Previous Issue - May/June 2006

The Editor’s Desk

Wither Muslim Identity?

Some forty years ago when Wilfred Cantwell Smith laid his claim on Islam, which Muslims believe they have long patented it for themselves, few could realize that by claiming to be a Muslim he was igniting a major ideological debate in the religious hemisphere. Smith was no ordinary Christian. He was a great scholar aware of the entire spectrum of the theological debate in Islam about Muslim identity. And as he believed that the essence of Islamic teachings was submission to God, he felt, perhap... view more

Leaders

What 'International Community' Are We Talking About?

Farish A. Noor

Politics, particularly of the international variety, is often best served on a bed of dubious generalities. Witness the spectacular affront on human rights worldwide occassioned by the so-called 'War on Terror'; a dubious artificial construct if there ever was one. Thus far we have been fed a steady dose of lukewarm political dishes likewise predicated on amorphous concepts like 'freedom', 'liberty', 'humanity' and such like. Little effort has been put to filling out these grand concepts and t... view more

Islam and the Charge of Anti-Semitism

Asma Afsaruddin

The well-known Jewish economic historian of the medieval Mediterranean world, S. D. Goitein, observes in one of his works that a Jewish document circulating in the Middle Ages described Islam as "an act of God's mercy." Having been bombarded by the term "Islamic anti-Semitism" in the Western popular media, many will do a double-take on reading this today.... view more

Insights

Is Science And Religion Discourse Relevant To Islam?

Dr. Munawar A. Anees

The Matrix The discourse on science and religion has come of age. Of the three Abrahamic traditions, the Jewish and the Christian debate seem to be gaining a sufficient degree of maturity. Here the epistemological and theological issues are open to question with an extensive body of literature on the subject. Whatever the underpinnings of modernity or the later period, it is not uncommon to find scientist-theologian or the believing scientist across the West.... view more

Apostasy and Religious Freedom

Louay Safi

The issue of apostasy under Islamic Law (shari’ah), brought recently to public attention in the widely publicized case of the conversion of an Afghani citizen, raises troubling questions regarding freedom of religion and interfaith relations.[1] The Afghan State’s persecution of an Afgani 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.... view more

Islam And Punishment For Apostasy

Asghar Ali Engineer

A heated debate is going on punishment for apostasy in Islam as one Abdur Rehman, an Afghan citizen became Christian while he was in Germany for few years. On his return from Germany Rehman was arrested and was being tried for apostasy. The punishment for apostasy in Islam is supposedly death and Afghanistan being an Islamic country, his fate was known. However, under pressure from Western nations, he was released on the grounds that mentally he is ‘unstable’.... view more

Conservative Reform In Contemporary Western Islamic Thought: Tariq Ramadan, A Case Study

Ludwig Ammann

Tariq Ramadan is one of the most controversial Muslim intellectuals in the Western world. A British government strategy paper suggested he could be the leader of an ‘Islamic Reformation’ in Europe, and after the July attacks on London he was appointed to Blair`s Muslim taskforce attempting to root out Islamic extremism in Britain. On the other hand, he was temporarily banned from the US and France on suspicion of endorsing terrorism – while an Arab debater on his website felt it was necessary ... view more

BOOK REVIEW

Reconfiguring Interfaith & Intrafaith Understanding

H.E.Dr. Abdulaziz Altwaijri's Address

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All Along

By All Along

At a congressional hearing this week, James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who warming, compared the chief executives of ompared the chief executivesompared the chief executives... view more

It Was Oil, All Along

By Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

At a congressional hearing this week, James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who exactlyAt a congressional hearing this week, James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist who exactly... view more

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