Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog Post 4- Bin Laden and Other Thoroughly Modern Muslims

May 4th, 2011 · No Comments

Charles Kurzman thoroughly identifies for his readers the differences and similarities between radical, liberal and traditionalists Muslims in his chapter, “Bin Laden and Other Thoroughly Modern Muslims.” He goes on to state some of the important parallels that liberals and radicals share, that of which being a goal to modernize their society and the politics that engulf it. Both the radicals and the liberals feel that becoming modern is not just a quality of the Western cultures. The traditionalist groups, such as Bin Laden’s Al Qaeda network, are less willing to become a more modern entity. There are in most cases, less educated and have a firm belief that outside forces, such as magic, act upon their culture. Although certain Islamist groups do not see eye to eye about some important issues and topics, they all agree when it comes to shari’a law; which is to them the law of the land.
Although one might say that Islamist politics are very different from our Western political views, this is untrue. Many Islamist political platforms reflect the ideas of Western platforms. An example of this would be the opposition to inherited social hierarchies. I would not go as to far as to say that the Islamists and our Western faculties strive for the same goals and operations, though some ideas are similar when in contrast with one another. Many radicals for example have very different cultures and aim for very different societal goals. One of the most commonly known radical groups, Al Qaeda, are extreme in their ideas and worships. They are also extremely advanced and their group operates as a bureaucratic organization with certain authoritative figures giving orders. They operate with mass communication systems such as the use of commodity chains and high-tech satellite technologies. They posses global capital and have affiliations with other radical organizations across the global. All of these things, I believe, would make this organization a threat to the greater public. Societies such as our own most often fear this organization in particular because of its continuous history of terrorism.
From the interview with Tariq Ramadan, it is evident that because of the affiliation with a certain group is it hard to get your point across without because prosecuted unjustifiably. Ramadan speaks briefly about his ban of six countries. He believes that Islam is in fact a Western religion with many Muslims from across the world practicing Western politics. He rebuttals to the question about the clash of Western culture and that of his own by stating that Muslims reactions to certain culture shocks were in fact calm and understand rather than up-roaring and uncontrollable.

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