Islam In A Globalizing World: Text, Knowledge and Practice

19:30 – 21:00 * Mercure Hotel BallRoom

Globalisation is prompting a reformulation of the common Muslim belief that Islam is not only a religion but also a complete way of life, which in Islamic discourse is known as the ‘one religion, one culture’ paradigm. Instantaneous and worldwide communication links are now allowing Muslims and non-Muslims to experience the reality of different Islamic cultures. Such experiences reveal not only what is common among Muslims but also what is different. Similarly, there are vast differences in the religious practices of Abangan or syncretic Javanese Muslims and Wahabi Muslims (followers of the strict practice insisted by Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahab) of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. This realisation has provoked an unfavourable reaction among some groups of Islamic intellectuals towards this ‘hybridity’ (syncretic and heterogenous Islam). It has caused some radical Islamic movements to seek to replace ‘hybridity’ with the ‘authentic’ Islamic way of life. The struggle between ‘hybridity’ and ‘authenticity’ represents perhaps the most important challenge of globalisation for the Muslim ummah. It is one of the underlying causes of the emergence of Islamic fundamentalist movements. Fundamentalism refers to a strategy used by followers of Islamic ‘purists’ like Maududi, Syed Qutb and Ayatuallah Khomenei to assert their own construction of religious identity and Islamic social order as the exclusive basis for a re-created political and social order. They feel that Islamic religious identity is at risk and is being eroded by cultural and religious hybridity. They try to fortify their interpretations of religious ways of being through their selective retrieval and particular reading of Islamic doctrines and practices from a sacred past.

Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, Ministry of Religious Affairs
Prof. Dominik Müller, Ph.D (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Germany)

Noorhaidi Hasan