Who Owns Islam?

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The issue of Islam and Islamic movements is a thorny one which has witnessed widespread debate since the early 1980s over whether these movements and their branches represent the true face of Islam. Some of these movements acknowledge that they are not the spokesmen of Islam, while the majority of them tend to represent themselves as the mouthpieces of the Islamic faith. They believe that all their proselyting embodies the "true religion" whereas other movements are renegades who do not possess the "correct understanding of Islam".

 

This perception is not limited to fundamentalist "Salafi" movements and their vision of the "purity of faith", or the Muslim Brotherhood rhetoric about "Islam's inclusiveness and its dialectic of religion and state, faith and sharia". It is not also limited to Al-Qaeda's perception of Islam which excommunicates everyone and makes enemies with rulers, regimes and their supporters. There are also the extremist Excommunication and Migration Group and the moderate Preaching and Proselyting Group.

 

Things have been confused and some Islamic movements went as far as claiming the right to represent Islam according to their own visions, approaches and exclusive religious discourse. Saudi Islamic thinker Sheikh Salma n Ben Fahd al-Awda wrote an article on "Islam and Islamic movements" to clear some of the misunderstanding. He asserted that Islam is much more comprehensive than the perceptions of those Islamic movements and groups. His article stirred wide debate among prominent figures of those groups. Some of them agreed with Sheikh Salman and others accused him of hypocrisy and that he was trying to "appease" the ruling regimes at the expense of the Islamic movement.

 

Al-Majalla Magazine has opened a debate on "Islam and Islamic movements" where it hosted intellectuals with various visions. So let's navigate through what they've got say on this subject-matter.


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