The Almuslih Publishing Project
Almuslih (Arabic for ‘The Reformer’) aims to maximize the exposure and distribution of journalism and analyses promoting progressive thought in the Arab Middle East and the Muslim world. This new publishing project focuses on freedom of expression and progressive thinking, on religious pluralism and diversity. We are particularly interested in allowing courageous and counter-intuitive opinion to be heard, amid the growing tide of anti-democratic cultural forces and cultural interpretations that prioritize identity and collectivism at the expense of the liberty and integrity of the individual. Our aim is to counter the discourse of the ‘other’, from wherever this emanates.
A lack of familiarity with the issues under discussion, and of the courage of the authors in addressing these issues, can lead to the dissipation of support for effective reform as social and economic reforms are wrongly seen to constitute the totality of the task. Yet the reprioritization of rationalism in religious discourse, as the authors contributing to Almuslih emphasize, is the bedrock for progress in the reform of some doctrines that not only serve to steer the contemporary Muslim towards suspicion and antipathy for the ‘other’, but which also denigrate the creative spirit of Man in his expression of the arts, seal off from him the paths and methods of scientific endeavour, and even outlaw the foundations for humane, democratic, constitutional rule. The contributing authors to Almuslih therefore equally address what are fundamental theological problems inherited from currents that have isolated over history indigenous Islamic voices of more rationalist, humanistic modes of thought.
The problems of educational and religious reform do not only concern the Arab Middle East, but indeed have global implications, since a failure to understand the roots underlying the path to resolution can lead in turn to the fostering of intolerant attitudes outside the Muslim world. Almuslih seeks to halt this negative development, and at the same time educate the western, and global, reader on the nature of the debate and the diversity of the currents of opinion that are contributing to it. By so doing it aims to improve cultural exchange and understanding, and at the same time inculcate a renewed respect for the diversity and intellectual strength of the Islamic world, and restore confidence in its ability to undertake the process of reform, so that the Muslim world can once again contribute to the advancement of science, culture, society and the dignity of Man.
An important feature of Almuslih is not only this specialization in its focus, but also its bi-lingual publication and distribution. As part of this aim to open up to the world the work of progressive thinkers in the Arab Middle East, authors contributing to Almuslih will see their work distributed on a global scale. All articles are submitted in Arabic, and on submission translated into English for additional distribution to the English-speaking world. This way the contributing authors do not only communicate to the Middle East regional readership, but also speak to a global audience.
Almuslih is not focused on politics nor does it support any pro-western or pro-eastern agenda. The focus of our published articles is on attitudes, mindsets and aspirations that are both international and universal in application, but which may equally take as their starting point contemporary currents or opinions which may need to be tested or challenged. The purpose of Almuslih is to play its part in restoring currency to what has been suppressed, to support and promote the contemporary voices of progressive Arab Muslim thought, and to educate the global reader on the profile and the courage of these voices of reform.