Right when Egypt was in a chaotic state, Muhammad Ali rose and established an Islamic empire that included parts of the Sudan, parts of Greece, Syria, Hejaz and south-western Anatolia. Knowing that Egypt had lost its powerful position in its golden age and had fallen behind, Muhammad noticed the need for reform. Young scholars, including al-Tahtawi, al-Afghani and al-Badiya, were sent to France to learn about the western way of regulating a state. Al-Tahtawi, al-Afghani and al-Badiya were designated to learn about the west in terms of education, law and science, and gender relations in society respectively. In these scholars ' writings and speeches, they were constantly comparing the Islam and the west as well as selecting the western aspects that were worth adopting. Although Al-Afghani suggested how "rigid interpretations of religion and the weight of local traditions made the Islamic world appear 'backward '" (al-Afghani, 25), all of the three scholars seem to agree that they should preserve their religion and would be able to find compatibility between the two civilizations. In other words, they were all seeking a way of modernization that would fit in the Islamic boundaries.
Feminist intellectuals who promoted gender equality started to have ...
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... to the country.
From al-Badiya’s speech, one sees the central role of traditional cultural and religious belief in an islamic society and feels her effort in preservation of it. As far as I understood, her view of women’s education and working, their attire and gender relations still seems be that of the majority in islamic countries. In today’s world and from a non-islamic standpoint, an understanding of the islamic belief and the islamic modernist thinking seems central to our understanding of the way the islamic countries operate now. It is apparent that the islamic religion is always central to these countries’ social and juridical constitution. In my opinion, such role of religion should be preserved but is also daunting. That seems to be the case with any religion as it can govern individuals to goodness but also has an enormous power that could be exploited.
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