RSSУсе запісы з тэгамі: "мусульманства"

Islam and the Making of State Power

Сеед Валі Наср Рэза

У 1979 General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, the military ruler of Pakistan, declared that Pakistan would become an Islamic state. Islamic values and norms would serve as the foundation of national identity, law, economy, and social relations, and would inspire all policy making. У 1980 Mahathir Muhammad, the new prime minister of Malaysia, introduced a similar broad-based plan to anchor state policy making in Islamic values, and to bring his country’s laws and economic practices in line with the teachings of Islam. Why did these rulers choose the path of “Islamization” for their countries? І як аднаразовыя свецкія посткаланіяльныя дзяржавы сталі агентамі ісламізацыі і прадвеснікамі "сапраўднай" ісламскай дзяржавы?
Малайзія і Пакістан з канца 1970-х - пачатку 1980-х гадоў прайшлі унікальны шлях да развіцця, які разыходзіцца з вопытам іншых дзяржаў Трэцяга свету. У гэтых дзвюх краінах рэлігійная ідэнтычнасць была ўбудаваная ў дзяржаўную ідэалогію, каб забяспечыць мэта і працэс развіцця ісламскімі каштоўнасцямі.
Гэта пачынанне таксама прадставіла зусім іншую карціну адносін паміж ісламам і палітыкай у мусульманскіх грамадствах. У Малайзіі і Пакістане, гэта былі дзяржаўныя інстытуты, а не ісламісцкія актывісты (тыя, хто выступае за палітычнае прачытанне ісламу; таксама вядомы як адраджэнцы альбо фундаменталісты) that have been the guardians of Islam and the defenders of its interests. This suggests a
very different dynamic in the ebbs and flow of Islamic politics—in the least pointing to the importance of the state in the vicissitudes of this phenomenon.
What to make of secular states that turn Islamic? What does such a transformation mean for the state as well as for Islamic politics?
This book grapples with these questions. This is not a comprehensive account of Malaysia’s or Pakistan’s politics, nor does it cover all aspects of Islam’s role in their societies and politics, although the analytical narrative dwells on these issues considerably. This book is rather a social scientific inquiry into the phenomenon of secular postcolonial states becoming agents of Islamization, and more broadly how culture and religion serve the needs of state power and development. The analysis here relies on theoretical discussions
in the social sciences of state behavior and the role of culture and religion therein. More important, it draws inferences from the cases under examination to make broader conclusions of interest to the disciplines.

IRANIAN WOMEN AFTER THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION

Ansiia Каз Allii


More than thirty years have passed since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, yet there remain a number of questions and ambiguities about the way the Islamic Republic and its laws deal with contemporary problems and current circumstances, particularly with regard to women and women’s rights. This short paper will shed light on these issues and study the current position of women in various spheres, comparing this to the situation prior to the Islamic Revolution. Reliable and authenticated data has been used wherever possible. The introduction summarises a number of theoretical and legal studies which provide the basis for the subsequent more practical analysis and are the sources from where the data has been obtained.
The first section considers attitudes of the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards women and women’s rights, and then takes a comprehensive look at the laws promulgated since the Islamic Revolution concerning women and their position in society. The second section considers women’s cultural and educational developments since the Revolution and compares these to the pre-revolutionary situation. The third section looks at women’s political, social and economic participation and considers both quantative and qualitative aspects of their employment. The fourth section then examines questions of the family, the relationship between women and the family, and the family’s role in limiting or increasing women’s rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Women in Islam

Amira Burghul

Despite major consensus amongst a large number of philosophers and historians that the

principles and teachings of Islam caused a fundamental change in the position of women

compared to the prevailing situation in countries in both East and West at the time, and despite

the agreement of a large number of thinkers and legislators that women during the time of the

Prophet (PBUH) were granted rights and legal privileges not granted by man-made laws until

recently, propaganda campaigns by Westerners and people with a Westernised perspective

consistently accuse Islam of being unjust to women, of imposing restrictions on them, і

marginalising their role in society.

