Without a doubt about Book Review: Shadi Hamid’s ‘Islamic Exceptionalism’

by Adam Weinstein

Islamic Exceptionalism is definitely an expansion of a quarrel earlier asserted by Hamid that will be that democracy in a Muslim society will hardly ever create a liberal culture, but might rather further introduce Islam into general public life. That is stated with all the reminder that Islam – even Islamism – is certainly not monolithic. As Hamid describes ‘for many Muslims, the idea of Islam is the fact that it really is available and simple, at the very least with its broad outlines’ (p. 42). Maybe for this reason rigid works such as for instance Ibn Taymiyyah’s Al-Aqidah Al-Waasitiyyah have actually gained a great deal appeal in modern times and also the Western image of Islam is regarded as a harsh and ideology that is uncompromising. But Hamid reminds us that an even more nuanced way of Islam lurks within the past that is recent. He cites scholars that are 20thcentury such as for instance Sudan’s Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, who distinguished the sacred through the profane components of the Quran in defiance of this literalism motivated by Hanbalis and insisted upon by Salafis.

Hamid juxtapositions instead than compares the development that is early of with this of Islam to raised comparison the 2 faiths. The real history of Christianity since the faith of salvation through elegance, which in its formative infancy existed being a refused cult, is very distinct from Islam, which enjoyed great success that is political inception. Consequently, the thought of separation of mosque and state is in contradiction because of the really essence of Islam, which will be both a religious and faith that is legalistic.

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