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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 15:40 GMT 16:40 UK
Battle for Islam
Ziauddin Sardar
Ziauddin Sardar presents a 90-minute documentary
Monday, 5 September, 2005
BBC Two, 2100 BST
Since the events of 11 September 2001, headlines focusing on Islamic extremism have hidden the story of radical change and intense soul searching in many Muslim countries.

In an epic journey, celebrated British Muslim writer and broadcaster Ziauddin Sardar travels to five Muslim countries: Turkey, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia and Malaysia.

He reveals how heads of government, intellectuals and opinion formers are seeking new interpretations of Islam, offering a more tolerant approach to other faiths and cultures, and seeking to disentangle Islam from political ideology.

Even Sharia law, for many Muslims the bedrock of their faith, is being re-examined and in some countries radically reformed.

Contrary to expectation, in some Muslim countries it is women who are leading the charge for change.

Along the way, Sardar meets ordinary Muslims caught between the reformers and the fundamentalists.

He examines whether changes are taking millions of Muslims into a future where they can co-exist peaceably with non-Islamic countries, and assesses the ever-present threat from extremists.

A discussion programme on BBC Four presented by Zeinab Badawi addressed the issues raised in the Battle for Islam film in the context of the UK.


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