How Young Muslims are Reshaping Islam

March 20, 2007

Author: Mariam Fam

Source: Wall Street Journal

Cairo, Egypt -- A play about an imaginary country grappling with foreign meddling recently opened on stage her/e. Combining comedy with serious words extolling the importance of faith and ethics, "The Code" was just the latest sign of a recent wave: Young, devout Muslims balancing a sense of fun and modernity with strict observance of the teachings of Islam.

They're putting on plays, making sleek videos and even wearing bikinis at the beach -- but all with an Islamically correct twist. The plays have a religious moral, the videos are for songs praising the Prophet and the swimwear is limited to segregated settings.

The trend is fueled by an Islamic revival that has attracted youths -- many of them wealthy and exposed to Western cultures -- in some Muslim countries and among second-generation Muslims in the West.

Instead of an outright shunning of all Western influences and worldly pleasures, the idea is to adopt the elements they can reconcile with their Islamic identity.

In rediscovering their faiths and striving to integrate Islam in their daily activities, some have become more religious than their parents were.