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March 4, 2013

Who are #FreeArabs?

Website spurs debate about secularism and progressivism in the Middle East.
Free Arabs
FreeArabs.com [Screenshot]

A new self-described secular blogging initiative, Free Arabs, launched on Friday to much controversy. Hosting a long list of contributors from across the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, the site features opinion, multimedia stories, and satire. Founder and editor Ahmed Benchemsi says his aim is to "engage and strengthen [an] emerging generation of Arab liberals". However, many netizens criticised the online magazine for what they see as a shallow understanding of religion and secularism in the region.