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Contemporary Islam: Dynamic, not Static by Abdul Said, Mohammed Abu-nimer, Meena Sharify-funk

By Abdul Said, Mohammed Abu-nimer, Meena Sharify-funk

Contemporary Islam provides a counterweight to the existing critiques of Islamic notion as conservative and static with a choice for violence over discussion. It gathers jointly a suite of eminent students from around the globe who take on matters resembling highbrow pluralism, gender, the ethics of political participation, human rights, non-violence and non secular harmony. This is a hugely topical and important study which supplies a revolutionary outlook for Islam's function in modern politics and society.


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Sample text

This may be seen as just another example of how the approach to the Other divides a community. 21 When he stated this principle, he was not making a new revolutionary statement as his counterparts had done at that time in Europe and America. Instead, he was simply reiterating a basic principle in the Universalistic School of law in Islam. The Universalistic School in Islamic law can be traced back to Abu Hanifa, the founder of the Hanafi School. Abu Hanifa’s close circle of students recorded his lectures on Islamic law and disseminated them after his death.

The answer divides Muslims into two camps between those who see no difference and those who see the Other as unqualified for equal rights with Muslims. The cleavage between universalism and communalism has also been a feature of Islamic thought and law. A universalist position, from my perspective, is characterized by two features. First, it accords equal rights to all human beings on the basis of their humanity alone, by making no distinction between Us and the Other as far as human rights are concerned.

Consequently, the we/they line brings about a cleavage almost in every society based on its approach to the Other: the weside is usually divided because of its approach to the they-side. 13 The universalist jurists argue that the we/they line is inconsequential as far as basic human rights are concerned; therefore all human beings (should) have equal rights. In contrast, the communalist jurists assert that the “we/they” line has consequences on rights and thus the people on the “they-side” are not qualified for equal rights as those who are on the “we-side” of the line.

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