People gain SO much respect for points of view that are eloquently and sensibly argued, and if Muslims could learn to do that, I think that it would make people take Islam much more seriously, especially on an academic level.
So so true. I think there is a revival of poetic forms of expression in contemporary times. Last semester I did a slam poetry unit with my ninth graders. Before teaching the unit, I tried to do quite a bit of research on Muslim spoken word poets and clean spoken word poetry in general, and was overwhelmed by the amount of material on youtube. People are being inspired by each other and poetry and the art of word play is being appreciated and supported by the unlikely.
While, my students still have a long way to go in terms of developing their level of eloquence, the course did open up their eyes to the possibilities of alternative forms of expression. At the end of every lesson, we watched a poetry performance of a spoken word poet, sometimes Muslim sometimes not and the students discussed the content and presentation of each performance. Inshaallah, they will at least have come away with the appreciation of poetry. By the way, their final assessment was to give a performance of an original poem that they had written and most of the students wrote on Islamic themes. A couple were even very good. It's a start.... and it starts with baby steps.
But the only way to get quality is by studying the art forms carefully first. Like any great piece of art, the foundation skills are essential. Without the basics, you just have a mess.
Language is power and the more young Muslims equip themselves with words and the skill to play with them, the more equipped will they be to take charge of change.