This situation has been made worse by the atmosphere and conditions prevalent across the

Muslim world, where ignorance and poverty have produced a limited understanding of religion

and family and human relations which occlude justice and a civilised way of life, асабліва

between men and women. The small group of people who have been granted opportunities to

acquire an education and abilities have also fallen into the trap of believing that achieving justice

for women and capitalising on their abilities is dependent upon rejecting religion and piety and

adopting a Western way of life, as a result of their superficial studies of Islam on the one hand

and the effect of life’s diversions on the other.

Only a very small number of people from these two groups have managed to escape and cast off

their cloaks of ignorance and tradition. These people have studied their heritage in great depth

and detail, and have looked at the results of Western experiences with an open mind. They have

distinguished between the wheat and the chaff in both the past and the present, and have dealt

scientifically and objectively with the problems which have arisen. They have refuted the false

charges made against Islam with eloquent arguments, and have admitted to concealed flaws.

They have also re-examined the sayings and customs of the Infallible Ones in order to

distinguish between what is established and holy and what has been altered and distorted.

The responsible behaviour of this group has established new directions and new ways of dealing

with the question of women in Islamic societies. They have clearly not yet tackled all problems

and found final solutions for the many legislative gaps and deficiencies, but they have laid the

ground for the emergence of a new model for Muslim women, who are both strong and

committed to the legal and effective foundations of their society.

With the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the blessing of its leaders, which is the

main religious authority for the participation of women and their effective political and social

participation, the scope for strong debate over women in Islam has been significantly expanded.

The model of Muslim women in Iran has spread to Islamic resistance movements in Lebanon,

Palestine other Arab countries and even the Western world, and as a result, propaganda

campaigns against Islam have abated to some extent.

The emergence of Salafi Islamic movements such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and similar

Salafi movements in Saudi Arabia and North Africa, and their fanatical way of treating women,

have provoked nervous onlookers fearing an Islamic resurgence into launching new propaganda

campaigns accusing Islam of inspiring terrorism and being backwards and unjust towards

women.

ISLAM, DEMOCRACY & THE USA:

Cordoba Foundation

Абдула Faliq

Intro ,


In spite of it being both a perennial and a complex debate, Arches Quarterly reexamines from theological and practical grounds, the important debate about the relationship and compatibility between Islam and Democracy, as echoed in Barack Obama’s agenda of hope and change. Whilst many celebrate Obama’s ascendancy to the Oval Office as a national catharsis for the US, others remain less optimistic of a shift in ideology and approach in the international arena. While much of the tension and distrust between the Muslim world and the USA can be attributed to the approach of promoting democracy, typically favoring dictatorships and puppet regimes that pay lip-service to democratic values and human rights, the aftershock of 9/11 has truly cemented the misgivings further through America’s position on political Islam. It has created a wall of negativity as found by worldpublicopinion.org, according to which 67% of Egyptians believe that globally America is playing a “mainly negative” role.
America’s response has thus been apt. By electing Obama, many around the world are pinning their hopes for developing a less belligerent, but fairer foreign policy towards the Muslim world. Th e test for Obama, as we discuss, is how America and her allies promote democracy. Will it be facilitating or imposing?
Прычым, can it importantly be an honest broker in prolonged zones of confl icts? Enlisting the expertise and insight of prolifi
c scholars, academics, seasoned journalists and politicians, Arches Quarterly brings to light the relationship between Islam and Democracy and the role of America – as well as the changes brought about by Obama, in seeking the common ground. Anas Altikriti, the CEO of Th e Cordoba Foundation provides the opening gambit to this discussion, where he refl ects on the hopes and challenges that rests on Obama’s path. Following Altikriti, the former advisor to President Nixon, Dr Robert Crane off ers a thorough analysis of the Islamic principle of the right to freedom. Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, enriches the discussion with the practical realities of implementing democracy in Muslim dominant societies, а менавіта, in Indonesia and Malaysia.
We also have Dr Shireen Hunter, of Georgetown University, ЗША, who explores Muslim countries lagging in democratisation and modernisation. Th is is complemented by terrorism writer, Dr Nafeez Ahmed’s explanation of the crisis of post-modernity and the
demise of democracy. Dr Daud Abdullah (Director of Middle East Media Monitor), Alan Hart (former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent; author of Zionism: Th e Real Enemy of the Jews) and Asem Sondos (Editor of Egypt’s Sawt Al Omma weekly) concentrate on Obama and his role vis-à-vis democracy-promotion in the Muslim world, as well as US relations with Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Minister of Foreign Aff airs, Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed speculates on the future of Islam and Democracy; Cllr. Gerry Maclochlainn
a Sinn Féin member who endured four years in prison for Irish Republican activities and a campaigner for the Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6, refl ects on his recent trip to Gaza where he witnessed the impact of the brutality and injustice meted out against Palestinians; Dr Marie Breen-Smyth, Director of the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence discusses the challenges of critically researching political terror; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, writer and playwright, discusses prospects of peace in Darfur; and fi nally journalist and human rights activist Ashur Shamis looks critically at the democratisation and politicisation of Muslims today.
We hope all this makes for a comprehensive reading and a source for refl ection on issues that aff ect us all in a new dawn of hope.
Thank you

