- In Pakistan, the church horror caused compassionate Pakistani Muslims to demand tolerance for minority believers such as Christians and Shiites. The Pakistan Movement for Justice wants to curtail harsh blasphemy laws that demand execution of anyone who questions Islam. "In the past, politicians have been shot for even suggesting such a move," the national newspaper said.
- In Egypt, the secular population rebelled against the theocratic Muslim Brotherhood government that tried to impose religious laws -- causing the military to seize the government and abolish the Brotherhood. "A 50-member committee is now writing a new constitution, one that is expected to ensure rights for women and non-Muslim minorities while preventing Egypt from becoming a religious state," it said.
- In Tunisia, zealot assassinations of two moderate politicians "spawned a huge public backlash against the ruling Ennahda party and its attempts to introduce Islamic law."
"A similar stirring of dissent in Iran has also pushed reform in that cleric-ruled nation," the Monitor continued. "Top Islamic leaders were shocked by street protests in 2009 and again in June when a presidential election saw a relative moderate win." The tolerant new president, Hasan Rouhani, supports teamwork with the West and has freed many prisoners locked up by the theocracy.
Last week, America and Turkey launched a $200 million Global Counterterrorism Forum designed to find jobs for alienated young Muslim men and persuade them that Islam forbids religious murder.
We hope this reform snowballs throughout the Islamic world. We hope that peaceful, tolerant, compassionate Muslims voice ever-firmer condemnation of the deadly fringe that mars Islam. We endorse the Monitor's assertion:
"Worldwide, most Muslims reject extremists and are able to live alongside other faiths."