|Power and Religion
On the Dynamics of Islamic Societies
The current conflicts within the Islamic world should not be related to issues of the interpretation of basic religious values alone. A dis-cussion about a modern interpretation of Islam must also take into account the political contexts in which these interpretations can claim validity.
The programme starts with a series of discussions in April and May. These are followed in June by an international conference entitled "Modern Thinkers in Islam".
Conferences an discussions aim to shed light on the inner dynamics of different Islamic societies and the role which social power and the social environment, religious traditions and their renewal as well as the general social and legal conditions play in these processes.
From confrontation with the West to acceptance of a secular state with the rule of law. On the current transformation of political Islam in Turkey.
Panel discussion, 15.04.2002
Criticism and Self-Criticism - Egypt's Intellectuals after the 11th September
Panel discussion, 29.04.2002
The Veil of Power - The Conflicts over Family Law and the Status of Women in Morocco
The international conference "Modern Thinkers in Islam", the second part of the programme, a series of lectures at the House of World Cultures aims to make a topical contribution to a more differentiated view of Islamic positions, debates and currents.
Modern Islamic Thinkers
Public discussion frequently tends to see Islam as a monolithic construct welding the entire Muslim world together into a society of conspirators, just as the terrorists would have it. Hence, in the present situation, discussion on a contemporary understanding of Islam is a very explosive issue. To the Western way of thinking, the Islamic world has missed the modern boat, as it were. Modernity is equated with Western society. This attitude fails to see that a dialogue is taking place within Islam involving prominent reformist thinkers from Arab and non-Arab countries. These thinkers are trying to uncover lost critical traditions to create a Modernity with an Islamic basis. For all that, the present conflicts within the Islamic world are not solely concerned with an interpretation of fundamental religious values. What we a currently witnessing in the Islamic countries are battles within the political elites to secure positions of supremacy generally with violent means in which religion is used by them as an instrument to legitimate their rule. Any discussion about a modern interpretation of Islam must therefore take into account the political context.
The series of lectures at the House of World Cultures aims to make a topical contribution to a more differentiated view of Islamic positions, debates and currents.