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Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Or is it the other way around? The Washington Times reports:

The condemnation of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda by the Islamic Commission of Spain on the first anniversary of the train bombings in Madrid that took 200 lives is making waves throughout the Muslim world.
The Spanish commission’s fatwa, or condemnation, follows other signs of the kind of public theological debate rarely seen in the Muslim world, openly challenging the dominance of Saudi Arabia’s wealthy Wahhabi fanatics.

On the other hand, the Washington Post describes an ugly incident in Basra, in which fundamentalist Shiite “militia” attacked a group of college students who were having a picnic:

A group of Shiite Muslim militiamen with rifles, pistols, thick wire cables and sticks charged into crowds of hundreds at a college picnic. They fired shots, beat students and hauled some of them away in pickup trucks. The transgressions: men dancing and singing, music playing and couples mixing.
“They focused on the women,” said Saeed’s … Osama Adnan. “They were beating them viciously.”
“Without any discrimination,” Saeed added.
Within half an hour, the fracas had ended. University officials said 15 students were seriously injured.

Whether Islam can be reformed is the great question of the age. It is a question to which no one knows the answer.

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