In a Western world suddenly acutely interested in Islam, one question has been repeatedly heard above the din: where are the Muslim reformers? With this ambitious volume, Tariq Ramadan firmly establishes himself as one of Europe's leading thinkers and one of Islam's most innovative and important voices.
As the number of Muslims living in the West grows, the question of what it means to be a Western Muslim becomes increasingly important to the futures of both Islam and the West. While the media are focused on radical Islam, Ramadan claims, a silent revolution is sweeping Islamic communities in the West, as Muslims actively seek ways to live in harmony with their faith within a Western context. French, English, German, and American Muslims--women as well as men--are reshaping their religion into one that is faithful to the principles of Islam, dressed in European and American cultures, and definitively rooted in Western societies.
Ramadan's goal is to create an independent Western Islam, anchored not in the traditions of Islamic countries but in the cultural reality of the West. He begins by offering a fresh reading of Islamic sources, interpreting them for a Western context and demonstrating how a new understanding of universal Islamic principles can open the door to integration into Western societies. He then shows how these principles can be put to practical use. Ramadan contends that Muslims can-indeed must-be faithful to their principles while participating fully in the civic life of Western secular societies. Grounded in scholarship and bold in its aims, Western Muslims and the Future of Islam offers a striking vision of a new Muslim Identity, one which rejects once and for all the idea that Islam must be defined in opposition to the West.
"In the spirit of interfaith dialogue, which Ramadan embraces, one might as well describe this book as a splendid practical catechism for Muslims in the West. There is much food for thought in it as well for non-Muslim majorities in the West and Muslim majorities in the Middle East. The book is at its best when it describes and interprets the recent explosion of accusations of witchcraft and other superstitions in the region and links them to the exercise of political power." --Foreign Affairs
Tariq Ramadan was formerly Professor of Philosophy at the College of Geneva and Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He is the author of numerous books, including To Be a European Muslim. In 2000 he was named one of Time's 100 most important innovators for the 21st century.