By Deborah Amos

ISBN-10: 1586488546

ISBN-13: 9781586488543

Thousands of Sunni Muslims displaced or exiled by way of the clash in Iraq have unfold around the heart East, unbalancing that delicate area. From Amman to Beirut and Damascus, Deborah Amos follows the influence of 1 of the good migrations of recent times.

The background of the center East tells us that one of many maximum difficulties of the final 40 years has been that of a displaced inhabitants, angered through their lack of ability to soundly go back domestic and resume possession in their property—as they see it. Now, the trend has been repeated. a brand new inhabitants of exiles, as huge because the Palestinians, has been created.

this actual displacement stirs up the historical clash among Sunni and Shia. extra major even than the production of colonial country states a century in the past, the alienation of the Sunni heart category has the potential to reason resounding resentments around the sector for generations to come back.

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However, such political considerations do not render irrelevant the universal spirit inherent in the Ismaili philosophy guiding the Fatimids. Rather, the dictates of political pragmatism and the tenets of theology happened to dovetail quite neatly: tolerance was not just good politics, it was IBT045 - Spirit of Tolerance 21/12/11 11:35 Page 43 The Spirit of Tolerance in Islam 43 also sound theology. Trying to determine which came first is not as important as acknowledging that the spirit of tolerance penetrated the entire political and social domain within which policies were to be decided upon and implemented.

God is greater and wider than to be confined to one particular creed to the exclusion of others. ’49 The influence of Ibn al-ʿArabī’s universalism upon Akbar’s religious attitudes and policies cannot be denied. But one should not conclude from this that Akbar’s position was based more on the Sufi doctrine of Ibn al-ʿArabī than on the Qurʾānic ethos of tolerance. For, as is clear in the above citation from the Fuṣūṣ, Ibn al-ʿArabī’s doctrine is itself based completely on the Qurʾān, so much so that it can be argued that his entire corpus is nothing more than an extended commentary on the Qurʾān.

It is against this background that one should view the peak of tolerance attained during the Mughal period, and, in particular, with the rule of Akbar, though the rule of Babur, the founder of the dynasty, and that of Humayun, his son and successor, were also characterised by a spirit of ecumenism and tolerance. However, it was Akbar who, during his long reign of almost fifty years in the second half of the sixteenth century, was to weave these religious and social tendencies into a culture which was altogether dominated by the principle of tolerance; a culture that was, moreover, eminently successful in purely political terms, and at the same time immensely fruitful in the field of spirituality, literature and the arts.

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Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East by Deborah Amos


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