One Islam, Many Muslim Worlds: Spirituality, Identity, and by Raymond William Baker

By Raymond William Baker

Via all measures, the overdue 20th century was once a time of dramatic decline for the Islamic international, the Ummah, really its Arab heartland. Sober Muslim voices frequently describe their present kingdom because the worst within the 1,400-year background of Islam. but, accurately at present of exceptional fabric vulnerability, Islam has emerged as a civilizational strength robust adequate to problem the imposition of Western, relatively American, homogenizing strength on Muslim peoples. this can be the imperative paradox of Islam this present day: at a time of such remarkable weak spot in a single experience, how has the Islamic Awakening, a extensive and various stream of latest Islamic renewal, emerged as the sort of resilient and robust transnational strength and what implications does it have for the West? In One Islam, Many Muslims Worlds Raymond W. Baker addresses this question.

Two issues are transparent, Baker argues: Islam's unforeseen energy in fresh a long time doesn't originate from legitimate political, financial, or spiritual associations, nor can or not it's defined by means of focusing solely at the often-criminal assertions of violent, marginal teams. whereas extremists monopolize the overseas press and the scholarly journals, those that stay and paintings within the Islamic international be aware of that the majority of Muslims reject their reckless calls to violence and glance somewhere else for tips. Baker indicates that extremists draw their strength and aid no longer from contributions to the reinterpretation and revival of Islamic ideals and practices, yet from the hatreds engendered by way of faulty Western guidelines in Islamic lands. His persuasive research of the Islamic international identifies centrists because the revitalizing strength of Islam, asserting that they're answerable for developing a latest, cohesive Islamic id that may be a strength to be reckoned with.

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The French conquered and occupied Algeria in 1830. An estimated one million Algerians were killed by the occupiers. The French, having themselves suffered losses of some 30,000, were determined to occupy Algeria permanently. They aimed to systematically destroy its Islamic culture, replacing it with their own. Mosques were converted into churches. Old Arab city centers were torn down and replaced with the French version of an orderly city. The French attacks on Algeria’s Islamic identity culminated with the conversion of the historic eleventh-century Great Mosque, believed to be the oldest in Algeria, into the Cathedral of St.

This divisive split persists to this day. Oases of Resistance and Reform 37 Despite this history of resistance, by the decade of the 1970s it looked as though Islam would be decisively defeated. In the Middle East nationalists with secular orientations were everywhere dominant. On the global level the general picture was not all bleak, although new dark shadows were coming into view. The European bloodletting had ceased. The European empires withdrew from their overseas territories, vacating Islamic lands.

Kamel didn’t know Ghazzali personally, but he loved him. He insisted on several occasions that I stay over with his family so we could hear Ghazzali lead the dawn prayer for the vast crowd in a large public square near his apartment in Cairo. There was nothing forced or artificial about Kamel’s religious commitments. He treasured them, while wearing them lightly. He was always amused when, pretending to forget, I would invite him for his favorite lunch in the middle of the Ramadan fast. I never minded opening my computer to hear Qur’anic verses that he had surreptitiously planted on my hard drive for my enlightenment, knowing full well I would never figure out how to remove them.

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