By Anouar Majid
A choice for Heresy discovers unforeseen universal floor in a single of the main inflammatory problems with the twenty-first century: the deepening clash among the Islamic global and the us. relocating past simplistic solutions, Anouar Majid argues that the Islamic international and the U.S. are either in precipitous states of decline simply because, in every one, spiritual, political, and financial orthodoxies have silenced the voices in their such a lot inventive thinkers—the visionary nonconformists, radicals, and revolutionaries who're frequently brushed aside, or perhaps punished, as heretics. the USA and modern Islam percentage way over partisans on each side admit, Majid provocatively argues, and this “clash of civilizations” is in fact a conflict of competing fundamentalisms. Illustrating this element, he attracts brilliant parallels among the histories and cultures of Islam and the USA and their shortsighted suppression of heresy (zandaqa in Arabic), from Muslim poets and philosophers like Ibn Rushd (known within the West as Averroës) to the freethinker Thomas Paine, and from Abu Bakr Razi and Al-Farabi to Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. He reveals sour irony within the proven fact that Islamic tradition is now at warfare with a kingdom whose beliefs are wasting floor to the reactionary forces that experience lengthy condemned Islam to stagnation. the answer, Majid concludes, is a long-overdue revival of dissent. Heresy is not any longer a contrarian’s luxurious, for under via encouraging an engaged and innovative highbrow culture can the international locations opposite their decline and at last interact for worldwide justice and the typical solid of humanity. Anouar Majid is founding chair and professor of English on the collage of latest England and the writer of Freedom and Orthodoxy: Islam and distinction within the Post-Andalusian Age; Unveiling Traditions: Postcolonial Islam in a Polycentric global; and Si Yussef, a unique. he's additionally cofounder and editor of Tingis, a Moroccan-American journal of principles and tradition.
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Extra info for A Call for Heresy: Why Dissent Is Vital to Islam and America
According to Alan B. ”32 Michael Shermer, reviewing a crop of books on suicide and suicide bombing, found out that religion and poverty play a minor role (if at all) in this troubling phenomenon, ranking behind political tyranny, a sense of hopelessness, and loyalty to preexisting bonds. Shermer coined the word murdercide to describe suicide bombers who seek death by maliciously plotting the death of others (in the United States some choose what’s called “suicide by cop,” putting themselves in a situation to be shot at by police oﬃcers).
Religion is used as an ideology by many Muslims as much as other nations use patriotism and the defense of liberty to change their citizens’ tendency toward disengagement and indiﬀerence and rally them to an old-style nationalism. It is true that the much-discussed Huntingtonian notion of the “clash of civilizations” seems to be justiﬁed by current events, that Islam seems to be on an ongoing course of collision with a Judeo-Christian West; but as I described above, that is clearly not the case, and the divisions are not that neat.
57 A casual reading of any newspaper would reveal the depths to which our civilization is descending in the name of antiquated economic and political philosophies, yet the silence on such horrors is as deafening as Harris’s loud condemnation of religion as the main culprit of violence in the world today. When people are literally leasing or even permanently selling their foreheads as spaces for advertising and buying life insurance policies to resell to investors to collect proﬁts upon their death, glaciers are melting and lakes are evaporating at a rapid pace,58 and entire nations are struggling to keep up with a destructive way of life, isn’t it time to widen our perspective and raise questions about the future of the planet itself?
A Call for Heresy: Why Dissent Is Vital to Islam and America by Anouar Majid