A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim by Emmanuel Todd, Youssef Courbage

By Emmanuel Todd, Youssef Courbage

We are informed that Western/Christian and Muslim/Arab civilizations are heading in the direction of inevitable clash. The demographics of the West stay gradual, whereas the inhabitants of the Muslim international explodes, widening the cultural hole and all yet ensuring the outbreak of struggle. Leaving apart the media's sound and fury in this factor, measured research exhibits one other truth taking form: rapprochement among those civilizations, making the most of a common circulation with roots within the Enlightenment.

The historic and geographical sweep of this publication discredits the inspiration of a selected Islamic demography. the variety of fertility between Muslim girls, for instance, is as different as spiritual habit between Muslims often. even if agnostics, fundamentalist Salafis, or al-Qaeda activists, Muslims are a various team that turn out the diversity and individuality of Islam. Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd think about varied levels of literacy, patriarchy, and shielding reactions between minority Muslim populations, underscoring the unfold of huge secularization in the course of the Arab and Muslim global.

In this regard, they argue, there's little or no to tell apart the evolution of Islam from the historical past of Christianity, specifically with Muslims now coming into an international modernity. delicate to demographic variables and their mirrored image of private and social truths, Courbage and Todd upend a perilous meme: that we are living in a fractured global with regards to difficulty, suffering from a virulent disease of closed cultures and minds made diversified through religion.

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The underlying English ideology is thus liberal and nonegalitarian: Brothers are different, as are men and peoples. The absence of inegalitarianism, strictly speaking. prevented the emergence in England and the Anglo-Saxon world in general of violent and absolute inegalitarian doctrines in the transition period. Islam is one of the major universalist religions. It is therefore not surprising to find egalitarian laws of inheritance in the countries where it is the dominant religion. But the rule is not absolute, and countries such as Maylasia and Indonesia have adopted inheritance rules as hazy as those in England.

In some countries, the overall level has recently declined significantly. 5 percent; and in Algeria from 29 to 22 percent. 7 percent between 1992 and 1997. But Yemen is the least advanced country in the Arab world, and its demographic transition has scarcely begun. The Shock of Modernization The traditional Arab, Iranian, or Pakistani family is patrilineal, patrilocal, and endogamous. It is a system that has great power to integrate individuals, probably the most powerful on the planet. It is therefore experiencing with particular violence the shock of a modernity that has shaken authority relations.

Around 1770, fertility began to decline in the small towns of northern France. And 1789 witnessed the onset of the ideological and political crisis that was to last until the stabilization of the Third Republic. Russia offers an analogous sequence combining literacy, contraception, and revolution. indb 18 CRISES OF TRANSITION 2/14/11 9:21:33 AM tion was crossed in 1900, and the collapse of the Tsarist regime followed in 1917. The elimination of illiteracy among the majority of women seemed to open the way not only to a decline in fertility, which began around 1920, but to a revolutionary resurgence, even more deadly than the October Revolution and the ensuing civil war: Stalinism.

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