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Good and Bad Muslims in Xinjiang - Made in China Journal

if China was pursuing an anti-Muslim policy, then wouldn’t we expect it to also sweep up the Sinophone Hui Muslims in Xinjiang? Uyghurs seem to be ending up in internment camps not because they are Muslims, but because they are Uyghurs.

Muslims who conform to the stereotype of the brown-skinned Muslim. Simply put, they will not be racialised as Muslim. Similarly, we might posit that in Xinjiang the Uyghurs have become racially Muslim in ways that the Sinophone Hui have not. Their Central Asian features increasingly signify the category ‘Muslim’, that is to say, more so than they do the category ‘Uyghur’, a classification which is losing its salience at administrative levels as the promises of China’s minzu (民族) system—the national (or ethnic) rights enshrined in the constitution—fall by the wayside.

even in times of conflict, it was rare for officials to attribute anti-state or anti-Han violence to any inherent flaw in the Islamic faith. While often disparaging of non-Chinese religions, China’s intellectual tradition had no ‘Orientalist’ discourse comparable to that of the West, which furnished explanations of Muslim anti-colonial violence in terms of a congenital ‘fanaticism’.

Just as Sufism did not necessarily cultivate a pluralistic pacifism, nor was the call to return to Islam’s founding texts—the Qurʾan and the Hadith—invariably accompanied by a rigid anti-Chinese militancy.
islam  xinjiang  china  2019  policy  world  terrorism  religion  critic  comparison  han 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
Mohamed Morsi, Who Brought the Muslim Brotherhood to the Egyptian Presidency | The New Yorker
Peter Hessler on the death of Mohamed Morsi, the former President of Egypt, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and came to power in the wake of the Arab…

The former President has been described as a martyr, but the term isn’t exactly appropriate. A martyr dies for a larger cause; a victim dies because of larger forces. There’s a tendency for some Americans to view the Muslim Brotherhood as a kind of negative essence of Islam, as if all of the flaws of the organization can be attributed to the faith that its followers espouse. But the group is a product of its history: it was founded during a period of colonial occupation, and then it was shaped by decades of government repression. The issue isn’t just that the institutions of the state were always opposed to the Brothers but that the group itself has internalized the brutality and dysfunction of its environment.

In a nation of splintered institutions, frustrated idealism, and dysfunctional governance, even the highest seat of power can turn into a trap—a caged man shouting, “I am the President of the Republic!”
portrait  president  egypt  revolution  islam  arab  politics  history  prison 
8 weeks ago by aries1988
How Islam Created Europe - The Atlantic
“the West” emerged in northern Europe (albeit in a very slow and tortuous manner) mainly after Islam had divided the Mediterranean world.

“The West,” if it does have a meaning beyond geography, manifests a spirit of ever more inclusive liberalism. Just as in the 19th century there was no going back to feudalism, there is no going back now to nationalism, not without courting disaster. As the great Russian intellectual Alexander Herzen observed, “History does not turn back … All reinstatements, all restorations have always been masquerades.”

Europe must now find some other way to dynamically incorporate the world of Islam without diluting its devotion to the rule-of-law-based system that arose in Europe’s north, a system in which individual rights and agency are uppermost in a hierarchy of needs.
europe  today  immigration  future  opinion  islam  mediterranean 
october 2018 by aries1988
The Clash of Ignorance

Samuel Huntington’s article "The Clash of Civilizations?" appeared in the Summer 1993 issue of Foreign Affairs, where it immediately attracted a surprising amount of attention and reaction
to supply Americans with an original thesis about "a new phase" in world politics after the end of the cold war,

Certainly neither Huntington nor Lewis has much time to spare for the internal dynamics and plurality of every civilization, or for the fact that the major contest in most modern cultures concerns the definition or interpretation of each culture, or for the unattractive possibility that a great deal of demagogy and downright ignorance is involved in presuming to speak for a whole religion or civilization. No, the West is the West, and Islam Islam.

Instead of seeing it for what it is–the capture of big ideas (I use the word loosely) by a tiny band of crazed fanatics for criminal purposes–

what is so threatening about that presence? Buried in the collective culture are memories of the first great Arab-Islamic conquests, which began in the seventh century and which, as the celebrated Belgian historian Henri Pirenne wrote in his landmark book Mohammed and Charlemagne (1939), shattered once and for all the ancient unity of the Mediterranean, destroyed the Christian-Roman synthesis and gave rise to a new civilization dominated by northern powers (Germany and Carolingian France) whose mission, he seemed to be saying, is to resume defense of the "West" against its historical-cultural enemies.

