“As you surf the Net, read newspapers, blogs and tweets, watch YouTube and merge yourself in gossip, consider how little all the multiplicity of information available tells you about anything that is not of the West, derivative of the history, ideas, experience and technology of that dispensation. There is a coherent historic narrative out there – but it is the narrative of the gradual expansion of consciousness, will to power, dominance and self expression of a peninsula to the north of the Mediterranean Sea called Europe and its offshoot over the waters, the USA. It is the story that has … Read More
Something that is of concern to me is ‘sameness’. We have become more monolithic and this is a problem. The things that cause stress, the things that we never pay attention to, the things that are part of our subconscious, the things that are moving our lives, the things that dominant our lives – all of these things have been remade in the image of a single civilisation. The power of the West has not been power in terms of economic might, in terms of military might, in terms of technology, in terms of science. The power of the West… Read More
The poet Robert Frost argued memorably good fences make good neighbours. It was a quintessential statement of New England values, only slightly removed from the old English original. He was articulating a cultural ethos based on individual identity, the home as personal castle, the concept of respect for personal space refined into a basic cultural concept of individualism. This notion has deep resonance in all aspects of our personal and social behaviour; and has been theorised to reverberate in philosophy, politics and economics. From houses surrounded by fenced in gardens, the progression to laissez faire capitalism and the ethos of … Read More
A week in Indonesia gives a good glimpse to British scholar Ziauddin Sardar about the future of Islam. In his eyes, Indonesia is the shape of Islam in the future. He considers that the diverse variety found in Indonesia might just be the uniting bound. In a relaxing atmosphere for an interview inside the British Council, Jakarta, Sardar accepted Iman F Yuniarto, Amin Madani, Johar Arief, and Ifan Junaidi from Republika daily to share his views on the future and agenda of Islam.
Q. Can you describe the future of Islam?
A.Yes. Most people think that Islam is like a … Read More
Ziauddin Sardar, an internationally renowned Muslim scholar and the author of Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim, represents one of the most authoritative moderate voices in Islam. Here, in a major intervention on the controversy over the cartoons of Prophet Muhammed published in the European media, he explores both sides of the debate and calls for “reformulating” Islam in contemporary terms.
Q. Even those who understand Muslim sensitivities feel the Muslim reaction to the cartoons of Prophet Muhammed has been excessive and is likely to reinforce the perception of the community as intolerant and too prickly.
A. The … Read More