But the Center for New American Security's Andrew Exum asks, "Brett Stephens may have read a few books on Islamist thought, but how many Arabic-language music videos has he watched? I ask because I have seen a lot (as they play pretty much 24-7 in 90% of the cafes and restaurants of the Arabic-speaking world)." Exum compares the provocative, hyper-sensual videos of Lady Gaga with the provocative, hyper-sensual music videos of Haifa Wehbe, a "Hizballah-supporting" Lebanese singer popular in the Arab world. Here's Lady Gaga's Bad Romance followed by Haifa Wehbe's Boos El-Wawa:
The Verdict? Maybe Muslims, at least those in the Haifa Wehbe-watching Arab world, wouldn't find Lady Gaga so shocking after all. Exum sighs, "For all his talents, Stephens is no scholar of Islam, and a few things that should not be studied as a hobby include:"
- Brain surgery
- Multilinear algebra
- The strands and evolution of Islamist thought