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On the occasion of the Meeting of Cultural Centers of India organized by the Pontifical Council for Cultures, Rome under the presidency of His Eminence Paul Cardinal Poupard

ISLAM And Globalisation

Smt. Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali


One of the enduring legacies of the last century is that it has compelled people of the world to begin seeing themselves as members of a single human race and the earth a common homeland. Despite continuous conflicts, violence and war that darken the horizon, people. as world citizens have come close to realizing that fact that we are all products of cross fertilization between and among civilizations. Our inter and intra dependence cannot be ignored.

Tragically. Organized religion, whose very essence entails service to the cause of brotherhood and peace, behaves all too frequently as one of the most formidable obstacles in the path: to cite a particular painful fact, it has long lent its credibility to sectarian exclusivity instead of universality that is its governing principle.

Such observations are less of an indictment of organized religion than a reminder of the unique power it represents. When it has been faithful to the spirit and example of the transcendent personalities who gave the world its great belief systems. it has awakened in whole populations its unique dimensions: the capacity to love, to forgive, to create, to dare greatly. to harmonize, to transcend across barriers of ethnicity and build bridges. Unquestionably, the seminal force in the civilizing of human nature has been the influence of the sublime message from the Divine that extends back to the dawn of history.

Today religion faces the challenge of globalization. Globalization by definition, temperament and character rests upon certain interconnected features: communications. Media. Multinationals: also a sense of moving forward. Paradoxically it also signifies ravaging the planet in search of resources, triumph of capitalism, dislocation and despair. As Kofi Annan points out: "Millions of people around the world experience globalization not as an agent of progress but as a disruptive force, almost hurricane like in its ability to destroy lives, jobs and traditions". Globalization further establishes links between the disintegration of society on the one hand and excessive group loyalties on the other.

 The question often asked is, what is Islam's place within a globalized world? Several established western scholars tend to characterize the religion's incapacity to adapt itself within a globalized society. Since. They argue. by its very nature Islam opposes globalization and the democratic, secular values it entails. However this paper endeavors to explore a multidimensional rather than a polemic approach on the. Subject of Islam and globalization It takes the view that far from being incompatible with it, Islam will have its place in the globalizing world.



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