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Islam and Modernity
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Written by Louay Safi   
Nov 11, 2006 at 07:00 PM


هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ ذَلِكَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ
(يونس 5)

It is He who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for it; that you may know the number of years and the count (of time). Allah has not created this but in truth. (Thus) does He explain His signs in detail, for those who understand. (10:5)

The debate over the determination of the birth of the new crescent (Hilal) has taken a new urgency in North America after the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) announced, in August 2006, its new ruling (fatwa) on the use of calculation for establishing the beginning of the Islamic lunar month. The ruling established for the first time in recent history astronomical calculations as the sole criteria for deciding the birth of the new crescent.[1] Thus for the first time we come face to face with the prospect of confirming the beginning of Ramadan and Eids without the recurring hassle and flare.

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Blaming Islam PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Nov 10, 2006 at 01:00 AM

EXAMINING THE RELIGION BUILDING ENTERPRISE

Preface

Blaming Islam for the lack of democratic and scientific developments is not a new idea but an old enterprise, rooted in the nineteenth and twentieth century European Orientalism. The late Edward Said succeeded, in the 1980s, in unmasking Orientalist notions within Western academia and exposing its false pretense. In his seminal work, Orientalism, Said demonstrated that Orientalist views of Islam were used to justify the European colonial ambitions in the Muslim world. Said’s monumental work was pivotal for the eventual transformation of Middle Eastern studies in Europe and the United States, as it forced the academia to embrace more scholarly and objective methods when studying the Muslim world.

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Apostasy and Religious Freedom PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Apr 08, 2006 at 08:00 PM

The issue of apostasy under Islamic Law (shari’ah), brought recently to public attention in the widely publicized case of the conversion of an Afghan citizen, raises troubling questions regarding freedom of religion and interfaith relations.[1] The Afghan State’s prosecution of an Afghan man who converted to Christianity in 1990 while working for a Christian non-governmental raises in the mind of many the question of the compatibility of Islam with plural democracy and freedom of religion. Although the state court dropped the case under intense outside pressure, the compatibility issue has not been resolved as the judge invoked insanity as the basis for dismissing the case.[2]

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The Creative Mission of Muslim Minorities in the West PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Feb 20, 2004 at 07:00 PM

Synthesizing the Ethos of Islam and Modernity

Fiqh of minorities is a concept borne out of the needs of Western Muslims who want to ensure that they can apply the rules of shari’ah (Islamic law) in a predominately non-Muslim society. The notion itself underscores the new realization by an increasing number of Muslims that they cannot adhere to the same fiqh rules adopted by their co-religionists in Muslim societies. As such the “fiqh of minorities” reflects reformist views, aspiring to transcend traditional conceptions and practices.

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Understanding Islam PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Feb 06, 2002 at 08:00 PM

Challenges to Democracy and Diversity

The theme this panel is asked to address is both timely and thought provoking. For despite its geographical proximity and moral affinity with Christianity and Judaism, Islam is, evidently, the least understood religion in the West. There are many historical and geopolitical reasons for that, but I have neither the time nor the intention to delve into them. I would rather spend the limited time I have to argue that Islam is an essential partner in any effort to develop a more democratic and peaceful world. 

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The Qur'anic Narrative


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Leading with Compassion



Palestine
Palestine



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Tensions and Transitions
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Peace and the Limits of War


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The Challenge of Modernity 


Blaming

Blaming Islam


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Foundation of Knowledge



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