22 December 2015
The world is now suffering from the excesses of an ideologically unipolar Sunni-Islamic world that is largely characterised by an intolerant, exclusive and divisive religious orientation that has subtly influenced a majority of global Muslims since the oil boom years of the 1970s.
There are two countries with sizeable Muslim populations that can provide much needed balance to this monolithic Muslim worldview: Turkey and China. They can counter the perverted understanding of Islam that terrorist groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Boko Haram used to justify the killing or brutal torture of non-believers, women and Muslims who did not support them.
Turkey and China have strong Islamic traditions that have given rise to a religious life based on tolerance, inclusivity, adaptability and contributiveness. Given their current economic and political clout, they are well-placed to create an ideologically bipolar Sunni-Islamic world that can help global Muslims embark on a path of moderation and development to reclaim its pride of place in the world.
… The writer is Head, Studies in Inter-Religious Relations in Plural Societies Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University.
SRP / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/12/2015