The current crisis has grown out of a long century of renewal and closure. Lessons from the past and today’s debate

This article was published in Oasis 21. Read the table of contents

Last update: 2022-04-22 09:24:03



The Long Century of Islam, Martino Diez

The period dating from the start of the nineteenth century until today in the Islamic world is deserving of the term "the long century": years marked by an unavoidable conflict with an intrusive West ,until the tragic epilogue of modern day. Is there a way out?





How ‘Abduh’s Caftan brought forth today’s Islamic Ideologies, Sherif Younis

To understand the different interpretations competing for the definition of contemporary Islam, we must go back to over a century ago, to the "revolutionary" principles proposed by Jamâl al-Dîn al-Afghânî and Muhammad 'Abduh.


The Ways of Reform in South Asia, Aminah Mohammad-Arif

Quietist, political, violent: these are the three main variations of Islamic reformism in countries like India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. They share the same objective, i.e. transforming society, but with different and exportable methods.


The Changing Face of Wahhabism, Hamadi Redissi

The parable of a movement feared for its power that, since its origins in the eighteenth century until today, has presented itself in a changing way, from anti-colonial and anti-communist to neo-traditional, but always with a worldwide ambition.


Something New from Tehran, Forough Jahanbakhsh

How Iran has changed: from Shi'ite traditionalism to the religious ideology that inspired the Revolution; and from top-down Islamisation to the new reformist discourse that limits the role of religion in the political sphere.


A Dispute over the Good for Women. And who decides it, Hassan Rachik

The drafting of the Personal Status Code in Morocco shows how the secular and the religious have shared out space in society. An example of what the encounter between Islam and modernity can produce.


Reason Between Breastfeeding and Weaning, Wael Farouq

The paradoxical fatwas on the breastfeeding of adults as an antidote to male-female promiscuity in the workplace are the result of an attempted adaptation of modernity and tradition. With fake outcomes.


In Search of a Reformer for Islam, Michele Brignone

The Egyptian debate: al-Sisi calls for a "religious revolution," for al-Azhar it is sufficient to "correct" religious drifts, while different intellectuals point to a profound review of the Islamic tradition.


Armageddon in Islam: the Black Flags of Isis, David Cook

An array of symbols from the apocalyptic tradition has accompanied the entire history of Islam, up to the decisive leap in quality made by the Islamic State, as the magazine Dabiq documents.


An Unstoppable March towards De-Civilization?, Hamit Bozarslan

The post-World War I Middle East no longer exists. States and societies have disintegrated, the coexistence of differences has been devoured by an Islamism that, combining rationality and millenarism, ends up destroying itself.





Choosing How to Travel, before Where to, Martino Diez

In Praise of Doubt, When Necessary

Al-Jâhiz and al-Ghazâlî on doubt as a useful, and sometimes necessary method, even if not sufficient, for achieving the certainty of faith, which only the light of God can guarantee.


Those Who Thirst for God Abandon Themselves to Him, Louis Gardet

For Muslims, faith is the acceptance of the intellect and the heart of the testimony of truthful witness, for the intrinsic evidence of the message itself. And it is sufficient for the salvation in virtue of the promises of God.





Free, Therefore Intolerable. Away With the Christians in Iraq!, Maria Laura Conte

The grip of the Caliph is aggravating the exodus of Christians from the Middle east: they are victims of a nihilism that is producing unsustainable numbers of displaced persons and is inexorably changing the "ecosystem" in the East and West.





The Chimera of a State for the Qur’an, Martino Diez

The Islamic State on trial, an impossibility and a contradiction in terms.


Antagonism Between Islamists and Non-Secular State, Michele Brignone

The awakening of Muslim democracy, between religion, modernity and State.


The Saudi Dynasty: in the End It Has Always Won, Chiara Pellegrino

The royal house that has defied all predictions for a century.


Sparks Between the Religious and Secular Modernity, Paolo Monti

"Blasphemous" suggestions on the relationship between Islam and Western modernity,


Redemption of the Syriac Memory, Paolo Maggiolini

The genocide one hundred years later. Time to redeem it from oblivion.


Fear’s Colours, Emma Neri

Directors of different cultures between horror and the beauty that saves the world.




Year 11 N.21 June 2015


Maria Laura Conte

Scientific Editor
Martino Diez 

Managing Editor
Michele Brignone

Editorial staff
Chiara Pellegrino


Editorial Consultants 
Rifaat Bader
Marco Bardazzi 
Bernardo Cervellera 
Camille Eid
Rafic Greiche
Claudio Lurati 


Graphic Design and Layout 
Massimiliano Frangi 


English translation 
Catharine De Rienzo
and Translated Agency

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