Islam and the Question of Reform: Critical Voices from Muslim Communities
1 Jan 2008
Rebecca L. Barlow
Reform, by definition, is not a complete break with tradition, but a determination by scholars, activists, politicians and critical thinkers to re-claim the tenets of their faith. Muslim communities have historically displayed a tendency to preserve the status quo. By contrast, the individuals and movements in Islam and the Question of Reform are determined-often at great personal risk-to push aside existing political and social elites and the historically accepted interpretations of Islam and its place in society. The perspectives examined in this volume avoid superficial or apologetic examinations of Islam's political and social role. Instead, they meticulously scrutinise the religion's public role, often questioning the validity of dogmas that have acted as tools of empowerment for existing elites for centuries.