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Archive for the ‘Secularist’ Category

Published by Macmillan Reference USA

The reference literature for Islam has long consisted of either a densely academic, multivolume encyclopedia or several, often specialized, single-volume works with brief definitions. Happily, there is now a reference work falling between these two extremes. The Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World is a scholarly work “about Islamic cultures, religion, history, politics, and the like as well as the people who have identified with Islam over the past fourteen centuries.”

A team of international scholars is responsible for the 515 entries, which are arranged alphabetically and range from 200 to 5,000 words in length. Many include some sort of illustration and end with helpful see also references and excellent supplemental bibliographies. A useful index completes the set. Coverage includes the religious dimensions of Islam as well as the development of the tradition in various parts of the world (e.g., Africa, South Asia, U.S.). Cultural issues of importance to the history of Islam (e.g., architecture, calligraphy, language) are also treated. Entries such as Political organization and Political thought demonstrate the historical completeness for which the encyclopedia strives, tracing developments from the life of the Prophet to the present day. Even topics of contemporary interest include a historical perspective. The entry for Jihad describes the many meanings of the term, including its contemporary association with violence, and how the concept has developed historically. The treatment of secularization in the Muslim world includes a comparison to historical events in the West, thereby helping the reader to understand that it cannot be understood solely from a Western perspective. Finally, the biographical entries include important figures from the religious, cultural, and political history of the Muslim world.

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We the Muslim Youth can change This World – Facebook group

CAIRO — Devout Muslims and secularists are using the world’s second largest social networking website Facebook to debate the role of Islam in their societies, reported the Los Angeles Times on Friday, September 19.

“Secularism is refused by all means,” Mohamed Amer, an Egyptian, writes in a comment on a Facebook page.

Amer said most Muslims aspire to see Islam play a bigger role in their societies.

“In fact, it goes against the will of the Egyptian, the Arab and Muslim peoples who crave Islamic rule,” he writes.

“National interests rest in the adherence to Islam and faith.”

Amr Ali, an Egyptian dental student, has founded a Facebook group to confront efforts to promote secularism in Muslim societies.

“I’m very surprised at all the secular Facebook groups out there,” he said.

“Secular and atheist groups are posting on my group, accusing Islam of promoting terrorism,” said Ali, whose group “We the Muslim Youth Can Change This World” has attracted nearly 22,000 members.

“I’m concerned. They are young people and they are lost, following misleading slogans. Some of them are totally against religion and all the prophets.”

Facebook has grown to more than 70 million users worldwide to be the second social networking website after MySpace.

Founded in 2004, Facebook’s membership was initially restricted to students of the Harvard University.

It was later expanded to other universities in the United States and later to any student with a university email address from all over the world.

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