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Muslim Response to Globalisation

lecture by
Hujjatul Islam
Dr.Saied Reza Ameli,

founder Islamic Institute of Islamic Studies,
former Director of Islamic Centre London-England,
researcher on Sociology of Culture and Mass Media at the Royal Holloway University of London.


This lecture uniquely tackles the subject of Globalisation from the cultural perspective - perhaps the most overlooked aspect of globalisation. It does cover the economic and political aspects but again from a socio-cultural bias. Wonderful insights on the nature of cultural invasion are revealed in the 90 minutes. The audio has been split into five logical parts, making it easier to download.

PART 1: Globalisation
Listen (real audio, 19 min )
Download (shift-click) (2.3Mb)

" One month a go I was really shocked when I went to the rural areas of Indonesia. The poor people there, they have problems for their food and for their everyday life yet they are practising MTV culture, they are practising Hollywood culture. They are really wearing the same cloths that people are use to wearing in London. They make themselves up like the people in western countries and they are practising their everyday life according to the life of the people in European countries but if you go to their house you can not see the standard of life that the people have here .. basically they are consuming the corruption of western culture ... It is very sad when people cannot consume their own culture "

" Economical system of developing countries are gradually loosing their strength, western consumerism destroys the indigenous economic production - people don't like their own production because western production is considered very fashionable - its very attractive production. Day by day you can see new products through their media - its doesn't stop at any stage - you cannot see an end point - every day every minute new fashion new culture new phenomena that the people cannot decide whether to go for this or that. "


PART 2: Characteristics
Listen (real audio, 16 min 30 sec)
Download (shift-click) (2Mb)

" Culture is active and dynamic. One can feed one can consume through ones own historical heritage. When some culture cannot consume through its literature, art then that culture is not really alive. If Malaysians, Chinese, Indonesians, Iranians don't consume their own culture and wish to consume western culture that means their is something wrong in that society - the people wish to consume other cultures. Globalisation is basically trying to penetrate in the everyday life of the people . this is happening by the indiginisation of american culture.

Before, americans believed that if they go to the poor countries, because there is a serious gap between them and the poor country they can penetrate into that society very quickly. Now I can see that they try to put some spice of american culture within the indigenous culture of the people that they can get better ground in the indigenous culture. Now MTV is presented all over the world in more than twenty languages - you can see Malaysian MTV, Pakistani MTV, Arab MTV .. everywhere.

As a human, it is very sad if someone doesn't like himself, if someone doesn't like his culture, if someone doesn't like his values. We are human and if want to change we should decide to change, if something is surrounding us and imposing change to our society then it is very sad - if we ourselves decide to change than its not a problem, if we decide in a very rational manner to change .. but these changes are a change that doesn't have any root in the indigenous culture of the people. "


PART 3: Effects and Response
Listen (real audio, 17 min 24 sec)
Download (shift-click) (2.1Mb)

" Companies are looking to make money - to sell to the people - they need to produce something new for the people . 'Newness' creates a market . If you bring the old fashioned, no one will go for it - this is a principle in marketing if you want to create a market you have to create newness. It is not important to them what's going to happen to the culture of the people, whats going to happen to the behavior of the people, what's going to happen to the family .. to the children - they don't care - they want money. And because they want money they have to create newness and they don't have any limitation they don't have any hesitation no matter if that newness comes through sex, that newness comes through the demolishing of human values - they will do it. They don't care about social problems - they just study marketing - how they can target the people - the consumers. "

" Teenagers - they don't care about religion any more or he or she don't practice religion properly - this is not because of ideological change, these changes are non-cognative. Its not that they don't practise religion because they have been convinced by another ideology or religion - no its not a congitive change - its not according to a rational process, it is because their lives have been dominated by something else - because their everyday life has been dominated by some non-religious issues and this is a very dangerous secularisation.

We have two types of secularisations one is objective secularisation and one is subjective secularisation. Objective secularisation is when the religion is segregated from the law system, from the education system, and from the political system. This is important (detrimental), but it is not as important (detrimental) as subjective secularisation. Subjective secularisation is when the religion is segregated from the mind, when the people don't have any concern about religion then it is very dangerous. Mind it the centre of body, its the centre of human being - if something can target our mind and change direction of our mind then the danger is very serious.

Globalisation can gradually create a cognitive change, but this change is not changing from one religion to another religion - its changing from religion to non-religion, its changing from values to non-values. we can see the signs of this phemonena in the young generation today."


PART 4: Survey of Muslims in UK
Listen (real audio, 25 min 37 sec)
Download (shift-click) (3.1Mb)

" Pluralism: in pluralism we are saying that everyone is right - you are looking at the truth from one perspective and the other camp are looking at the truth from the other perspective. The sooner this game enters our life then there is no identity because identity is according to belief that the way that I am going is the best way and this is the right way to follow"

" Alienation: When the people immigrated from one land to another land they feel homesick or they feel nostalgic but in today's society in their own house they feel homesick and this is a new phenomena."

" Identity: when we talk about identity - it means you can distinguish yourself from others. Therefore distinction is the main element of identity so if you have a society where you cant see any distinction between Muslim and non-Muslim it means that there is
a crisis."


PART 5: Comments and QA session
Listen (real audio, 14 min )
Download (shift-click) (1.7Mb)

" Today we can see an anti-globalisation movement taking place through the socialists - you can not see any movement in third world (Muslim) countries against globalisation - this is very sad because it means that they don't understand what's going on. If someone doesn't know what they are facing then they cant stop it."