest that sweeps aside paranoia and passivity. All the way from the streets of Pakistan to the airwaves of America, from Zawahiri and the Salafists to Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party, it is time for the …