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Being Muslim in South AsiaDiversity and Daily Life$
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Robin Jeffrey and Sen Ronojoy

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092063

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092063.001.0001

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Islam and Modernity in South Asia

Islam and Modernity in South Asia

Chapter:
(p.1) Chapter One Islam and Modernity in South Asia
Source:
Being Muslim in South Asia
Author(s):

Muhammad Khalid Masud

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092063.003.0001

The prevailing grand narrative of Islam and modernity overlooks the phenomenon of non-Western modernity. It refuses to recognize continuing trends of reconciliations, self-criticism, and accommodation in Muslim thought, especially in South Asia. This chapter sets out to remedy some of these misunderstandings. From 1857 when the Raj introduced its ‘modernity project’ in India, the narrative of modernity changed. Hindu and Muslim civilizations were presented as indulging in casuistry, mythologies, and treacherous political ideas. Muslims were divided into puritan and nominal. The modernity project aimed at civilizing the natives. The ‘Western impact’ defined modernity as Westernism. It generated among Indian Muslims a cultural resistance to modernity. Religious groups began organizing themselves into political parties that stood for conservatism that was justified as denunciation of colonialism and imperialism. Eventually this conflict led to fundamentalist and extremist religious trends in the twentieth century.

Keywords:   modernity, religious reform, fundamentalism, self-criticism, Islam, Jamaluddin Afghani, Syed Ahmed Khan

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