D - (text) The Islamic Approach to Development -

D - (text) The Islamic Approach to Development - - CIAL...

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CIAL SECTION TAKING THE MYSTERY our or ISLAM Muslims strive to reconcile moral and religious value? with economic goals. LOU] S CANTORI e growing importance of e growing importance ot I Islam insistently demands a » greater degree of understand ing of this faith on the part of the West. Islam is ascendant in Morocco, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia (where the only eon testis its relative purity), and Sudan and has sole legitimacy as a political actor in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. Even in Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, and Tunisia, where its legitimacy is contested, most observers would concede either the inevitability of its dominance or its eventual great importance. The increasing political and economic importance of the Islamic non-Middle E Indonesia is part of this process. In in areas of the world Where the States and the West have enorm strategic interests-in energy trade, and the security of Israel-=Is1 is in the forefront. L WI It is also important to [email protected]‘§E Eastern states of Pakistan, Malaysia} Is1a.m’s most distinctive feature at preséij is its modernist character, not the allege? reactionary nature so often cited Western press and sometimes can policy circles. In this the religion is emerging politicallylfi also undergoing profound internalfiéfi examination as it adjusts to modern ical and development challenges. L Until the 1990s, the West éitg ignored Islam or, on the basis of) established historical animosity and-' V L udicial stereotypes, opposed it. In U:S icy and intellectual circles, a residl this sentiment remains. Islam mu'§ examined without preconceptionsl understood as an expression of each try’s politiczil circumstances. M In gpneral, Westerners believé
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the Islamic world is intrinsically unable to modernize or develop economically. This view overlooks the economic achievements of Turkey or, more dramatically, of Malaysia and Indonesia, whose economic growth rates are among the highest in the world. There is indeed a particular Islamic approach to development, one that strives to reconcile moral and religious values and economic advancement. Despite similarities to the successful Asian tigers, Middle Eastern states have far weaker economies. It may well be the case, however, that Is1am’s ascendancy will provide new leadership and a moral vision that will stimulate development. Political polarization The relationship between Islam and the West has been compared to that of the West and the eastern bloc during the Cold War. In Is1am’s case, from the eighth century, continuing with the Crusades in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, on to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the siege of Vienna in 1566, the relationship was politically polarized. Behind this polarization was an ideological rivalry. Islam recognized the legitimacy of the prophets of Judaism and Christianity and of its fellow monotheistic religions, but Christianity found it difficult to concede equal recognition. This religious difference was accompanied
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This note was uploaded on 08/31/2011 for the course STS 302 taught by Professor Nkriesbert during the Summer '08 term at N.C. State.

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D - (text) The Islamic Approach to Development - - CIAL...

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