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Islam as a World Power Michael Goheen Trinity Western University Langley, B.C.

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Presentation on theme: "Islam as a World Power Michael Goheen Trinity Western University Langley, B.C."— Presentation transcript:

1 Islam as a World Power Michael Goheen Trinity Western University Langley, B.C.

2 Importance of Understanding Islam Size: 1.2 billion; billion Size: 1.2 billion; billion Growth: fastest growing religion in world (percentage-wise) Growth: fastest growing religion in world (percentage-wise) History of animosity between Christianity and Islam, and West and Islam History of animosity between Christianity and Islam, and West and Islam Misunderstanding of Islam Misunderstanding of Islam Diversity of Islam Diversity of Islam Global power Global power

3 New World Order 20th Century: Bipolar (US, USSR) 20th Century: Bipolar (US, USSR) Fall of Communism Fall of Communism New world order: New world order: One world order: globalization and modernization One world order: globalization and modernization Bipolar: north/south; east/west Bipolar: north/south; east/west Chaos Chaos Clash of civilizations Clash of civilizations

4 Major Forces of Global Power West: globalization/modernization West: globalization/modernization Islam Islam China and economic power China and economic power Third world church and Pentecostalism Third world church and Pentecostalism

5 Clash Between Islam and West Major clash: Islam and West Major clash: Islam and West Problem: Understand religion as private belief Problem: Understand religion as private belief Islam is not a religion in the common, distorted meaning of the word, confining its scope to the private life of man. It is a complete way of life, catering for all the fields of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all walks of life... The Quran enjoins man to enter the fold of Islam without any reservation and to follow Gods guidance in all fields of life. (Ahmed) Islam is not a religion in the common, distorted meaning of the word, confining its scope to the private life of man. It is a complete way of life, catering for all the fields of human existence. Islam provides guidance for all walks of life... The Quran enjoins man to enter the fold of Islam without any reservation and to follow Gods guidance in all fields of life. (Ahmed)

6 Clash Between Islam and West Major clash: Islam and West Major clash: Islam and West Problem: Understand religion as private belief Problem: Understand religion as private belief Clash between two major religions and civilizations built on those beliefs Clash between two major religions and civilizations built on those beliefs I dont think there is a conflict between religions. There is a conflict between civilizations. (Muslim lawyer from Tunisia) I dont think there is a conflict between religions. There is a conflict between civilizations. (Muslim lawyer from Tunisia)

7 Mohammeds Formative Influence Mohammed/Koran: Final revelation of God Mohammed/Koran: Final revelation of God Historical and cultural context: Historical and cultural context: Religious: animistic polytheism Religious: animistic polytheism Moral: immorality and corruption Moral: immorality and corruption Social: warfare, tribal strife, poverty, injustice Social: warfare, tribal strife, poverty, injustice

8 Mohammeds Public Life 15 years preparation ( ) 15 years preparation ( ) Night of power (610) Gabriel: Proclaim Night of power (610) Gabriel: Proclaim Rejection and hostility in Mecca Rejection and hostility in Mecca Hijra to Medina Hijra to Medina Turning point in world history (calendars) Turning point in world history (calendars) Rejected prophet to powerful leader Rejected prophet to powerful leader Capable of establishing ummah Capable of establishing ummah Includes politics, society, economics Includes politics, society, economics

9 Koran Recorded revelations from Gabriel to Mohammed: Final revelation of Allah Recorded revelations from Gabriel to Mohammed: Final revelation of Allah Given to Mohammed over 22 years Given to Mohammed over 22 years One God, One Law for One People One God, One Law for One People Intended to create ummah united in faith and in submission to Allahs law Intended to create ummah united in faith and in submission to Allahs law Memorized by Mohammed; written down by scribes; collected into present form 20 years after Mohammeds death Memorized by Mohammed; written down by scribes; collected into present form 20 years after Mohammeds death

