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Western Muslims and the Future of Islam Hardcover – November 27, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Ramadan, named by Time magazine in 2000 as one of the 100 most important innovators of the coming century, argues that Islam can and should feel at home in the West. He takes stock of Islamic law and tradition to analyze whether Islam is in conflict with Western ideals; Ramadan is emphatic that there is no contradiction. He then spells out several key areas where Islam's universal principles can be "engaged" in the West, including education, interreligious dialogue, economic resistance and spirituality. Ramadan raises interesting issues about Islam's inherent critique of consumerism and its demanding spirituality, which "touches all the dimensions of life."
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Western Muslims and the Future of Islam is must reading for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Tariq Ramadan, a prominent intellectual-activist in Europe and America, represents a new generation of Islamic reformers. Seeking to apply the principles and values of Islam to the realities of modern or post-modern life, Ramadan takes up the challenge of reinterpretation and reform, critically and boldly addressing the major issues facing Muslims in the West, from faith and identity to political participation, economic life, and interreligious relations. --John L. Esposito, author of Unholy War and What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam
"Thanks partly to Ramadan, Islam is on its way to becoming an integral part of Europe's religious landscape."--Time
"The work of Tariq Ramadan will take its place in the annals of Islamic thought."--Le Monde Diplomatique
"The Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan invites us to follow him in a reflection at once complex and profound.... This is a book for everyone who is willing to think."--Politis
"Makes enormous strides in bridging the gap between Islamic values and Western culture."--The Beirut Review
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The only point I take against this book being a person who has been in the field of outreach and development of younger generations is that it contains complex phrases and concepts that are hard to grasp by the simple average person.
Would recommend this book for people at a college level or above who have a wealth of vocabulary in the English language.
Overall, this is a great book to add to your library. I will be reading Ramadan's "Radical Reform" book next.
Where many Muslims assume that the practices of other cultures are ungodly unless proven otherwise, Ramadan turns such logic around. Like Imam Malik, he argues that all customs (urf) or institutions which "seek the good" (istislah) are valid, and should not be rejected unless they specifically violate a moral prohibition of the Quran and Sunna. In that case the challenge to Western Muslims is like that faced by the first Muslims in mainly non-Islamic Mecca, or by the biblical Joseph in Egypt - how to inspire better human relations, and improve care for society's needs.
Ramadan sees a special responsibility falling on Muslims in the West. Working within Western institutions yet maintaining real ties to the non-Western world, these believers have a chance to serve as a voice of conscience. In a world order of profound inequality, many Western Muslims have both the hope and the opportunity to make a difference. And to grasp that opportunity they must act as full-citizens, taking responsibility for building better institutions in cooperation with non-Muslims of goodwill. As Ramadan explores the possibilities for economic, political and cultural life, the future seems ever more interesting.
-author of Correcting Jesus