Leonid Sjukijainen, D.Sc. (Law), Professor of State UniversityHigher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia)

It was late in the 20th century that Islam developed into a major issue of contemporary world politics. It left the realm of academic deliberations to be discussed by political scientists, publicists, and journalists. They normally concentrate on several subjects: Islam and international terrorism and political extremism inherited from the past as well as several recent ones, namely the Muslim worlds future in the context of political changes and the role of Islam in the process. In the final analysis, this is related to the future of Islam under the conditions of accelerating globalization.

Globalization and the Structure of the World as Seen by the Sharia

Globalization has become a prominent feature of the contemporary world. Seen by itself it is a more or less natural, or even inevitable, process born of the on-going interaction among countries, cultures, and ways of life, as well as vigorous exchanges at the state and personal levels. Like all other parts of the globe, the Muslim world feels the impact of globalization and its ambiguous influences.

So far, the rich West profits more than the rest of the world from the fact that globalization tends to impose identical rules on all the countries involved in the process. This explains the fact that while many countries (Russia included) are seeking WTO membership, some public associations and movements are regularly protesting against the common standards imposed on the world in the interests of huge monopolies that do nothing for the rest of

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