Khaab Khayaal Saraab

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

The Conversation on Islam, Muslims, and the 21st Century<  

"If I know your sect, I anticipate your argument."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We need to understand what the Islamic world is saying; where it is coming from; where it is going; and what is being said about it.

The 9-11 Chronicles

Block Vote

The Reaction
The Writings

The AHC reaction

"Constitutional Islam"—OR Islam is a Constutional Religion

See below


Sidebar: The Spectrum

If you take the spectrum of voices, one way to categorise the voices is into four broad categories:

  • Secularists--usually code for anti-religous. e.g. Pervez H. The most daring--and in my view honest--of these do not say they are Muslims. But they are ethnically and culturally from Muslim communities and those are the communities they hail from. The leftists are a group that can put here or separate.
  • Critiques from within. People consider themselves to be Muslims but who will say things like (na'uzu billahi min zalik) "the Qur'an is, like all religious texts, an imperfect book".
  • Constitutional Muslims, so to speak. [Need to address how they manifest as minorities (India) and as members of majorities (Pakistan)
  • The Rationalists/Salafists including the Deobandis, Wahhabis, Jamatis, and so on.

And then there are voices that I don't consider internal voices/critiques, like Fareed Zakaria.

Then there are academics. Adil Najam, and so on.

Where do the Feminists stand? The Human Rights activists? The ones that are most engaged, like Asma Jahangir, have a lot to teach the rest of us in terms of tactics, language, and so on.

We need to do a collection of these voices:

Group 1
Pervez H. [could go in 1 or 2]
[documents from history]

Group 2
Irshad Manji--self-proclaimed "Muslim Refusenik"— see my comments below
Tarek Fatah
Talal Asad [does he belong here?] http://www.asiasource.org/news/special_reports/asad.cfm
[documents from history]

Group 3
[documents from history]

Group 4
Syed Koteb [Qutub]

The Human Rights Activists
Shireen Ebadi [connection interview at http://www.theconnection.org/shows/2004/05/20040512_a_main.asp]
Asma Jehangir
Chandra Muzaffar and JUST
ICG: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4458450 for example

"External Critiques" from "Within"
Fareed Zakaria

Not yet Classfied
Asghar Ali Engineer
Khalid Abu el Fadhl
Fareed Esack
Saad Eddin Ibrahim, political sociologist, American University, Cairo
Khaled al-Maeena, editor in chief, Arab News, Saudi Arabia
Rami Khouri, executive editor, The Daily Star, Beirut, Lebanon
A bunch of links from Charles Kurzman's site: http://www.unc.edu/~kurzman/LiberalIslamLinks.htm
Mahmoud Hamdani: http://www.randomhouse.com/pantheon/catalog/results2.pperl?authorid=58276. His book seems to have a good assessment...
Tariq Ramadan ["Europe's most influential Muslim Thinker", The Connection @ http://www.theconnection.org/shows/2004/05/20040512_b_main.asp
Bruce Feiler, author of "Walking the Bible" and "Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths"
[People from the MPAC meeting in Riverside CA and the New American Foundation moot of 12/2/04]

Academics of Muslim Origin
Rashid Khalidi [examines the western world’s relationship with the Middle East throughout history, Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America's Perilous Path in the Middle East]
Adil Najam
Ayesha Jalal
Shibley Telhami

Academics of Non-Muslim Origin
Benjamin Barber [Fear's Empire: War, Terrorists, and Democracy (Norton, 2003) and Jihad vs. McWorld (Ballantine Books July 1996)]
Juan Cole
Jessica Stern [Harvard]
Noah Feldman, author of After Jihad
Erik Jensen? [person IOP had]
Shia expert that came to FOSA Ahmadi event
Mary Anne Weaver [Author of Pakistan: In the Shadow of Jihad and Afghanistan and Portrait of Egypt: A Journey Through the World of Militant Islam]
Yvonne Seng: http://www.paraview.com/seng/
Charles Kurzman
Angelo M. Codevilla of BU and The American Spectator has a piece in the American Spectator which is very interesting.
Gilles Kepel, professor and chair of middle east studies at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and author, The War For Muslim Minds: Islam and the West (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), says we may be doing better than we think
Kenneth Pollack, author of "The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran & America".
Anthony Cordesman, CSIS, on "Iraq: Security & Development"
Anthony Cordesman, CSIS Arleigh Burke Chair in Strategy talks about "Iraq: Security and Development." See: http://ifaqeer.blogspot.com/2005/06/security-situation-in-iraq.html

Academics of Non-Muslim Origin and not sympathetic, either
Bernard Lewis
Yossef Bodansky former director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and author, The Secret History of the Iraq War (Regan Books, 2004) with a history of the Iraq war [While he says things like flatly asserting that "Jefforsonian Democracy and Islam don't go together in the most profound way.." and so on, he's very frank about facts--rings true. Like going on to say that the Iraqis will do it (adopt democracy) on their own; but not "with us". And "The level of ignorance in Washington about what's going on in the Muslim world is mind boggling."]

Institutions Studying the Issue or Advocating...
Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West, a program of the World Policy Institute of New School University
Rand Report: Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies, Cheryl Benard


Good round-up of stuff started in the last 2-3 years: http://beliefnet.com/story/92/story_9273.html
AAR Study of Islam Section's Response to the Tragedy of September 11th, 2001
Maybe we need to look at historians? Niall Ferguson, for example?
New America Foundation & NYU Law Center Panel on Al-Qaeda - Part 1
Really good panel; this foundation might be worth looking at in more detail.
The New America Foundation & the NYU Law Center host a day-long conference called "Al-Qaeda 2.0: Transnational Terrorism After 9/11." Authors Peter Bergen & Michael Scheuer (AKA, Anonymous) are among the participants. The panels cover organization, who joins, European presence, rising militantism, U.S. presence, media strategy, and influence in Pakistan & Saudi Arabia.
12/2/2004: WASHINGTON, DC: 1 hr. 50 min.