Western civilization tends to view secularism as a positive achievement. From this perspective, benefits of secularizing trends include the separation of church and state, the rule of law, and freedom from organized religion.
In the Arab Middle East, however, Islamist intellectuals increasingly cite Western-inspired secularism as the source of the region's social dislocation and political instability. While secularism in the West led to the spread of democratic values, in the Muslim world it has been associated with dictatorship, the violation of human rights, and the abrogation of civil liberties.
Islam and Secularism in the Middle East examines the origins and growth of the movement to abolish the secularizing reforms of the past century by creating a political order guided by Shariah law. Contributors explain the Islamic rejection of secularism as a failed Western Christian ideal and also discuss how secularization was pioneered by those who thought Muslims could only advance politically by emulating Western practices, including the renunciation of religion.
|Publisher:||New York University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
AZZAM TAMIMI is Director of the London-based Institute of Islamic Political Thought and is a writer on Islam and Middle East Issues.
JOHN L. ESPOSITO is Professor of Religion and International Affairs and Professor of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, where he is also Director of the Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. His publications include The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality, Islam and Politics, The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World and The Oxford History of Islam.