Saturday, February 6, 2010

Between realism and resistance: Shi‘i Islam and the Contemporary Lberal State

Twelver Shi'i religious scholars ('ulama) in the Hawza 'Ilmiyya (seminary) in the southern Iraqi shrine city of al-Najaf.

"On the question of commitment to the nonliberal state, Shi‘i doctrine, which can best be gleaned from the voluminous works of modern Grand Ayatollahs, can be ambiguous. Nevertheless, some forms of what might be dubbed orthodox Shi‘ism appear more compatible with modern notions of liberalism than others. This Article divides modern Shi‘i thought on the nation-state, and the devout believers relationship thereto, into four categories. The Article concludes as a general matter that at least three of those categories appear possibly compatible with liberalism, and a fourth almost appears to recommend liberalism as a preferred form of political order. Nevertheless, the association of liberalism with Western thought at a time when so much of the global Muslim community is deeply hostile to the West and its ideas creates a substantial obstacle to its broader adoption."

Shi'i Islam & Contemporary Liberal State
Shi'i Islam & the Liberal State

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