International Journal for Muslim World Studies (IJMWS)

Formerly known as International Journal of Muslim Unity (IJMU)

Heritage, Culture And Globalization*

Amer Al-Roubaie

Professor, International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization (ISTAC),

International Islamic University Malaysia


The discourse on globalization and its impact on traditional culture and heritage have been widely discussed both in academia and the media. The new global culture is deeply rooted in modernity theory and greatly influenced by socio-economic transformation in Western societies during the last three centuries. Rapid development in information and telecommunication technologies has facilitated the spread of the new culture worldwide propagating mainly Western materialistic iconologies not necessarily suitable for development in Non-Western countries. The control over the mass media and global      markets by a few but powerful nations made it easier for global public opinions to be manipulated and for their interest in the rest of the world to be propagated. Muslims are among those who will be affected by these new trends causing in the process substantial damage to social, cultural, traditional and religious values.  To stand up to such challenges Muslims need to mobilize all necessary means in order to protect their heritage and preserve their dignity.   Unity is a religious duty without it Muslims will remain incapable of exercising their influence neither at home nor abroad.



This Paper is a modified version of the paper presented at the International Conference on the Advancement of the Ummah themed “Ummah at the Cross Roads: The Role of the OIC,” held in conjunction with the l0’• OIC Summit in Malaysia The conference took place at the Putra World Trade Center on the 13thand 14th October 2003.   The conference was organized by Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Prime Minister’s Department (IDFR), Institute of Knowledge Advancement, Universiti Teknologi MARA (INKA).