Core Beliefs and Practices of Islam Research Paper

In the context of Muslim world, globalization generally refers to the global spread of ideas, cultures, institutions and attitudes, which are normally perceived to have originated from the west. With this regard, globalization is normally perceived as being equivalent to westernization in the context of Islam core beliefs and practices. As a result of this, globalization is perceived as a form of external threat to the Islamic religion (Mazrui 56).

The anti-globalization in Islam can be significantly attributed to the fact that cultural identity is an important aspect of Islamic religion, and therefore any occurrence that attempts to integrate the universal culture serves to undermine the doctrines of the religion (Tarabichi 78). This implies that the cultural exchange aspect associated with globalization is one of the core reasons why Muslims view globalization as having a negative influence on their core beliefs and practices of the Islam (Tarabichi 100).

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There are different conflicting views regarding the effects that globalization impose on the Islamic beliefs and practices, making the subject a contentious that is yet to determine whether Muslims are actually against globalization as a whole or some certain aspects of globalization that have imposed negative influence on the aspect of cultural identity, which is a core characteristic of Islamic religion.

Some of argue that globalization has helped in the strengthening of Islamic fundamentalism. This paper discusses the relationship between Islam and globalization, with a principal focus on the ways through which globalization are perceived to undermine the Islamic beliefs and practices.

This essay strongly suggests that globalization is a challenge towards the Islamic core beliefs and practices that are determined by the Islamic cultural identity. This is because globalization has accelerated the aspect of western homogeny in the Muslim world.

As a result, it can be perceived as a threat to the Islamic values and principles (Mazrui 102). Despite this potential threat, it is arguably evident that globalization cannot be avoided; as a result, the Muslim community can grab the opportunity presented by globalization to spread the Islamic beliefs, practices and cultural identity at the global level.

The aspect of globalization is broad and covers various aspects that are aimed at integration of the world such as social, economic, cultural and political systems. The principal focus of this paper is to assess the cultural integration aspect of globalization and its relationship to the Islamic beliefs and practices.

Culture is considered to be an inherent aspect that is the core of the whole globalization process (Tarabichi 140). This implies that an assessment of cultural globalization is vital in order to have an in depth understanding of the reactions of the Muslim community towards globalization.

It is also important to take into account the fact that globalization is an ongoing process that results to the unification of the social relations across the global divide (Mazrui 125). The aspect of social process implies that globalization supersedes any forms of cultural, geographical and political constraints in order to ensure global integration of the core aspects of globalization (Tarabichi 152).

The potential outcome of cultural globalization is that it will impose a single global culture, implying that cultural diversity and individual choice are likely to be a thing of the past if the various cultural and religious units are not keen enough to resist cultural globalization in order to preserve the values, principles, beliefs and practices associated with their religion and culture (Mazrui 130).

Mazrui defines globalization as the sum of cumulative processes that result to a preservation of the cultural traits of the dominant group, whereas the cultural traits of the less dominant groups are assimilated into the dominant culture (Mazrui 145).

The Islamic religion presently comprises of approximately 20 percent of the global culture, and at the same time, the western culture is the dominant culture at the global level. The visible consequence of globalization is the spread of cultural aspects of a particular culture at the global level, resulting to absorption of the local cultures in a given region, implying that the dominant culture is likely to be transformed into the global culture.

In the current context of globalization, it is arguably evident that the western culture, sometimes perceived as the American culture is gradually being distributed to other parts of the globe, implying that local cultural identity and religious beliefs are likely to be absorbed by the western culture (Tarabichi). In addition, cultural globalization normally imposes changes regarding the daily routine lives, interpretations concerning the meaning of life and towards the daily life.

The cultural identity of the Islamic religion
Culture can be defined as behavior and ideas that are common to a particular group, which are socially acquired (Tarabichi 100). Culture exhibits some form of specificity owing to the fact that they are not similar. The culture of a particular group normally defines their social life, thoughts and individual behavior, which in turn influence the principles, values, beliefs, practices and the manner in which the group interacts with individuals of another cultural grouping.

