The cultural flash mob has been a bit overdone, but every once in a while I see one that is unique or stirring.
Recently though it's occurred to me just how culturally affirming the flash mob is; and how it is so utterly un-Islamist.
The flash mob features just about every conceivable musical, theatrical, and dance treat one can imagine. It pulls from every corner of the planet, from sixteenth century Europe to the African Savannah to the Moroccan Market. It is, utterly un-Islamist ... even though it may at times contain flavors from Islamic lands.
I make my claim based on the fact, that even though many Muslim countries enjoy a rich musical culture, the more Islamist they become; the more restrictive they are; some banning most musical expression altogether.
It is in the West that we find an unbelievable melting together of every imaginable kind of cultural artistic expression; a true testament to the tolerance practiced in Western society. And, we are all richer for it.
Islam offers none of this ... in fact, it is a culturally smothering entity, like some giant green blob that slowly and inexorably smothers culture. The more literal it becomes in its expression of what Muhammad taught, the more it is so.
Therefore, while there may be an abundance of music pouring from taxi cabs in Saudi Arabia or Iran, you will never see a flash mob joyously singing tunes based on Christianity or offering a Zulu warrior dance or pounding drums in Japanese Taiko tradition. Hell, try being a woman attending a soccer game in Saudi Arabia or Iran, least of all offering up a little Amanda Marshal on a street corner.
Meanwhile, back in Kandahar, children had better enjoy flying kites and listening to music while they can. The Taliban are coming back. Don't think for a minute that the barbarians who cover their women from tip to toe even while living among us, would not do the same here.