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We describe an ultra-wide-bandwidth, low-frequency receiver recently installed on the Parkes radio telescope. The receiver system provides continuous frequency coverage from 704 to 4032 MHz. For much of the band (
), the system temperature is approximately 22 K and the receiver system remains in a linear regime even in the presence of strong mobile phone transmissions. We discuss the scientific and technical aspects of the new receiver, including its astronomical objectives, as well as the feed, receiver, digitiser, and signal processor design. We describe the pipeline routines that form the archive-ready data products and how those data files can be accessed from the archives. The system performance is quantified, including the system noise and linearity, beam shape, antenna efficiency, polarisation calibration, and timing stability.
This book responds to the often loud debates about the place of Muslims in Western Europe by proposing an analysis based in institutions, including schools, courts, hospitals, the military, electoral politics, the labor market, and civic education courses. The contributors consider the way people draw on practical schemas regarding others in their midst who are often categorized as Muslims. Chapters based on fieldwork and policy analysis across several countries examine how people interact in their everyday work lives, where they construct moral boundaries, and how they formulate policies concerning tolerable diversity, immigration, discrimination, and political representation. Rather than assuming that each country has its own national ideology that explains such interactions, contributors trace diverse pathways along which institutions complicate or disrupt allegedly consistent national ideologies. These studies shed light on how Muslims encounter particular faces and facets of the state as they go about their lives, seeking help and legitimacy as new citizens of a fast-changing Europe.
In the last two chapters we have considered two perspectives that characterize modern forms of Islam. In studying worship we learned that some Muslims have engaged in a social and moral critique of the ways in which others carried out their ritual obligations. Their objections developed as part of a broad movement for Islamic reform in the late nineteenth century. “Modernist” scholars emphasized the importance of returning to the scriptural texts to rediscover the proper approaches to worship, and of rejecting those practices that did not have a clear scriptural base. They also emphasized holding proper intentions and attitudes when at worship, an emphasis that has led some to hinge Islamic revival on the subjectivity and bodily attitudes of Muslims.
This moral critique of traditional practices sometimes joins with an epistemological shift that casts Islam as a system of propositions rather than as an accumulated body of ideas and practices. This perspective on Islam can support a modernist position but it need not do so. One may render Islamic “systematic” in ways that support older ways of thinking about Islam as a set of accumulated norms and practices. Nonetheless, there are what we may think of as meta-textual “elective affinities” between the two ideas, to the extent that both – the modernist moral critique and the Islam-as-system epistemological shift – privilege the immediate relation of the Muslim to sources of scriptural proof.
The first Islamic polity emerged when the Prophet Muhammad became ruler of the city of Medina. He transmitted God's words, resolved disputes among his followers, and responded to questions about all manner of concerns: how to worship, how to treat one's spouse, how to dress in public. Through his words and his deeds, Muhammad was the source of Islamic norms, the judge of human conduct, and the ultimate recourse for those with puzzles or problems.
The memory of this unity, in Muhammad, of ruling, judging, teaching, and worshipping, underlies the frequently expressed idea that Islam does not distinguish the religious from the secular. After Muhammad's death this unity began to come apart; some people ruled, others led prayers, still others collected and examined hadith, some taught, some judged disputes among the people, and some commanded armies. But the Prophet's example of how to do each of these things retained its stature as an authoritative model for correct Islamic conduct, and, as we have seen, the transmitted reports, hadith, of what he did and said remain one of the two main sources for knowing shariah.
In the last three chapters we worked from central, scripturally enjoined elements of Islam – revelation, worship, sacrifice – to diverse local interpretations and practices. This direction of analysis highlights the importance of referring to, and drawing from, a tradition, but it only includes those elements that are part of that common tradition. It leaves out local, culturally specific practices that some Muslims, but not others, might consider to be part of their Islam. This kind of omission is a weakness of classical approaches in religious studies, which only admitted to the canon of Islam that which could be seen as part of a single tradition.
This methodological concern leads me here to take the opposite route, and start from ways in which some people seek to heal or otherwise change the world through spells and prayer, and only then ask whether in doing so they draw on Islamic frameworks. Some Muslims develop specific ways of healing (or for that matter harming) that involve appeals to Islamic spirits or to God. Sometimes outsiders (including other Muslims, critical of these practices) might refer to these appeals in terms like “sorcery,” “magic,” or bid`a (illegitimate innovation), or shirk (poly-theism). But for the practitioners, to heal in a religious fashion is to draw on God's benevolence. Even harming others might be understood as merely returning a malicious spirit to its original sender.