Al-Masiri’s Framework in Understanding and Examining the Jewish Communities
This paper deals with al-Masiri’s framework in examining the Jews. Contrary to sweeping narratives such as the Jewish nature, the Jewish genius, the Jewish mischief, the Jewish conspiracy, etc., al-Masiri argues that the Jews or Jewish communities, as he prefers to call, should be understood within the social, cultural, religious, and political contexts of the societies they live in. To fathom the Jews or Jewish communities, al-Masiri claims, one should take into account the epistemological, civilizational, and socio-economic dimensions away from simplistic, one-dimensional or monistic narratives. Hence, al-Masiri brings forth a new framework that includes three paradigms, namely al-×ulËliyyah al-KamËniyyah al-WÉÍidiyyah (i.e., monistic pantheistic immanence), al-ÑAlmÉniyyah al-ShÉmillah (i.e., comprdehensive secularism), al-JamÉÑÉt al-WaÐÊfiyyah (i.e., functional groups). These three paradigms, as al-Masiri argues, have analytical power that enables a thorough and genuine understanding and evaluation of the Jews or Jewish communities. It is a counternarrative approach able to display the epistemological underpinnings that lie beneath the common frequent narratives about the Jews and Jewish communities. Thus, this paper aims at critically exploring, explaining and evaluating the three paradigms devised by al-Masiri as analytical tools to define, understand, and analyse the Jewish communities. This paper adopts qualitative method of content analysis taking into account the framework of relevantization.
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