Essay 1 - Islam Spring `08 Prof. Dogan Koc Topic: How the...

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Islam – Spring ‘08 Prof. Dogan Koc Topic: How the 19 th and 20 th century changed the Muslim World Progression of Islamic Societies in the 19 th /20 th centuries Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century, Islamic societies have gone through many obstacles and changes. Expansion by the Europeans changed the way they saw the world and created a sense of secularism. But this was only negated after many found the path that was taken was against the name of Islam and took the situation into their own hands. These two centuries have been eventful to Islamic societies and can mostly explain the origins and reasons why Islamic societies function the way they do to this day. Starting at the nineteenth century, European expansion became an increasingly important impact on Muslim societies. “Many observers identify the ease with which Napoleon conquered Egypt in 1798 as a symbol of a new era (Wuthnow 1).” The major states that still remained independent of European regimes underwent a wide range of reforms and were never presented to be contrary to Islam as it was not presented as Islamic reform. However these continued reforms did “not prevent continued military losses to European powers. Britain occupied Egypt in 1882, the Ottomans lost other territories in the Balkans and North Africa, and Iran was politically and economically dominated by European powers by the end of the century (Wuthnow 1).” The most effective Islamic resistance to this European expansion came in fact from Islamic organization, however they were quite unsuccessful. As Europeans started to conquer many of these Islamic states, they passed their Western values down and this created major change in the Islamic world. A major new development that rising was Islamic modernism, “in which people in a number of areas worked to create an effective synthesis of Islam and modernity (Wuthnow
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1).” During this time, many influential Muslims convinced the world that Islam could in fact work with modern reason and was a reason based faith. In Islamic societies this notion of science and faith working together was starting to become popular. In India, Sayyid Ahmad established a college in Aligarh which combined Islamic and modern Western studies. These were two things which have never been taught hand in hand to the Islamic
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Essay 1 - Islam Spring `08 Prof. Dogan Koc Topic: How the...

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