War and Peace: Negotiating Meaning in Islam
Robert Perry Barnidge Jr.
University of Reading - School of Law
Critical Studies on Terrorism (preprint), Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 263-278, 2008
Islamic Law and Law of the Muslim World 08-43
This article provides a framework for negotiating meaning in Islam on questions of war and peace. It begins by presenting some representative and contrasting understandings of Islam, particularly as relates to militant Islam, and then suggests some ways in which negotiations of meaning can take place in this context. It argues that the varied experiences of those who act in the name of Islam and justify their actions according to the life of Mohammed and devotion to Allah require a new, and radical, framework, a framework that prioritises diversity and a decentralised ethic of understanding over homogenisation and hegemonisation and avoids post-colonial constructions of inevitable inferiority and weakness. Such a framework has the advantage of being more methodologically satisfying because it can better account for and deal with the diverse perspectives and complexities in the debate and better appreciate the political implications and undertones inherent in interpretation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 33Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: July 25, 2008 ; Last revised: October 12, 2008
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