Liberal Islam An Analysis

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Muhammad Mumtaz Ali

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Abstract

In recent years, the focus of research and public perception has been on liberal, moderate, and modernist Islam. Liberal Islam advocates liberal solutions to the problems of religion and society, namely, interpretations of Islam that have a special concern for democracy, women’s rights and empowerment, freedom of thought, and other contemporary issues. Its adherents also forcefully assert that liberal Islam is authentic, not just merely a western creation, and therefore genuinely reflects the true Islamic tradition. In addition, they claim that the ummah (the Muslim world) should think and act in terms of adoption, reconciliation, and accommodation vis-à-vis the West to solve its problem of continuing undevelopment. I contend that the liberal perception and prescription are unrealistic and imaginative, that they contain inherent weaknesses, and that the liberal prescription is irrelevant to the ummah’s development.

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