Welcome to ‘Muslim Journey’!
This blog replaces my previous one: ‘Beyond Freedom’
Muslim Journey is about the evolution of Islam and Muslims under the impact of modernity, religious and communal revival, and the winds of freedom and democracy that are swirling around the Muslim world. It’s about Muslims’ epic journey from colonial subjugation and agrarian torpor to independence, modernization, and globalization. It, too, is about my personal journey from rock solid beliefs and ethno-centric outlook nurtured at an Islamic seminary in what is now Bangladesh to the anomie, contingencies and possibilities of life in the West.
Today many Muslim societies have been roiling from religious upheavals, autocratic tyranny, extremism, and spasms of terrorism. This phase of the Muslim journey would remind you of pre-Enlightenment Europe – the Europe of interfaith and intrafaith strife, the Inquisition, the Renaissance and the Reformation. Those social religious convulsions were the birth pangs of the Western civilization as we know it today. But the values and worldviews of twenty-first-century Muslims and the challenges they face as individuals and communities, are far different from those that inspired and hamstrung Christian and pagan life in early modern Europe.
Islam hasn’t had a Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, or a John Calvin, or a Machiavelli, or a Robespierre, let alone a Hitler. Neither has it, indeed, produced a Newton, a Shakespeare, a Da Vinci, or an Erasmus. This is mainly because, in my view, Europe has been riding its historical roller coaster from fundamentally different cultural and environmental vintage than that of Muslim societies.
The fascinating question remains, for me at least, is what the trajectory of Muslim’ journey into the future is going to look like. I have been mulling over the question for years but haven’t arrived anywhere near a plausible answer. Not yet, anyway. I’d like to know if any of Muslim Journey visitors have. I hope Muslim Journey will be a useful tool for the continuation of my inquiry.
The questions that would underlie many of the posts on the blog would include: What’s fueling the communal resurgence and violence in many Muslim societies? How are these societies being nourished or challenged by modernity, globalization and the communications revolution? How have individual Muslims and their societies been evolving from their engagement with disparate cultures and value systems? And so on.
I will be hosting Muslim Journey and writing most of its posts. I also welcome guest posts. If you wish to write one, please leave me a note in the Contact tab message box.
Below each blog post is a Comments box. I invite you to share with me and other visitors your questions, criticism or other thoughts about the posts.
I look forward to learning from your thoughts, and growing.
Thank you for stopping by at Muslim Journey!
Host and Editor