May 2002

NI (No.345)


9 Resistance and reform
What's gone wrong? Why has Islam and its relation with the West become so fraught with violence and mistrust? Ziauddin Sardar takes a critical look at the current state of one of the world's great faiths and charts a way out of a bloody impasse.

10 Key moments of Islamic civilization
Illustrated by Zafar Malik.

14 Islam: the basics

16 A'ishah's legacy
Amina Wadud seeks women's rights in Islam - and finds them in the Qur'an.


20 Do Muslims deserve democracy?
Democratic regimes are thin on the ground in the Muslim world. Abdelwahab El-Affendi explores the reasons why.

22 Wilful imaginings
Wild, barbaric, corrupt, fanatic and effete. Merryl Wyn Davies looks at the damage done by persistent Western images of Islam.

24 Good company
Islamic economics and ethical investment have much in common, argues M Iqbal Asaria.

26 Building bridges
Muslims have always travelled and been migrants. Ehsan Masood sees in the past lessons for today.

28 Action!
Books, websites and organizations.

-Regular Features-

2 Letters

4 Southern Exposure
Bulletholes in Iran, photographed by Bahman Jalail.

5 View from the South
How can Africa transcend its ethnic inheritance? asks Ike Orguine.

6 Currents
Indymedia resistance in Zimbabwe; Ecuadorian schoolchildren fight the oil pipeline; US cyber-waste dumped in Asia.
PLUS: Word Corner - Rubber.
PLUS: Seriously

29 Worldbeaters
The NI marks the Queen's Golden Jubilee with a profile that neglects to tug a forelock.

30 Big Bad World
PLUS: NI Prize Crossword

31 Mixed Media

34 Essay - Loving my land, dying inside
Poems on Malaysia by Anushka Anastasia Solomon.

36 Country Profile - Kyrgyzstan

NI-Japan (No.33)


Historically Islam has had a bad image in the west and in the minds of many people, September 11 only served to justify their view that Islam is a violent, backward religion.

How did Islam come to be viewed like this? And what reforms are necessary so that Islam can move towards what Muhammad described as it's main characteristics: modesty and gentleness? Muslims from around the world give their views and ideas...

<This month's main theme article>
-Translation of "Resistance and reform" (p9-13)

-Translation of "Islam: the basics" (p14-15)

<Reporting from Japan>
What is Islam to you? - some voices of people in Japan.

There are many images of Islam and Muslims to be found in Japan. The media tends to portray mainly negative ones, associated with terrorism, fanaticism, discrimination against women and so on. Especially for a basically non-religious people like the Japanese, it's sometimes very hard to understand Islam at any level, let a;one a positive one, Moreover, the different opinions and diversity within Islam make it impossible to define in one simple explanation. This month we take a random sample of voices --- a writer from Osaka, an activist/scholar, a Turkish importer living in Tokyo and a musician share their opinions and experiences of Islam.

My sister married a Muslimby Saiki Yumi

Revolution and Friendship by Kubota Tosaku

Islam in Tunisia - the importance of the moment by Tunemi Yuji

Religion that is reflected in daily life by Mohammad Ali Sadat Rezaei

<Contact Points>
Study Islam, study tour, Arab music, Turkish restaurant, and website information

<Country Profile>
-Translation of "Country Profile - Kyrgyzstan" (p36)

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