Introduction There is a spectre haunting the Muslim world, by the name of political Islam. Whether in the form of violent terrorist groups or in the guise of political parties pragmatically using the democratic process to gain power, it seems that everywhere behind the stunted development of Muslim-majority societies is the troublesome presence of political Islam. Observers of contemporary affairs will note Islamic politics as … Continue reading Deconstructing Western Representations of Political Islam
While nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer, nothing is more difficult than to understand him.  The quotation above is less a reflection of what Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821-1881) actually said — as it remains unverified but frequently cited — but more of what the Russian author’s novels continue to offer us: an understanding of the evildoer. His novel, Crime and Punishment, is known for … Continue reading Dostoevsky’s Strange Ideas and the Modern Terrorist
En Français Modern politics is characterised by a multitude of political differences. This reveals a profound ontological uncertainty we were promised would not happen. We were sold the idea that with the rejection of divine revelation, supposedly the cauldron of hostility and division, we would find social harmony. Instead of God, we would embrace Reason and man-made ideology which would end all strife and hardship … Continue reading Envisioning Politics Beyond Left and Right
En Français With technological advances and breaking news hurtling towards us at hyperspeed, we are confronted with an onslaught of profoundly ethical questions. From the impact of economic policies on local communities to the parameters of freedom of speech and down to the inception and sanctity of human life, we look on as politicians put forth proposals that stake ethical claims in one way or … Continue reading The Secular Pretense: The State as God
Critics of Islamophobia, often left-wing activists, position themselves passionately against far-right hateful bigots, creating the mirage of the left being unconditionally allied with Islam and Muslims. It’s an easy (and necessary) task to identify calls for purging Muslims and passing anti-Muslim legislation as hateful and vile, but the manner in which this is done neglects an equally formidable enemy to Islam. The left tends to … Continue reading Progressive Muslims and The Right-Wing: An Alliance
Modern Myths is a series of articles that deconstructs popular myths that are informed by modernity. This series first presents the myth, analyzes and dismantles it from a lens of tradition, and ultimately, offers alternatives in viewing or resolving the legitimate challenges associated with the myth. We hope the “Modern Myths” series will enable you to not only question your understanding of these topics, but also … Continue reading Modern Myth: The Moderate Muslim
بالعربية One of the greatest political challenges Islam faces is the relationship between religion and state, a political construct that dominates and tolerates no rival. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria highlighted this crisis, as the Muslim world continues to produce political bankruptcy through failed states, authoritarianism, and the ugly miscegenation of state and religion. Muslim scholars and civil society unanimously … Continue reading Reclaiming the Islamic Political Tradition: Reflections after ISIS
Modern Myths is a new series of articles that will deconstruct popular myths that are informed by modernity. This series will first present the myth, analyze and dismantle it from a lens of tradition, and ultimately, offer alternatives in viewing or ameliorating the legitimate challenges associated with the myth. We hope the “Modern Myths” series will enable you to not only question your understanding of … Continue reading Modern Myth: Overpopulation
Across cultures, questions of purpose naturally and commonly come to occupy a significant place in one’s heart and mind. We all wonder about our place in the world, reflecting on what our families and friends mean to us and how long they will be in our lives. We inevitably search for an essence, pure and unchanging, something to which we can grab hold, in certainty, … Continue reading Is Secularism Secular?
Note: a revised and revamped version of this article was published in February 2019, which can be accessed here. بالعربية Picture this: You turn on the TV or scroll through your Twitter timeline and see people discussing a viral video, recent political development, or editorial in a major newspaper. Everywhere you look, someone has a hot take to give, and heated debates undoubtedly follow. Or … Continue reading Modernity: Why Dissent?