Browsing by Subject "Muslims"

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  • Ygot-Riikonen, Maria Sheila (2004)
    Christian and Muslim conflict in Southern Philippines intensified during the last few decades although a shared history dates back 435 years ago. The government has so far failed to deliver genuine peace and stability to 22 million people in Mindanao suffering from poverty, displacement, and bloodshed. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the international community became aware of Islamic fundamentalist movements in Southeast Asia. The US government linked a Filipino Muslim group, Abu Sayyaf, to Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, justifying the staging in Mindanao of what US Pres. George Bush said as the second largest 'war against terrorism' after Afghanistan. Whatever impact terrorist acts may have from Basilan to Manhattan, peace research is more urgent and significant than ever. This study looks at the causes of violence amongst Christian and Muslim Filipinos and consequently explores areas for peace by asking: "What are the reasons of conflict? Who are the actors and agenda-setters? How can a local conflict become linked to international terrorism? What are the ways and means of effective and immediate conflict resolution in Mindanao?" To acquire firsthand insight, in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted in the Philippines in June-October 2002 using a 60-day participant observation and the triangulation method for data gathering. Through snowball sampling, talks with different groups (government, military, rebels, academics, and NGOs) gave comprehensive and balanced analyses. Second, a quantitative survey of 400 youth respondents gave different views from Muslim and Christian perspectives, especially on concepts of alienation, animosity, and political participation. Finally, international newspaper reports, journals, and local publications were cautiously used as primary sources. Results showed contradictory views on the causes of conflict, whether economic, socio-political, or religious, depending on individuals and groups. Respondents said aggression was caused by economic neglect, frustration with the government, and lack of socio-political influence. Solutions offered are poverty alleviation, tolerance of socio-cultural diversity, strong leadership, and recognition of international peace agreements. Other means of conflict resolution involve empowering citizens, creating a balance of forces, channeling resources at the grassroots level, and cultivating a culture of peace.
  • Sironen, Sophia Carita (2007)
    The research subjects of this study are the Arab representations of the West. The aim is to record the competing views of Arab individuals and intellectuals in order to generate some understanding about the Arab attitudes towards the West. Also, a critical approach is brought by comparing the Arab representations with the neo-Orientalist theses, that presented Muslim representations of the West as rejecting, aggressive and anti-Western. The analysis is carried out from the viewpoint of social representations, inspired by Serge Moscovici. The method used is discourse analysis that unravels the similarities and differences between the representations to construct a meta-narrative on the Arab Muslim discourse about the West and Westerners. The second phase of the analysis consist of the comparison of the Arab Muslim representations with the neo-orientalist claims. The study is a meta research gathering former studies. The corpus consists of two kinds of data: 1) interviews carried out among different social groups in Egypt, Syria and Morocco; and 2) discourses from secondary sources of prominent Arab intellectuals. Of those figures, within the intellectual movements, that have influenced the Arab intellectual history since early 1820s, I present Rifa al-Tahtawi, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad ‘Abduh, Taha Hussein, Sayyid Qutb, Michel ‘Aflaq, Ayatollah Khomeini, Osama bin Laden, Samir Amin, Mohamed A. Jabiri. From this study focusing on Arabs, different patterns of representing the West can be outlined. The study attests that among the studied, there is no exclusive evidence of rejecting attitude towards the West. This result differs from the assumptions presented by leading scholars Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, and Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit, and it highlights the fact that representations of the West frequently alter among Arab actors, whether religious or secular.
  • Chaichee, Sofia H. (2007)
    The purpose of the research is to further explain the complex nature of the current development policy initiative of human rights-based approach to development cooperation (HRBA). The questions, such as, why were the human rights incorporated into the Western development aid strategies and what do they stand for, are addressed. Moreover, the aim is to examine the development aid policy's possible beneficial effects on the Mozambican Muslim community. In the late 1980's, the former economic development cooperation policies underwent a shift towards development strategies of political conditionality. From that time onwards, development has been conceived as incorporating elements of 'social and political dimensions of poverty reduction', aside from solely focusing on economic variables. Presently, the development aid policies that were originally implemented under poverty reduction strategies have yet evolved and the new wave of including a softer approach to development policies can be further reinterpreted as the human rights-based policies to development (HRBA). Within the chapters of this research, policies by the entities of European Union, World Bank and UNDP describe the concept of HRBA in a different setting of words and with differing development objectives. However, the HRBA policies by the development agencies, albeit varied, base the normativity of the concept on the 'universality claim' of human rights and its legitimacy on the human rights laws. The research sets to point out, how the language employed by the development agencies for the policies of HRBA to development is vague and no clear-cut definition is offered to its name. The wide-ranging underpinnings on human rights and development, in addition to the concepts introduced by the development cooperation agencies, are by no means analogous and of corresponding thinking. Moreover, while conducting the research it became apparent that since human rights are based on ethical and moral values, they are rather contingent and contextual than universal and absolute. Thus, the policies of HRBA may only deliver so much of its claimed promise. This notion, especially, was examined through a closer exploration of human rights and development arguments within the framework of the Islamic community in Mozambique.
