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  1. Islamisation of Knowledge: Problems, Principles and Prospective click
  2. Islamic Thought in the Modern World click
  3. An Approach to Knowledge and Human Limitations click
  4. The Balance Sheet of Western Philosophy in this Century click
  5. Man between Two Laws: A Qur’anic Perspective in Understanding Self and Understanding the Other click

 

Politics and Government
Turkey’s dissonant engagement with modernity PDF Print E-mail
Emad Bazzi

Turkey is the first Muslim country to engage with modernity as an integral phenomenon; its cultural and intellectual components being pre-requisites for its political project, and embodied in democracy. This paradigm, which was adopted by Ataturk and his secularist elites failed for several reasons. A markedly different approach was put forward by the Justice and Development Party which came to power in 2002 in which the modern political system was posited on conservative religious values in an attempt to come to terms with modernity and provide a model for the Muslim world. This latter undertaking shows signs of dissonance, ambiguity and uncertainty. It also does not conform to the paradigm of multiple modernities through which a country achieves progress and development without submitting to the intellectual discourse of modernity or its political project. The approach adopted by the Justice and Development Party seems to fall within what is termed Post-Islamism in which a fusion is made between Islam and freedom, sharī‘ah and human rights, and piety and women’s empowerment. This article is devoted to the exploration of the above themes...full text in PDF

 
Classifying and explaining democracy in the Muslim world PDF Print E-mail

Rohaizan Baharuddin

The purpose of this study is to classify and explain democracies in the 47 Muslim countries between the years 1998 and 2008 by using liberties and elections as independent variables. Specifically focusing on the context of the Muslim world, this study examines the performance of civil liberties and elections, variation of democracy practised the most, the elections, civil liberties and democratic transitions and patterns that followed. Based on the quantitative data primarily collected from Freedom House, this study demonstrates the following aggregate findings: first, the “not free not fair” elections, the “limited” civil liberties and the “Illiberal Partial Democracy” were the dominant feature of elections, civil liberties and democracy practised in the Muslim world; second, a total of 413 Muslim regimes out of 470 (47 regimes x 10 years) remained the same as their democratic origin points, without any transitions to a better or worse level of democracy, throughout these 10 years; and third, a slow, yet steady positive transition of both elections and civil liberties occurred in the Muslim world with changes in the nature of elections becoming much more progressive compared to the civil liberties’ transitions...full text in PDF

 
Mūsā Jārullāh Bigiev (1875-1949): Political Thought of a Tatar Muslim Scholar PDF Print E-mail

Elmira Akhmetova

The “forgotten” Muslim Tatar scholar, Mūsā Jārullāh, struggled to make Islam relevant to contemporary times. An analysis of his writings and his activities found in various archives show that he was interested in the unity of Russian Muslims during the times of colonialism, nationalism and communism. Jārullāh condemned the divisive influence of nationalistic currents, such as “Turkism” or “Soviet nationalism,” on the identity and unity of Muslims but applauded the innate type of nationalism that motivates people for further progress and serves the ideal of Islam. As against the partitioning of Russian Muslims into petty nationalities by the Soviet regime, Jārullāh believed in maintaining the spiritual unity of all Russian Muslims and their affiliation with the world-wide ummah.  Full text in PDF


 
Democracy and democratization in contemporary Muslim societies: A theoretical analysis PDF Print E-mail

Wahabuddin Ra’ees

This paper examines the impact of democracy and democratization on contemporary Muslim societies. The institutional and philosophical approaches to democracy and democratization are inseparable. The paper investigates the relationship between the philosophical dimension of Western democracy and the Muslim philosophy of life and concludes that the democratization of contemporary Muslim societies leads to serious and destabilizing ideological polarization and division of Muslim societies into supporters of secularism and political Islam. The Islamist-secularists relation radicalizes: (1) when the Islamists are prevented from capturing power through democratic institutions and (2) when the advanced Western democratic states cooperate with non-democratic secular elites of Muslim societies. The destabilizing role of democracy can be moderated if the Islamists are engaged in the democratic process, and the debate between the Islamists, the secularists and the West – based on the view that the West should conceive Islam as an alternative weltanschauung [worldview] – focuses on issues that are human properties, irrespective of religion, ethnicity or language. The institutional approach to democracy provides a common ground for cooperation and dialogue between the Islamists, the secularists and the West. Full text in PDF

