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MODERNISM. Islamic modernists advocate flexible, continuous reinterpretation of Islam so that Muslims may develop institutions of education, law, and politics suitable to modern conditions. Modernizing tendencies appeared in the last decades of the nineteenth century in response to westernizing regimes and European rule. Elite Muslim culture was evolving into separate westernized and traditional spheres that modernists sought to unify. To validate their reexamination of Islam's sources among tra ...more

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