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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 11:20 PM
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The "egalitarian face" of Islamic orthodoxy?
The "egalitarian face" of Islamic orthodoxy?
New study finds religious orthodoxy associated with support for progressive economic reforms
May 3, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The portrayal in the West of Islamic traditionalists or fundamentalists often emphasizes their relegation of women to lower status in the home and family, restrictions on sexual expression and reproductive rights, and harsh punishments for crimes, but a new study by Indiana University and DePauw University sociologists found that Islamic orthodoxy has an "egalitarian face."

In research based on survey data from seven predominantly Muslim nations, the authors found that Islamic orthodoxy -- identified as the desire to implement Islamic law (shari'a) as the sole legal foundation of their nation -- is associated in every country with support for such progressive economic reforms as increasing the responsibility of government for the poor, reducing income inequality, and increasing government ownership of businesses and industries.

"While it is common to associate traditional religious beliefs with conservative political stances on a wide range of issues, this is only partly true," said Robert V. Robinson, Chancellor's Professor and chair of IU's Department of Sociology. "The Islamic orthodox are more conservative on issues having to do with gender, sexuality and the family, but more liberal or left on economic issues."

"The theological communitarianism of orthodoxy entails watching over community members, which involves both a controlling side and a caring one, and inclines its adherents toward cultural authoritarianism and economic egalitarianism," Davis said. "The orthodox tend to feel that everyone in the community should be subject to what they see as eternal divine laws on the position of women, sexuality and the family. But they also tend to believe that the community and society should look out for its members' economic well-being."

The authors also found widespread support in the Muslim world for the establishment of Islamic law.

Davis and Robinson see further evidence of the economic progressivism of the Islamic orthodox in the welfare networks that they have established throughout the Muslim world. Building on the mosque-centered model established by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt during the 1930s, other Islamist groups, such as the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) in Algeria, Laksar Jihad (Holy War Brigade) in Indonesia, Jamaat-i-Islami (Party of Islam) in Pakistan, and Hamas in Palestine, have created in their countries safety nets of welfare agencies, clinics and hospitals, factories paying good wages, day care centers, youth clubs and unemployment agencies. This "welfare Islam," according to the authors, has often shown Muslims that Islamist organizations can outperform corrupt or callous secular governments of their countries in providing much-needed social services

Interesting reading. This provides some insight as to the popularity of more fundimentalist groups such as "Muslim Brotherhood" and "Hamas" among the poor.

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-22-06 12:53 PM
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1. Let us not forget
that, to some extent, big business used "feminism" not to foster equality in the workplace but as an excuse to keep down wages. Gone was the time when one person's salary was enough to support the family. Now it took two-but wasn't that what women wanted? Well, no, but Americans have bought the notion wholesale.

That being said, I think that big business fears Islam because of the economic social justice aspect. There is also a certain amount of jingoism present when Westerners automatically assume that all women who are Muslims "want" to be able to dress immodestly, "want" to have a job outside the home, etc. etc, which is often not the case.

Don't get me wrong--I believe that in some places, sharia is interpreted to favor old prejudices against women (if the wives of the Beloved Prophet pbuh could drive their own camels, how come Saudi women can't drive cars?), and in some places, a harsher punishment is meted out to women than to men for crimes involving sex (including 'honor killings' which are condoned by some governments). These things are not according to Qur'an, imho--but this is a matter to be decided by Muslims, not values imposed upon Muslims by an ignorant West.
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Riverman Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-14-06 08:07 PM
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2. I Am Not a Muslim - I Sincerely want to know if the Koran call for
"ALL" Muslims to kill the Infidels, the non-believers? Can a person follow Islamic law and not wish to kill the non-believers? If Muslims do not believe,. or want to act on that law, how do you reason around it?
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-14-06 10:27 PM
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3. Hi Riverman

No the Quran does not call for all Muslims to kill the unbelievers, what the Quran does say is that all men and women have the right to believe as they will.

Sura 2:255 "There is NO Compulsion in religion..."

What the Quran does state is that Muslims have the right to defend themselves and what is theirs, and only that. The quran does not give Muslims license fight a war for any other reason than to defend one's self or to regain what has been taken, and no more. In fact the Quran states that "God does not like the aggressor", and Prophet Muhammad stated that God sides with the oppressed.

The Quran also states that Muslims must follow particular guidelines when fighting a war. No innocents (non-combatants) are to be harmed, Anyone seeking refuge in a Church, Synagogue or other place of worship were not to be harmed, Animals and crops were not to be harmed, along with other strictures on how Muslims were to act.

Hope that helps. If you have any ore questions, please ask.

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