Saturday, January 5, 2008

Giving Young Arabs Hope

A new breed of Arab televangelists are rising in the Middle East;

Masoud and others promote “a sweet orthodoxy, which stresses the humane and compassionate” as an alternative to “unthinking rage,” said Abdallah Schleifer, a specialist in Islam and electronic media at the American University in Cairo…

Masoud speaks like an advertising executive because he is one; his preaching is only part time. His day job is producing and directing commercials. He has written some musical jingles, including one for a Chinese restaurant called Wok and Roll, set to the American oldie “Rock Around the Clock.”

He grew up in Kuwait and attended American high school there, later graduating from the elite American University in Cairo, Egypt.

His easy fluency with English and American culture adds to criticism that Masoud and other new-generation preachers, such as the well-known Amr Khaled, are pushing a sort of Westernized “Islam lite.” After his speech in Alexandria, an angry older woman in a black veil pushed her way to the front of the crowd. “Why don’t you talk more about punishment?” she said, urging a more tough-love approach to preaching.

I have to say I'm quite impressed by Moez Masoud.

A handbook for Muslim teens

The American Muslim Teenager’s Handbook

Muslim Dating Service

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