  • Malmirinta, Lotta (Helsingfors universitet, 2017)
    This master’s thesis explores the development of religious interpretation among Finnish women who have converted to Islam and examines whether this development can be analyzed by dividing it into different stages. Another topic of interest in this work is how the diverse interpretations of Islam that converts embrace reflect the development of Finnish Islam in general. The theoretical premise is Islam researcher Anne Sofie Roald’s theory on the process of religious development that converts go through. The theory categorizes the post-conversion process in four stages: love/zealotry, disappointment, maturity/acceptance, and secularization. The applicability of this theory is examined with the methods of qualitative content analysis by mirroring it to the research data that consists of semi-structured interviews with seven Finnish Muslim convert women. The interviews focus on the women’s ideas on how their lives and interpretations of religion have changed after conversion, how they interpret Islam today and what the meaning of Islam is for their lives from a broader perspective. Other themes discussed in the interviews are gender roles and the impact that being Finnish and being Muslim have on one another. Based on the research data there are considerable differences in the religious interpretations of the converts, as the informants represent different theological and interpretational currents within Islam. Based on the data the interpretations of Islam can be roughly divided to conservative and liberal. Whether or not the informants feel that they are a part of the Finnish Muslim community follows this line of division as well. The interview data paints a rather conservative picture of the Finnish Muslim community, for the more liberal converts feel that it is difficult for them to find a place in it for their interpretations. Along with the issue of belonging to the Finnish Muslim community, gender roles and the position of women emerge as themes that divide the informants. Regardless of the different interpretative emphases, there are many things that unite the women in their experience of Islam, such as the idea of the importance of practicing Islam, a personal relationship with God and having faith in the power of this relationship to carry them through hardships. According to the research data, Islamophobia has increased in Finland in the past years. Despite this, ‘Finnish’ and ‘Muslim’ do not appear as mutually exclusive identities to the informants, but rather the women see parallels between them. A recurring theme in many interviews is the inability of born Muslims to separate between their culture and Islam. The process theory that categorizes the post-conversion religious development of Muslim converts into four different stages turns out to be a useful tool for analysis, but it also becomes subject to criticism. When brought under closer scrutiny the theory appears to suggest that secularization is an inevitable result of religious development. The findings of this research do not support such a conception. An alternative process model based on the research data of this study is proposed in the conclusions, consisting of three post-conversion stages: commitment to Islam, disappointment and the reaction to that disappointment, whether that means a renewed commitment to a certain interpretation of Islam or a widening of the convert’s perspective that leads to exploring different ideas of what it means to be Muslim.
  • Tiilikainen, Marja; Al-Sharmani, Mulki; Mustasaari, Sanna (Routledge, 2019)
    This book examines the needs, aspirations, strategies, and challenges of transnational Muslim migrants in Europe with regard to family practices such as marriage, divorce, and parenting. Critically re-conceptualizing ‘wellbeing’ and unpacking its multiple dimensions in the context of Muslim families, it investigates how migrants make sense of and draw on different norms, laws, and regimes of knowledge as they navigate different aspects of family relations and life in a transnational social space. With attention to issues such as registration of marriage, civil versus religious marriage, spousal roles and rights, polygamy, parenting, child wellbeing, and everyday security, the authors offer national and comparative case studies of Muslim families from different parts of the world, covering different family bonds and relations, within both extended and nuclear families. Based on empirical research in the Nordic region and further afield, this volume affords a more complete understanding of the practices of transnational migrant families, as well as the processes through which family relations and rights are negotiated between family members and with state institutions and laws, whilst contributing to the growing literature on migrant wellbeing. As such, it will appeal to scholars of sociology and social policy with interests in migration and transnational communities, wellbeing, and the family.