The world is watching closely to see what kind of country may emerge from the latest popular revolt to rock the Arab world. Yet in the United States, the conversation-- as usual when it comes to the Middle East--seems fixated on the singular issue of Islam, and more specifically, on the role that the Muslim Brotherhood may play in Egypt's future.
Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican officials Monday that they must reflect on the church's culpability in its child sex-abuse scandal but he also blamed a secular society in which he said the mistreatment of children was frighteningly common.
I was born in pre-revolutionary Iran. My family led a largely secular existence -- I did not attend a religious school, I never wore a headscarf -- but for us, as for anyone there, Islam was part of our heritage, our culture, our entire lives. Though I have nothing but contempt for the fanaticism that propelled the terrorists to carry out their murderous attacks on Sept. 11, I still have great respect for the faith. Yet, I worry that the construction of the Cordoba House Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site would not promote tolerance or understanding; I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world.