10 Ummah and Its Mission Ummah: Community of believers submitted to will of Allah Ummah: Community of believers submitted to will of Allah Includes political structure, social community, economic system, civil law Includes political structure, social community, economic system, civil law Early ummah of Medina: normative Early ummah of Medina: normative Peace: Comprehensive submission to Allah Peace: Comprehensive submission to Allah Two regions: dar al-salaam/islam and dar al-harb Two regions: dar al-salaam/islam and dar al-harb Mission: Establish peace throughout world by striving (jihad) Mission: Establish peace throughout world by striving (jihad)

11 Formative Core of Islam Mohammed was possessed by two great religious aimsto proclaim God as the sole, almighty God, the Creator and the King of the day of judgement; to found a community, in Arabic called umma, ruled by the Law of God and His Apostle. These two objects constitute the core of Islam, its strength and its weaknesses (Hendrik Kraemer). Mohammed was possessed by two great religious aimsto proclaim God as the sole, almighty God, the Creator and the King of the day of judgement; to found a community, in Arabic called umma, ruled by the Law of God and His Apostle. These two objects constitute the core of Islam, its strength and its weaknesses (Hendrik Kraemer).

12 Muslim Resurgence Growth and vitality Growth and vitality Self-consciousness of world power Self-consciousness of world power Quest to establish states governed by shariah law Quest to establish states governed by shariah law Anti-western Anti-western Military tendency Military tendency Oil-based wealth Oil-based wealth

13 Struggle with the West Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs The underlying problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed by the inferiority of their power. The problem for Islam is not the CIA or the U.S. department of defense. It is the West, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the universality of their culture and believe that their superior, if declining, power imposes on them the obligation to extend that culture throughout the world. These are the basic ingredients that fuel conflict between Islam and the West. (Huntington).

14 Struggle with the West Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs and societies founded on those beliefs Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs and societies founded on those beliefs Three Muslim responses : Three Muslim responses : Acceptance of West and modernity Acceptance of West and modernity

15 Acceptance of Western Modernity To escape anomy, Muslims have but one choice, for modernization requires Westernization... Islam does not offer an alternative to modernize... Secularism cannot be avoided. Modern science and technology require an absorption of the thought processes [religious beliefs] which accompany them.... Only when Muslims explicitly accept the Western model will they be in a position to develop (Daniel Pipes). To escape anomy, Muslims have but one choice, for modernization requires Westernization... Islam does not offer an alternative to modernize... Secularism cannot be avoided. Modern science and technology require an absorption of the thought processes [religious beliefs] which accompany them.... Only when Muslims explicitly accept the Western model will they be in a position to develop (Daniel Pipes).

16 Acceptance of Western Modernity The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depolitization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern.... If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist- humanist principles [religion... in other words convert!] on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries freedom will remain a distant dream (Salman Rushdie). The restoration of religion to the sphere of the personal, its depolitization, is the nettle that all Muslim societies must grasp in order to become modern.... If terrorism is to be defeated, the world of Islam must take on board the secularist- humanist principles [religion... in other words convert!] on which the modern is based, and without which Muslim countries freedom will remain a distant dream (Salman Rushdie).

17 Struggle with the West Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs Three Muslim responses: Three Muslim responses: Acceptance of West and modernity Acceptance of West and modernity Accept modernity, reject Westernization Accept modernity, reject Westernization

18 Accept Modernity, Reject West Islam and modernization do not clash. Pious Muslims can cultivate sciences, work efficiently in factories, or utilize advanced weapons. Modernization requires no one political ideology, or set of institutions... The Sharia has nothing to say about the changes that accompany modernization... (Daniel Pipes). Islam and modernization do not clash. Pious Muslims can cultivate sciences, work efficiently in factories, or utilize advanced weapons. Modernization requires no one political ideology, or set of institutions... The Sharia has nothing to say about the changes that accompany modernization... (Daniel Pipes).

