This book is the fruit of twenty years’ reflection on Islamic charities, both in practical terms and as a key to understand the crisis in contemporary Islam. On the one hand Islam is undervalued as a global moral and political force whose admirable qualities are exemplified in its strong tradition of charitable giving. On the other hand, it suffers from a crisis of authority that cannot be blamed entirely on the history of colonialism and stigmatization to which Muslims have undoubtedly been subjected – most recently, as a result of the "war on terror". The book consists of seventeen previously published chapters, with a general Introduction and new prefatory material for each chapter. The first nine chapters review the current situation of Islamic charities from many different viewpoints – theological, historical, diplomatic, legal, sociological and ethnographic – with first-hand data from the United States, Britain, Israel–Palestine, Mali and Indonesia. Chapters 10 to 17 expand the coverage to explore the potential for a twenty-first century "Islamic humanism" that would be devised by Muslims in the light of the human sciences and institutionalized throughout the Muslim world. This means addressing contentious topics such as religious toleration and the meaning of jihad. The intended readership includes academics and students at all levels, professionals concerned with aid and development, and all who have an interest in the future of Islam.

This review of Amelia Fauzia’s Faith and the State: A history of Islamic philanthropy in Indonesia (Brill, 2013) was originally published in the Asian Journal of Social Science 42: 1–2 (2014), 165–7. An angle for comparative historical research is proposed here. To what extent did Christian institutions affect the

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times

This review of Michael Cook’s Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic case in comparative perspective (Princeton University Press, 2014) and Akeel Bilgrami’s Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment (Harvard University Press, 2014) was published in the Times Literary Supplement on 10 September 2014 under the heading ‘What

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times

As noted in the Introduction, there is a small research literature on the question of ‘cultural proximity’. My own attempts to explore it – based on field visits to Mali and Aceh – have partly confirmed the thesis that Islamic NGOs can, on occasion, benefit from a privileged relationship with beneficiaries in Muslim countries

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times

This personal account of the Swiss government funded mediation or conflict resolution project (2005–13) was first published in Gulf Charities and Islamic Philanthropy in the ‘Age of Terror’ and Beyond , edited by Robert Lacey and myself (Gerlach Press, 2014). Special attention is given here to the Gulf

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times

Pennsylvania, 2014). My contribution appeared as the opening chapter in a volume published later that year, Understanding Islamic Charities , edited by Jon B. Alterman and Karin von Hippel. It is an overview which I still stand by in 2015 despite all the geopolitical changes since 2007. A theme that occurs elsewhere in this book is the unsatisfactory state of academic

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
The case of post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh

was extended in September 2014, amid sharp controversy. The main motivation for the article (first published in the online Journal of Humanitarian Assistance ), based on a visit in 2007, was to explore what special contributions Islamic charities can make in majority Muslim countries. As in the case of Mali, the finding was guardedly positive. An

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times

Glynn 08_Tonra 01 19/06/2014 12:55 Page 175 8 Mobilisation through Islam We have become so used to hearing about British Muslim identity and British Muslim politics that it can be difficult to remember that up until the end of the 1980s relatively few people thought in those terms. Of course the growing Muslim populations had generated growing numbers of mosques, but identity was largely associated with a person’s place of origin and ethnic minority politics was increasingly being played out through ethnic groups as well as through mainstream political parties

in Class, ethnicity and religion in the Bengali East End
Abstract only

Few topics are as contested today as contemporary Islam. This book concentrates on some of its more attractive and positive features, without lapsing into a roseate view. All the chapters have been published previously. The first two thirds ( Part I ) are devoted to Islamic charities and humanitarianism, are mainly grounded in original research, and are fairly up to date

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
The structure of Islamic toleration

This chapter attempts to bring to bear some insights from cultural anthropology on the question of religious toleration, a cornerstone of modern humanism. It concludes, from examining in particular the respective historical attitudes of Christianity and Islam towards ‘polytheistic’ belief systems, that they both can claim their own tradition of

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times