New Directions in Islamic Thought, Creativity and Activism
Author(s): Sadek Hamid & Philip Lewis
Reviewed by: Ruqaiyah Hibell
This thoroughly engaging and accessible book charts with clarity both existing and new approaches to Islamic thought and activism, including the efforts of Muslim women to improve their standing. The authors detail the stumbling blocks and advances facing religious forms of education. Radicalisation, a saturated subject, to which there are no easy answers, includes discussions on the ever contentious Prevent agenda and its unresolved repercussions. A chapter is partially devoted to a burgeoning Muslim-led entertainment and artistic landscape arising in Britain, while a further section discusses the nebulous concept of democracy. While not detracting from the serious social problems and issues facing Muslim communities residing in geographical areas decimated by ideologically driven austerity programmes implemented across the UK, the authors offer a hopeful and purposeful appraisal of more expansive representations of Islam. This is occurring via sectors of the younger generations alongside positive initiatives that seek to ground Islam and Muslims, in their multitude of manifestations and projections of their identities, firmly within the UK. Here, Islam is displayed in a manner that sits comfortably with its tenets of faith and/ or culture, while facilitating a meaningful participation in British society that ultimately contributes to the collective well-being of Muslims. A harmonious and amenable approach enables engagement with the diversity inherent within other religious and secular milieus, which is a requisite in a cosmopolitan setting.