May 1st, 2012 by hartsem
Concerns about the relationship of Islam to liberalism have dominated Western discussion of Islam ever since the events of 9/11. Many Western democracies, often in the name of the need to preserve a liberal order, have taken steps, implicitly or explicitly, to limit the freedoms of Muslims. Part of the reason that such measures have been taken is the assumption that Islam is so thoroughly and irredeemably opposed to a liberal public order that ordinary assumptions about religious freedom should not apply to Islam or Muslims. In this lecture, Professor Fadel will try to discuss why this idea of Islamic "exceptionalism" is deeply flawed, subversive of liberalism itself, and ironically, likely to bring about the very theological dangers that such measures are intended to forestall.