Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Political Liberalism in Muslim Societies

Academic journal article Arab Studies Quarterly

Political Liberalism in Muslim Societies

Article excerpt

Fevzi Bilgin. Political Liberalism in Muslim Societies New York: Routledge, 2011. Hardback $130.00

This book investigates the possible application of John Rawls 's idea of political liberalism in Muslim societies. The author uses two basic premises in his analysis; "the sociological premise is the recent resurgence of religious - especially Islamic - claims in public life" (1). Second is a distinction between political philosophy in general and Rawls's political liberalism in terms of accommodating religions. According to the author, "Political philosophy has always had to confront the political challenges of religions. Among the major trends of thought, there have been ideas favoring the homogenization of diverse faiths through coercive imposition, the rationalization or trivialization of religion through secular institutionalization, and finally, the forceful elimination of religious manifestations in public life" (1). However, Rawls's political liberalism, "presents an inclusive normative outlook that appeals to religious citizenry as much it does to other citizens" (1-2).

The author goes on to explain, in detail, the tenets of John Rawls's political liberalism, which engages what he terms as "reasonable comprehensive doctrines" that help citizens perceive justice politically to ensure a stable society. Religions are accepted by Rawls as such because, like unreligious doctrines, they "could be deemed reasonable and accommodated into a broad public consensus" (3). …

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