A growing number of Muslim youth from the city are looking westwards for modern perspectives on - hold your breath - Islam! The educated and upwardly mobile youth armed with the internet are gravitating towards different interpretations of the second largest faith presented by scholars from American and European countries and the trend is fast gaining momentum across Hyderabad .
What is attracting the young Muslims is that many scholars from the West make no distinction between religion and modern education apart from having a practical approach to various issues, unlike a large section of the Indian Muslim clergy .
Take for instance 28-year-old Syed Zaheerddin who is a manager of an IT firm in Hi-Tec City. After logging out, Zaheer goes home and watches on Youtube lectures by Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, a UK scholar who uses logic and reasoning to present modern arguments on various theological subjects. "Like us, these scholars are university educated professionals which means that they can understand our problems and offer better solutions than traditional scholars. They present Islam in the right perspective and learning from them is easy," he says .
Unlike many traditional scholars, these western-bred scholars deal with the issue of a balanced global identity of Muslims, he says. The Friday qutbah (sermon) delivered in mosques is diametrically opposite to this approach, he notes .
Many young men and women believe the culture of Islam should be understood vis-a-vis other cultures and that western writers provide them a route map to do so .
"I admire Lesley Hazleton for destroying the myth of 72 virgins which jihadis are supposedly promised. She says the word hoor is not described in the Quran as virgins with swelling breasts but anything that is pure. Incidentally she describes herself as an agnostic Jew," Mujtaba Hussain, a 26-year-old advertising professional said .
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