Islam After Liberalism
The relationship between Islam and liberalism has been a subject of scholarly as much as popular debate for at least a century and a half. Its progress sometimes hailed and at other times found wanting, this relationship has been marked by the unchanging and even stereotypical terms in which it has been debated, including issues such as the separation of church and state, the status of women and the rights of non-Muslims. Each of these issues serves as a litmus test to measure the liberalism of Muslim individuals as well as societies, and each is also drawn from the real or imagined history of liberalism in Europe. However, as a historical and variable phenomenon, liberalism does not in fact possess a normative definition but constitutes a family of shifting and overlapping ideas having to do with the freedoms of property and contract, speech and movement, or of rights and representation....
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