The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Features

October 4, 2012

Muslim protests could have a silver lining

As the violent anti-American protests in the Muslim world subside, those in the region and in the United States are wondering whether the upheaval will have a permanent effect.

Although by no means inevitable, these events could have a silver lining. If they spur leaders in North Africa to reassess their economic and security policies — or if they prod America to lean toward rather than away from North Africa — the region could end up being better off than it was before it erupted on Sept. 11, 2012.

There is always the possibility that the protests and violence, which were triggered in part by outrage over the video "The Innocence of Muslims," will soon be forgotten. The violence surrounding the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper in 2006 were shocking, too, but few would argue they were a turning point. Those protests, however, occurred under the old status quo of the Arab world, a very different context from the volatile, uncertain and in some ways more hopeful situation that has unfolded in the past 18 months.

One way in which the recent upheaval might have a lasting effect is on how freedom of speech is (or isn't) respected in the new Middle East. Last week we witnessed a serious exchange of views on the subject among world leaders at the United Nations. President Barack Obama sought to explain to the world why Americans hold so dear the right to state even the harshest of opinions; the presidents of Egypt and Yemen presented very different views on the limits of expression.

In the past, such contrasts might have simply underscored the significant cultural differences between the Arab world and the U.S. This time, the conversation roughly coincides with efforts to write new constitutions in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. It is possible that the internal debates surrounding civil liberties in those countries will have greater sophistication after a real-world test of society's limits. Unfortunately, it is also likely that advocates of more "Western" notions of free speech will be hampered by association with the offensive video.

Text Only
Features
  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140317-AMX-DESIGN-FOOD178.jpg Fun and beautiful maps of the world made from signature regional foods

    Food stylist Caitlin Levin and photographer Henry Hargreaves have collaborated on a series of food-based country maps composed of signature national ingredients.

    March 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • AvengerExt.jpg Avenger an American value

    If you’re someone who appreciates the golden age of domestic sedans — those big, comfortable, heavy-feeling cars with a uniquely American sense of style — this one ought to pique your interest.

    March 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • Screen shot 2014-02-27 at 4.27.26 PM.png The glitz, the glamour and the movies: 3 apps for Oscar weekend

    With the Oscars approaching, this is a weekend for movies. Download these apps, then watch a few movies, create your own and settle in for the awards show.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140218-AMX-DESIGN-HOTEL182.jpg The rise of the hotel bakery

    One of the key trends in hotel design in recent years has been a sharp focus on creating a hotel lobby that is a destination, not just a pass-through.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • How the U.S. government spends millions to get people to eat more pizza

    WASHINGTON - It all adds up to a lot of calories: On an average day, the report notes, pizza provides 6 percent of the total caloric intake for American children and 4 percent for American adults.

    February 18, 2014

  • Mazda3Int.jpg Redesigned Mazda3 among best new small cars

    Mazda must be dabbling in black magic.
    How else can you explain the fact that this relatively small Japanese company is doing what no one else in the car industry seems to have figured out? They’re building cars that get amazing gas mileage and are exhilarating to drive at the same time.

    February 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • SoulExt.jpg Soul is still stylin’

    Starting under $15,000, the Soul has always pegged its success on buyers who want a trendy, contemporary, eye-catching car without spending a ton of cash. And now that an all-new Soul is out for 2014, it shows that Kia is doubling down on this recipe of combining funky looks and an affordable price.

    February 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 01.jpg US News names its 'Best Cars for the Money'

    WASHINGTON - U.S. News & World Report Wednesday announced its annual Best Cars for the Money list on its Best Cars website.

    February 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • You're doing it wrong: how to make better ramen

    NEW YORK — The finer points of instant ramen preparation may be up for debate, but the noodle cakes and flavor packets bequeathed to the world by Momofuku Ando are un-mess-up-able.

    February 10, 2014

House Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Featured Comment
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Poll

Will you participate in March Madness?

Yes I watch the games and complete a bracket.
Yes I complete a bracket.
No
     View Results