Book Name in English : Islam Between East and West
Auther -Alija Izetbegovic
This work by Alija Izetbegovic, the late first president of Bosnia and Herzegovina, following its tragic birth from the ashes of Yugoslavia, was first published in 1984 when he was imprisoned by the Communists. It analyses the Wests denial of Islam and the contributions made by Muslims in comparing the offerings of secular and Islamic civilization. It shows where the two meet and part, investigating along the way art, morality, culture and law. Banned in France, this book was a bestseller throughout the rest of Europe in the 1980s, and is now for the first time being re-issued in a new and improved format.
“The main theses (of Islam Between East and West) are: There are only three perceptions of the world, and there can be no more: the religious one, the materialistic one and the Islamic one. Everything has been created in pairs (Qur’an). Man is a dual being: body and soul. The body is nothing but “the bearer of the spirit.” The bearer has evolved, consequently, it has its history, while the soul has not, it was inspired by God’s touch. The first side of man is subject to science, the second to art and ethics. Therefore, there are two stories and two truths about man. In the Western world they are symbolized by Darwin and Michelangelo. Neither does Darwin speak about Michelangelo’s man nor the other way around. Their truths are different, but not exclusive of each other. Through time they are projected as opposites, civilization and culture, respectively. Science and technology belong to civilization, religion and art to culture. The first is an expression of human needs (how do I live?), the latter of human aspirations (why do I live?). This is the contrast between utopia and drama. Utopia is not about personality,drama or morality. The entirety of the scientific method leads to the denial of God and man, while the entirety of art is essentially religious. If there is no God, there cannot be man…”- Alija Izetbegovic (Notes from Prison)
“Islam is more than a religion” --Izetbegovic
Examining the historical conflicts between “faith” and “materialism”, the author presents the “bipolarity” of Islam, bringing us close to the only three possible worldviews: religious, materialistic and Islamic.He presents Islam as a method, not as a ready-made solution. In his nearly existential view, Islam is not something given, but a “Third Way” that has to be discovered for oneself; as it integrates both the religious and the materialistic and thus being the target of attack from “religion” as well as materialistic ideologies.Destoyvsky, Herman Hesse, Van Gogh, St Augestine, Kant, Nietszhe, Dante et al… All titans of Continental literature, art and thought join Izetbegovic in his take on two dominant aspects of human life: culture and civilisation.