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Reflection on two articles - Research Paper Example

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Reflection on 2 articles: 1. How do you understand the notion of "Muslim Politics"? In answering this question, support your answer with independent examples. (from the article)   In the brilliantly articulate essay titled ‘Muslim Politics’ by Dale Eickelman and James Piscatori, we understand that the term ‘Muslim Politics’ is a broad and sweeping conceptualization…
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Download file to see previous pages One of the prominent expressions of Muslim politics in recent decades is the permissibility of ‘hijab’ and ‘niqab’ (a set of conservative dress codes for Muslim women) in public spaces. While this dress code is mandated in some of the orthodox Islamic nations in the Middle East and elsewhere, it is a point of debate in the context of secular and democratic settings. The recent flare up of the issue in France is a typical example. While liberal politicians and their contingent electoral base cite reasons of tolerance and diversity, the opposing camp (albeit the more vocal one) argue that such religious symbols undermine French national cultural identity and secularism. The authors illustrate how just as the esoteric ‘language of politics’ restricts the range of possible outcomes, there is a symmetric ‘politics of language’, where political groups jostle to control public thought. The case of Iraqi political affairs under the prolonged rule of late Saddam Hussein illustrates this twin exploitation. Saddam Hussein tried to garner public support for his invasion of Kuwait in 1991 by stating geopolitical threats imposed by America and its allies. He also invoked the politics of language by portraying his mission as one of ‘jihad’. He also cleverly equated the triangular alliance of the USA, Saudi Arabia and Israel as the ‘infidels’. Such Koranic references are deep-rooted in Iraqi (and Muslim) societies that it is easy to fathom the political mileage to be gained through their exploitation. Another salient point is that in the realm of Muslim politics, authoritarianism and coercion seldom prove effective. To the contrary, it is persuasion – artful, rhetorical, logical or otherwise – that brings about consent and stability in the population. This is evident in the fact that even seemingly totalitarian regimes back up their legitimacy by associating with Islamic texts and doctrines. 2. What evidence do you find in support of Khayr Al-Din's reform agenda in 19th Century Tunisia? How does he try to harmonise between Islam and Western ideas of liberty? Khayr Al-Din Pasha is a pivotal reformist figure in Tunisian political history. Indeed, he is such a polymath that he contributed reformist ideas in the areas of Tunisian military, socio-politics and beyond. At a time when Tunisia was suffering the excesses of Ottoman imperialism, Khayr Al-Din galvanized the spirit of the whole nation through his reform agenda. Khayr Al-Din was a truly enlightened thinker and he aspired for the most ideal Tunisian society and polity. He viewed the established conception and orthodox methods of governance as the major hindrances to real progress. Khayr Al-Din understood the importance of the principles outlined in Aqwam al-Masalik. The work outlined how to bring about the co-operation between statesmen and theologicians and how to make them work toward a common reform agenda. Not only did Khayr Al-Din devise ingenious ways of achieving this cooperative atmosphere, but he also worked toward creating a fresh and forward-looking post-colonial mindset/collective consciousness. Another inspiration and key ally for the reform agenda was the writer and thinker Qabadu. Qabadu articulated a romantic vision of future Tunisian society in his prose and poetry works, which Khayr Al-Din ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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