Islam and Englightenment

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JackBrook
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#1
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#1
Is Islam the only major religion not to have gone through the enlightenment and does this present a problem when so many Muslims are now starting to live and work in the western world?
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Ascend
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#2
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A slow-moving enlightening. With the demise of Islamic empires, the advent of globalisation, establishing universal human rights and the conspicuous failures of modern Islamist nations, the state of Islam is vastly different to what it was a centuries ago and poses no real threat to progressives, just like Christianity.* I don't buy this fear-mongering when it comes to "the Muslims".

You also can't generalise about Muslims in the "Western world" since the demographics are generally different in each place and split significantly even within a region. American Muslims for example tend to be more liberal and modernised.

*Nationalist populism, the regressive ideas (and useful idiots) it produces and the breaking up of internationalist systems is more of a threat to the "Western world".
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fallen_acorns
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#3
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#3
I'm going to talk vaguely, because its not an area of expertise for me, but my understanding was that Islam in general came close to an 'enlightenment' during the later part of the colonial era.

I remember reading an academic journal article on the history of education within Islam, and its broad point was that the success of western christian colonialism shattered authority throughout the Islamic world, and lead to a profound questioning of Islam and religion in general. They were being told that they were the one true people, the victorious, yet for the first time in their history they were not just resoundingly beaten but they were dominated and forced into subjection by another belief system. After many centuries of triumph and conquest, this shook the Islamic faith to its core, and left it with a fork in the road. One direction was to push forward, embrace enlightenment values, embrace western values and emulate those who had so successfully defeated them. The other was to go backwards, to believe that the reason for their defeat was that they weren't pious enough, and weren't devote enough, and god would reward them if they followed his words closer and more traditionally.

During the mid 20th century, the second option, to regress backwards was the clear victor. Iran is the obvious example of this, but its not alone. However, since then They do seem to have had a de facto-enlightment in many ways, forced by the very nature of our globalist world, and re-enforced by the wealth and benefits that many Islamic countries have enjoyed since. I don't believe that they will have as defined an 'enlightenment' period as Christianity had, because given the nature of our world today, I don't see it being possible. Rather I think they will just slide into it, person by person, as they integrate and work with the rest of the world, and it won't in the end be viewed as an occasion, just a gradual progression of attitudes over a centry or so.
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JackBrook
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Ascend)
A slow-moving enlightening. With the demise of Islamic empires, the advent of globalisation, establishing universal human rights and the conspicuous failures of modern Islamist nations, the state of Islam is vastly different to what it was a centuries ago and poses no real threat to progressives, just like Christianity.* I don't buy this fear-mongering when it comes to "the Muslims".

You also can't generalise about Muslims in the "Western world" since the demographics are generally different in each place and split significantly even within a region. American Muslims for example tend to be more liberal and modernised.

*Nationalist populism, the regressive ideas (and useful idiots) it produces and the breaking up of internationalist systems is more of a threat to the "Western world".
The Muslim world in the middle east did not go through the enlightenment during the late 17th and early 18th century. This did not cause any real issues until the late 20th century, when instability in the middle east and the massive growth of globalisation saw droves of people move from the middle east to Europe and America.

The question is whether this is likely to be an insurmountable problem, because it's currently very divisive.
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JackBrook
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#5
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#5
(Original post by fallen_acorns)
I'm going to talk vaguely, because its not an area of expertise for me, but my understanding was that Islam in general came close to an 'enlightenment' during the later part of the colonial era.

I remember reading an academic journal article on the history of education within Islam, and its broad point was that the success of western christian colonialism shattered authority throughout the Islamic world, and lead to a profound questioning of Islam and religion in general. They were being told that they were the one true people, the victorious, yet for the first time in their history they were not just resoundingly beaten but they were dominated and forced into subjection by another belief system. After many centuries of triumph and conquest, this shook the Islamic faith to its core, and left it with a fork in the road. One direction was to push forward, embrace enlightenment values, embrace western values and emulate those who had so successfully defeated them. The other was to go backwards, to believe that the reason for their defeat was that they weren't pious enough, and weren't devote enough, and god would reward them if they followed his words closer and more traditionally.

