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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.

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Jonathan Benthall

with the state of scholarship in this field. The last third of the book ( Part II ) gives attention to what I have called Islamic humanism. Here (with the exception of Chapter 10 ) the emphasis is more on reviewing the work of other authors and should be read as tentative and provisional. I am well aware of the delicacy and complexity of the issues raised. This Introduction

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
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Jonathan Benthall

in these ‘non-places’. Islamic humanism This book has argued that the precedents of Islamic Relief Worldwide in Britain and Muhammadiyah in Indonesia as successful institutions have a bearing beyond the sphere of charities and aid. They could inspire those Muslims who are committed to independent new thinking. A commitment to broad

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
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Existentialist Islam as intercultural translation
Nadia Kiwan

representatives of God –​as kings once were –​but of the people). Bidar’s emphasis on the importance of the individual in Islam should not be interpreted as a move that is founded on individualism in a selfish sense. Indeed, Bidar places considerable emphasis on the principle of discussion and exchange of different views or reflections on specific aspects of Islam. Rather, his focus on the individual and what he calls the ‘divinisation’ of the individual lays a foundation for him to articulate his vision of an Islamic humanism, couched in the principles of liberté, égalité and

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
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Enlightenment Islam
Nadia Kiwan

Chebel identifies as being part of Islamic intellectual culture, citing the experience of Muslim Spain or what 73 Chebel: Enlightenment Islam 73 he refers to as ‘l’esprit de Cordoue’ (spirit of Cordoba) whereby tolerance constituted a model that inspired a range of elites including emirs, vizirs, scholars and poets. For Chebel, Al-​Andalus represents one of the rare and unparalleled examples of Islamic humanism due to the successful co-​existence between different religious groups there. He laments the generalised ignorance of the contribution of Arab civilisation

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
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Spirituality, affect and women
Nadia Kiwan

’éradication pure et simple de l’héritage spirituel, patrimoine non pas d’une religion, mais de toute l’humanité’ (Babès 2004: p. 91) (the pure and simple eradication of spiritual heritage, not from religion, but from humanity as a whole). Babès is always striving for a universalist vision of Islam, and her reference to humanist heritage links her thinking to that articulated by Bidar in his work on Islamic humanism as a basis for the renewal of universalism (see Chapter 5). However, her focus on the universal leads her to disqualify the specific claims of many Muslims and hence

in Secularism, Islam and public intellectuals in contemporary France
Azzedine Haddour

to Rosenzweig (Amsterdam: Van Gorcum, 1977). 19 Chamberlain, ‘Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation’, p. 310. 20 Chamberlain, ‘Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation’, p. 311. 21 Chamberlain, ‘Gender and the Metaphorics of Translation’, p. 312. 22 Edward W. Said, Orientalism (London: Penguin, 1995), p. 2. 23 Said, Orientalism, p. 3. 24 Said, Orientalism, p. 5. 25 Louis Gardet, Les Hommes de l’Islam (Paris: Librairie Hachette, 1977), p. 384. 26 Lenn E. Goodman, Islamic Humanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 7. 27 Fanon, The Wretched of the

in Frantz Fanon, postcolonialism and the ethics of difference
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Toward an ethical vision
Meir Hatina

. 77 Fatima Mernissi of Morocco was another believer in historical contextualization. She maintained that freedom of the individual, man or woman, was at the heart of Islamic humanism, but had been severely restricted by the sword, political tyranny, or the force of Muslim law. She painted the patriarchal laws of Islam in dark colors, especially under the Abassids, who viewed women as unbridled sexual beings who distract men and keep them from fulfilling their religious and social duties. This led to an obsession with safeguarding male superiority—for society

in Arab liberal thought in the modern age