The Thoughts of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Bassam Tibi and Tariq Ramadan
Thinking Western Muslims as Westerners Phrases such as ‘American Muslim’, ‘European Muslim’ or ‘Islam in the West’ bring to mind two questions. One is the relationship between Islam and modernism, and the other is the current situation of Muslim communities in the West, especially Western Europe and North America.1 These two questions also inspire us to ponder whether we can consider Muslims in the West as Westerners; and also, under what conditions can we call them Western Muslims. Modernism itself is an idea which has been discussed repeatedly. For some scholars, the spreading of modernism promotes a progressive, rational and free society. However, not every Western intel- lectual thinks in this way. Religion and tradition are not always seen as inferior or backward, nor as obstacles to progress, rationality and freedom in the modern world. The relationship between religion and modernism is, in fact, multiple and complicated. There is a sizeable Muslim popula- tion which has settled permanently in the West, and we recognize that its relationship with Western modernism stimulates questions which force us to rethink modernism in a new way: What is the social vision of Muslims in the West? How do Muslims and non-Muslims live together without fear and anxiety? What is the (Western) Muslim intellectual response to modernism? This book addresses these questions. 1 Meanings of ‘the West’ are multiple. In this book, I will use the term geographically, i.e. as referring mainly to America and the European states or societies. Alternatively, it can be understood...
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