During the mid 20th century, the second option, to regress backwards was the clear victor. Iran is the obvious example of this, but its not alone. However, since then They do seem to have had a de facto-enlightment in many ways, forced by the very nature of our globalist world, and re-enforced by the wealth and benefits that many Islamic countries have enjoyed since. I don't believe that they will have as defined an 'enlightenment' period as Christianity had, because given the nature of our world today, I don't see it being possible. Rather I think they will just slide into it, person by person, as they integrate and work with the rest of the world, and it won't in the end be viewed as an occasion, just a gradual progression of attitudes over a centry or so.
I think this is a fairly good summary of the situation. I think there are going to continue to be major integration problems for the foreseeable future.
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FailedMyMocks
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#6
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#6
Why do you assume somehow that the west holds the keys to some sort of 'enlightenment'?
What do you define as enlightenment?
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JackBrook
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#7
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#7
(Original post by FailedMyMocks)
Why do you assume somehow that the west holds the keys to some sort of 'enlightenment'?
What do you define as enlightenment?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment
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fallen_acorns
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#8
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#8
(Original post by JackBrook)
I think this is a fairly good summary of the situation. I think there are going to continue to be major integration problems for the foreseeable future.
islamic individuals (on average) do certainly have a harder time integrating into their new country. To deny so would be to deny all evidence we have in front of us. That doesn't mean they won't integrate though, just that in theory we as a nation should acknowledge that they have a harder time, and make allowances for it, e.g. extra support in some areas, and extra restrictions in others. Sadly saying that one group seems to integrate better than another seems to be deem to racist to discuss, so we end up just lumping all migrants together, and treating them all the same.

Examples of how we could deal with the problem of integration, if we were able to discuss and deal with it rationally would be things like:
(support) we know that women in Islamic communities are disproportionately poor in their English ability. Providing extra targeted resources, may help them learn and then integrate.
(restriction) we know that Islamic immigrants disproportionately group together with one and other, far more so then other religions or nationalities. This grouping creates ghettos and isolated communities that don't help integration. Forcing migrants to dissipate and not group together, may help them integrate more.
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EliteWhovian
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#9
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#9
I don't see how a religion which hasn't gone through an 'enlightenment' poses any threat.
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Good bloke
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#10
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#10
(Original post by EliteWhovian)
I don't see how a religion which hasn't gone through an 'enlightenment' poses any threat.
That is because you have not been enlightened. If a large group of people wish to live in the west with seventh century morality and attitudes this is an obvious danger to a secular, rapidly changing and liberal host country, especially if extremists wish to spread the word and make their beliefs more influential in the host country.
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Ascend
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#11
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#11
(Original post by JackBrook)
The Muslim world in the middle east did not go through the enlightenment during the late 17th and early 18th century. This did not cause any real issues until the late 20th century, when instability in the middle east and the massive growth of globalisation saw droves of people move from the middle east to Europe and America.

The question is whether this is likely to be an insurmountable problem, because it's currently very divisive.
I love how you conveniently missed that massive chunk of history when Europeans colonised much of MENA and Asia circa 20th c. plus the American wars and meddling thereafter. The rise of Islamism as an anti-colonial (anti-Western) reaction was a direct result of that. So of course there were many hindrances to enlightenment.

Still, my point stands.
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EliteWhovian
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#12
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#12
Who's to say that I have not been enlightened? I believe that I have been enlightened due to Islam, much like how Christians would say the same through Jesus. Even if our morality and attitudes are objective, and are derived from the Qur'an and Hadith - there is a way for people to live peacefully with us. It's not a danger to society if people choose to believe in Islam, it's a danger when extremists take it upon themselves to hurt others in order to scare the masses. Dawah (inviting/spreading the faith) is not a bad thing, however - it may seem scary and harmful to those who are ignorant or insecure in their ability to keep this "liberal host country" secular.
(Original post by Good bloke)
That is because you have not been enlightened. If a large group of people wish to live in the west with seventh century morality and attitudes this is an obvious danger to a secular, rapidly changing and liberal host country, especially if extremists wish to spread the word and make their beliefs more influential in the host country.
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Good bloke
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Ascend)
. So of course there were many hindrances to enlightenment.
The most important of which are that Islam has not been through a renaissance and the nature of Islam itself, which was purpose-built to do exactly what Mohammed wanted it to do, and not to change significantly.

The Enlightenment ideas such as liberty, progress, separation of church and state are the exact opposite of what Islam demands of its adherents - unfailing devotion to a deity, conformity to Islamic norms, stasis, and ruling of the state according to Shariah.
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