These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little self-knowledge or informed analysis
muslim  debate  islam  terrorism  power  community  civ  conflict  europe  population  theory  leader  instapaper_favs 
october 2018 by aries1988
Opinion | Away in a Manger... Or Under a Palm Tree?

But we can know something: Jesus of Nazareth must have been an amazing man. Had he been a just a Jewish carpenter from rural Galilee or one of the many militants at his time pretending to be a political Messiah, today we would not be discussing where he was born.

Jesus of Nazareth must rather have been an amazing man who, with his striking persona and fascinating teachings, captured the hearts and minds of not just his contemporaries but also many more to come. His legacy is so great that two of the world’s great religions, Christianity and Islam, sing his praises — even if they disagree on his theological nature or his exact birthplace.

So this Christmas, say, “Glory be to him,” as Christians say — or “Peace be upon him,” as we Muslims do. And either way, merry Christmas to us all!
religion  christianity  islam  jesus 
december 2017 by aries1988
Mutations de l’islam en Asie centrale
Dans son dernier ouvrage, Bayram Balci, chercheur au CERI-Sciences Po, revisite de manière éclairante la religion dans les ex-républiques communistes musulmanes
book  stans  islam  turkey 
december 2017 by aries1988
The French Origins of “You Will Not Replace Us”

He sees immigration as one aspect of a nefarious global process that renders obsolete everything from cuisine to landscapes. “The very essence of modernity is the fact that everything—and really everything—can be replaced by something else, which is absolutely monstrous,” he said.

When Benoist writes that “humanity is irreducibly plural” and that “diversity is part of its very essence,” he is not supporting the idea of a melting pot but of diversity in isolation

These disciples, instead of calling for an “Islamic holocaust,” can argue that rootedness in one’s homeland matters, and that immigration, miscegenation, and the homogenizing forces of neoliberal market economies collude to obliterate identities that have taken shape over hundreds of years—just as relentless development has decimated the environment. Benoist’s romantic-sounding ideas can be cherry-picked and applied to local political resentments.

Faye, like Renaud Camus, is appalled by the dictates of modern statecraft, which define nationality in legal rather than ethnic terms.

Camus lamenting that “a veiled woman speaking our language badly, completely ignorant of our culture” could declare that she is just as French as an “indigenous” man who is “passionate for Roman churches, and for the verbal and syntactic delicacies of Montaigne and Rousseau, for Burgundy wines, for Proust, and whose family has lived for generations in the same valley.” What appalls Camus, Polakow-Suransky notes, is that “legally, if she has French nationality, she is completely correct.”

This is true, but there is always a threshold at which a quantitative change becomes qualitative; migration was far less extensive in the Middle Ages than it is today. French liberals can surely make a case for immigration without pretending that nothing has changed: a country that in 1900 was almost uniformly Catholic now has more than six million Muslims.

Yet feminism, Starbucks, the smartphone, the L.G.B.T.Q. movement, the global domination of English, EasyJet, Paris’s loss of centrality in Western cultural life—all of these developments have disrupted what it means “to be French.” The problem with identitarianism isn’t simply that it is nostalgic; it’s that it fixates on ethnicity to the exclusion of all else.
interview  usa  islam  muslim  france  français  intelligentsia  book  debate  population  race  altright  culture  identity  liberalism 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Islamic World Doesn't Need a Reformation - The Atlantic

There is simply is no “Muslim Pope,” or a central organization like the Catholic hierarchy, whose suffocating authority needs to be broken. Quite the contrary, the Muslim world—at least the Sunni Muslim world, which constitutes its overwhelming majority—has no central authority at all, especially since the abolition of the Caliphate in 1924 by Republican Turkey. The ensuing chaos in itself seems be a part of “the problem.”

The contemporary Muslim world needs not a Martin Luther but a John Locke, whose arguments for freedom of conscience and religious toleration planted the seeds of liberalism. In particular, the more religion-friendly British Enlightenment, rather than the French one, can serve as a constructive model.

Islam, as a legalist religion, has more commonalities with Judaism than with Christianity.

in a reality where the state is already deeply involved in religion, its steps toward moderation and liberalization should be welcome. It’s also worth remembering that the success of the Enlightenment in Europe was partly thanks to the era of “Enlightened despots,” the monarchs who preserved their power even as they realized crucial legal, social, and educational reforms.
from:rss  religion  islam  opinion  enlightenment  future  comparison  christianity  history  politics 
november 2017 by aries1988
There is no such thing as western civilisation | Kwame Anthony Appiah | World news | The Guardian
culture was the “pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world”.

