Muslims Are More Modern than You Think

Muslims have a bad reputation in America and we all know this for many reasons, but Muslims are just like you and I. They live in a modern society even though they say they want to go back to the golden times. This transition into the modern world for a group that is stereotyped to be lesser than other groups is not a surprise. This transition started from education. Most of the Muslim leaders now or previously were highly educated. They encourage all those to be educated in the all areas including technology and politics. Muslim groups are structured and organized just like ours with many democratic systems set in stone. They have the newest technology and weaponry which they prove countless times in terroristic attacks. Most Muslims do not believe these attacks are morally right or necessary though. Only the radical Muslims believe in pre-modern times. Charles Kurzman shows us that Muslims are just like us only some of them have different religious views. He also illustrates that all parts of the world are modernizing. It is not just Western Europe and North America that are in modern times. Knowledge, ideas, and technology are spreading worldwide. Charles Kurzman says, “Western culture, we are learning, is not the only form that modernity may assume.” The whole world modernizing, but Americans and others still judge Muslims as being below them. “We are Muslims but not Islam itself…We do not monopolize religion. Democracy as we understand it means pluralism, choice, and freedom.” It is time for the world to not judge all Muslims for the actions of only the minority of their population as we have all evolved a new modern time.

Giddens does not address parts of the world other than Western Europe but he does talk about globalization and how the spreading of technology and knowledge was achieved. He says, “Capital has never allowed its aspirations to be determined by national boundaries. Capitalism has been such a fundamental globalizing influence precisely because it is an economic rather than political order” (69). Although Giddens does not state exactly the fact that Muslims are modern he refers to modernity spreading to all places of the globe. This shift from Western Europe to everywhere is past Giddens time of writing the book. Capitalism led us to new places, but it was education that modernized these areas including the Muslims. Once new knowledge is obtained it can be shared and applied to everyone. These ideas spread making the idea common knowledge. Knowledge leads to the spread of technology which then spreads communication. Education is the basis of globalization. Capitalism may have caused us to go new places, but that would never have happened if it was not for the new knowledge and ideas that were taught to North America and Western Europe. With all areas of the globe learning new things every day, it will not take long for the world to be caught up to America and the Muslims are proving this. How much longer does the U.S. have as a superpower before other nations past them? Can the U.S. lead the way in new thinking and stay ahead of all the rest? Only the future will tell, but as Giddens says, there will always be benefits and unintended consequences that decide the future of all things.


6 thoughts on “Muslims Are More Modern than You Think

  1. Stephen,

    I do agree with you when you say, “Muslims have a bad reputation in America and we all know this for many reasons, but Muslims are just like you and I.” Because of the poor decisions of a handful of extremists, a whole religion and way of being has been cast a dark shadow over. With many American political leaders sounding off on the Islamic faith, it’s necessary to remind ourselves how much globalization has linked and intertwined other religions (like Christianity) to Islam. When it boils down to it, Islam actually borrowed ideas from Christianity–so it’s like these faiths are cousins, in a sense.

    While modernity has impacted the technologies and practices of Islam, you make an interesting observation. At their core, they really want to return to different time: their “golden era” from long ago. In the world we live in today, do you think that will ever be possible? Can modern-era globalization allow that?



  2. This is a very interesting topic, and albeit also a touchy one although it frequently appears on the covers of newspapers and through the loud debates held on FOX or CNN news, but you are absolutely right. In your final statements you wrote, ” How much longer does the U.S. have as a superpower before other nations past them? Can the U.S. lead the way in new thinking and stay ahead of all the rest?” and I find that very interesting because our attention lately has seemingly been focused on the Middle East once again, but if you recall only a year or two ago during the 2012 presidential election, we were all worried about China becoming the world’s greatest superpower, and the growing influence of the countries in the BRIC coalition (Brazil, Russia, India, China). The truth is, we are falling behind in many areas in relation to other countries: education, prison systems, healthcare, and job growth. Giddens, like many other Western authors however tend to spend little to no time including these newly innovating countries in a part of their discussion of world affairs or even globalization, in favor of activities on the West, for obvious reasons. But all of your points are valid. I’d like to know what you thought of America’s apparent Islamophobia? Also, when you refer to “Muslims” do you mean those of the Muslim faith or do you mean people who are apart of Middle Eastern culture?


  3. This is a really good article and your comment that “Muslims have a bad reputation in America and we all know this for many reasons, but Muslims are just like you and I.” is one hundred percent true. I can personally reflect on this because i had the mind set that Muslims were all bad after the attacks. I had this mind set because i was affected by the war on two different times. My pop served two tours in Iraq during the war after 9/11. I thought all Muslims were the same as the group that attacked America.

    When it comes down to it Muslims are all over the world. Muslims were pointed to only be from the Middle East when they really have Muslin Faith all over the world. How do you think the America citizens would react if the attacks were from a different faith? Do you think they would have the same reactions?


  4. It is very unfortunate that Muslims have a negative reputation in our society. There are bad people in every country, society, and culture. America, for example, is a mixture of various cultures, including religions. To differentiate the muslim religion to the religion of “us” seems silly because “we” all have different religions, too. That being said, I like how you stated that it is time for America to not judge all Muslims for the heartless actions of a small majority of their population.


    • Stephen,

      This is a great article choice, I myself read this same article as well and found it to be both informative and interesting. The way you opened up your post with the sentence, “Muslims have a bad reputation in America and we all know this for many reasons, but Muslims are just like you and I”, was a very good way to introduce the general idea of this article. Muslims are just like Americans in many ways; many of them have western/higher education and they are a civilized group of people, yet many Americans still have a negative viewpoint of them which is unfortunate. I like how you end off your post by asking questions that have to do with the United States accepting Muslims and not having a different viewpoint of them, which gets the reader to think more about the topic as well.


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