Program 6: Decay or Rebirth?    CD   MP3
Islamic Culture and the Plight of the Islamic Artist Today

    One of the central cultural problems in today's world is the rapid erosion of indigenous cultures, often centuries-old, by a bland, homogenize mass culture. The effects of the inexorable spread of these values are visible for all to see; an ubiquitous youth culture, complete with its own music, dress code and moral standards; the rise of mass communications and their over-reliance on the West for programs; and the artistic and cultural shift away from local or regional cultures towards world markets and institutions, invariably dominated by the West. If an artist or an intellectual looks for recognition today he must usually seek it in the West, not from within his own culture.

     Nowhere has this process further sapped self-confidence and a sense of cultural identity than in the Islamic world, particularly in its Arab heartland. In Asia and Africa, pre-Islamic cultures continue to flourish. In one sense the bedrock of Islamic civilization is still intact, although under strain. Islam is a complete way of life, with its own rituals and values. But, in many instances, what passes for Islamic culture today is an empty shell of a glorious past, merely going through the motions. Yet there are signs, here and there, of a new dynamism, a new synthesis and a new search that suggest that some of that past genius and self-confidence may be reappearing.

People interviewed in this program: Naseer David Khalili, Mulikian-Chirvani, Ismail Serageldin, Ahmed Bokhari, Adam Henein, Wasma Chorbachi, Waddah Faris, Ahmed Mustafa, Maureen Abdallah, Sherif Hetata, Adib Adam

A Complete Way of Life

The Five Pillars of Islam

Muhammad and His Heirs

The Rise & Fall of the Caliphate

The Magnificent Heritage

Decay or Rebirth?

Ismail & Isaac

Resurgent Islam Today

Voices of the Resurgence

The Immigrant Experience

Black Muslims

The Other Face of Eve

Whither Islam?


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