Interpreting Islam (Politics and Culture series) by Hastings S C Donnan

By Hastings S C Donnan

Islam is among the such a lot misunderstood ideas within the West. Myths and stereotypes encompass it. This transparent and penetrating quantity is helping readers to make feel of Islam. It deals a penetrating advisor to the variety and richness of up to date wisdom approximately Islam and Muslim society. all through, the emphasis is upon the worth of pluralistic techniques to Islam, instead of condensing complexity with unifying suggestions equivalent to `Orientalism'.
Interdisciplinary in scope and association, the e-book cuts during the bewildering and possible anarchic range of latest wisdom approximately Islam and Muslim society. The methodological problems and merits of Western researchers concentrating on Islam are totally documented. The e-book demonstrates how gender, age, prestige and `insider' / `outsider' prestige affects upon examine and inflects learn findings.

 

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Such research sometimes also revealed something that Halliday (1996: 162) identifies as ‘anti-Muslimism’. This anti-Muslimism was revealed in much of the early research on radical Islam and was predicated on the assumption that it was the Muslims themselves, as radical, hostile and violent, who ‘deserved or provoked’ resentment. These initial representations of radical Islam paid scant attention to the deep doctrinal, spiritual and religious differences between Sunni and Shi’a Islam. The complex patterns within Islam were ignored in favour of an approach that stressed the simple representation of the faith; something that many Muslims themselves had even been encouraged to believe was the way in which to represent the religion.

It is the fundamentalists who encourage the notion of the Muslim billions empowered by a return to the ‘faith’; a faith commonly perceived as militant and radical is viewed as a real threat by many westerners, who see such aspirations as a declaration of war from Islam. The conservative Orientalists also argue that it is Islam that has invented the western threat. As such, it is asserted that Islam itself has done much to exaggerate the fear or threat posed by its own revival. Within the Islamic world itself the accusations levied by the West cannot simply be refuted.

First, he exaggerates the degree of coherence in the western academic discourse on Islam and he also neglects the range of heterogeneous views that characterized different disciplines within the Orientalist sciences. S. Hodgson in Said’s paradigm as occupying the same location within the Orientalist field. In any case, Said concentrates primarily on literary figures and not on historians and social scientists. Second, many radical writers have often used either ‘Asia’ or ‘Islam’ as a device to attack or to question western culture.

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