Islamic Political Culture, дэмакратыя, and Human Rights

Daniel E. цана

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, Аднак, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions, can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. Country specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the countries of the Muslim world. такім чынам, a new approach to the study of the
connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam, дэмакратыя, and human rights at the cross-national level, that too much emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages, and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of Islam on politics across eight nations. I argue that much of the power
attributed to Islam as the driving force behind policies and political systems in Muslim nations can be better explained by the previously mentioned factors. I also find, contrary to common belief, that the increasing strength of Islamic political groups has often been associated with modest pluralization of political systems.
I have constructed an index of Islamic political culture, based on the extent to which Islamic law is utilized and whether and, if so, how,Western ideas, institutions, and technologies are implemented, to test the nature of the relationship between Islam and democracy and Islam and human rights. This indicator is used in statistical analysis, which includes a sample of twenty-three predominantly Muslim countries and a control group of twenty-three non-Muslim developing nations. In addition to comparing
Islamic nations to non-Islamic developing nations, statistical analysis allows me to control for the influence of other variables that have been found to affect levels of democracy and the protection of individual rights. The result should be a more realistic and accurate picture of the influence of Islam on politics and policies.

In Search of Islamic Constitutionalism

Надерсайя Хосен

While constitutionalism in the West is mostly identified with secular thought, Islamic constitutionalism, which incorporates some religious elements, has attracted growing interest in recent years. For instance, the Bush administration’s response to the events of 9/11 radically transformed the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both countries are now rewriting their constitutions. Як
Ann Elizabeth Mayer points out, Islamic constitutionalism is constitutionalism that is, in some form, based on Islamic principles, as opposed to the constitutionalism developed in countries that happen to be Muslim but which has not been informed by distinctively Islamic principles. Several Muslim scholars, among them Muhammad Asad3 and Abul A`la al-Maududi, have written on such aspects of constitutional issues as human rights and the separation of powers. Аднак, in general their works fall into apologetics, as Chibli Mallat points out:
Whether for the classical age or for the contemporary Muslim world, scholarly research on public law must respect a set of axiomatic requirements.
First, the perusal of the tradition cannot be construed as a mere retrospective reading. By simply projecting present-day concepts backwards, it is all too easy to force the present into the past either in an apologetically contrived or haughtily dismissive manner. The approach is apologetic and contrived when Bills of Rights are read into, say, the Caliphate of `Umar, with the presupposition that the “just” qualities of `Umar included the complex and articulate precepts of constitutional balance one finds in modern texts

Islam and Islamism in Afghanistan

Kristin Мендоса

The last half-century in particular has seen the recurrent use of religious Islam as

ідэалогія, often referred to as political Islam or Islamism, in groups espousing the

establishment of an Islamic state. Attention was drawn to Afghanistan when it became

the rallying point for Islamists in the 1980s. Аднак, the earlier appearance of an

Islamist movement in Afghanistan in the 1960s and its subsequent development offer an

instructive, unique lesson in understanding Islam and Islamism in Afghan society.

