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The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism

Abdulaziz Sachedina (Author)
Synopsis Islam is now the second largest religion in the world. For several decades, this global community has struggled with issues of national independence, cultural identity, modernization and development, the challenge of fundamentalism, democratization, and pluralism. The way in which these questions are resolved will have an incalculable effect on world politics in the coming century. In this book, sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Abdulaziz Sachedina tackles the most significant issues facing Muslims today. As Islam and Muslims enter the twenty-first century, Sachedina argues, it is necessary to reopen the doors of religious interpretation—to reexamine and correct politically conditioned interpretations, replace outdated laws, and formulate new doctrines that respond to changing social contexts. Always using the Koran as his yardstick, Sachedina demonstrates how and why Islamic law came to reflect political and social influences, leading to regulations that violate the spirit and the letter of the Koran. He critically analyzes Muslim teachings on issues of pluralism, civil society, war and peace, violence and self-sacrifice, the status and role of non-Muslims, and capital punishment. In every case he does not shrink, where warranted, from speaking of "the irrelevance of past juridical decisions." In their place, he provides alternative resolutions, grounded in Koranic interpretation and contemporary realities. Throughout, his balanced interpretation avoids both the alarmist warnings of Western analysts about the "Islamic threat" and the apologist stance of Islamic purists and Islamic religious authorities. Offering a sophisticated new understanding of Islam’s intrinsic democratic tendencies, this remarkable work will be essential reading for all concerned with Islam’s role in the coming century.
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Bibliographic information

Title The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2001
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195139917
length xiv+175p., Notes; Bibliography; Index.