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good reads on islam



Welcome to islamicate. The term comes from Marshall Hodgson, historian, who defined Islamicate as something that "...would refer not directly to the religion, Islam, itself, but to the social and cultural complex historically associated with Islam and the Muslims, both among Muslims themselves and even when found among non-Muslims."(Venture of Islam, v. 1, p. 59)

We are here to comment upon the culture and society, which affects Muslims, and that are affected by Muslims. We want to make informed, critical commentary. Part of the tradition of the Islamic world-view is intellectual engagement with the faith and the world, and we believe this tradition to be waning. We don't want to be labeled as either "progressive," or "conservatives;" these labels are too constraining and imply a deviance from an acceptable norm of Islamic thought. We hold that there is not a normative Islamic thought, but rather, a spectrum of ideas and thoughts that are in constant engagement with one another. We would like to engage in this fluid process and to encourage people to extend the arguments, as well as to disagree with the positions taken amongst members and visitors.

The world around us is changing quickly, is deeply inter-connected, and, as a result there are important issues confronting Muslims and Muslim cultures. In many instances, we seek the quick answers to these challenges, ignoring over 1400 years of history, either in ignorance or for ease. History should not act as a limiting factor to our thought, but as an enriching factor, and it should help us realize that much that we think is new, has in fact been the subject of vigorous discussion and debate throughout Islamic history.

There are more and more websites that wish to discuss the nature of the modern Islamic world, and the state of Muslims today - we link to some of them. We support this, it shows that public debate is coming back to the forefront. We also hope you find something unique enough about our approach that you keep coming back here.