Islam and the Challenge of Democracy

ISBN-10: 0691119384
ISBN-13: 9780691119380
Edition: 2004
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Description: The events of September 11 and the subsequent war on terrorism have provoked widespread discussion about the possibility of democracy in the Islamic world. Such topics as the meaning of jihad, the role of clerics as authoritative interpreters, and  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 3/28/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 144
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

The events of September 11 and the subsequent war on terrorism have provoked widespread discussion about the possibility of democracy in the Islamic world. Such topics as the meaning of jihad, the role of clerics as authoritative interpreters, and the place of human rights and toleration in Islam have become subjects of urgent public debate around the world. With few exceptions, however, this debate has proceeded in isolation from the vibrant traditions of argument within Islamic theology, philosophy, and law. Islam and the Challenge of Democracyaims to correct this deficiency. The book engages the reader in a rich discourse on the challenges of democracy in contemporary Islam. The collection begins with a lead essay by Khaled Abou El Fadl, who argues that democracy, especially a constitutional democracy that protects basic individual rights, is the form of government best suited to promoting a set of social and political values central to Islam. Because Islam is about submission to God and about each individual's responsibility to serve as His agent on Earth, Abou El Fadl argues, there is no place for the subjugation to human authority demanded by authoritarian regimes. The lead essay is followed by eleven others from internationally respected specialists in democracy and religion. They address, challenge, and engage Abou El Fadl's work. The contributors include John Esposito, Muhammad Fadel, Noah Feldman, Nader Hashemi, Bernard Haykel, Muqtedar Khan, Saba Mahmood, David Novak, William Quandt, Kevin Reinhart, and Jeremy Waldron.

Joshua Cohen is Marta Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society at Stanford University, and a member of the faculty of Apple University. He is the author, co-author, or editor of more than 25 books. His most recent books are Philosophy, Politics, Democracy (2009); The Arc of the Moral Universe (2011); and Rousseau: A Free Community of Equals (2012). Since 1991, Cohen has been editor of the Boston Review.

Islam and the Challenge of Democracy
Responses Change from Within
Democracy and Conflict
The Best Hope
The Primacy of Political Philosophy
The Importance of Context
Is Liberalism Islam's Only Answer?
Popular Support First
Too Far from Tradition
Revealed Law and Democracy
Practice and Theory
Islam Is Not the Problem
Reply
Contributors
Index

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