Often, in recent years, “the west” means the north Atlantic: Europe and her former colonies in North America.

here’s the important point: it would not have occurred to Herodotus to think that these three names corresponded to three kinds of people: Europeans, Asians, and Africans. He was born at Halicarnasus – Bodrum in modern Turkey. Yet being born in Asia Minor didn’t make him an Asian; it left him a Greek. And the Celts, in the far west of Europe, were much stranger to him than the Persians or the Egyptians, about whom he knew rather a lot. Herodotus only uses the word “European” as an adjective, never as a noun. For a millennium after his day, no one else spoke of Europeans as a people, either.

The natural contrast was not between Islam and the west, but between Christendom and Dar al‑Islam, each of which regarded the other as infidels, defined by their unbelief.

Only in 1529, with the defeat of Suleiman the Magnificent’s army at Vienna, did the reconquest of eastern Europe begin. It was a slow process. It wasn’t until 1699 that the Ottomans finally lost their Hungarian possessions; Greece became independent only in the early 19th century, Bulgaria even later.

modern concept of western culture largely took its present shape during the cold war. In the chill of battle, we forged a grand narrative about Athenian democracy, the Magna Carta, Copernican revolution, and so on. Plato to Nato. Western culture was, at its core, individualistic and democratic and liberty-minded and tolerant and progressive and rational and scientific.

So how have we bridged the chasm here? How have we managed to tell ourselves that we are rightful inheritors of Plato, Aquinas, and Kant, when the stuff of our existence is more Beyoncé and Burger King?

No Muslim essence stops the inhabitants of Dar al-Islam from taking up anything from western civilisation, including Christianity or democracy. No western essence is there to stop a New Yorker of any ancestry taking up Islam.
culture  history  thinking  west  concept  islam 
september 2017 by aries1988
世界文明史 ——伊斯蘭(一) – William Z. Liu | 劉仲敬 – Medium



history  islam 
april 2017 by aries1988
The True Believers: Sam Harris
# Instapaper (2017/02/24)
## Added on Saturday, February 24-25

What I’m arguing for in the piece is not to discard either type of explanation but to remember the latter one and take the words of these ISIS people seriously. Even though at various points in the past we’ve ignored political or material causes, this doesn’t mean that ideology plays no role, or that we should ignore the plain meaning of words.

that’s really one of the things that social sciences have triumphed in doing: explaining that within certain boundaries, rationalities lie behind what at first looks like mere craziness or barbarity. Just calling behavior craziness is a trap that a lot of ISIS-watchers have fallen into. If you see members of the Islamic State as thrill-kill nihilists, then you’re not giving them enough credit.

There’s also a deep urge to deny agency to the Islamic State, and I think it’s fundamentally connected to a reluctance to see non-Western people as fully developed and capable of having intelligent beliefs and enough self-knowledge to express them. These people articulate well-thought-out reasons for what they do. And yet ignoring what they say somehow gets camouflaged in the minds of liberals as speaking up for them. It’s delusional.

although the Islamic State wants a civilizational war, of Muslims versus Crusaders, I think they’re consciously avoiding terrorist attacks on Western targets that would provoke too strong a response too soon. If they bombed the Super Bowl, they’d probably be looking at a ground invasion within weeks. They want the invasion, but on their own schedule.

I think we might be in a situation analogous to seeing someone writhing around on the ground in front of us, showing every symptom of having appendicitis. But instead of being surgeons, armed with sterile scalpels, we are just laymen who once read a first aid manual and have no tools other than a rusty soup can. There’s no good option, even though we recognize the problem. The overwhelming probability is that the patient will die a terrible death, and we will have to watch.

it’s abundantly clear that we are not good at massive occupations of countries we poorly understand. Not only that, we just don’t have the appetite for it.

The point of all propaganda is to create narratives about the world. Their view—and the view of jihadis everywhere, really—is that Muslims are under attack by a Crusader West.

confirm their narrative for other Muslims who are already inclined to believe that the West is at war with Islam. That’s not a view I would like to encourage.

The idea is that if we don’t walk on eggshells until the end of history as we fight jihadis, taking great pains to deny any link between the chaos they cause and the doctrine of Islam, then we’re doomed to provoke more-mainstream Muslims into choosing the wrong side in this conflict.

