A New Review of An-Na‛im’s “Islam and the Secular State”

Perry Dane, Professor of Law at the Rutgers School of Law, has posted a new review of Abduallah Ahmad An-Na’imi’s important book, Islam and the Secular State: Negotiation the Future of Sharia (2009) . An excerpt: Abduallahi Ahmed An-Na‛im’s ‘Islam and the Secular State’ is a complex, even unruly, book whose many strands I can only begin to tease out ...

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Rizvi on John Rawls’ Political Liberalism

Ali Rizvi has posted The Independence/Dependence Paradox Within John Rawls’s Political Liberalism on PhilPapers. Here is the abstract: Rawls in his later philosophy claims that it is sufficient to accept political conception as true or right, depending on what one’s worldview allows, on the basis of whatever reasons one can muster, given one’s worldview (doctrine). What political liberalism is interested ...

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The ideological challenge for Iranian democrats

The ideological challenge for Iranian democrats

Since the rapid fall of two authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, the differences between the situation of  Iran and it’s theocratic dictatorship and those two countries have been widely discussed. In an Interesting piece, Nader Hashemi contributes in this debate, urging Iranian democrats to incorporates “the contemporary Muslim identity” in their struggle with authoritarian rule. An excerpt: Iranian democrats ...

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Two New Books on Jürgen Habermas

Two New Books on Jürgen Habermas

Jürgen Habermas: Key Concepts ed. by Barbara Fultner Acumen (Feb 2011) Description A rare systematic thinker, Habermas has furthered our understanding of modernity, social interaction and linguistic practice, societal institutions, rationality, morality, the law, globalization, and the role of religion in multicultural societies. He has helped shape discussions of truth, objectivity, normativity, and the relationship between the human and the ...

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Olivier Roy on Ben Laden’s Death

He writes at New Statesman: Osama Bin Laden was already dead before the Americans attacked his compound in Abbottabad – politically, at least. The political death of al-Qaeda occurred on 17 December 2010 at Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia when the street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight. Bouazizi’s suicide, whatever its personal motivation, was a political event, but this suicide ...

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Khamenei – Ahmadinejad Face-off

I think the important ongoing power struggle between Ali Khamenei  and the president is going to persis. It could  lead to Ahmadinejad’s fall, before finishing his second term in office, but  it would be not easy for Khamenei to throw away the man whom he has so heavily supported. The conservatives around Khamenei are now trying to discredit Ahmadinejad. The ...

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Alfred Stepan on the Prospect for Democratic Transition in Egypt and Tunisia

Alfred Stepan, a leading scholar on democratic transition is back from his Middle-East visit and writes at The Immanent Frame on the prospect for the democratization in Tunisia and Egypt. Concerning Tunisia Stepan seems optimist: The first reality to appreciate is that, despite worries about the incompatibility of Islam and democracy, over 500 million Muslims live in Muslim majority countries ...

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al-Tahtawi and the Arab Wave

In a long piece at National Interest, Eugene Rogan explains how the search for democratic government in the Middle East is actually older than what is widely assumed. He points to the history of al-Tahtavi: The person who initiated the discussion of constitutionalism in the Arab world was a young Muslim cleric named Rifa’a Rafi’ al-Tahtawi. Al-Tahtawi left Egypt in ...

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