Islamic Liberation Theology Resisting the Empire by Hamid Dabashi (London and New York: Routledge, 2008. 303 pages.)

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Halil Ibrahim Yenigun



By this provocative work – to say the least – Dabashi makes a quite timely
intervention in the direction that the new discourse on Islam has recently
taken, especially among progressive-liberal Muslim scholars. Unlike many
others who are attracted to liberalism of various sorts, Dabashi remains closer to the socialist lineage to formulate a fervent anti-imperialist critique
and struggle for justice in the line of liberation theologies of Gustavo Gutierrez
and Joseph H. Cone. There have also been a few other Muslims pursuing
a similar endeavor, such as Shabbir Akhtar and Farid Esack. Yet Dabashi,
while retaining the basic sense of liberation theology, “articulation of the
meaning of faith based on commitment to abolish injustice” (p. 254), is rather
after a theodicy for our post-civilizational times. In his words, the aim is “to
investigate the specifically Islamic manners of opposing the imperial upsurge
in the aftermath of the ‘Islam and West binary opposition’” (p. 2) ...

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