One of the things that is so refreshing about your article is that you didn’t do that. But you now seem to be saying that we must be very careful not to do anything that could give fodder to a “clash of civilizations” narrative.

The Islamic State leader identifies as Salafi, which means that he takes as his sources of authority the Qur’an, the hadīth of the Prophet Muhammad, and the actions of the generations immediately succeeding Muhammad.

The percentage of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims who identify as Salafi—who subscribe to this literalist version of Islam—is quite small, probably single-digit. The percentage of Salafis who would identify as jihadis is vanishingly small. And then, of course, within that population a lot are going to be noncombatants because they’re too old, or too young, or whatever. So we’re still talking about large, but perhaps now manageable, numbers.

The point of bringing up this quietist group is to say that the problem isn’t Islam, or even Islamic literalism. Most literalist Muslims are essentially harmless, or even better than harmless—nice people you would like to have as neighbors. So the specificity of interpretation that leads to the Islamic State is really quite narrow.

What you seem to be expressing is a fear that there could be a mass changing of sides based on some secret sympathy, or some susceptibility to moral confusion, even in the face of the clearest case for a just war that may have ever existed. Whatever the underlying causes of this form of jihadism, at the end of the day we have pure, fanatical, implacable evil vs. basic human sanity.

in the face of the clearest case for a just war that may have ever existed. Whatever the underlying causes of this form of jihadism, at the end of the day we have pure, fanatical, implacable evil vs. basic human sanity.

The Salafi neighbor may not be the neighbor you’d choose, if you could pick from a menu of atheists and liberals and, more generally, people who didn’t care what you thought about god.

there are many religious people whose beliefs about a far-off apocalyptic battle, and mass conversion at the sword, do not affect their lives much at all. People are good at compartmentalizing, and if they weren’t, the world would hardly be livable.

it is a lack of meaning or fulfillment in their lives, related to deep malaise and feelings of rejection or dissatisfaction with the worlds where they live.

If you think the high point of your life in England is going to be eating KFC, the promise of joining the greatest battle the world has ever known might be pretty attractive.

many of us experience such existential concerns early in life.

Where are your scholars?

huge numbers of scholars have been co-opted by politics—either the politics of the Middle East or the politics of the United States.

These differences between the palace scholars and ISIS seem minor, but I would encourage you to see them as significant.

I try studiously not to take a position on which one of these views is correct. I just don’t have any credibility as a non-Muslim to say whether one scholar or another espouses the best form of Islam. However, if I were able to choose what people believed, I’d hope it was the caliphate-later view.

Of course, there are Christians who think about the end times, which are also not envisioned as very pleasant. If you ask them, “Is it happening now?” some of them will say yes. But very few of them will act as if they actually believe it’s happening now. If they’re envisioning a terrible bloodbath at some unimaginably distant time, I can live with that.
illusion  debate  to:marginnote  islam  warrior  middle-east  religion  war  crisis  terrorism  explained  interview  muslim 
february 2017 by aries1988
En Egypte, les auteurs de fatwas sous le feu des projecteurs

Il s’attaque à l’industrie florissante de la fatwa, l’art de décréter ce qui est licite (halal) et ce qui ne l’est pas (haram), qu’il s’agisse de porter un jean slim sous son voile, de souhaiter joyeux Noël à un chrétien ou de rompre le jeûne durant une grossesse.
february 2017 by aries1988
The French Culture Wars Continue - The New Yorker
We are in a society that is so secularized that it no longer understands the reality of religiosity itself, Roy has said. It’s precisely there that we must make an effort, to normalize the Muslim reality as a religious reality and integrate it into the French cultural space.
debate  society  religion  muslim  islam  female  intelligentsia  culture  integration  conflict  instapaper_favs 
may 2016 by aries1988
islam  youth  crisis  war  idea 
february 2016 by aries1988
From Muhammad to ISIS: Iraq's Full Story - Wait But Why
Kamil was from Mosul, like everyone at the camp. Mosul is Iraq’s second largest city, only 30 miles west of the camp—and as of June 9th, an ISIS stronghold. After taking over, one of the first orders of business for ISIS was rounding up government workers for execution. Kamil, a police officer, was lucky to get out with his family before they got to him. When I asked him if he thought he’d return to Mosul at some point, he shook his head and said, Fuck Mosul.

The nation of Iraq, on the other hand, was created by two dicks with a pencil and ruler, and its history is mostly unpleasant.

