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How the West Perceives Islam and what Mazrui thinks is the Reality Most Westerners tend to view the Islamic societies as somewhat backward in their beliefs according to Mazrui Commonly Westerners believe that this is due to the oppressed religious beliefs of Islamics They also believe that the Islamic society is governed inhumanely in comparison to the enlightened well-rounded democracy of the Western world However the measurement of cultural differences between the West and Islam is somewhat complex and the differences between the two is narrower than assumed by most Western beliefs Islam is not considered just a religion and most certainly is not just a fundamentalist political movement but is a civilization and a way of life that varies from one Muslim country to another The Westerners seem fail to recognize how their own societies have failed to live up to their liberal mythology Many aspects of Islamic culture that Westerners regard as medieval may even have prevailed in their own culture until fairly recently In most cases Islamic societies are only a few decades behind in the socially and technologically advanced Westerners The main question that we must ask ourselves is what path leads to the highest quality of life for the average citizen without the worry of being abused in the process According to Mazrui Islamic values deserve serious consideration because the West doesnt provide the answers to all the questions being asked Many Westerners regard Muslim societies as being unenlightened when it comes to the rights of women and it is true that the question regarding women is still troublesome in most Muslim countries The rules regarding the Islamic beliefs on sexual modesty have often resulted in excessive segregation of the sexes in public places sometimes bringing about questionable differences regarding womens rights However Muslim women have always been permitted to own property where the British women where not allowed to do so until 1870 Islamic laws have also allowed
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