Essay on Tension Between the West and Islam

Essay on Tension Between the West and Islam

Length: 2698 words (7.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The tension between the West and Islam has become a hot topic lately but the conflict between the two has always been there, and is illustrate through the works of Al-Farabi, Nilufar Gole, and Sayyid Qutb. Each author has a different perspective on modernization and the west. The significance of these three authors, whose works span over a period of 1,000 years, is that their work reveals the enduringly complex relationship that Islam and the West have had.
Even though, Al-Farabi doesn’t specifically address the tension between Islam and the west his theories are compatible with several of their secular ideals; many of which coincide with the Greek philosopher, Plato. On the other hand, Qutb who the west and secularism as an enemy of Islam and is strongly opposed to with western values and ideals, which he characterizes as Jahiliyyah. Gole though is an intermediary between the two in the sense that she doesn’t take obvious sides in the “Forbidden Modern”. More than serving as an intermediary between the West and Islam she serves as an intermediary between the two author’s Qutb and Al-Farabi. She does so by approaching the issue of veiling through the lens of a secularist; by explaining through a world perspective veiling makes sense for the Muslim world.
The earliest piece of work is Al-Farabi’s “The Political Writings: Selected Aphorisms and Other Texts”. This text does an apt job of conveying the idea that so many of Al-Farabi’s beliefs resonate with western ideals. During the period, that Al-Farabi’s aphorisms were written it was a very cosmopolitan time, and religion was thought of as a subset of philosophy. Therefore, the extremism that comes through in Qutb’s work is a stark contrast to that of Al-Farabi, and Al-Farabi...


... middle of paper ...


...i are juxtaposed it is hard to believe that both believe in the same religion. Each author has his way of living as a Muslim in a world where beliefs are being challenged, whether it is by the western world or the Islamic world—there is always tension. This tension is only amplified when a controversial practice such as veiling comes into play. The practice of veiling is so different from what non-Muslim westerner’s know that it is understandable for them to mischaracterize. However, through the three authors’ it was easy to see that there are distinct perspectives on modernization and the west. Further, even if all three authors are Muslim each person’s perspective on their own religion varies a great deal which makes it no surprise why once you step out of the Islamic world (that has it’s own divisions) that the West too has a trying relationship with Islam.



Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Crisis Of Islam By Bernard Lewis Essay

- The main goal is to explain the reasons for the current tension between Islam and the West. In his book, The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis presents a balanced view of Islam. The book provides a large amount of information on the history of Islam and explains the reasons for the problems America has with Islam. Anyone seeking a balanced book to provide them with information on Islamic societies will almost certainly find this book to be highly enjoyable and very informative. The main arguments in the book are that the tension between Islam and the West is caused partially by the continued advantage of the West, that the Islamic states in the 20th century had a hypocritical foreign policy, an...   [tags: Islam, Muhammad, Muslim world, Sharia]

Powerful Essays
1074 words (3.1 pages)

Islam and Gender Equality in Turkey Essay

- Unlike its other Islamic neighbors, Turkey abolished Sharia law and became a secular nation in the 1920s. As a result, women in Turkey had rights and freedoms not enjoyed by women in any other predominantly Islamic country (Arat 870). The first president of the newly transformed country was named Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who wore western-style clothing. Though Turkey was secular, it was not democratic, as one party ruled (Arat 870). By the 1950s things began to change again as Turkey transitioned to a multi-party system and the Islamists began to campaign more loudly and publicly for the right to practice their faith in public (Arat 871)....   [tags: Islam ]

Powerful Essays
1940 words (5.5 pages)

Understanding And Misconceptions Of Islam Essay

- Non-Muslims usually have their own understanding and misconceptions about Islam as a religion. These misconceptions include: the belief that Muslims seek to worship a different God from other religions do; all Muslim women go through oppression; Islam is only practiced in the Middle East, and most Muslims support terrorism. Islam is, however, defined as peace and submission to God (Griffith, 2012). The population of people practicing Islam in the world is estimated to be more than a billion with a majority of them inhabiting the Middle East, North Africa, and Southern Asia....   [tags: Islam, Christianity, Religion, Sharia]

Powerful Essays
1776 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on The Rise Of The Middle West And East On The Islamic World

