Globalization and the Muslim World by Xm80sS


									Globalization and the
   Muslim World
     Prof. Mahmood Monshipouri
 Middle East and Islamic Studies—SFSU
           February 24, 2009
   Globalization is a thoroughly contested subject and
    there are competing definitions
   Roland Robertson (Univ. of Aberdeen):
    ―Globalization refers both to the compression of
    the world and the intensification of consciousness
    about the world as a whole.‖
   Technology- and economic-driven processes: facilitated
    by global capitalism, consumerism, transnational
    migration, online communications, and identity politics.
   Globalization is a set of contradictory and contingent
   Thomas Hylland Eriksen (Univ. of Oslo):
   Disembedding: distance is becoming irrelevant,
    relative, or at the very least less important (de-
   Acceleration (speed an important feature of
   Interconnectedness (transnational connections and
    information era  global symbols, events, solidarities)
   Re-embedding: concerns with local power and
    community integration, national and sub-national
    identity politics.
   Globalization does not create ―global persons.‖
   The disembedding forces of globalization are
    complemented by re-embedding projects seeking to
    retain or recreate a sense of continuity, security, and
   Identity politics—religious, ethnic, national, or
    regional—is a typical form of resistance to
   Paradoxically, identity politics insisting on the primacy of
    the local and unique tends to draw on globalized resources
    such as international NGOs and computer networks.
          Is There a ‘Glocal’ Way?
   Meshing the universal with the particular?
   In some societies, the freedom of the
    individual is seen as the highest value, while in
    others, the integrity of the family, which gives
    the individual security, is deemed more
   Human rights must be interpreted,
    contextualized, and sometimes prioritized in
    order to be useful.
           Views on Globalization
   Traditionalist: resistance to globalization; they
    see globalization as a new form of cultural
   Globalizers: Economic interdependence is
    inevitable. So is cultural change.
   Transformationalists: Culture flows are not
    simply one-way. States and cultures are not
    going away, but seeking a new way to
    accommodate changes without losing national
    features and cultural values.

   Islamic resurgence a reaction to defeats in wars,
    corrupt secular regimes, and disruptive
    modernization trends.
   Islamic piety as an alternative construction of
    modernity, cognizant of non-materialist
    dimensions of progress and their place in an
    ethical, Islamic social formation.
              The Rise of Islam
    Anti-colonialism
   Renunciation of the antiseptically secularizing
    tendencies of modernity
   Calling into question political and cultural life
    that are lacking in ethical or moral content.
   Anti-globalization largely in a cultural sense
                 Piety in Islam
   Piety as faith
   Piety as covenant
   Piety as a social movement
   Piety as a resistance to foreign intrusion
   Islam’s appeal also lies in being able to connect
    the faith, the covenant, and the mobilizing
    elements to produce powerful resistance to foreign
   The crucial dimension is not economic but social.
             Islamic Perspectives
   Traditional Islam: orthodox, non-modern, relying on
    Sunna and the holy book
   Neorevivalist (neofundamentalist) Islam: militant and
    radical Islam; resistance and revolutionary
   Pragmatists: accepting ―the other,‖ faces up to this
    challenge by reminding us of the eternal, but Herculean,
    task of balancing utility, with responsibility and justice.
   Secularists: Benefiting from its ―positive
    opportunities‖ in knowledge, science, and technology,
    without necessarily losing one’s cultural individuality:
    Arab-Islamic, Persian-Islamic, and Egyptian-Islamic
   Traditionalists: globalization is a form of cultural
    invasion. It undermines our distinct ―cultural
    personality.‖ It destroys our heritage and poses a threat
    to our ―authenticity,‖ ―beliefs,‖ and ―national identity.‖

   Islamic radicals: have been in fact strengthened by
    globalization. They benefit from an increase in the flow
    of information, speed of communication, and mobility
    more than any other political movements in the region.
            The Conflict Within
   James H. Mittelman (American Univ.,
    Washington, D.C.)
   The continuing struggles within the Muslim
    world: ―Resurgent Islamic movements project a
    vision of modernity that fuses an ethical
    dimension for establishing an alternative world
    order with a struggle for empowerment.‖
   ―These varied groups aim to construct an
    identity denied to them in a globalizing world.‖
    (1996: 240).
           Mutual Adjustments

   Pragmatic Islam: A democratizing and
    synthesizing Islam, reflecting influences from
    the bottom (grassroots and social movements),
    is better placed to respond to globalization.