When borders are drawn this way, two bad things happen: 1) Single ethnic or religious groups are sliced apart into separate countries, and 2) Different and often unfriendly groups are shoved into a nation together and told to share resources, get along, and bond together over national pride for a just-made-up nation—which inevitably leads to one group taking power and oppressing the others, resulting in bloody rebellions, coups, and sectarian violence. This isn’t that complicated.

According to Iraqi intelligence, ISIS has assets worth $2 billion, making it by far the richest terrorist group in the world. Most of this money was seized after the capture of Mosul, including hundreds of millions of US dollars from Mosul’s central bank. On top of that, they’ve taken oil fields and are reportedly making $3 million per day selling oil on the black market, with even more money coming in through donations, extortions, and ransom.

They knew they were removing a lid, but they seemed to think it was off a tupperware container of cookies, not a pressure cooker. And their plan to replace the wrought iron lid with a fresh sheet of democracy cellophane would have worked fine if it were a tupperware container of cookies. Just not if it were a pressure cooker.
story  irak  2014  2015  middle-east  history  islam  religion  politics  explained  terrorism 
november 2015 by aries1988
ATTENTATS DE PARIS • Comment distinguer l'islamisme de l'islam | Courrier international
Ils adoptent les mêmes paradigmes, les mêmes méthodes, les mêmes techniques d'interprétation. Ce qui les distingue, ce n'est pas leur compréhension du texte, mais les décisions politiques relatives aux attitudes à adopter. Un immense travail reste à faire, ce qui est de notre responsabilité. Depuis la Réforme, les protestants ont renoncé à l'interprétation littérale de certains textes. Depuis Vatican II, l'Eglise catholique s'est adaptée à la modernité.

Ce travail n'a pas été fait dans le monde arabo-musulman et les rares personnes qui s'y sont aventurées – et qui s'y aventurent encore – sont, dans le meilleur des cas, superbement ignorées et, dans le pire, exécutées. Tant qu'on ne le fera pas, il sera difficile de convaincre, autrement qu'en recourant à des arguments d'autorité, que l'islamisme est une interprétation maladive de l'islam.
january 2015 by aries1988
Guiding Germany’s Young Muslims Off the Road to Jihad
“I got to know West Germany through the Turks,” Ms. Dantschke said in a recent interview, noting that neither Turks nor East Germans knew West German ways.

Last year, she made it to New York. “I kept saying: ‘I was never here. Why does it feel so familiar?’ Then I realized, through that book, I was always here.” The next goal is to return, by sea.

“But only on a cargo boat,” she said. “Not one of those luxury liners.”
germany  islam  today  youth 
september 2014 by aries1988

islam  comparison  china  story  history 
august 2014 by aries1988
虬髯鹤: 如果想学一门少数民族语言文字,你会推荐哪个?
islam  china  language  opinion  uygur  comparison 
november 2013 by aries1988
Buddhism v Islam in Asia: Fears of a new religious strife | The Economist
Radical monks, led by a notorious chauvinist, Wirathu, from a monastery in the northern city of Mandalay, have abandoned any claims to Buddhism as a universal doctrine of compassion and non-violence. For them Buddhism equates with a narrow nationalism. They argue, quite simply, that unless the majority-Buddhist population fights back, Muslims, with alarmingly high birth rates, will overrun the country. On July 22nd he claimed that a small explosion in a car near where he was preaching was the work of Islamic extremists. It all taps into old resentments against the big influx of Indians, many of them Muslim, who came into the country on the coat-tails of British colonialists during the 19th and early 20th centuries. They ran much of the country’s finance and commerce, and were hated for it by the indigenous Burmans. Race riots against Indians and Muslims in the 1930s in Yangon (then Rangoon, the capital) and elsewhere were whipped up then, as now, by a chauvinist Buddhist press.

They propose that Buddhist women must seek permission from local officials to marry a man of another faith; meanwhile, the husband-to-be should convert to Buddhism. Under Myanmar’s former military rule, such ideas had little chance of becoming law, but with the onset of democracy all that has changed.

They may have been inspired by an imprisoned radical cleric, Abu Bakar Basyir, who in April called for a jihad against Myanmar’s Buddhist population.
from:kindle  religion  asia  future  islam  conflict 
july 2013 by aries1988
Is Islam the Problem?
A wise visitor from outer space who dropped in on Earth a millennium ago might have assumed that the Americas would eventually be colonized not by primitive Europeans but by the more advanced Arab civilization — and that as a result we Americans would all be speaking Arabic today.
islam  future 
march 2011 by aries1988

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