Irony, or tragedy? My peers in the Muslim world are creating broadcast media to counteract the influence of the “Christian” West. When I read this article from the NYTimes Magazine, and watch the video below, I can see myself saying similar things in my Christian context. It’s about values.
Imagine MTV without the gratuitous gyration and skin, and with videos about family, public service, Palestine and, above all, salvation. In trying to make Islam relevant to youth, 4Shbab is part of a recent trend that, from Cairo to Kuala Lumpur, has inspired restaurants with Islamic themes, Islamic entertainment centers and even Islamic water parks and beaches. 4Shbab’s mission seems to be communicating that there is a middle ground between the rigid Islam of stern-faced elders and jihadists on one hand and the louche ways of the West on the other. On 4Shbab, you can be traditional and modern at once, Islamic and hip, pious and fun.
Be sure to watch the video clip “Impressario of Islam” on the sidebar of the article.