John Kirbow is a writer, polyglot language lover and veteran of the US Army Special Operations community and Defense Department, with time in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Europe, and US Central Command (CENTCOM). A self-described "Social Science Warrior (SSW), he is the founder of Reason Revival (www.reasonrevival.net), a movement for bringing science, reason and compassion into politics and sensitive social issues.
Since 2006, I have been advocating that people here in Western, secular societies can work productively with activists and liberals in Islamic societies. Specifically, to support movements, and amplify brave voices of reason, science, and skeptical thinking, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. This includes voices in support of freedom, tolerance and pluralism, led by local actors – including women, and women’s movements. People who finally have an emerging, collective voice, whose reach and resonance can be increasingly amplified by the powers of the internet, YouTube, television, radio and social media. This would primarily be locally owned and bottom-up, not paternalistic or top-down. It would revolve around a love of knowledge, free inquiry, intellectual curiosity and a basic recognition of the value, dignity and worth of the individual human person.