Further Reflections on Muslimism

NESLIHAN CEVIK

What Muslimists achieve is a conservative transformation of the concept of umma as something that has acquired throughout the ages an authoritarian style and conceptualization. It is not a rejection of umma or communal experience per se, but it is the demand that community, as an external source of power, is not the main agent of morality. For example, many Islamists see the hijab as a making symbol of Muslim community, a symbol that creates the Muslim community in its differentiation from others. Read the full article »

Read More →

The Battle for Meaning: Christians and Muslims at Odds over Indonesian Constitutionalism

STEFANUS HENDRIANTO

The abortion debate in Indonesia is a fitting illustration of the global trend toward liberalization of access to abortion across the world. In Indonesia, this phenomenon cannot be separated from the constitutional reform that took place more than a decade ago. This phenomenon immediately raises a question of how Muslims and Christians will respond to the new notion of constitutionalism. Read the full article »

Read More →

Introducing ACI Africa

EMMANUEL KATONGOLE

In its broad conception the Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) Research project is about Africa’s complex modernities. Modernity is not one thing (see, for example, Eisentadt’s multiple modernities thesis). African individuals and communities find themselves at the intersection of multiple modern, global, local, traditional, secular and religious forces. Read the full article »

Read More →

Introducing ACI Indonesia

MUN’IM SIRRY

After a careful process of selecting the core research team, the Contending Modernities Authority, Community, and Identity (ACI) working group on Indonesia formally launched last year to begin a three-year research project to better understand the complex issues facing plural societies and to foster possible collaborations among various actors, religious and secular, at different levels: local and global, individuals and communities. Read the full article »

Read More →

Defining feminisms, upholding equality

MARGOT BADRAN

Paola Bernardini rightly points out that one must be wary of the term “Western feminism.” Likewise, “Islamic feminism” is often taken by observers to mean any gender thinking and practice advocated by Muslim women — who are blithely labeled “Islamic feminists.” But such so-called “Islamic feminism” typically represents a patriarchal version of Islam, albeit mainly a “soft patriarchy” in which complementarity overrides equality. Read the full article »

Read More →

Debating the status of women in Tunisia

PAOLA BERNARDINI

As noted in a previous post on the Contending Modernities blog by Michael Driessen, post-authoritarian Tunisia has become the site of fascinating debate between contending modernities — one being self-consciously Islamist and democratic and the other being assertively secular and liberal. One battlefield where the conflict is currently fiercest is the status of women.

Read More →

Beyond the myth of Western-Muslim clash

SUMANTO AL QURTUBY

Since the rise of so-called “Western civilization” and “modernity,” the relationship between “the West” and the “Muslim world” is highly dynamic and unpredictable, marked by a constant ebb and flow. The encounter between the two has been marked by suspicions, tensions, clashes, and violent conflicts, as well as by cooperation and dialogue across these deep plural societies and overlapping cultures. These modernities will continue to be diverse and they will certainly continue to contend with each other. But their ongoing mutual contention and competition will be far less violent and far more fruitful if we can dispense with the destructive essentialisms recently in evidence in both Western and Muslim-majority societies.

Read More →

A case of imperial aggression, not contending modernities

ABDULLAHI AHMED AN-NA’IM

There may be examples of a “clash between modernities,” but the recent wave of protests in several Muslim majority countries against the so-called “innocence of Muslims” film was not one of them. Indeed, protests by Muslims should be accepted as part of the process of “negotiating” the appropriate limits of two varieties of free speech. If the movie maker in this case is exercising his right to free speech, so are Muslims who are protesting the excessively vulgar ways in which he expressed his views. But it is equally clear that violence is never justified.

Read More →