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The Daily Lives of Muslims

Economic literature: papers , articles , software , chapters , books. Some contemporary Islamic banking and finance practices have raised legal controversies that arguably eliminate any substantial differences between them and their conventional counterparts. Were the protestors right to have done so? What about the Danish cartoons?

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    Contemporary Islam: The Meaning and the Need of a Radical Reform |

    The author of Nationalism and Post-Colonial Identity, Amitav Ghosh, and Young British Muslim Voices, he has published widely on contemporary Muslim identities and cultures, nationalism, and multiculturalism. It both retains and goes beyond the important insights of liberalism.

    Its theoretical discussion enriches and is in turn enriched by a shrewd analysis of concrete cases. A most welcome and timely book.

    POLITICS BY PRINCIPLES? Ft. Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies

    Mondal's book is crucial reading for those interested not only in the work and impact of Salman Rushdie, not only for those working in contemporary literature more widely, but also those with a concern for issues of freedom, expression and the future of cosmopolitan and multicultural democracy. He refuses to accept at face value the assumed contention between liberal secular notions of free speech and the supposed censorious strictures of Muslim intolerance, as played out in numerous recent controversies.

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    Instead, he strips the discussion back to first principles, pointing out how all speech and writing is a dialogic act of communication that anticipates a response from its recipient. Offence is seen as the product of the relationship between speaker, addressee and all-important contextual power relations. In an era when 'liberals' from both the right and left have come together to denounce Islam as an intolerant force and a geopolitical enemy, Mondal reveals how professions of liberal reasonableness and neutrality mask an absolutist cultural supremacism wherein the 'right to offend' is separated from its consequences.

    He demonstrates how the central traditions of Western liberalism are each blind to the power relations which mark all societies and which take a particularly intractable form in multicultural ones. At the heart of the book is the question, what is free speech for? Is it an end in itself?

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    Or does it serve a higher purpose, such as safeguarding democracy, as is often claimed? In a brilliant, forensic analysis of some of the rhetoric around freedom and offence, Mondal asks how notions of a good and fair society can possibly be furthered by the deliberate denigration of a portion of its membership. Recognising ethics as central to the proper exercise of rights, he calls for an 'ethics of propriety' in writing and reading where mutual obligations are acknowledged.

    Through detailed readings of controversies such as the Satanic Verses affair, the Danish cartoon controversy, the outrage caused by the novel, The Jewel of Medina, and comedy films which have flirted with the sacred and the blasphemous, Mondal charts the dead-ends reached by conventional interpretations, while suggesting more fruitful ways to write, read and understand.