Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Online Only

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
Online Only
  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg No shows escaped death by Craigslist killer

    The young woman who says she was driven by satanic spirts to commit a cross-country murder spree over the last six years says authorities are not taking her claims seriously and that she tried to lured other central Pennslyvania men into her death snare with online companionship ads but they didn't show up.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Put teens to work by laying off minimum wage rhetoric

    Idle teen workers may be a national problem, but frugal private employers aren't the reason for it. Minimum wage hikes - like the one championed by President Obama - squeeze these marginal jobs out of the economy.
     

    March 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-03-27 at 2.40.34 PM.png VIDEO: Would-be carjacker stymied by stick shift

    A man ordered a mother and her son out of their SUV at gunpoint in an Omaha neighborhood, but was forced to flee on foot, police said, because he didn’t know how to drive a stick shift.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_zuckerberg.jpg The logic of Facebook's multibillion-dollar shopping spree

    Yet again, Facebook has spent a gaudy sum of money to buy a hot startup. This time, it's virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR, at a purchase price of $2 billion. And don't be surprised if Mark Zuckerberg continues on his buying spree.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newborn.JPG Census: U.S. has fewest births since 1998

    The U.S. recorded the most deaths in its history and the fewest births since 1998, resulting in the lowest population gain from natural causes in 35 years, an analysis of 2013 Census Bureau estimates released Thursday shows.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • news_mudslide.jpg Mudslide region deals with 'mind-numbing' disaster

    As hundreds of workers spent a fifth day digging through debris and wreckage, the death toll increased to 16 and was expected to keep rising; worse, no survivors have been found since Saturday, the day the landslide hit.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • sleeping-woman2.jpg 8 million people take prescription sleep aids, but these drugs have risks

    About 8 million adults turn to prescription sleeping pills for help every month, according to a study published last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And yet, one specialist warns, these medications all have flaws.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Mineral Wells Index


Click on a photo to visit our SmugMug page

Front page
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Must Read