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COMMENTARY: CLASH of CIVILIZATIONS

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Islamic Civilization and Diffusion

July 31, 2007

Kalem Nawaem

The PBS television program "Wide Angle" on July 31 was about a show from Cairo, Kalam Nawaem, that is popular through the Middle East and broadcast on an Arab-language satellite television station, MBC. Before satellite television in the Middle East shows were largely non-controversial films and soap operas and news with government propaganda. Kalam Nawaem is a show of four Oprah Winfreys allowed spontaneity. The show discusses sensitive subjects before live audiences, such as wife battery, masturbation, homosexuality, suicide bombings, Islam, or freedom to chose a husband. It gives viewers the opportunity to join the discussion with live call-ins. "Wide Angle" covered opinion in the street, where men spoke against the show. And it showed Kalam Nawaem broadcasting objections to the show, including opinion that the show is doing the work of the devil. And there were men who spoke against contraception, condoms and sex education.

Those who object to the show have reason for concern. Television and the attraction of human-interest subjects, empathy and the impulse toward freedom and well-being will continue to move people to forsake old attitudes, as happened in the West. Twenty-first century Westerners differ in attitude from Europeans of the seventh century and differ from their great grandfathers and grandmothers. The same is on the way among Arab speaking people.

Copyright © 2007-2013 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.