This overview of the Islamist movement in Afghanistan is divided into three

parts: It begins by defining the differing manifestations of Islam in Afghanistan,

indicating how Islamism differs from or draws upon each manifestation in constructing

its own vision. Тады, the broader context of Islamism elsewhere in the Muslim world is

discussed and analyzed. Although the theoretical basis for Islamism was constructed in

the 1960s by Abu ‘Ala Mawdudi in Pakistan and Sayyid Qutb in Egypt, this paper will

show that the Islamist movement in Afghanistan did not mirror those in either of these

countries. To this end, this paper reviews the thought of the above-mentioned

theoreticians of Islamism, and outlines historical and social conditions that colored the

implementation of their models in their respective countries. This leads back to a

discussion of the Afghan context, which makes up the final part of the paper. It is

necessary to review salient aspects of the traditional structure of Afghan society, and the

role Islam has historically played in Afghanistan to understand how the Islamist

experience was shaped and constrained by this structure, as well as how the Islamist

experience has altered it.
As Afghanistan is now faced with the monumental task of rebuilding a state and

legal system, Islamists are attempting to influence the reconstruction. This overview will

underscore for those observing and participating in this process the importance of

understanding the Afghan Islamist perspective, its historical underpinnings, and current

demands.


Egypt at the Tipping Point ?

David B. Ottaway
In the early 1980s, I lived in Cairo as bureau chief of The Washington Post covering such historic events as the withdrawal of the last
Israeli forces from Egyptian territory occupied during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and the assassination of President
Anwar Sadat by Islamic fanatics in October 1981.
The latter national drama, which I witnessed personally, had proven to be a wrenching milestone. It forced Sadat’s successor, Хосні Мубарак, to turn inwards to deal with an Islamist challenge of unknown proportions and effectively ended Egypt’s leadership role in the Arab world.
Mubarak immediately showed himself to be a highly cautious, unimaginative leader, maddeningly reactive rather than pro-active in dealing with the social and economic problems overwhelming his nation like its explosive population growth (1.2 million more Egyptians a year) and economic decline.
In a four-part Washington Post series written as I was departing in early 1985, I noted the new Egyptian leader was still pretty much
a total enigma to his own people, offering no vision and commanding what seemed a rudderless ship of state. The socialist economy
inherited from the era of President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1952 to 1970) was a mess. The country’s currency, the pound, was operating
on eight different exchange rates; its state-run factories were unproductive, uncompetitive and deep in debt; and the government was heading for bankruptcy partly because subsidies for food, electricity and gasoline were consuming one-third ($7 billion) of its budget. Cairo had sunk into a hopeless morass of gridlocked traffic and teeming humanity—12 million people squeezed into a narrow band of land bordering the Nile River, most living cheek by jowl in ramshackle tenements in the city’s ever-expanding slums.

