The Thoughts of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Bassam Tibi and Tariq Ramadan
Chapter 5: Being an Authentic Muslim Minority in the West
Chapter 5 Being an Authentic Muslim Minority in the West Introduction The purposes of this chapter are threefold. First, it examines the concept of a Muslim minority, which is one of the leading ideas concerning Islam in the West. Second, it attempts to evaluate the ideas of Nasr, Tibi and Ramadan, seeking therein a positive implication for the presence of Muslim minorities in the West. Finally, on the basis of their reflections, I hope to demonstrate, in terms of four ‘R’s’, the main factors that could improve the relationship between Islam and the West. Just as with the multiple relationships between Islamic discourses and modernism discussed above, the presence of Muslim minorities also has multiple interpretations. Talal Asad argues that it is important for European culture to articulate a ‘complex space and complex time that allow for multiple ways of life to flourish’.1 Not everyone agrees with him, however. Critics of this point of view recommend that the minorities should merge totally with the mainstream society instead of recognizing their own needs or protecting their cultural rights, which in their eyes seem to be privileged rights. The arguments supporting these two positions are numerous, similar in fact to those heard in the debate between multiculturalism and liberalism, and it is beyond the scope of this chapter to discuss this debate.2 My focus 1 Talal Asad, Formations of the Secular: Christianity, Islam and Modernity (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2003), 180. 2 See Modood, T., Multiculturalism: A Civic Idea (Cambridge and...
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