Colonialism, Islamic Reformers, and the Late Ottoman Period

The first half of the twentieth century was a dark time for Muslims. The scientific and technical dominance of the Europeans allowed them to strengthen their already tight stranglehold over Muslims lands. This was especially true in North Africa and the Levant, where Britain and France, and to a lesser extent, Italy, competed for influence…There were men and women, as there always are, who resisted this occupation of their lands with whatever means they had at their disposal. Among these was a certain Druze Prince named Shakib Arslan, an eminent Islamic thinker and reformer.  Continue reading Colonialism, Islamic Reformers, and the Late Ottoman Period

Can European Muslims Resist Assimilation?

The Charter of Principles of French Islam declares the religion to be compatible with France’s particular brand of secularism, laïcité, and its attendant values; in other words, it represents the subjugated and heavily privatised form of the religion that President Macron wishes to see. In January, a close advisor to Macron warned that Muslim organizations which refused to sign the charter would “see their operations inspected very, very closely by our services.”[1] The French Republic cannot tolerate Muslim difference: it aims only to homogenize and assimilate. Continue reading Can European Muslims Resist Assimilation?