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Book: Reformation and Development in the Muslim World

This book explores how the recent development of Muslim countries as a group has fallen far short of non-Muslim countries, which, some have concluded, may be a result of Islamic teachings.

The authors examine Muslim countries over time, viewing their progression on the Islamicity scale. They assess why some countries have done better than others, and to derive useful policy recommendations to improve political, social, human, governance and economic performance.

The Golden Age of Islam was the time when the Muslim community produced great physicians, scientists, philosophers and poets, with momentous advances in medicine, science, arts and commerce that brought Europe out of the Dark Ages and changed the course of history for the better. While most historians bracket this period between the 632 and 1258, others suggest that the Golden Age of Muslim thinkers and inventors went well beyond this date and up to even the eighteenth century. Regardless of the length of the period, the rich and fascinating history is today but a distant memory. Today, most humans around the world sec little evidence of this rich history in their own day-to-day lives and much less so in the Muslim World from afar. For us, Islam was at its peak during the life of the Prophet Mohammad (sawa); soon after his death, the helm of the religion, and in turn its practice, was hijacked by corrupt rulers and their courtiers; and what we see in the Muslim World today is the result of a long period of divergence between the teachings of the Qur’an (and its interpretation by the Prophet) and its practice by Muslims in the Muslim World. The character and state of the Muslim World of the twenty-first century has little resemblance to the vision of the Qur’an and its interpretation and implementation by the Prophet. Most recently, since 9/11, Islam has been viewed in an even more negative light, a negative light that grows exponentially with every terrorist attack in the West and with reports and pictures of Muslims killing Muslims in terrorist warfare, civil conflicts, and wars. Populist parties and politicians are gaining supporters and ground in Europe and North America by touting their Islamophobia and backing policies that prohibit Muslim immigration and refugees, and may go even further in the future by requiring special registration of all Muslims. In the West, the words Islam and Muslim have become feared and are invariably associated with terrorism, other horrific acts, and backwardness. News headlines portray Muslims as zealots bent on fighting Christians and the West. Westerners show little understanding of what Islam preaches as the teachings of Islam have become distorted, resulting in an ever-growing divide between East and West. All the while the fundamental Islamic principles derived from the Qur’an and their interpretation and practice by the Prophet Mohammad (sawa) are rarely explained. At their core, these teachings are the Unity of Allah’s Creation, the Divine gift of freedom to all humanity, love, peace, and social justice, as discussed in more detail in Chap. 2. Yet the image of Muslims (and of Islamic teachings) in the non-Muslim World is that of terrorists, jihad, backwardness, dictatorships, corruption, and injustice. Frankly, we can-not blame some of these attributions when they are associated with some Muslims, as devout Muslims also see a failure of Muslim communities and their governments (rulers) to follow the rules that arc foundational to a flourishing Muslim community. Instead, what we sec in much of the Muslim World has little, if anything, to do with Islam and what Islam preaches.

A quick glance across the Muslim World does not convey a pretty picture. Most Muslim rulers are oppressive, corrupt, and unjust. While Muslims must take the ultimate blame for not holding their rulers accountable and for the scaffolding and landscape of their communities, the West should also recognize its complicity in backing some of the same rulers and propping up their oppressive rule. Since 2011, we have witnessed the horrific fruit of decades and centuries of illegitimate rule. Bashar al-Assad has been embroiled in a civil war in Syria, with fall-out that is our generation’s ultimate breakdown of humanity. Since the conflict began in 2011, the death toll by the end of 2016 was approaching 500,000 and with more than a million injured and over 12 million Syrians displaced from their homes. Simultaneously we witnessed the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” against other leaders who had established decades of unjust and corrupt rule, including those against Tunisian Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Libyan Muammar Gadhafi, the Al-Khalifas of Bahrain, and the Egyptian Hosni Mubarak….

About the Authors

Hossein Askari is Iran Professor of International Business and International Affairs, George Washington University, USA.

Hossein Mohammadkhan is Business Analyst at Astegic Inc., Virginia, USA.

Liza Mydin served as Vice President of Compliance at Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia and was part of the Global Islamic Finance advisory team at Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction

Islamic Teachings and Institutional Structure

Islamicity Indices and Institutional Assessment

The Broad Results

Muslim Country Indices and Attribution

Islamicity Indices as the Benchmark for Reforms in the Muslim World

Support from the Great Powers

Muslims as Ambassadors in Foreign Lands

Conclusion

Bibliographic Information

Title: Reformation and Development in the Muslim World

Author(s): Hossein Mohammadkhan, Hossein Askari and Liza Mydin

Publisher: ‎ Palgrave Macmillan;

 Language: English

Length: 194 pages

ISBN:  978-3319858067

Pub. Date: 2017

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About Ali Teymoori

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