New Clear Vision

constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted

No Home Anywhere

July 05, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Family, Guest Author

Muslim Women Search for Justice, Opportunity

by Rebecca Martin

While some say that American Muslim women are empowered because they are American, on the other side of the globe in Saudi islamic woman 350 Muslim Women: No Home AnywhereArabia, their sisters struggle with an issue that’s at the heart of their community: living with the rights already given to women in the Koran and by the teachings of Mohammed.

That’s why women here felt Islamic justice was finally coming home, when on April 13, Arwa Al-Hejaili became the first woman lawyer granted a license to train for court appearances. Would the guardianship rule — the unwritten law that requires Saudi women to seek permission from husbands, fathers, or brothers to travel, open a bank account, and apply for jobs — go next? (more…)

Engaging the Muslim World

June 18, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, David Swanson, Politics

Investing in Nonviolence, Not Dictatorships

by David Swanson

(Editor’s Note: This coming week, we will be running a thematic series of articles focusing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and attendant issues. This essay helps to establish a framework for U.S. engagement in the region.)

I recently flew from California to Washington, D.C., and when the plane landed, the pilot came on the intercom to tell everyone to celebrate: our government had killed Osama bin Laden. This was better than winning the Super Bowl, he said.

Set aside for a moment the morality of cheering for the killing of a human being — which despite the pilot’s prompting nobody on the plane did. In purely Realpolitik terms, killing prominent individuals whom we’ve previously supported has never resolved anything. (more…)

A More Perfect Union

May 25, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Politics, Stephanie N. Van Hook

Nonviolence Is the Essence of Democracy

by Stephanie N. Van Hook

“The voice of the people should be the voice of God.” — M.K. Gandhi

The prophetic proclamation of the death of God by Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘madman with a lantern’ continues to stir the imaginations of Western society over a century and a half later: “God is dead. God is dead and we killed him.”

I probably first read this scrawled on a building in Paris, and later, sitting in a circle in a room of eager philosophy students in Virginia. This ‘revelation’ from a madman ostensibly conjures the end of religion or the end of morality as immanent, given the trajectory of a society growing new roots in the rocky soil of the machine: destitute, desacralized, and alienated. (more…)

Performative Contradictions

May 12, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Culture, Current Events, Politics, Winslow Myers

Revenge Is Self-Defeating, and War Brings Terror

by Winslow Myers

Our euphoric national mood in the wake of the assassination of Osama bin Laden may make for a reluctance to look once again, or perhaps for the first time, at his demands. There has been almost nothing in the mainstream press that examines his motivations for terrorism.

We prefer a bogeyman of pure evil, because this does not require the kind of introspection suggested by the Society of Friends: what is it in my own inner condition, or that of my country, that might play a part in leading to a phenomenon like bin Laden?

In an extensive 2002 letter to the American people printed in the British publication the Observer, bin Laden laid out his specific justifications for horrific violence against innocents.

He began by citing passages from the Koran that give permission to Islamists to fight “disbelievers.” Immediately this sets up a pathological context, because it contains what philosophers call a performative contradiction: he proclaims Islam as a universal religion, but his vision is radically exclusivist. His illusion is that a universal God is on the side of pure Islam against impure or non-Islamists. (more…)

Read, Don’t Burn

April 08, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Ahmed Afzaal, Community, Culture, Current Events

Out of Darkness Comes Light

by Ahmed Afzaal

Last year, a small crisis was created by Mr. Terry Jones, pastor of a nondenominational church Gainesville, FL, when he announced his plans to burn a copy of the Qur’an on the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Public outcry, not to mention the disapproval of General David Petraeus, eventually persuaded Mr. Jones to abandon his plan.  Those of us who thought that the story had reached its conclusion have just been proven wrong, as Mr. Jones has once again found his way back into the news after he actually carried out what he had threatened to do last fall.  This time around, the pastor conducted a mock trial of the Qur’an in which the jury, consisting of twelve members of his church, found the Islamic scripture guilty of “crimes against humanity,” including the promotion of terrorism.  (more…)

Healthy Boundaries

February 28, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Ahmed Afzaal, Community, Culture

Searching High and Low for Common Ground

by Ahmed Afzaal

Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and 2012 presidential hopeful, is being taken to task in the blogosphere for some comments he recently made on Fox and Friends. The controversial remarks appeared in the context of his criticism of two Protestant churches that are allowing local Muslims to worship in their facilities. In defending his position, Mr. Huckabee provided more ammunition to his opponents when he suggested that Islam was “the antithesis of the Gospel of Christ.” The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on Mr. Huckabee to apologize for his offensive remarks.

The word “antithesis” means the exact opposite of something; in the science of rhetoric, it denotes the counter-claim that directly contrasts the original proposition (called thesis). I cannot be fully certain of what Mr. Huckabee meant; however, when I read his statement that Islam was “the antithesis of the Gospel of Christ,” I understood it to mean that these two religious traditions stood in a starkly contrasting relationship of thesis and antithesis; that they were being seen as more or less incompatible and mutually exclusive, lacking in any common ground. (more…)