Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2011
I saw this on someone’s Facebook page yesterday and it really struck me, so I decided to share it on here. To use an image of, what looks like, a Muslim woman wearing a face covering as a symbol of freedom and struggle against oppression, is certainly in this political climate something very extraordinary. I picked up a copy this evening to find the cover was designed by Ai WeiWei who was one of the other candidates shortlisted for Time’s annual accolade. Even the Muslim working at the till of WhSmith was taken in by it.
As a Muslim blogger it certainly may seem a strange thing that throughout 2011 I haven’t commented on the so-called Arab Spring at all. Personally I feel Islam is not a political religion so to speak, and what has happened in the Middle East has very little to do with it. I’m also very apprehensive as to whether toppling a dictatorial regime, even if it is from the inside, will actually lead to a better government. I suppose it’s the Pakistani within me somewhere, who has seen the results of a nation being ‘liberated’ in the name of faith. Even now we are still seeing unrest in Egypt and the struggle of freedom for Egyptians still goes on. And whether democracy actually equals freedom, I’m not so sure. Though our western politicians and secular philosophers may see saying that as humanist blasphemy, again the Pakistani in me has Zardari to support him. (Who would have thought he’d ever be useful for anything).
Time’s end of year issue, as you would expect, is an excellent summary of the year’s major protests and revolutions. I bought it mainly for the cover, but after reading an issue of Time after nearly 15 years I may pick it up more often.