The Place of Tolerance in Islam

The Place of Tolerance in Islam

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by Khaled Abou El Fadl
     
 

Khaled Abou El Fadl, a prominent critic of Islamic puritanism, leads off this lively debate by arguing that Islam is a deeply tolerant religion. Injunctions to violence against nonbelievers stem from misreadings of the Qur'an, he claims, and even jihad, or so-called holy war, has no basis in Qur'anic text or Muslim theology but instead grew out of social and

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Overview

Khaled Abou El Fadl, a prominent critic of Islamic puritanism, leads off this lively debate by arguing that Islam is a deeply tolerant religion. Injunctions to violence against nonbelievers stem from misreadings of the Qur'an, he claims, and even jihad, or so-called holy war, has no basis in Qur'anic text or Muslim theology but instead grew out of social and political conflict.

Many of Abou El Fadl's respondents think differently. Some contend that his brand of Islam will only appeal to Westerners and students in "liberal divinity schools" and that serious religious dialogue in the Muslim world requires dramatic political reforms. Other respondents argue that theological debates are irrelevant and that our focus should be on Western sabotage of such reforms. Still others argue that calls for Islamic "tolerance" betray the Qur'anic injunction for Muslims to struggle against their oppressors.

The debate underscores an enduring challenge posed by religious morality in a pluralistic age: how can we preserve deep religious conviction while participating in what Abou El Fadl calls "a collective enterprise of goodness" that cuts across confessional differences?

With contributions from Tariq Ali, Milton Viorst, and John Esposito, and others.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807002292
Publisher:
Beacon
Publication date:
11/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,260,963
Product dimensions:
5.35(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Editors' Preface
The Place of Tolerance in Islam3
Puritanism and Stagnation27
A Conservative Legacy31
Theological Distractions37
The Limits of Tolerance42
Text and Context51
Beyond Interpretation56
The Importance of Democracy61
Intolerable Injustices67
Struggle in Islam72
Plural Traditions80
The Quandary of Leadership85
Reply93
Notes113
About the Contributors116

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