20 August 2014
Living as we do at a time when violent sectarian currents seem to be growing stronger among most religious communities across the world, there is a need to revisit the idea of moderation, and to locate it in the context of real-life political struggles.
Years ago I penned a short monograph entitled New Voices Of Islam while working at an institute in Leiden, the Netherlands. The work comprised half a dozen interviews with moderate and progressive thinkers from across the Muslim world, most of them academics and activists, who were promoting religion as a progressive force of change and social evolution.
Though they and I were never really comfortable with the label “moderate”, they had, by then, come to be known as such. But anyone who thinks that being a “moderate” believer means living an easy, relaxed, cushy life should think again: Of the six intellectuals I interviewed, all of them had been the victims of death threats, abuse and attacks.
… The writer is an associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
GPO / IDSS / RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 20/08/2014