Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Thursday, April 22, 2010
you read people, who, at one level, you'd like to hang out with. Chapters, pages, novels, articles are the next best thing. Even when it's just a good factual writer, you want to hang around them to get the facts, the way you'd sit next to a brainy kid at a test to copy off their answer. David's writing self - it's most pronounced in his essays - was the best friend you'd ever have, spotting everything, whispering jokes, sweeping you past what was irritating or boring or awful in humane style."
Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace by David Lipsky, pg. xx :)
then, some younger Muslims who were either born in France or came to study or to work sought a more systematic basis for their religious practices and beliefs. They did not abandon other identities, of course: Muslims did and do continue to think of themselves in multiple, complex, and contextually sensitive ways, just as non-Muslims do. But some among them became more likely to think about Islam in a way that did not intrinsically link religion to the traditions of a particular country of origin, and to look for guides outside their immediate circle of family and friends. This shift in thinking created a demand for new teachers, schools, books, lectures, and forums of all kinds about Islam. Those who began to teach them included both slightly older Muslim men and women born in France but more often Muslims who had been born elsewhere, who had grown up with some religious education, and who now found a new set of opportunities to spread an understanding of Islam. Some had served as imams or teachers in Muslim-majority countries; others had been trained in secular subjects and engaged in a kind of Islamic pedagogical bricolage to construct a suitable way of teaching their new students.
These characteristics would favor the emergence of Islamic institutions that presented Islam in French and with respect to problems that surfaced in France, because the new students would be young French women and men from diverse origins. But these institutions would also take account of global debates and deliberations about Islam, both because students would have access to a world of Web information and because their teachers were trained in a broad array of Islamic schools and universities. The challenge for both then would be, how to build an Islamic knowledge that would be legitimate in transnational terms and also pertinent to the situation in France.
-Can Islam Be French?: Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics) by John R. Bowen, pg. 23-24
Now, in the so-called "public sphere" dominated by such books and their sensationalist televised counterparts (Fox News, Envoye Special), very seldom do we hear from Muslims who are not in the business of denouncing their own kind - save the well-intentioned but not very effective pleas that "Islam is a religion of peace," as if that were a satisfying response to Disfigured and Submission and unceasing reports of terrorism training. ("Whom do you believe, me or your own eyes?") Left largely to the side - either out of their own prudence or out of the "public sphere's" decision that their voices are less interesting - is a broad middle group of Muslims who do not wish to renounce the possibility of just war (yes, jihad) and do wish to remain true to Islam's norms (yes, shar'ia), and who do tune in to scholarly opinions (yes, fatwas) - and who, all the while, living ordinary, nonterrorizing lives. They do so at the same time that many of their Catholic fellow citizens subscribe to doctrines of the just war, wish to enter heaven, and listen to what the pope has to say (as do, mutais mutandis, their Jewish and Baptist and Mormon neighbors).
-Can Islam Be French?: Pluralism and Pragmatism in a Secularist State (Princeton Studies in Muslim Politics) by John R. Bowen, pg. 4-5
It is a subset of these Muslims to whom I have been listening in France: scholars and educators and public figures who are trying to configure a set of teachings and norms and institutions that will anchor Islam in France, for now but especially for the next generation, and without renouncing the traditions of Islam. Theirs is the question that I intend in this book's title: Can Islam become a workable reality for Muslims who wish to live fulfilling social and religious lives in France? This book concerns some of their answers to that question.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
through the emergence of a military-industrial complex devoted to perpetual growth (and hence also to the idea of a perpetual threat). But at the outset it was necessary to simplify matters for Congress and the public. The Soviet Union was thus identified with Nazi expansionism by means of the category of totalitarianism. This deliberately scary vision culminated in a familiar exhortation to chose righteousness in the face of historical fate. A satanic force, dedicated to the overthrow of every sound and proven American principle, was abroad in the world, most frighteningly even at home through its fifth columns. To refrain from doing one's utmost to extinguish this evil was tantamount to sin and would end in self-destruction. The choice was plain. Only the United States could perform the given task. Would it rise to the occasion and do its appointed duty? And so forth.-Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right by Anders Stephanson, pg. 124
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thanks Usama and Ammar :)
Thanks Usama and Ammar :)