Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic Case in by Michael Cook

By Michael Cook

Why does Islam play a bigger position in modern politics than different religions? Is there whatever concerning the Islamic background that makes Muslims much more likely than adherents of alternative faiths to invoke it of their political existence? if that is so, what's it? historic Religions, glossy Politics seeks to reply to those questions by means of interpreting the jobs of Islam, Hinduism, and Christianity in sleek political existence, putting designated emphasis at the relevance—or irrelevance—of their heritages to today’s social and political concerns.

Michael cook dinner takes an in-depth, comparative examine political identification, social values, attitudes to battle, perspectives concerning the function of faith in quite a few cultural domain names, and conceptions of the polity. In these kinds of fields he unearths that the Islamic historical past bargains richer assets for these engaged in present politics than both the Hindu or the Christian heritages. He makes use of this discovering to provide an explanation for the truth that, regardless of the lifestyles of Hindu and Christian opposite numbers to a few points of Islamism, the phenomenon as an entire is exclusive on this planet this present day. The booklet additionally indicates that fundamentalism—in the experience of a decision to come back to the unique resources of the religion—is politically extra adaptive for Muslims than it really is for Hindus or Christians.

A sweeping comparative research via one of many world’s best students of premodern Islam, historical Religions, glossy Politics sheds very important mild at the dating among the foundational texts of those 3 nice spiritual traditions and the politics in their fans at the present time.

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Islam and Identity • 19 Arabs to high religious office would invite disaster; the Arabs should leave such offices to the non-­Arabs and be content with what they had. This story is interesting from a number of points of view. First, there is an asymmetry about the identity politics described here. The Arabs put forward a claim on the basis of Arab ethnicity, but the non-­Arabs do not impute to themselves any particular ethnic identity or make any claim on that basis, and their rejection of the Arab claim is expressed in terms of the wider public interest, just as it was Islam at large that the non-­Arab rulers of earlier centuries had saved.

48 In the fourteenth century an author who was born in Kurdistan but spent much of his life in Egypt wrote a pamphlet collecting traditions in which Muḥammad said good things about the Arabs. 5, cited in El-­Rouayheb, “Myth,” 215–­16. Note also that in the continuation of the passage cited in Baer, Egyptian guilds, 15n63, the abnāʾ al-­ʿArab are referred to simply as al-­ʿArab. 46 For this and similar terms, see Heyd, Ottoman documents on Palestine, 42, 48n2, 66 and n6, 115, 123, 155. ” 47 The passage is paraphrased in Winter, “Polemical treatise,” 96; for the original, see ʿAbd al-­Ghanī, al-­Qawl al-­sadīd, f.

Note the increasing insistence on the rule in Southeast Asia as Islam spread and deepened there (44). ”123 In comparative terms the existence of a rule barring enslavement within a given community is not in itself exceptional. 126 Restrictions of this kind were not universal—­for centuries it was legal to sell oneself into slavery in Russia127—­but they were common enough. The real question, again, is not whether such rules existed, but how far they were kept. 131 Thus we encounter the practice in western India under 123 Forster and Blackburne Daniell, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, 1: 211.

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