19 Struggle with the West Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs Struggle between two comprehensive religious beliefs Three Muslim responses: Three Muslim responses: Acceptance of West and modernity Acceptance of West and modernity Accept modernity, reject Westernization Accept modernity, reject Westernization Rejection of West and modernity Rejection of West and modernity

20 Rejection of Western Modernity Growing among Muslims Growing among Muslims Taliban example Taliban example Return to original ummah as model Return to original ummah as model Problem of static religion in world of change Problem of static religion in world of change Response of terrorism Response of terrorism

21 Islam is a comprehensive system that tends to annihilate all tyrannical and evil systems in the world and enforce its own program.... a revolutionary concept and ideology which seeks to change and revolutionize the world social order and reshape it according to its own concept and ideals. (Mawlana Abul Ala Mawdudi )

22 New Style of Terrorism Primary purpose is not to defeat or even weaken the enemy militarily but to gain publicity and to inspire feara psychological victory. (Bernard Lewis)

23 Response of Muslims to Muslim Terrorism Genuine Islamic actions Genuine Islamic actions Allah has answered our prayers. (Hamas Weekly, 13 September 2001) Our driving motivation does not come from tangible commodities that this world has to offer. Our religion is Islam, obedience to the one true God, Allah, and follow in the footsteps of the final prophet and messenger Muhammad (Mohammad Sidique Khan)

24 Response of Muslims to Muslim Terrorism Genuine Islamic actions Genuine Islamic actions Cannot be justified by Islamic teaching Cannot be justified by Islamic teaching Those who plan and carry out such acts are condemned by Islam, and the massacre of thousands, whoever perpetrated it, is a crime against God as well as humanity. (Zaki Badawi, Muslim College, London, UK)

25 Response of Muslims to Muslim Terrorism Genuine Islamic actions Genuine Islamic actions Cannot be justified by Islamic teaching Cannot be justified by Islamic teaching Sympathize with motives yet condemn actions Sympathize with motives yet condemn actions

26 Sorting it all out Two crucial questions: Two crucial questions: Historical origins associated with violence yet claims to be religion of peace? Historical origins associated with violence yet claims to be religion of peace? Meaning of jihad? Meaning of jihad? Muslim jurists saw jihad as a requirement in a world divided between what they called dar al-islam and the dar al-harb. The Muslim community was required to engage in the struggle to expand the dar al islam throughout the world so that all of humankind would have the opportunity to live within a just political and social order. (John Esposito, on way jihad has been understood for centuries)

27 Jihad... a defining concept or belief in Islam, a key element in what it means to be a believer and follower of Gods will... A universal religious obligation for all true Muslims to join the jihad to promote a global Islamic revolution. (John Esposito)... a defining concept or belief in Islam, a key element in what it means to be a believer and follower of Gods will... A universal religious obligation for all true Muslims to join the jihad to promote a global Islamic revolution. (John Esposito) For most of the fourteen centuries of recorded Muslim history, jihad was most commonly interpreted to mean armed struggle for the defence or advancement of Muslim power. (Bernard Lewis)

28 Questions Offensive and/or defensive? Offensive and/or defensive? Include violence? Include violence? Is Islam a religion of peace, as Muslim moderates (and Tony Blair and George W. Bush) say, or is it a religion prone to violence and holy war, as statements by radical groups suggest?... The answer lies not in an either/or response, but rather in a both/and response. The Islamic texts offer the potential for being interpreted in both ways. It depends on how individual Muslims wish to read them. (Riddell and Cotterell)

29 Christian Response Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage

30 Major Grievances (Chapman) The weakness and humiliation of the Muslim world The weakness and humiliation of the Muslim world New forms of Western imperialism New forms of Western imperialism Failure of ideologies imported from West Failure of ideologies imported from West Establishment of Zionist state in midst of Islam Establishment of Zionist state in midst of Islam Presence of foreign troops in Saudia Arabia Presence of foreign troops in Saudia Arabia Corrupt and autocratic governments in Islamic countries Corrupt and autocratic governments in Islamic countries Double standards Double standards

31 Christian Response Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind... there is a titanic struggle taking place between moderates and radicals for the hearts and minds of the Muslim masses in the middle. (Riddell and Cotterell)