Cultural identity on the other hand can be described as an essential part of a persons psyche that serves to identify with ones own culture, and is usually an outcome of cultural interaction (Tarabichi 102). It is important to note that cultural identity is subject to changes when a person is exposed to different cultural environments. Some of the components that make the cultural identity include religion, beliefs, practices, rituals, language and so on (Tarabichi 105).

Islam is usually perceived as a social religion because it lays emphasis on the group life instead of basing on an individualistic approach; this has played a significant role in shaping the Islamic cultural identity, which is supposed to be observed by the entire Muslim community (Mazrui 145).

A core aspect of the Muslim culture is that it entails a vibrant aspect of moderation, implying that it attempts to harmonize both the spiritual and material aspects of the individual personality. The Muslim culture is does not just impose sheer limitations on their beliefs and practices.

The cultural identity of the Muslim can be argued to be based on a dynamic pattern, which in most cases is misunderstood by the secular population and sometimes the Muslim community itself (Mazrui 150). The significant difference that exists between the secular western culture and the Islamic culture is the emphasis on the devotion to one God. It is arguably evident that Islamic faith is applicable to all aspects of life of its believers such as spiritual beliefs and practices, law, governance and way of life.

Despite the fact that Muslims across the global divide have different cultural traits, it is evident that they share some universal cultural identity, beliefs and practices owing to the fact that they are all Muslims (Mazrui 163). For example, the cultural characteristics of the Muslim community in Malaysia are not similar to the cultural characteristics of the Muslim community of Saudi Arabia.

Irrespective of this, they are both guided by the universal principle and values in accordance with Islamic religion. The Islamic cultural identity has core foundations on faith, emphasis on constructive work and humanism, which are used to strengthening the optimism, confidence, and righteousness, appreciation of beauty, flexibility and openness (Tarabichi 136).

The relationship between globalization and the cultural identity of the Islam religion
Globalization serves to accelerate the domination of western culture across the globe. In fact, globalization is one of the direct outcomes of the spreading out of the concept of westernization as evident through economic dominance, colonization and cultural retribution (Mazrui 158).

As a result, the western culture is gradually being integrated into the Muslim world, implying the meaning and the significance attached to the Islam cultural identity is bound to be lost during the process of globalization. The basic implication from this is that globalization poses a significant challenge to the integrity of minority cultures (Tarabichi 180). The has faced some significant cultural pressures from the western culture.

Because of globalization, the cultural uniqueness of the Islam religion has been faced with two conflicting alien cultures, which mainly comprises of the secularized pop culture that has been accelerated by the media, and the American (western) culture, which has been imposed by increasing modernization that is bound to integrate the values of the western culture into the Islamic culture.

Globalization has resulted into an inclination of non-Islamic culture in most of the Muslim community (Mazrui 165). This is widely evident as Muslims are increasingly demeaning their era whereby their level of accomplishments was comparable to the western societies, during which the western communities were constantly facing up the challenge of dark ages.

At present, the secular aspect of the western culture is one of the most superior cultures in the world, irrespective of the fact that it is characterized by lack of morality and devoid of religious principles and values.

This is contrary to the Islamic cultural uniqueness, which is characterized by a select cultural characteristic that plays an integral role in shaping the practices of the Muslim community. Moderation is an important characteristic of the Islamic cultural characteristics, which serves to synchronize the spiritual aspects and human personality.

Thus is evident from the fact that Muslims make use of the Islamic faith in almost all the fundamental aspects of life such as spiritual beliefs, economic activities, political systems, social life and governance. This implies that the Islamic cultural distinctiveness significantly emphasizes on the importance of values, meaning that it can be useful for everyone in the present world that is characterized by globalization. (Tarabichi 150)

The increasing struggle to fight the integration of the western values into Islamic beliefs and values, and the constant need to maintain the authenticity of the Islamic cultural identity is one of the most significant challenges associated with the onset of globalization among the Muslim community (Mazrui 148).

Contrary to the western viewpoint concerning the values associated with cultural identity that are as a result of the social relationships and the nature of the surrounding environment, the principle, beliefs and values of the Islamic religion are somewhat universal and are perceived as eternal because of the their divine nature (Mazrui 178).

