I don’t know. I mean. Seems Islam has quite much of history - check Seyyed Hossein Nasr - he might just another Westernizing proponent but, you know, in real life and historic scope, Westernizing Islam is not problem. That’s how Islam emerged too.
It really isn’t the concept of westerners embracing Islam that is the problem, as this was never really the point that I was attempting to make.
Rather, it is this idea of ‘kalaam’ that individuals such as Hamza Yusuf, Tariq Ramadan, and Sayyid Hossein Nasr all embrace. ‘kalaam’ is a mixture of Hellenistic/European philosophy and Islamic theology, hence why it is commonly translated as ‘philosophy’ amongst many Islamic circles. This idea of ‘philosophy’ in Islam is highly contested because often times it challenges the fundamentals of the religion.
Islamic mysticism, or modern ‘Sufism’, came out of this ‘kalaam’ ideology. This is the same mystical ideology that is rooted in European philosophical traditions rather than Islamic ones. Many of the more traditional scholars within Islamic history such as ibn Taymiyya exerted a great amount of energy in attempting to refute these European mystical/philosophical influences back when they were gaining ground within the Muslim world.
Most of these liberalized secular-oriented Muslim ‘philosophers’ are viewed as a westernized bastardization of the religion by many of the more formal scholars of ‘traditional’ Islam. Not to re-mention the fact that a great majority of the audiences that praise Hamza Yusuf and the likes of him come from wealthy ‘liberal’ backgrounds and have a very arrogant attitude towards the foundational traditions of Islamic scholarship.
(Now finally coming back to this! :D! )
But - religion/faith is esp in Islam’s case - it’s something really about how it functions within community level or - more precisely, [our current attention/focus is at] how Islam affects, determines particular Muslim (believers) community/communities’ response to outside world (to other human groups, etc) - [Debate, discussion and clique formations on Tumblr makes me/us confused about why the focus comes down to ‘whose approach/what kind of approach’ - often like critiquing/asserting approach at each individual/personal level. (or at a certain ‘clique’ level). But - that way of framing, setting focus - how meaningful really?]
Modern western world can write off other part as - freedom of religion at personal/individual level or community level. (And I think this framing is quite practical and fine. Intra-Islam debates can be done - in whatever way, so to speak. It’s just there are issues now fall into the parameters or proximities called ‘politics’ and - we have to deal with those as such.)
Checking how Oxford University etc conducts research on actual (living) Muslim communities and schools of thoughts (rooted in a particular community etc) - I think that’s the way it is. (They don’t bring in this intra-Islam rivalry tension or pressure into that. Of course ‘Research’ isn’t about who’s way of Islam is right or wrong - It’s more about understanding of how a particular human community, group is living, how they are sustaining meaning, - with their version of Islam - and why and how etc. Though, it looks like so diffused - objective, academic, anthropological field researches too - academic resort - while there are political problems and political power problems coming from the side of ‘First World’.)
Then looking at ‘their’ answers to this question -
- Tariq Ramadan has this piece as almost exact matching correspondence.
- (Issue of Kalam/Kalaam and even the name of Ibn Taymiyya)
- Hamza Yusuf also has response to the subject of Kalam/Kalaam. But those are videos so I need bit more time to sort out.
But then as you posted, like most of us do - using basically nothing but Western philosophical discourse (ontological and ethical types, mostly) while deliberating Islam or Quran’s contents - is also another trap. I can see that.
But then, still, I just can contently return to the historic perspective expressed in this piece:
Khaled Abou El Fadl (UCLA), The Place of Tolerance in Islam, Boston Review (December 2001)
Though, I just need all that as more of just merely a part of how human groups live - an entity - which is probably way much more larger.
And here on Tumblr - still it isn’t out of immaturity or earlier stage of - confusions and in-articulations about 1) what’s for diversity - and 2) what’s for - if one may - want - to make it about rivalry of who’s right or who’s wrong - on sect or community basis - or individual/personal basis.
And that’s emitting - ‘seizing up everyone’ kind of restraining toxicity - I think. Either you become ‘shut up’ because of that, or become aggressive or have to appeal to defensive - particular styles and approaches.
*And that sends me back to Sami :)
- From where(s) - all this intra-Islam tensions come about?
- And why Tumblr came to be ‘infested’ with such tensions (of all kinds)?
- And what’s the best way forward?