32 Christian Response Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Interpreting terror Interpreting terror Violence and terrorism do form an intrinsic part of classical Islam (Patrick Sookhdeo, Institute for Study of Islam and Christianity) Violence and terrorism do form an intrinsic part of classical Islam (Patrick Sookhdeo, Institute for Study of Islam and Christianity) Ambiguity of Koran but mainstream Islam, in law and theology as well as in practice, in the end has always rejected or marginalized extremists and terrorists (Esposito) Ambiguity of Koran but mainstream Islam, in law and theology as well as in practice, in the end has always rejected or marginalized extremists and terrorists (Esposito)

33 Sorting out theological and political factors Theological: Theological: Ummah as social-religio-political community Ummah as social-religio-political community Mission of ummah: dar al-salaam, dar al-harb, jihad Mission of ummah: dar al-salaam, dar al-harb, jihad Islam eschatology Islam eschatology Resentment toward West Resentment toward West Historic resentment toward Christianity (Crusades) Historic resentment toward Christianity (Crusades) Israeli-Palestinian conflict Israeli-Palestinian conflict Sanctions against Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan Sanctions against Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan Ascendancy and universalising of West: moral, political, legal, religious, economic implications Ascendancy and universalising of West: moral, political, legal, religious, economic implications Critique of West: godless, immoral, arrogant, materialistic, seductive, imperialistic Critique of West: godless, immoral, arrogant, materialistic, seductive, imperialistic Back pro-Western regimes Back pro-Western regimes

34 Christian Response Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Interpreting terror Interpreting terror Distinguishing gospel and Islam Distinguishing gospel and Islam

35 Islam and Gospel Both Islam and Christianity see religion as comprehensive and not simply private (or should!) Both Islam and Christianity see religion as comprehensive and not simply private (or should!) Islam has been more consistent in maintaining this Islam has been more consistent in maintaining this We need to repent of dualism We need to repent of dualism Christianity has become a handmaiden to secularism.... Christianity, it appears, always chooses as secularism wills. Biblical Christianity is not dualistic and ought to be an antithesis to secularism. (Ziauddin Sardar)

36 Islam and Gospel Both Islam and Christianity see religion as comprehensive and not simply private (or should!) Both Islam and Christianity see religion as comprehensive and not simply private (or should!) Islam has been more consistent in maintaining this Islam has been more consistent in maintaining this We need to repent of dualism We need to repent of dualism Yet fundamental difference: Islamthis- worldly victory; gospelintervention of Christ Yet fundamental difference: Islamthis- worldly victory; gospelintervention of Christ

37 Tolerance: Christianity and Islam What is unique about the Christian gospel is that those who are called to be its witnesses are committed to the public affirmation that it is truetrue for all people at all times and are at the same time forbidden to use coercion to enforce it. They are therefore required to be tolerant of denial... not in the sense that we must tolerate all beliefs because truth is unknowable and all have equal rights. The toleration which a Christian is required to exercise is not something which he must exercise in spite of his or her belief that the gospel is true, but precisely because of this belief. This marks one of the very important points of difference between Islam and Christianity. (Lesslie Newbigin)

38 Christian Response Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Interpreting terror Interpreting terror Distinguishing gospel and Islam Distinguishing gospel and Islam Repentance and dialogue Repentance and dialogue

39 Dialogue about... Toleration and Islam Toleration and Islam Islamic imperialism in first centuries Islamic imperialism in first centuries Debate about democracy among Muslims Debate about democracy among Muslims Treatment of minorities and women Treatment of minorities and women Issue of conversion Issue of conversion Preservation of democracy after used to gain power Preservation of democracy after used to gain power Human rights: Islam and UN Human rights: Islam and UN (Colin Chapman) (Colin Chapman)

40 Christian Response Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Sympathetic understanding of roots of Muslim rage Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Distinguishing between gospel and Western culture Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Diversity of Islam and battle for Muslim mind Interpreting terror Interpreting terror Distinguishing gospel and Islam Distinguishing gospel and Islam Repentance and dialogue Repentance and dialogue Bold and humble witness to gospel Bold and humble witness to gospel


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