 
Modernity, tradition and modernity in tradition in Muslim societies PDF Print E-mail

Abdul Rashid Moten

In the 14th century, the North African Muslim political sociologist, Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406), made a distinction between badawah, desert nomadic life of simplicity, and hadarah, the life of sedentary urban civilization. He stressed the inevitable transition from badawah to hadarah with the consequent transformation of society and human habit (Dawood, 1969). This distinction is maintained in contemporary social and political discourse with varying terms and concepts including tradition and modernity. A good deal of research in the area of modernization dealt with identifying qualities, traits and characteristics assumed to belong to “modern societies” in contrast to qualities found in traditional societies.” Tradition, to Edward Shils (1981, p.12), is anything which is transmitted or handed down from the past to the present.”  It includes material objects, beliefs, images, practices and institutions. “It is the traditum, that has been and is being handed down or transmitted. It is something which was created, was performed or believed in the past, or which is believed to have existed or to have been performed or believed in the past”(Shils,1981, p.13). Full text in PDF

 
The Maqāṣid approach and rethinking political rights in modern society PDF Print E-mail

Louay Safi

This paper examines political rights in Islam by focusing on freedom of religion and the extent to which the state is empowered to enforce faith and religious law on society. It starts by comparing the notion of law in both Western and Islamic traditions, and then analyzes the difference between the ethical and legal within Sharī‘ah. The paper illustrates how Islamic law grew historically by working to limit the power of the state, and points out the need to maintain the distinction between the state and civil society for the proper implementation of Sharī‘ah. The paper also contends that those who call on the state to enforce all rules of Sharī‘ah on society rely on a faulty theory of right and concludes that Islamic law fully recognizes the right of individuals to adopt and practice their faith freely. Freedom of religion, it stresses, is an intrinsic aspect of Islamic law and all efforts to limit this freedom is bound to violate its purpose and dictates. Full text in PDF


 
Tradition and modernity in Islam: A reading through power, property and philanthropy PDF Print E-mail

Samiul Hasan

This study analyses some basic Islamic political, economic, and social traditions under three headings – power, property and philanthropy – to show that the Islamic tradition has embedded principles and concepts thought to be “modern” by many in the present world. It claims that the social responsibility principle of Islamic tradition that promotes devolution and good governance seems to be modern, and thus has survived for the last 1400 years. Thus, in fulfilling individual responsibility (as goods and service regulators, creators, and consumers), Muslims need to serve the interests of the nation, irrespective of business entities (or employees), and the community by following the traditions in Islam. In order to do that, Muslims need to comprehend and adhere to the comprehensive principles of Islam including its guidance for political, property, and social relationships, to become “modern.”  Full text in PDF

 
Turkey’s dissonant engagement with modernity PDF Print E-mail

Emad Bazzi

Turkey is the first Muslim country to engage with modernity as an integral phenomenon; its cultural and intellectual components being pre-requisites for its political project, and embodied in democracy. This paradigm, which was adopted by Ataturk and his secularist elites failed for several reasons. A markedly different approach was put forward by the Justice and Development Party which came to power in 2002 in which the modern political system was posited on conservative religious values in an attempt to come to terms with modernity and provide a model for the Muslim world. This latter undertaking shows signs of dissonance, ambiguity and uncertainty. It also does not conform to the paradigm of multiple modernities through which a country achieves progress and development without submitting to the intellectual discourse of modernity or its political project. The approach adopted by the Justice and Development Party seems to fall within what is termed Post-Islamism in which a fusion is made between Islam and freedom, sharī‘ah and human rights, and piety and women’s empowerment. This article is devoted to the exploration of the above themes. Full Text in PDF

 
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