A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim by Emmanuel Todd, Youssef Courbage

By Emmanuel Todd, Youssef Courbage

We are advised that Western/Christian and Muslim/Arab civilizations are heading in the direction of inevitable clash. The demographics of the West stay gradual, whereas the inhabitants of the Muslim global explodes, widening the cultural hole and all yet making certain the outbreak of battle. Leaving apart the media's sound and fury in this factor, measured research exhibits one other fact taking form: rapprochement among those civilizations, making the most of a common circulation with roots within the Enlightenment.

The historic and geographical sweep of this publication discredits the thought of a particular Islamic demography. the diversity of fertility between Muslim ladies, for instance, is as diverse as spiritual habit between Muslims regularly. even if agnostics, fundamentalist Salafis, or al-Qaeda activists, Muslims are a various crew that end up the diversity and individuality of Islam. Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd reflect on assorted levels of literacy, patriarchy, and shielding reactions between minority Muslim populations, underscoring the unfold of huge secularization during the Arab and Muslim international.

In this regard, they argue, there's little or no to tell apart the evolution of Islam from the historical past of Christianity, specifically with Muslims now coming into an international modernity. delicate to demographic variables and their mirrored image of non-public and social truths, Courbage and Todd upend a perilous meme: that we are living in a fractured global just about challenge, being affected by a deadly disease of closed cultures and minds made varied by way of religion.

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First is the fixation on women’s status. The obsession about the headscarf and modesty indicates the anxiety of populations whose patrilineal principle has been disturbed by increased female education and by contraception. The other is the temporary revival of religious feeling, which contrasts sharply with the anticlericalism of the French Revolution and the militant atheism of the Russian and Chinese revolutions. In Arab countries and in Iran, modernization has secreted an egalitarian and revolutionary Islamic ideology, but it is an ideology that also includes exaltation of the image of God.

Indb 24 CRISES OF TRANSITION 2/14/11 9:21:34 AM equality of prospects for salvation, does not have as a postulate the idea of a universal man. Transition crises can also take on openly inegalitarian and ethnocentric forms, as the examples of Germany, Japan, and Rwanda demonstrate. The notion of transition crisis thus leaves open the question of ideological content, the values violently asserted by disoriented populations. Why do some proclaim equality and the nonexistence of God, others accept God and inequality, and still others, God and equality?

Significant differences can be detected among countries in the central Arab zone. 5 percent in Lattakia. Directly to the south in Lebanon, matrilocalism rates reach around 10 percent. But in the provinces of the Syrian interior, such as Aleppo, Rakka, Derra, Hassakeh, and Eir el-Zor, the level of matrilocalism falls below 1 percent, a clear sign of patrilineal obsession. Data are incomplete, but it seems that the intensity of patrilineal sentiment declines as one moves away from the heart of the Arab world.

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