   For the Western world, the task is to
    acknowledge the diversity of the Muslim world,
    and strive toward a solidarity based on mutual
    recognition and respect.
            Muslims in Europe
   There are 23 million Muslim immigrants in
   In Europe 33 and plus Russia: there will
    approximately 50 million Muslim immigrants
   France with 6 million and Germany with more
    than 3 million are host to the largest Muslim
   Islam has gone global through the new
    transnational identity and networks.
              Globalized Islam
   Olivier Roy: Globalized Islam has contributed to
    the sociological Westernization of Muslim
    immigrants, as many European Muslims seem to
    have multiple and overlapping identities.

   Peter Mandaville (George Mason Univ.):
   This is the case especially as second and third
    generation Muslim immigrants tend to have
    trans-local identity.
   Mandaville: Cyberspace has created a ―third
    space‖ for the younger generation of
   A growing number of Muslim immigrants,
    especially second and third generation Muslims,
    tend to discover identities of their own, which
    belong neither to their parent’s homeland nor to
    the country in which they reside–that is, ―in-
          Enlargement of Europe
   Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Islam are transnational
    religious traditions that each have their conception of
    European identity, European unity, and even of
    European modernity.
   Muslim have become permanent members of the
    European societies in large part because of the
    emerging demographic trends.
   Aging population of Europe poses a clear and present
    threat to economic growth of European countries.
               Globalization and
               Economic Rights
   Roy: migration to Europe has created a sizable
    underclass and jobless youth, many of whom
    were born and socialized in Western secular
   They tend to reject their minority status and feel
    utterly dejected.
   Elevating Muslim immigrants’ economic
    conditions is bound to have a moderating
    impact on their social and political attitudes.
   If not properly adopted, multiculturalism would only
    serve as a framework for the coexistence of separate
    cultures or groups.
   Assimilation is unlikely to work in European
    multicultural societies. That is an unrealistic
   Headscarf-Hijab issue: has become an empowering
    statement of individual and collective Islamic identity.
   Should women be able to choose?
          Identity-Rights Nexus
   Dominic McGoldrick (Univ. of Liverpool):
    Identity is an aspect of individual human
    dignity, autonomy, and self-determination.
   Identity is an aspect of religious freedom,
    expression, and privacy that ―allows
    individuals to function freely and to enjoy the
    possibility of self-definition and self-
              Women’s Voices
   Globalization has diffused certain effects and
    values. The women’s movements have taken
    advantage of such developments to advance
    gender equality.
   Women Living Under Muslim Laws
    (WLUML) is an international solidarity network
    that provides information, support, and a
    collective space for women whose lives are
    shaped, conditioned or governed by laws and
    customs said to derive from Islam.
   Integrationist vs. differentialist models
   France equates national identity with homogeneity of
    the nation. A central part of French national identity is
    premised on the idea that it is a secular state(Laïcité ).
   Britain: whether to give state funding to private Islamic
   France: female students wearing a headscarf in public
   Germany: whether to grant ―public corporation‖ status
    to Muslim minorities
   Muslim identities are multiple, fluid, and contentious,
    and the construction of identity is influenced by the
    various and complex ways in which local cultures and
    globalization interact.
   There will always be cultural resistance to globalization.
   Muslims face two challenges: (1) to find a balance
    between their traditions and modern standards and
    practices and (2) to determine whose conception of
    change and modernity should prevail?
   The struggle within the Muslim world rages on.

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