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The Future of Arab Spring in Postnormal Times

Ziauddin Sardar

American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 30 (4) 125-136 Fall

To understand how the Arab Spring may evolve over the coming years, we have to understand its specific context. The ‘revolutions’ across the Middle East are not just a product of discontent and fury against dictatorships; after all, the Arabs have been raging against their rulers for well over half a century. The Arab Spring is also a creation of a particular period of time, a time where globalisation, interconnection and instant communication are the norm, and authority and political legitimacy are in flux. It is a period … Read More

CM11: Syria

July-September, 2014

Critical Muslim is a quarterly magazine of ideas and issues showcasing ground breaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world.

cm1111Peter Clark explores the roots of the Syrian crisis, Robin Yassin-Kassab explores revolutionary culture, Sam Hamad dissects the Islamist opposition, Rasha Omran rejects the notion that sect can be a homeland, Ella Wind pursues an inside perspective on the Syrian uprising, Malu Halasa samples the local lingerie of Aleppo, Afra Jalabi agonises over a photograph of a lost child, Amal Hanano recalls the massacre of Hama, Frederic Gijsel … Read More

CM10: Sects

April-June, 2014

Critical Muslim is a quarterly magazine of ideas and issues showcasing ground breaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world.

cm10sectsZiauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies put sectarianism under the scalpel; Ebrahim Moosa suggests the Sunnis, the majority Muslim sect, need to rethink their history; Imranali Panjwani explains what it means to be Shia; Faisal Devji explores ‘the idea of Ismailism’; Francesco Cavatorta thinks that not all Salafis represent a threat to Islam; Mohamed Nawab bin Mohamed Osman joins the Caliphate movement of Hizb-e-Tahrir; Zacharias Pieri goes on … Read More

CM9: The Maghreb

January-March, 2014

Critical Muslim is a quarterly magazine of ideas and issues showcasing ground breaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world.

CM-9-Cover-webRobin Yassin-Kassab has an enlightening sojourn in Morocco, Robert Irwin argues that the great historian Ibn Khaldun was a Sufi, Marcia Lynx Qualey is dazzled by the transformative power of Maghrebi poetry, Julia Melcher explores the absurd world of exiled western writers in Tangiers, Hicham Yezza stands up for the Berbers Rights Movement, Louis Proyect reads recent histories of the Maghrebi Jews, Jamal Bahmad deconstructs revolutionary films that … Read More

CM8: Men in Islam

October – December 2013

Critical Muslim is a quarterly magazine of ideas and issues showcasing ground breaking thinking on Islam and what it means to be a Muslim in a rapidly changing, interconnected world.

CM-8-COVERWebZiauddin Sardar confesses his shortcomings as a Muslim man, Merryl Wyn Davies asks what exactly is the problem with men, Abdennur Prado grapples with Muslim masculinities, Ziba Mir Hosseini tries to get out of the dead-end of male superiority justified by the Sharia, Kecia Ali is exasperated with the omnipresent male scholar, Asma Afsaruddin argues that the history of Islam includes people who were not men, … Read More

Future: All That Matters

Hodder, London, October 2013

FutureIn Future: All That Matters, Ziauddin Sardar shows that thinking and speculating about the future has always been a part of human history, but exploring the futures in a systematic and scientific way is a recent phenomenon. What is known variously as ‘futures studies’, ‘futurology’ or ‘foresight’ only emerged as a discipline during the last few decades. The study of the future, however, is not only about ‘predicting’ or ‘forecasting’ the future, which is always a perilous exercise. It is also about appreciating the potentials and possibilities, as well as risks and threats, lurking over … Read More

Touched by Wonder: Art and Religion in the 21st Century

From Touched edited by Paul Domela, Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art, Liverpool, 2011

Ziauddin Sardar

The ability to experience and appreciate wonder is a distinctive human trait. Both art and religion are informed, shaped by and answer to this inherently human faculty. Both are touched by wonder and help us access this essential characteristic of our nature. Therefore, religion and art are entwined as necessary, indeed, vital elements that must be represented, celebrated and active in the public space if we are to be fully human.

Implicit in religion and art is the capacity to stimulate our sense and feeling … Read More

Critical Muslim

From Oxford Islamic Studies Online:

http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/Public/focus/essay1212_critical_thought.html.

Ziauddin Sardar

A critical spirit has been central to Islam from its inception. The Qur’an is generously sprinkled with references to thought and learning, reflection and reason. The Sacred Text denounces those who do not use their critical faculties in strongest terms: ‘the worse creatures in God’s eyes are those who are [wilfully] deaf and dumb, who do not reason’ (8:22). A cursory look at the life of Muhammad reveals that his strategic decisions were an outcome of critical discussions – the way he decide, for example, to fight the Battle of Badr … Read More

Transmodern journeys: Future studies and Higher Education

From A Curag et el, editors European Education at the Crossroads, Springer Science, Heidelberg, 2012, Chapter 48.

Ziauddin Sardar

Futures studies has had a lukewarm reception from the academia. Conventionally, a new discipline is said to have emerged with the publication of a couple of dedicated journals. Futures and foresight have a string of journals devoted to the field  – Futures, Foresight, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, World Futures and the Journal of Futures Studies – yet it is not seen as worthy of being taught at a university. There are a few courses devoted to … Read More

The Spirit of Water

From Watermarked: Voices of Pakistan, The Artistan Committee, London, 2011

Ziauddin Sardar

A few years ago I found myself in a desert just outside Karachi. The Thar desert is not as inhospitable as other deserts I have been fortunate enough to encounter in places such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Perhaps that’s why it is called the ‘Friendly Desert’. You can detect the air becoming more arid as you drive towards Umerkot, the main town in this area of Sind, and it get hot but it is not unbearable. Every now and then, you can spot a patch of … Read More

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