A Convergence of Civilizations: The Transformation of Muslim by Emmanuel Todd, Youssef Courbage

By Emmanuel Todd, Youssef Courbage

We are advised that Western/Christian and Muslim/Arab civilizations are heading in the direction of inevitable clash. The demographics of the West stay gradual, whereas the inhabitants of the Muslim international explodes, widening the cultural hole and all yet ensuring the outbreak of battle. Leaving apart the media's sound and fury in this factor, measured research exhibits one other truth taking form: rapprochement among those civilizations, taking advantage of a common circulation with roots within the Enlightenment.

The ancient and geographical sweep of this booklet discredits the proposal of a particular Islamic demography. the variety of fertility between Muslim girls, for instance, is as various as non secular habit between Muslims typically. no matter if agnostics, fundamentalist Salafis, or al-Qaeda activists, Muslims are a various staff that end up the diversity and individuality of Islam. Youssef Courbage and Emmanuel Todd contemplate diversified levels of literacy, patriarchy, and shielding reactions between minority Muslim populations, underscoring the unfold of big secularization during the Arab and Muslim global.

In this regard, they argue, there's little or no to tell apart the evolution of Islam from the historical past of Christianity, in particular with Muslims now getting into a world modernity. delicate to demographic variables and their mirrored image of non-public and social truths, Courbage and Todd upend a perilous meme: that we are living in a fractured global with reference to challenge, suffering from an endemic of closed cultures and minds made diversified by means of religion.

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Indb 22 CRISES OF TRANSITION 2/14/11 9:21:34 AM of them the demographic transition cannot be considered complete. A detailed examination of the family systems of these countries and of the most recent demographic movements would make it possible to formulate hypotheses about this delay. It is therefore not at all necessary to speculate about some particular essence of Islam in order to explain the violence now stirring the Muslim world. That world is disoriented because it is undergoing the shock of the revolution in modes of thought associated with increased literacy and widespread birth control.

Muslims in Bosnia, Albania, and Kosovo are resolutely exogamous, as are those in Chechnya and Kazakhstan. In the area of the former Soviet Union, Uzbeks and Tajiks follow exogamous practices, but precise statistics are unavailable. For Azeris, most of whom live not in Azerbaijan but in Iran, rates seem to be between 10 and 20 percent, probably closer to the higher figure. 1 Rate of Endogamy (%) in Muslim Countries at the Beginning of the 1990s Sudan 57 Pakistan 50 Mauritania 40 Tunisia 36 Saudi Arabia 36 Syria 35 Jordan 33 Oman 33 Yemen 31 Qatar 30 Kuwait 30 Algeria 27 Egypt 25 Morocco 25 United Arab Emirates 25 Iran 25 Bahrain 23 Turkey 15 Bangladesh 10 Source: World Fertility Survey, Demographic and Health Surveys, PAPCHILD, PAPFAM, Gulf Surveys, giving proportion of women investigated between the ages of 15 and 49, according to their family connection with their husband.

In Iran, Shiism uniformly covers the areas where Persian and Azeri are spoken. It is the underlying bond that ties the Turkophone Azeris to the Iranian nation. But the Azeri family is more patrilineal and more patrilocal than the central Persian system, with rates of patrilocalism exceeding 98 percent. Endogamy The condition of women in Muslim countries is different from what it is in Russian and Chinese families: They are not exchanged between families, but married when possible to a cousin. The ideal “Arab” marriage is union with the daughter of the father’s brother, that is, the patrilateral parallel cousin, in current anthropological terminology.

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