Friday, 11 November 2011
Reza Aslan- A Contemporary Intellectual
Often resembling that of a westerner behind dark rimmed spectacles, he stands as one of the most prominent, leading authorities on contemporary Islamic thought. Reza Aslan; scholar, writer and activist is an eminent figure on both the religious and secular fronts. His marriage of traditional wisdom with a modern standpoint makes him a revered intellectual in the world of literature and theological study. Aslan, an Iranian born American, has an expertise and persistance when the tables are turned to concern the likes of god, colonialism, extremism and globalisation. Such a personality is indicative of the changing attitudes towards wisdom and thought, conventional and unconventional in the realm of the Islamic faith. Aslan, having gained no traditional scholarly education or encounter has exploited the havens of the moderist western education. Armed with a doctorate in the sociology of religions, he makes his appearance with desirable expectations, earning him an esteemed status in the middle-east. His quite profound experiences during the Iranian Revolution of 1979, provides first hand view of not only his ancestry but also what his expertise encompasses. The very tenets of history, theology and literature remain deeply encapsulated within his works, including a number of best-seller texts such; No God but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam; How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the End of the War on Terror. Such texts are centered around the changing attitudes towards Islamic Monotheism and the roles that hostility within the middle-east imply for the international community. Aslan is admirable, his pedantic toil in conjunction with a well composed series of objective works places him alongside some of the most esteemed intellectuals in Islamic Thought. His scholarly title, a well deserved honour in exchange for his intimate mastery of historical study spanning many faiths and millennia. It is critical to note Aslan's application of literary dexterity to the propagation of the Islamic philosophy. He has a resilient presence in the media as the figure head of contemporary Islam. Not as a figure shrouded in the attire of traditional thinkers, rather a conformist, to a certain extent, and a fragment of the ever controversial western civilisation. Aslan has served the binding interests of his fellow thinkers, combining literary prowess and capacity with a certain movement of diplomacy. He is the predominate representation of a modernist Islamic, a firm belief in the sure reality, the metaphysical and the absolute on the inside, a resemblance of valour and heroism on the academic front. He is on the treacherous path of winning a cosmic war as his striking and calculated mentality documents every conspiracy, historical affair or theological conundrum. Admirable his persistance and controversial his profound stances, Aslan is more than a modernist thinker, rather a visionary and a radical alpha-male prepared to conquer the academic fronts by any logical, calculated and educated means necessary.