Roots Of Nationalism In The Muslim World

Shabir Ahmed

The Muslim world has been characterised by failure, disunity, bloodshed, oppression and backwardness. At present, no Muslim country in the world can rightly claim to be a leader in any field of human activity. Сапраўды, the non-Muslims of the East and the West
now dictate the social, economic and political agenda for the Muslim Ummah.
Акрамя таго, the Muslims identify themselves as Turkish, араб, African and Pakistani. If this is not enough, Muslims are further sub-divided within each country or continent. Напрыклад, in Pakistan people are classed as Punjabis, Sindhis, Balauchis and
Pathans. The Muslim Ummah was never faced with such a dilemma in the past during Islamic rule. They never suffered from disunity, widespread oppression, stagnation in science and technology and certainly not from the internal conflicts that we have witnessed this century like the Iran-Iraq war. So what has gone wrong with the Muslims this century? Why are there so many feuds between them and why are they seen to be fighting each other? What has caused their weakness and how will they ever recover from the present stagnation?
There are many factors that contributed to the present state of affairs, but the main ones are the abandoning of the Arabic language as the language of understanding Islam correctly and performing ijtihad, the absorption of foreign cultures such as the philosophies of the Greeks, Persian and the Hindus, the gradual loss of central authority over some of the provinces, and the rise of nationalism since the 19th Century.
This book focuses on the origins of nationalism in the Muslim world. Nationalism did not arise in the Muslim world naturally, nor did it came about in response to any hardships faced by the people, nor due to the frustration they felt when Europe started to dominate the world after the industrial revolution. Rather, nationalism was implanted in the minds of the Muslims through a well thought out scheme by the European powers, after their failure to destroy the Islamic State by force. The book also presents the Islamic verdict on nationalism and practical steps that can be taken to eradicate the disease of nationalism from the Muslim Ummah so as to restore it back to its former glory.

ISLAMIC FAITH in AMERICA

Джэймс. BEVERLEY

AMERICA BEGINS A NEW MILLENNIUM AS ONE OF THE MOST RELIGIOUSLY diverse nations of all time. Nowhere else in the world do so many people—offered a choice free from government influence—identify with such a wide range of religious and spiritual communities. Nowhere else has the human search for meaning been so varied. In America today, there are communities and centers for worship representing all of the world’s religions.
The American landscape is dotted with churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques. Zen Buddhist zendos sit next to Pentecostal tabernacles. Hasidic Jews walk the streets with Hindu swamis. Most amazing of all, relatively little conflict has occurred among religions in America. This fact, combined with a high level of tolerance of each other’s beliefs and practices, has let America produce people of goodwill ready to try to resolve any tensions that might emerge. The Faith in America series celebrates America’s diverse religious heritage.
People of faith and ideals who longed for a better world have created a unique society where freedom of religious expression is a keynote of culture. The freedom that America offers to people of faith means that not only have ancient religions found a home
here, but that newer ways of expressing spirituality have also taken root. From huge churches in large cities to small spiritual communities in towns and villages, faith in America has never been stronger. The paths that different religions have taken through
American history is just one of the stories readers will find in this series. Like anything people create, religion is far from perfect. Аднак, its contribution to the culture and its ability to help people are impressive, and these accomplishments will be found in all the books in the series. Тым часам, awareness and tolerance of the different paths our neighbors take to the spiritual life has become an increasingly important part of citizenship in America.
Today, more than ever, America as a whole puts its faith in freedom—the freedom to believe.

Islamist Opposition Parties and the Potential for EU Engagement

Тобі Арчер

Хайдзі Huuhtanen

In light of the increasing importance of Islamist movements in the Muslim world and

the way that radicalisation has influenced global events since the turn of the century, it

is important for the EU to evaluate its policies towards actors within what can be loosely

termed the ‘Islamic world’. It is particularly important to ask whether and how to engage

with the various Islamist groups.

This remains controversial even within the EU. Some feel that the Islamic values that

lie behind Islamist parties are simply incompatible with western ideals of democracy and

правы чалавека, while others see engagement as a realistic necessity due to the growing

domestic importance of Islamist parties and their increasing involvement in international

affairs. Another perspective is that democratisation in the Muslim world would increase

European security. The validity of these and other arguments over whether and how the

EU should engage can only be tested by studying the different Islamist movements and

their political circumstances, country by country.

