Islam and The Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari`a is avowedly didactic, aiming to persuade Muslims in public debate that constitutional rule of law, human rights and democratic citizenship in a secular state represent the only form of political regime consistent with Islam in the modern world. Despite lengthy and repetitious exposition of the notions of democratic constitutionalism, “civic reason,” citizenship and human rights, An-Na`im fails in his explicit purpose of justifying and legitimizing them in Islamic terms, which appear somewhat incidentally and do not carry the primary charge of justification. In this regard, his preaching can only have an effect on those already converted.Read the rest of Preaching to the converted.
Saïd Amir Arjomand
Saïd Amir Arjomand is Distinguished Service Professor of Sociology and Director of the Stony Brook Institute for Global Studies. He is the author of The Shadow of God and the Hidden Imam: Religion, Political Organization and Societal Change in Shi'ite Iran from the Beginning to 1890 (The University of Chicago Press, 1984), The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran (Oxford University Press, 1988); and the editor of several books, including Constitutionalism and Political Reconstruction (Leiden : E.J. Brill, 2007), and Constitutional Politics in the Middle East (London: Hart Publishers, 2008).
Posts by Saïd Amir Arjomand:
Noah Feldman prefaces his plea for the Shariah in his recent article for The New York Times Magazine (“Why Shariah?“) with a reference to the proposal recently made by the Archbishop of Canterbury to allow the Shariah and Jewish law to be considered in voluntary family and arbitration courts. The Archbishop and the Professor are addressing very different issues, however. […]Read the rest of Why Shariah?.