What’s inside Muslim minds? A Survey

Daily Times Pakistan: Ishtiaq Ahmad: Multiple meanings and interpretations of Islam are possible. The two main interpretative approaches are those of the apologists who strive to reconcile Islam with modernity and the Islamists who fiercely oppose it.

John Locke famously postulated that the human mind is a tabula rasa…a clean slate… with nothing written on it. Whatever is fed to the human mind becomes its frame of reference and a source of values and beliefs. Hence what is in the mind is what has gone into it. Distinguished Pakistani sociologist Professor Emeritus Riaz Hassan has undertaken one of the most extensive studies of the religious consciousness of Muslims: Inside the Muslim Minds (Melbourne University Press, 2008). It has recently been published under the title Muslim Zehn from Lahore (Mashaal Books, February 2012).It covers seven countries — Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkey — and is based on the evidence of 6,390 Muslim respondents. The research was conducted in cooperation with research institutes in the respective countries. The themes include issues of personal piety, conscience, philanthropy and social justice, veiling, blasphemy, hudood laws, jihad, political order and religious institutions, globalisation and the Islamic ummah, Islam and civil society, mutual suspicions between Muslims and the West.

 

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