The values of the western cultures can be said to be motivated by instances of sheer rationality, on the other hand, the values of Islamic culture are developed basing on both the principles of rationality and religious guidance (Mazrui 180).

The Islamic cultural uniqueness is entirely under the control of the Tawhidic Paradigm. The existing cultural barrier between the Muslim community and the westerners is needed in order to facilitate the differentiation between the acceptable cultural characteristics from the ones that are discarded (Mazrui 190).

The worldly western cultural imperialism is a significant challenge facing the cultural identity of the Islamic religion in the sense that the western values are at a replacement of the traditional values, practices and beliefs of the Islamic religion with an emphasis on material pleasure, which is considered to be the principal purpose of the human life.

For instance, the western culture is characterized by over-consumption of food and sometimes wastage, yet there are other individuals that do not have enough. In such a context, the Islamic beliefs and values requires that prior to organization of a party, families and people should ensure that other individuals and families in the neighborhood have sufficient food (Tarabichi 168).

A cultural crisis occurs in cases whereby the society fails significantly to undertake its responsibility of overseeing the behavior of people in the society, which in turn results to a damage of the social structure. In the current state of the world that is characterized by globalization, the cultural identity, beliefs and values of the Islamic religion is facing a crisis because of the instances of imitation and the aspect of cultural imperialism of the western culture (Mazrui 190).

An outcome of cultural globalization is that it facilitates the creation of a secular society that is devoid of religion, which in implies that the role Islam religion is bound to gradually diminish resulting a demolition of the Islamic cultural identity. The fundamental inference that can be made from this observation is that the globalization is a threat to the Islamic religious values, culture and identity (Mazrui 190).

Additionally, it is evident that global industries that are somewhat cultural are coming to the forefront regarding the creation and distribution of culture. An important characteristic of the global market is that it is offering the concept of that emphasizes on the union of consumer preferences (Tarabichi 171).

Examples of this include the global brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nike, Adidas and many more. These global brands are founded on the values of the western culture, with their premise focusing on a world culture that embraces materialism and strives towards the achievement of greater wealth (Tarabichi 175).

The implication here is that the culture of the west is characterized by a hegemonic power, which results to an increase in the domination of the culture in the rest of the rest of the globe as it is becoming assimilated by people. The Muslim community is not an exception to hegemonic nature of the culture, beliefs and practices of the west.

The culture of the west is considered to be a value-free culture, sometimes referred to as an open culture that embraces all the other cultural variables on an (Tarabichi 201). As a result, there are minimal or complete restrictions concerning the display of pornographic content. This is widely evident as the . Movies, books, websites and magazines are promoting and commercializing pornographic content. The young generations are usually the prey of such a rotted culture.

The worldwide media is under the control of the west because they are the key determinants of what is published, watched and learned. The Muslim community on the other hand lacks a powerful media that can help in influencing and competing with the global media moguls (Mazrui 200). Because of this, there is a likely hood that the aspect of western media hegemony is likely to continue, which can result to a replacement of the Islamic cultural identity, values, practices and beliefs.

In this era of globalization, the media is an important factor that shapes the way of life ranging from eating, dressing, behavior patterns, family matters (Mazrui 201). The international media and the increasing popularity of the culture of the west have played a significant role in spreading the western values.

An observation of the current trends reveals that the there is cultural identity crisis, which is likely to affect cultural groups that are more conservative such Islam cultural identity. For instance, the introduction of the TV show named American Idol resulted to an introduction of the same in Malaysia, which was called the Malaysian Idol. In addition, the recent ignorance of the aspect of female covering, referred to as awrah, which is one of the most serious violations of the Islamic values and principles (Tarabichi 214).

Despite the fact that globalization has some additional benefits to some of the elements of the core Islamic beliefs and practices; regarding culture, aspects of education and information, globalization is arguably a challenge, and in most cases not compatible with the general Islamic aspects of human life, patterns of behavior, values and cultural principles (Mazrui 200).

This is because through the concept of globalization, the western culture gets to spread throughout the world and undermine the Islamic values and principles. An overview of the global pattern for exchange of information reveals that most of the information contests are under the control of the westerners. An outcome of this is that the core aspects of Islamic religious values and principles do not have any adequate presentation in the media.

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