Reformist Voices of Islam: Mediating Islam and Modernity by Shireen Hunter, Shireen T Hunter

By Shireen Hunter, Shireen T Hunter

Lately, Islamic fundamentalist, progressive, and jihadist pursuits have overshadowed extra average and reformist voices and tendencies inside Islam. This compelling quantity introduces the present new release of reformist thinkers and activists, the highbrow traditions they convey on, and the explanations for the failure of reformist routine to maintain large aid within the Islamic international at the present time. Richly certain locally centred chapters conceal Iran, the Arab East, the Maghreb, South Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Europe, and North the USA. The editor's introductory bankruptcy lines the roots of reformist considering either in Islamic culture and as a reaction to the problem of modernity for Muslims suffering to reconcile the necessities of modernization with their cultural and spiritual values. The concluding bankruptcy identifies commonalities, comparisons, and tendencies within the modernizing pursuits.

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Despite their many flaws, these policies expanded educational opportunities and made it possible for traditional, religious, and often financially disadvantaged segments of society to acquire a modern education. This development deeply affected the evolution of Islamic thinking in nearly every sphere of life, and it produced new types of Muslim reformers. These reformers espoused ideas that, at least on the surface, echoed the perspective of traditional reformers, including the restoration of a pure form of Islam and a return to an idealized past.

For example, a main preoccupation of Muslim thinkers in Europe and the United States is to develop what they call a “jurisprudence of minorities” to answer the needs of Muslims living as minorities in non-Muslim countries.

In Iran, the first students sent abroad by the reformist Crown Prince Abbas Mirza Qajar studied military sciences and engineering. In Egypt, Muhammad Ali’s first attempts at reform were focused on transforming the Egyptian military according to the model of European armies. 31 Intellectually, all three types of reaction to modernity described above have been observable in Muslim societies since their earliest encounter with it until the present time. The first reaction, total embrace of Western-style modernity, has been identified with the new and expanding elites educated in the West and later also in Westernstyle educational institutions.

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