- The 11th century to the 13th century saw invasions from both the West and East on the Islamic world. The European Crusaders came from the West and changed life completely not only for Muslims in Arabia and the Mediterranean, but for the European Western world, and future relations between Christianity and Islam, which is still prevalent today. The invaders from the East came not long after, and whilst the invasion of the Mongols did not last for nearly as long as the Crusades, these nomadic warriors arguably brought far more death and destruction to the Islamic world....   [tags: Islam, Christianity, Middle East]

Powerful Essays
1330 words (3.8 pages)

Sufism in the United States: A Brief History and Discourse on the Degree of Alignment with Islam

- II. The Relationship Between Islam and Sufism Though plenty of Muslim scholars have spoken out in favor of Sufism, the prevailing opinion among both Islamic legal scholars and Muslims as that Sufism is bid’ah, (an inauthentic innovation) that is not wholly Islamic, and therefore rejected as an acceptable way to practice Islam. Sufism has always been an ‘alternative’ discourse in the Islamic world “existing in tension with stricter, legalistic elements in the tradition, and there continue to be voices in Islam that would deny the legitimacy and the pervasiveness of Sufism in Islamic culture” (Miller 1995)....   [tags: Relationship Bewteen Islam and Surfism, Muslims]

Powerful Essays
1320 words (3.8 pages)

Does the Current Conflict Between the West and Islam Confirm or Contradict Huntington's Clash of Civilization Thesis?

- Samuel Huntington's thesis on "The clash of civilisations" of 1993 provoked a plethora of varied responses. A Professor at Harvard University, Huntington wrote in order to voice his predictions and warn the world of an upcoming clash of cultures, most notably between the West and Islam. The recent reaction in the Middle East to America's self-styled 'war on terrorism' provides a timely case study for this debate. While an affinity will often exist between countries with similar cultural characteristics, great differences within 'civilisations' and the existence of national interests make unity unlikely....   [tags: Clash of Civilisations]

Powerful Essays
2105 words (6 pages)

Islam and Democracy Essay

- Discuss the argument that characterise the debate about Islam and democracy Since the rise of the Islamic movements around the world especially in the Middle East and the current tension between Muslim and the Western countries in particular after 9/11, the different debates and arguments has been made by scholars, in particular Western intellectuals about the capability of the Islam to accept the principles of democracy. I will examine the relationship between Islam and politics, definition of Islam and democracy, the connection between Islamic teaching (Hadith and Quran) and Islamic movements and different perspectives of Islamists or Islamic countries....   [tags: islamic movements, middle east]

Powerful Essays
2199 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on Israel and Palestine: Merely Nations, or Outposts of Civilizations?

- On March 16th, 2003, 23-year old American activist Rachel Corrie was torn down by an Israeli bulldozer while protesting the destruction of Palestinian homes in the Gaza Strip (Jordan). Five years later, in the summer of 2008, two Palestinian men living in East Jerusalem drove similar machines down busy Jerusalem streets, maiming and killing not a few civilians (Witte). Why did the drivers of these bulldozers – Israeli and Palestinian, both – commit these acts. Supporters and critics of Israel each have their own perspective....   [tags: Nationalism, Cultural Tension]

Powerful Essays
1419 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Spread of Islam and the Slave Trade

- The Spread of Islam and the Slave Trade “Segu is a garden where cunning grows. Segu is built on treachery. Speak of Segu outside Segu, but do not speak of Segu in Segu” (Conde 3). These are the symbolic opening words to the novel Segu by Maryse Conde. The kingdom of Segu in the eighteenth and nineteenth century represents the rise and fall of many kingdoms in the pre-colonial Africa. Therefore, Segu indirectly represents the enduring struggles, triumphs, and defeats of people who are of African decent in numerous countries around the world....   [tags: Segu Maryse Conde]

Powerful Essays
1126 words (3.2 pages)

The Spread Of Islam : Islam And Trade Essay

- The spread of Islam in Africa had taken course from a number of factors, including external and internal forces. After my analyzing of the spread of Islam in Africa, I have gather three main themes that stuck out during the expansion of Islam: Islam and trade, the conversion conditions of Islam, and the economics/political development involving Islam. These three themes provide great insight on how Islam started to spread through out Africa. Through trade the culture and religion of Islam was spread to many different areas....   [tags: Islam, Africa, Muslim, West Africa]

Powerful Essays
1837 words (5.2 pages)