Democratisation is a central theme of the EU’s common foreign policy actions, as laid

out in Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union. Many of the states considered in this

report are not democratic, or not fully democratic. In most of these countries, Islamist

parties and movements constitute a significant opposition to the prevailing regimes, і

in some they form the largest opposition bloc. European democracies have long had to

deal with governing regimes that are authoritarian, but it is a new phenomenon to press

for democratic reform in states where the most likely beneficiaries might have, from the

EU’s point of view, different and sometimes problematic approaches to democracy and its

related values, such as minority and women’s rights and the rule of law. These charges are

often laid against Islamist movements, so it is important for European policy-makers to

have an accurate picture of the policies and philosophies of potential partners.

Experiences from different countries tends to suggest that the more freedom Islamist

parties are allowed, the more moderate they are in their actions and ideas. In many

cases Islamist parties and groups have long since shifted away from their original aim

of establishing an Islamic state governed by Islamic law, and have come to accept basic

democratic principles of electoral competition for power, the existence of other political

competitors, and political pluralism.

Political Islam in the Middle East

з'яўляюцца Кнудсен

This report provides an introduction to selected aspects of the phenomenon commonly

referred to as “political Islam”. The report gives special emphasis to the Middle East, у

particular the Levantine countries, and outlines two aspects of the Islamist movement that may

be considered polar opposites: democracy and political violence. In the third section the report

reviews some of the main theories used to explain the Islamic resurgence in the Middle East

(Figure 1). In brief, the report shows that Islam need not be incompatible with democracy and

that there is a tendency to neglect the fact that many Middle Eastern countries have been

engaged in a brutal suppression of Islamist movements, causing them, some argue, to take up

arms against the state, and more rarely, foreign countries. The use of political violence is

widespread in the Middle East, but is neither illogical nor irrational. In many cases even

Islamist groups known for their use of violence have been transformed into peaceful political

parties successfully contesting municipal and national elections. Nonetheless, the Islamist

revival in the Middle East remains in part unexplained despite a number of theories seeking to

account for its growth and popular appeal. In general, most theories hold that Islamism is a

reaction to relative deprivation, especially social inequality and political oppression. Alternative

theories seek the answer to the Islamist revival within the confines of religion itself and the

powerful, evocative potential of religious symbolism.

The conclusion argues in favour of moving beyond the “gloom and doom” approach that

portrays Islamism as an illegitimate political expression and a potential threat to the West (“Old

Islamism”), and of a more nuanced understanding of the current democratisation of the Islamist

movement that is now taking place throughout the Middle East (“New Islamism”). This

importance of understanding the ideological roots of the “New Islamism” is foregrounded

along with the need for thorough first-hand knowledge of Islamist movements and their

adherents. As social movements, its is argued that more emphasis needs to be placed on

understanding the ways in which they have been capable of harnessing the aspirations not only

of the poorer sections of society but also of the middle class.

ISLAM, ISLAMISTS, AND THE ELECTORAL PRINCIPLE I N THE MIDDLE EAST

Джэймс Piscatori

For an idea whose time has supposedly come, ÒdemocracyÓ masks an astonishing

number of unanswered questions and, in the Muslim world, has generated

a remarkable amount of heat. Is it a culturally specific term, reflecting Western

European experiences over several centuries? Do non-Western societies possess

their own standards of participation and accountabilityÑand indeed their own

rhythms of developmentÑwhich command attention, if not respect? Does Islam,

with its emphasis on scriptural authority and the centrality of sacred law, allow

for flexible politics and participatory government?

The answers to these questions form part of a narrative and counter-narrative

that themselves are an integral part of a contested discourse. The larger story

concerns whether or not ÒIslamÓ constitutes a threat to the West, and the supplementary

story involves IslamÕs compatibility with democracy. The intellectual

baggage, to change the metaphor, is scarcely neutral. The discussion itself has

become acutely politicised, caught in the related controversies over Orientalism,

the exceptionalism of the Middle East in particular and the Muslim world in general,

and the modernism of religious ÒfundamentalistÓ movements.

