Thursday, April 20, 2006

A More Benign Consideration of Islam.

In the April 2006 issue of the University of Chicago Magazine, an article considers religion scholar Michael Sells' position that Islam's conflict with the West "is neither eternal nor inevitable."

In part, the article states:

Coined and popularized by scholar Bernard Lewis in the 1990 Atlantic Monthly essay “The Roots of Muslim Rage,” the clash-of-civilizations theory posits that Islam has been warring with the West since the religion’s 7th-century founding. History begs to differ: a more accurate analogy, Sells argues, would be two bodies of water separated by a continent but joined by the currents that flow between them. “Until the colonial period, the great political entities were Christendom, in which European states were ruled by Christians but built upon Christian-Jewish-Muslim thought and culture, and Islamdom, which was ruled by Muslims but based upon Muslim-Jewish-Christian thought. They’re interconnected.”

Read the whole article here. Especially interesting are his comments on the Saudi version of the Sura Fatiha, the "Islamic Lord's Prayer", which version converts "a prayer of self-examination" to "a trumphant affirmation of religious superiority".

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