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Contents Spring 2005: Issue 02
Why should Iran disarm?
       
  
 
Microscope
Why should Iran disarm?
Sajjad Khan

Weapons of Mass Destruction have shaped the post 9-11 debate with respect to international peace and security. Following the invasion of Iraq in 2003, weapons proliferation continues to occur in countries such as North Korea. However it is Iranian policy and nuclear intentions which is now the central focus of western foreign policy. Sajjad Khan argues that the nuclear bargain explicit within the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty has now broken down.
Exporting Democracy
Jamal Okae

With the absence of WMDs proved conclusively, the only remaining justification for the continued presence of occupation forces in Iraq is the prospect of democracy rising out of the ashes of Iraq’s battered cities. Japan and Germany have been offered as examples of what can happen when America gets it right. But scrutiny of post-war events, and indeed of democratic societies in general, indicates that the chances of success in Iraq are marginal at best.
Life: So Much to Lose
Dr Abdullah Robin

Reflecting upon the deadly tsunamis that brought death to nations upon all shores of an ocean Dr Abdullah Robin discusses the fragility of life and asks if science can determine the origin of life with the same confidence that it can pinpoint the origin of a tsunami.
Women and Equality
Akmal Asghar

The current debate on women's rights has until now been predominantly shaped by its progress in the west. Whilst attitudes towards women have changed significantly in the west through the endeavours of feminists and women's rights movements of different philosophical persuasions, Akmal Asghar questions some of the assumptions - and their universality - as well as the broader impact of their successes.
Solving the problem of identity in the era of globalisation
Farooq Khan

In the last edition of New Civilisation magazine Farooq Khan discussed the new epoch that is emerging and touched upon how Islam will redefine the globalisation debate. In this edition he explores how Islam can practically solve one aspect of the globalisation debate: the problem of identity.
Dialogue with Orthodox Islam
Dr Salman Ahmed

Orthodox Islam receives at worst a hysterical response and at best an ambivalent one. It would be futile to argue that there are not important points of difference between Orthodox Islam's views and those who hold liberal secular values. However Dr Salman Ahmed argues that moderate Islam is largely a myth and that if the West wants to entertain a serious dialogue it should realise Orthodox Islam is the only game in town.
The Road From Tashkent to the Taliban
Zeyno Baran & Dr Abdullah Robin

Zeyno Baran, the Nixon Center's international security program director, outlines a view that Islamic political parties working to re-establish the Caliphate, represent a threat to US interests. Her article is published below and is followed by a response from Dr Abdullah Robin.
Ijithad: Applying Islam in the 21st century
Akmal Asghar

The subject of ijtihad occupies a recurring theme across much contemporary Islamic literature. A tool employed by Islamic jurists, it holds the key to Islam's continual relevance and to defining an Islamic approach for solving problems in a post-modern world. Akmal Asghar provides an overview of ijtihad and its role in presenting an Islamic alternative.
Rethinking Intellectual Property
Dr Abdullah Robin

Dr Abdullah Robin looks at innovation and economic growth in a knowledge based economy and traces the development of the concept of intellectual property from its capitalist origins as a monopoly right through its transformation into an allegedly universal concept of property in ideas. He examines the integrity of the concept and argues that it is a brake rather than an engine for economic progress; a brake that Islam dispenses with for the betterment of humanity.
The Ethical Dilemma Confronting Stem Cell Research
Dr Saqib Latif

Stem cell research promises to revolutionise medical treatment and has the potential to yield cures that have long eluded scientists and doctors. Whilst researchers seek to push the frontiers of its ground-breaking potential, a debate over the ethics of experimenting with human embryos may yet threaten to stifle its future. Dr Saqib Latif discusses an Islamic approach to a debate that has deeply divided secular societies.Stem cell research promises to revolutionise medical treatment and has the potential to yield cures that have long eluded scientists and doctors. Whilst researchers seek to push the frontiers of its ground-breaking potential, a debate over the ethics of experimenting with human embryos may yet threaten to stifle its future. Dr Saqib Latif discusses an Islamic approach to a debate that has deeply divided secular societies.
Letter to the editor 
I note that the aim of New Civilisation is to present 'Islamic political thinking, hitherto unrecognised in the western world'. Your editorial also describes the magazine, or its contents, as a 'gauntlet', so as a 'Westerner' I am responding to that challenge.