Islam and/in/of the West Pt. 1

Talk by Abdal Hakim Murad - 8 February 2010 - London School of Economics - 45 mins 20 secs


It's a triple header of talks this week, linked by the theme of Muslims living in the West. We start with this one by Sheikh Abdal Hakim, entitled 'Can Liberalism Tolerate Islam?', given at LSE Discover Islam Week, and kindly recorded and sent in by LSE ISoc. In it Sheikh Abdal Hakim inverts the usual framework of the debate about the relationship between Islam and liberalism, defined by the implicit or explicit suspicion of Muslims' ability to accept liberal values and the demand that they should do so. He unpicks this submerged 'intolerance of intolerance' in order to interrogate the significance of the secular orthodoxies liberal Europe has created, and considers how Muslims can and should respond to them.

Later in the week inshaAllah we will post a talk given in Cambridge recently by Prof. Tariq Ramadan on 'Hostility, Loyalty and Change: the Future of Muslims in the West', and in part three another recent talk by Sheikh Abdal Hakim with the intriguing title 'Can Non-Muslims Be Indigenous? Reflections on the Paradox of British Islam'.

Listen to this talk

Download this talk (MP3, 45.1 MB)


Unknown said...

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Cambridge Khutbas said...

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Anonymous said...

This lecture shows yet again why the Shaykh is the Don of British Islam.


Saif said...

As usual, an excellent lecture by the esteemed Shaykh.

It's quite thought provoking, though I must say, his points further raised a great many formidable questions that will define our future as a people.

Elsewhere the Shaykh has posited in his 'Contentions' that:

The solution is liberality, not liberalism, for liberalism takes more than it gives.

In this sense, I'm assuming it is possible in the Shaykh's calculus for an individual to be authentically liberal, as well as traditionally Muslim?

Is what is meant here a mentality of "live and let live?"

If so, how do we reconcile this with "Amr bil Ma'ruf..?"

And is a Muslim committing a sin by not believing that the Authorities of a given land necessarily apply the Shari'a to, at a minimum, ensure the adherence of morality in the public sphere?

Everyone, even Wastern Nations, have standards of public decency. You can't walk down the street naked in New York City without getting arrested on the grounds of violating some public indecency laws. So the state does play a role in curtailing unbridled liberties. Where we differ is where we draw the line of what is considered 'indecent' and where the state steps in to preserve the sensible boundries of its people. This is process in inherently arbitrary and is determined by varying historical factors, customs and tolerance of given people. The same essential struggle applies to the issues included in the citizenship questionairres the Shaykh cites from Germany: Gay rights, Women's rights, anti-Polygamy laws, etc.

What the Shaykh does also attention to is the fact that Islamist governments just impose compliance with their values in the public sphere. But European governments impose their values in both the public and private lives of its denizens.

All-in-all, a great lecture that begs a complimentary presentation of the flip-side of the coin.