Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ziauddin Sardar On Social Change And Islamic Reform: Can A Minority Of Muslims In Europe Shape New Interpretations Of Islam?

by Ziauddin Sardar

Ziauddin Sardar’s article is a fabulous one on the subject of Muslims in Europe. He writes, “The basic assumptions can be identified as: stratification of society (in classes), and the influence of economics on all spheres of society. Other cultures do not (necessarily) subscribe to these notions of society and hence sociology. In Islam, for example, society is structured not on the basis of class but piety (so the ideal theory goes). Furthermore, in western sociology change is itself a positive value. Again, other cultures do not see change itself as good. In Islam, change is not a value in itself. It can be blameworthy or praiseworthy and the society is supposed to exert and work towards positive change in Islamic terms. The value of change as perpetual and permanent is equated with the idea of progress; which is by definition good. All progress is progress and innately good. The binary opposite of progress is stagnation.”

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