Contemporary Islam and the challenge of history by Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

By Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad

The monetary, social, political, army, and highbrow facets of the Muslims' predicament for heritage demonstrate the overall constitution in their notion of reality.

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Page xi PROLOGUE The Contemporary Arab Muslim's concern for the study of history is a part of his total search for dignity, 1 identity, and purpose. The impact of the power of the West has challenged to the core his concept of who he is and where his destiny lies. It has questioned his perception of the world and the totality of life; his faith in the adequacy of his norms and ideals has been eroded. The importance of developing a concept of history as a means of preserving Islam appears to be a nineteenth and twentieth-century phenomenon.

Dignity is appropriated from a glorious past where the community has provided the world with leadership in the intellectual, technological, artistic, and ethical fields among others. Thus Islam, which has provided the world with excellence, endows the Muslim with the ability to function in the modern world. As to the question of identity, there are various interpretations within the acculturating group, although they all emphasize the ability to be respected in terms and norms that are set by the West.

Where is its important hoped-for role? Where are its movements and its men, or those who claim they are its men? Where is the daring Islamic statement? Where are the noble Islamic positions? Where is the effective true existence, if there is for those who work for Islam a true effective role? Where is the impact of this existence on the official level? Where is the impact of this existence on the popular level? Where is the impact of this existence on the local and international level? Where, where is the impact of this existence?

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