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The closing of the Muslim mind

Ali, A. (2007) The closing of the Muslim mind. Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, 27 (3). pp. 443-453.

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Incendiarism, hooliganism, homicide, and even suicide have become the trademark of Muslim protests in recent times. This has seriously damaged the image of Islam and Muslims, especially in the Western world. This unacceptable behavior has no justification in the primary sources of Islamic shariah and is contrary to the spirit of free thinking that was pioneered by Muslim thinkers of the classical era. The rise of orthodoxy has crippled the healthy tradition of dialogue and rational thinking that developed during the early caliphates and has produced an Islam whose mass of believers has been kept deliberately ignorant of this glorious legacy and has been led along a blind alley from where there seems to be no quick return. The institutions that are usually expected to promote enlightenment and socially acceptable behavior are desperately in need of reforms. In a contest between taqlid (imitation) and ijtihad (interpretation), the former appears to have won the day to the detriment of modernity and progress in the Muslim world. This paper looks at the underlying reasons for the unwillingness of Muslims to face criticisms with an open mind and to respond to those criticisms in a rational manner.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Business
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
Copyright: Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs
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