A difficult Muslim predicament:
Throughout the latter half of the 20th century and till today, there were many major ambitious Arab intellectual projects of religious reforms that sought to build from the ground up a whole new foundation of Quranic hermanutics that can open /1
the sealed gates of Muslim reason and humanism. The best and brightest minds of the Muslim ME, Mohamed Arkoun from Algeria, Nasr Hamed Abou Zaid from Egypt, Mohamed Shahrour from Lebanon, and many more, spent their lives toiling in linguistics, philosophy, theology, etc. /2
trying to achieve this noblest and most urgent of causes. All those amazing minds were seeking to do is to start a Muslim version of the reformation to liberate Muslim thinking from the chains of dogmatism, superstition, and literalism, and it's exactly here that their problem /3
is. When the theologians and thinkers of the EU reformation, and later the enlightenment, were embarking on their journey they were engaging in innovative and original hermeneutical work that helped unlock new potentials of scripture and reaching new conclusions. When /4
the Muslim reformers embark on their journey, even before you pick any of their hefty volumes, you know all the conclusions in advance; human rights, equality between the sexes, freedom of expression, freedom of belief, etc. You don't read to know any of their works to know /5
they are headed with their hermeneutical innovations to the same development goals set by the IMF and human rights organizations. No matter how original and cohesive their intellectual edifice is, and they are that, the fact that the destination is already set in advance /6
and adds nothing to what's already been known for over 100 years leaves most people ambivalent at best. Those who read those books are either those who are convinced with the destination in advance and happy to know there is a way to get there or those who seek to write /7
polemics legitimating the reality of not being there. I'm not taking sides in anything just wanted to describe what I think is a truly difficult predicament. Those intellectuals are truly heroic and the ambivalent faithful audiences are right to be suspicious of intellectual /1
explorative ventures that seek to reach destinations that were long predetermined.

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More from @HusseinAboubak

8 Sep
Relatively unknown fact: Israel is by far the only country in the Middle East that has the intellectual, cultural, and technical capacity to ideologically combat Aljazeera, the destructive ideologies, and offer an alternative in the ME. Israel only lacks imagination and will. /1
I know many may disagree with me, but given that I have a unique position between cultures, I can say also that many don't know what they are talking about.
I don't want to be unfair, it was Arab intellectuals who forcefully shut Israeli out to begin with and saw in Israel nothing but a satan to be destroyed. And this resulted in mental habits that need to be undone on both sides.
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
20 years later, we may, indeed we must ask ourselves; what did Bin Laden achieve? Did he succeed in defeating the United States? Annihilating Israel? Establishing a thousand-year caliphate? The answer to these questions is a decisive no, but we should not indulge ourselves in /1
a delusional sense of victory that hides our true defeat. When the great terrorist entrepreneur sat on his way through the establishment of his organization, “The Global Islamic Front for Jihad against the Jews and the Crusaders,” the medium was the message. He was seeking to /2
re-wrap our world with the political mysticism of the symbols of the 10th century. Like the good heroes of a good Greek tragedy, the stars were aligned for a perfect tale of the folly of the gods behind which human autonomy recedes into non-being. In Muslim societies in the /3
Read 17 tweets
25 Aug
Following the collapse of the idealist metaphysical edifice of the Enlightenment, it was only natural that the products of such edifice, including the liberal society, come under increasing skepticism and deconstruction. Liberalism indeed became foundation-less, a normative /1
conviction no more. A way people do things here as opposed to the way people do things over there. Thus, the systematic erosion of the most cherished achievements of liberalism in Western societies is a natural result and will likely continue and even strengthen. In my opinion /2
there is absolutely no exist within the logic of liberalism itself. Self-justifying speculative metaphysics is simply no longer possible. The only possible future is to achieve a synthesis between liberalism and religious metaphysics that can combine the solidity of religious /3
Read 4 tweets
18 Aug
This is a treasure tweet that I would like you to invest some time reading along with my analysis if you would maybe get a new insight on the ME. The tweet tells an all too common narrative about the story of Islam and the West, a story of how the advance of the Western /1
colonialism and modernity in the Muslim world created a huge schism between Muslims and their past and alienated them from their authentic history and culture to which Islamism and terrorism are a response. This basic narrative is the foundation of the way humanity sees that /2
part of history. It's the narrative shared by Islamists, history books of Arab govs, post-colonialism, Bernard Lewis, and almost everyone. The narrative is so solid that it's a matter of consensus between combatants and rivals. Even this former Islamist, the original retweet, /3
Read 19 tweets
18 Aug
In talking about Islamic Sharia, I believe it is essential to distinguish between three very different meanings of the word, Sharia the classical Islamic concept, Sharia in the popular imagination, and Sharia the symbol. The first, is the original classical concept as /1
developed in the formative Islamic era, and it is somewhat analogous to the western idea of natural law. That is, it is not a legal code but a legal worldview from which codes are derived. The understanding and the debates around this Sharia, as you imagine, are usually /2
constricted in highly educated Islamic circles. The legal systems derived from Sharia are different and internally pluralistic while externally exclusive. No variant of such systems of example grants women a full equality status. The second is the Sharia in the popular /3
Read 12 tweets
17 Aug
The growing direction of Western-based scholarship on Islam today, is to expound on the "redemptive" qualities of Islam from the "ills" of modernity and the Enlightenment values, from the eradication of claims of absolute truth to fluid sexual orientations that sees, as one, /1
German scholar put it, "young beardless men as attractive as women." Curiously, this new discovery of Islam fits perfectly in the new post-modernist ideals of fluidity, ambiguity, and lack of constraints on meaning. Ironically, you can't find such a discourse in the ME, /2
and most will find it laughable. But the Western post-modern rebuttal would be that those poor Muslims so badly internalized the modern Western ideas, that they dont know what true Islam is like we do. A few years ago, the UAE's foreign minister Abdulah bin Zayed said in a /3
Read 5 tweets

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