Rethinking International Relations Theory in Islam

Махамад Abo-Kazleh

The legal foundation of foreign relations in Islam is based on Sharīy’ah. The original sources ofSharīy’ah are the Quran and the Prophetic traditions (Sunnah). Derived from Sharīy’ah is theFiqh or Islamic jurisprudence which covers the myriad of problems and issues that arise in thecourse of man’s life. (al-Mawdūdī, 2002) Among the main issues which the contemporaryIslamic jurisprudence attempt to deal with are foreign relations in Islam. Muslim jurists havedeveloped different opinions about the organizing principle of foreign relations in Islam. Some(hereafter referred to as traditionalists) who were influenced by the realistic tendency of Islamicstate, particularly during the periods of Conquest, believe that foreign relations in Islamoriginally depend on the attitude of non-Muslim groups or states toward Islam and Muslims.Therefore, the basis of foreign relations of Islamic state is fight, but under certain conditions. Incontrast, other jurists (hereafter referred to as pacifists or non-traditionalists) believe that theorigin of foreign relations in Islam is peace, because the Quran unambiguously states “there isno compulsion in religion.”(2: 256) Accordingly, the principle of war advocated bytraditionalists is, non-traditionalists believe, not compatible with this unrelenting Quranic rule.The differences over the original principle of foreign relations in Islam are usually attributed tothe fact that exegetes of the Quran most often diverge in their approach to analyze andunderstand the related Quranic verses, and this create a dilemma in Islamic jurisprudence. Theproblem is complicated because proponents of both approaches depend on Quranic verses tojustify their claims.

German Converts to Islam and Their Ambivalent Relations with Immigrant Muslims

Эсра Özyürek

“I would never have become a Muslim if I had met Muslims before I met Islam.” I heard these words over and over again during my yearlong ethnographic research among ethnic German converts to Islam in Berlin.1 The first time, it was uttered by a self-declared German imam who had converted to Islam while trying to convert Arabs and Turks to Christianity. The second time, the speaker was a twenty-five-year-old former East German woman who came to Islam through her Bosnian boyfriend, whose family never accepted her. The third time, the comment was made by a fifty-year-old man who converted to Islam about thirty years ago after meeting Iranians who came to Europe to collect money and organize for the Iranian revolution. After that I stopped counting. Although all of the several dozen German converts I talked to (and the dozens of converts whose narratives I read on the internet) claim that they embraced Islam in a context of significant personal relationships with Muslims,2 a substantial portion of German Muslims are quite discontented with born Muslims, especially those of immigrant backgrounds. This paper is an attempt to comprehend the paradoxical feelings of love and hate for Islam and Muslims that many German Muslims experience. My aim in exploring this issue is to understand what it takes to be a (supposed) Islamophile in a political and social context that is highly Islamophobic.

Progressive Thinking in Contemporary Islam

Prof. Dr. Christian W. Troll

It seems sensible to start by shedding light on the background context and then to define the broader framework within which theprogressive thinkingin contemporary Islam which we want to discuss is embedded. The movements and trends which are shaping the contemporary Islamic world can be analyzed and assessed in the light of two conflicting forces, namely the notions of authenticity on the one hand and modernity on the other.
Such an approach perceives contemporary Islam as being torn between the authenticity in matters of life and doctrine which it derives from its past and the modernity which refers it to a present (and a future) in which Muslims no longer hold the reins of power and are therefore no longer able to control the development of thought.
Islam is centred on a scripture which it holds in faith to be the revelation of God. This scripture, the Qur’an, is believed to be eternal and immutable in form and content and thus to be valid for every place and time, to contain a truth which obtains for ever. Modernity, by contrast, is characterized by the relativity and the progressive nature of all truth. For the modernists there is nothing, spoken or written, which cannot be construed and questioned, which cannot and indeed should not be further refined by the human mind.
Islam thus sees itself positioned between the authenticity of a truth – that of the Qur’an as a – so to speak – naked, irrefutable fact – and a modernity whose knowledge in all fields is constantly being reconstructed. Is the solution to be found in modernizing Islam or in Islamizing modernity? It is the task of the Muslims to answer this question.