Can Islam and Modernity be Reconciled?

July 2009
Insight Turkey;2009, Vol. 11 Issue 3, p1
Academic Journal
Is Islam particularly inimical to modernity, and the two are never to be reconciled? Many westerners and Muslims alike would argue that this is the case. Yet the more pertinent question; is religion in general and modernity incompatible and irreconcilable? There is a basic tension between all religions which rely on revelation as the primary source of knowledge and on God as the source of law and ethics, and modernity which privileges reason as the main source of knowledge and posits the source of law and ethics in human beings. An objective and unbiased reading of Islam shows that it is no more inimical to modernity than any other religion. Rather some of its aspects, including its emphasis on the importance of reason, its injunction that there is no compulsion in faith, and its frequent reference to people and their rights makes a reconciliation between Islam and modernity possible.


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