Heavy metal, Islam and us

“If you were a Muslim artist, who would you fear more: your government, Islamists, or the free market? Judging by President Bush’s recent speech at the National Endowment of Democracy, it’s the fanatics of radical Islam, with undemocratic governments running a distant second. Yet however logical on the face of it, for the Muslim artists who participated in an extraordinary meeting organized by the anti-censorship group Free Muse last week in Beirut, the near unanimous answer was the market, not oppressive governments or religious zealots. The reasons for their choice offer important insights into what is motivating the unprecedented anger at the West, and US particularly, across the Muslim world today, and why neoliberal globalization has been seen as a threat to the their cultures and larger societies for at least a generation.”

Mark Levine blog, 11 October 2005