Thursday, April 26, 2012

Defining Islam

"Defining Islam is far from a simple matter. Using Western categories that may be alien to Muslim perceptions, we may state from the start that Islam may be both a religious faith and a political ideology; it is also, in some contexts, a mark of personal and group identity. These three definitions neither exclude nor include each other." - Malise Ruthwen, A Very Short Introduction To Islam, Oxford University Press, 1997.

1 comment:

  1. Flashman5:59 pm

    "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries!
    Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia
    in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many
    countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods
    of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet
    rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the
    next of its dignity and sanctity.

    The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as
    his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must
    delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased
    to be a great power among men. Individual Moslems may show splendid
    qualities - but the influence of the religion paralyses the social
    development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists
    in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and
    proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa,
    raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity
    is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it
    had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell
    the civilization of ancient Rome."

    -Sir Winston Churchill (The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages
    248-50 (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1899).