Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Blog #4 – Charles Kurzman, Tariq Ramadan, & John Locke Articles

May 5th, 2011 · No Comments

After reading the article, “Bin Laden and Other Thoroughly Modern Muslims” by Charles Kurzman and the notes on Ramadan and excerpt from Locke, I feel that my view towards this topic has somewhat changed. Many are unaware of how many Muslims ideas, specifically Islamists, have similar ideas mirroring those of the West. Kurzman states in the beginning of the article, “media coverage has portrayed the radicals Islamism exemplified by Osama bin Laden as medieval, reactionary and eager to return the Islamic world to its seventh-century roots.” Even though this is true in one sense, both Islamic liberals and radical Islamist seek to modernize society and politics.

Islamists’ roots in Secular Education have caused many Muslims, especially those who are more educated, to question their religion and religious beliefs. The goal to modernize society and politics may result in diversity amongst Muslims. As Muslim individuals modernize, their traditional views will gradually fade away. Traditional religious practices may eventually be lost if modernization continues amongst Muslims; causing diversity amongst traditional and modern Muslims.

In the interview, “Formerly Banned Muslim Scholar Tours U.S.” Tariq Ramadan strongly states that all Muslims are “Western by culture, Muslim by religion”. Ramadan believes that Muslims should go beyond integration and should become more involved with contribution. Ramadan also states that his point is not to please the West, but to change the mentalities of those within countries encompassing large Muslim communities.

In the excerpt, “Letter Concerning Toleration,” John Locke discusses the issue of religion and government. He states that religious toleration is the solution; arguing that religious groups prevent “civil unrest.” An excerpt from his letter reads, “For if men enter into seditious conspiracies, it is not religion inspires them to it in their meetings, but their sufferings and oppressions that make them willing to ease themselves.” I agree with Locke’s statement; the main reason why people gather into “seditious commotions” is due to their experience with oppression, not necessarily religion.

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