Tag Archive: Islam

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrives at the airport for a state visit to China in Beijing, capital of China, March 15, 2017.Xinhua SIPA USA / PA Images

Spreading the Gospel: Asian Leaders Wary of Saudi Religious Diplomacy

Critics in the Maldives likely sighed relief when Saudi King Salman this week postponed his visit because of an outbreak of flu. The flu is however unlikely to halt a planned massive Saudi investment or the impact on Maldives society of the kingdom’s religion-driven public diplomacy. Big ticket investments and countering political violence dominated the headlines of the king’s tour of Asia together with the extravagance of his travel – an entourage of at least 1,000, 459 tonnes of luggage, a golden electric elevator for the monarch to descend from his private plane, and a specially built toilet for his visit to a Jakarta…
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Iran's Crown Prince Abbas Mirza, c.1820. (Photo: Getty)

Muslim Majority World Did Liberalise Indeed

I am quite used to people smirking into their sleeves when they hear that I’ve just written a book called The Islamic Enlightenment. The really helpful wags say they expect something along the lines of The Wit and Wisdom of Spiro Agnew, which was billed as a collection of all the memorable aphorisms of the former US vice-president, and contained only blank pages. So, the Islamic Enlightenment — good for a laugh. But we’re all familiar with the serious argument that lies behind the jests; that Islam has not been through an Enlightenment, a Reformation, or any of the other rites of…
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Radicalisation between Prevention and Instrumentalisation of Religion - MPC Journal - Hakim Khatib

Radicalisation between Prevention and Instrumentalisation of Religion

While forms of radicalisation have been on the rise worldwide, some young Muslims, especially in European prisons, seem to get caught up in religious fundamentalism, and increasingly become entangled in Jihadist ideologies such as that of ISIS. Among other things, the increase of terrorist attacks and populism in Europe have made it more necessary to understand the ideological currents leading to extremism, as well as the political discourse around strategies of preventing radicalisation. This article addresses the following four points: The definition of radicalisation as a phenomenon, the definition of instrumentlisation of religion, religiously framed countermeasures to radicalisation, and the…
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Misr Al Qadima, Cairo, Egypt - © Photo: Hakim Khatib/MPC Journal

Controversy of Islamist Politics on Other Belief Systems

Terrorist attacks have been randomly sweeping the world. While uncertainty around bloody conflicts in West Asia and Africa, sectarian politics in Arabia and Iran, integration issues in Europe and North America and lack of democracy in Muslim majority states have become the norms of modern politics, one fact remains certain: Sectarianism has been on the rise in Muslim majority countries. Perhaps there are detectable patterns along these sectarian lines that we can unfold. While the majority of Muslims have been unwillingly dragged into unpleasant discourses, often resulting in their discrimination and alienation based on religious affiliation, there are underlying patterns…
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Atheist Muslim

Dangers of Admitting You’re an Atheist Muslim

You can be a lapsed Catholic. You can be a cultural Jew. You can be a Buddhist who believes more in dharma than in divinity. But being an atheist Muslim isn’t so easy. In some parts of the world, it’s an admission that could cost you your life. “People tend to lose a lot. It’s not just a matter of changing your mind or saying that you think differently. And as I write in the book, in some of these societies, changing your mind can literally mean losing your head. Your government’s going to come after you. Your family comes…
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Istanbul, Turkey - © Photo: MPC Journal/Hakim Khatib

Faith and Modernity Under Muslimism

There is a new brand of Muslim religious orthodoxy on the rise in places like Turkey, which seeks to engage modernity through the sincere religious belief of individuals. Neslihan Cevik uses the term “Muslimism” to set it apart from other trends. Neslihan Cevik‘s new book, Muslimism in Turkey and Beyond:  Religion in the Modern World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), identifies an important and fertile middle ground between fundamentalism and secularism. She discusses her research with STI in this interview.

Sack of jerusalem

To Hell with the Truth!

To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything.                                                   Eugene O’Neill: “The Iceman Cometh” Opinions and wishful thinking are not the same as provable facts. It is one thing, for example, to believe fervently that Marxism is a preferable system to capitalism, but to maintain against all the evidence that the world is a flat disc floating in space is surely unsustainable. Yet the Flat Earth…
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© Photo: Hakim Khatib/MPC Journal

Syrians Find Mosques Too Conservative in Germany

Hani Salam escaped civil war in Syria and survived the journey from Egypt to Europe. But when he saw men with bushy long beards at a mosque near his current home in Cologne last November, he was worried. The men’s appearance reminded him of Jaish al-Islam, the Islamist rebels who took over his hometown near Damascus, said Salam, 36, who wears a mustache but no beard. One of them told Salam that “good Muslims grow beards, not moustaches,” he recalled – a centuries-old idea that he dismisses. “Everything about this mosque made me feel uneasy,” he said. Syrians in Germany…
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