Ethical questions in Western Islamic experience

Authored by: Francesca Forte

Routledge Handbook of Islam in the West

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  September  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415691321
eBook ISBN: 9781315794273
Adobe ISBN: 9781317744023


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In this contribution I focus on the current debate on fundamental ethical questions within the Islamic minorities of the United States of America. As the Islamic presence in the United States is extremely diverse and plural, both in ethnic and religious terms, and as it is a relatively old one (a fair chunk of the African American community chose Islam when they were able to self-determine their religious affiliation), the protagonists involved have to be clearly defined. In this context, getting a unitary picture may prove difficult. Besides, there is a problem of representation (who speaks on behalf of whom?). On the other hand, we are witnessing a unique workshop on coexistence and cultural mediation: in the USA, Muslims have to mediate between different positions and to tackle issues which are often absent in the public debate of many Muslim majority countries, particularly religious pluralism, tolerance and respect for different ways of living one’s faith and for minority groups, matters of gender in the broadest sense of the word – not only rights of women but also of believers with a different sexual orientation – the human rights agenda, etc.

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