Term Paper: Islam in the Age

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[. . .] In fact, marketing and branding bring the world together more than politics, culture, and even religion. From a marketing perspective, the Islamic market has been poorly understood, largely because of issues surrounding the dual nature of branding and religion. Part of marketing is giving the consumer what they want. The opening of Muslim markets combined with the rise in immigration of Muslims to Western countries is significant, particularly when combined with the influx of globalization on Muslim countries. Consumer product firms pay attention to these types of trends, in fact, "the global Muslim population is expected to increase at a rate of 35 per cent, rising to 2.2 billion by 2030, or 26.4 per cent of the world's total projected population of 8.3 billion" (The Future of GLobal Muslim Populations, 2011).

In effect, particularly since 9/11, many misunderstandings and stereotypical judgments have been made on both sides of the Western/Islamic viewpoint. Mistrust and suspicion abound, and when combined with both the speed and intensity of globalization, one can easily see that there are issues in economics, political, and culture that affect not only the psychological of Islam decision makers, but those in the West who wish to invest in the Islamic World. This template does not exist in isolation, however, but moves both horizontally and vertically throughout Islamic society (El-Shibiny, 2005). In particular, though, we can see special challenges from globalization that affect the manner in which many Muslims view changes to their environment and culture because of the access to Western values and technology.

One way to understand the nature of modern Islam in different countries is to understand its affiliation and representation with globalization. Many see the idea of Islam as counter to globalization. In this, the view is that the dominant face of globalism is about expanding the economic side of culture (goods, capitalism, investment, etc.). Often, this is at the expense of the core cultural values of family, socialization, and spirituality. Some even see this as a way to expand capitalism into every aspect of Islamic life through the idea that the most entrepreneurial lead society. The Islamic world, however, has largely been low-tech and focused on a distinction between public and private, secularism and religion, and even the individual and the collective. Instead, though, of seeing globalization as a divisive issue within Islam, the question may become not whether globalization will impact Islam, but more which part of globalism Islamic societies choose to accept (Inayatullah, 2005).

Thus, it is not really a matter of whether globalization will continue to affect the Islamic world -- that is a given fact. In 2003, for example, over 900 Muslim scholars and theologians met in Malaysia to ponder a simple question: what is the role of Islam in the era of globalization? Over 70 countries were represented, and through three days of intense debate and scholarly presentations one theme emerged: globalization has forced Islam into a crisis of introspection and the necessity to proactively deal with the Western world. Globalization is not, in and of itself, a negative. Instead, many see that Islam needs to make a clear distinction between "Americanization" and "Globalization." Technology, for instance, is a tool, and may be used to enhance or detract, depending upon the individual or society. Islam can accept technology, world-trade, and the security that economic interdependence has on society while still maintaining strong spiritual and religious focus within the individual culture (Taheri, 2003)


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Taheri, A. (2003, August… [END OF PREVIEW]

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