Muslim Secular Democracy: Voices from within

Muslim Secular Democracy: Voices from within


Edited by Lily Zubaidah Rahim


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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Hardback | 300 pages
  • Dimensions: 144mm x 220mm x 24mm | 480g
  • Publication date: 20 March 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 1137282045
  • ISBN 13: 9781137282040
  • Illustrations note: 4 black & white tables, 5 figures
  • Sales rank: 1,093,261

Product description

Muslim Secular Democracy: Voices From Within provides an expansive understanding of secularism in the Muslim World by exploring different trajectories and varieties of secularism, from the failed authoritarian secular state of Pahlavi Iran and the ambiguous secularism in Malaysia to democratizing passive secularism in Indonesia and shifts towards passive secularism under the AKP government in Turkey. Where the bulk of academic literature on democratization in the Muslim World focuses on the Arab World, this volume fills a gap by developing an integrated Muslim World perspective; together, the country case-studies provide multiple lenses through which to appreciate the socio-political shifts that have resulted in different democratic transitions, supported by varied discourses and propelled by diverse combinations of political, social, and religious actors. In the early twenty-first century, passive secularism increasingly aligns itself with mainstream Muslim aspirations for forms of wasatiyyah democracy and governance based on popular sovereignty and citizenship rights and for the incorporation of the sacred within the political framework of the inclusive secular state. The contributions to this volume examine the ways by which Muslim wasatiyyah democracy has been advanced by progressive Islamic Muslim discourses and movements grounded in the principles of equity and social justice.

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Author information

Lily Zubaidah Rahim is Associate Professor of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia. She is a specialist in the comparative politics of Southeast Asia and the Muslim World, with a particular research interest in the politics of authoritarian governance, identity, regionalism, and democratization.

Review quote

"The great Syrian philosopher Sadik Jalal al-Azm controversially argued in 1967 that the Arab world and Islamic civilization could progress only by embracing secularism, gender equality, democracy, and modern scientific rationalism. Almost half a century later, in this brave and thoughtful collection, we not only see that engagement beginning to thrive, we see the concepts of equality, democracy, rationalism, and, above all, secularism being challenged, deepened, and developed. The implications of the arguments advanced here are far-reaching, and not just for the world of Islam and those concerned with its fate. These are matters of wide human significance and general, universal importance." - Clive Kessler, Emeritus Professor, The University of New South Wales, Ausralia "This book is a nuanced exploration of a complex and timely phenomenon. By her judicial blend of theory and case studies, Lily Zubaidah Rahim presents an informative and exciting collection on the interplay between Islamic religiosity, secularism and democracy. This is a fascinating account of how Muslim intellectuals and activists break the mold and challenge pre-conceptions - a significant contribution to the literature. Muslim Secular Democracy is a must-read." - Shahram Akbarzadeh, Australian Research Council Future Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia

Table of contents

Introduction: The Spirit of Wasatiyyah Democracy; Lily Zubaidah Rahim CONCEPTUALIZING WASATIYYAH DEMOCRACY 1. Religious Secularity: Reconciliation between Political Islam and Secular Democracy; Naser Ghobadzadeh 2. The Spirited Voices of Muslim Women in Islamic Reform Movements; Amina Wadud 3. Progressive Islam and Qur'anic Hermeneutics: The Reification of Religion and Theories of Religious Experience; Safdar Ahmed 4. Democracy for Muslims: Javed Ahmed Ghamidi; Samina Yasmeen 5. Muslim support for secular democracy; Pippa Norris 6. Secularism and Religious Freedom: Challenging the 'Postsecular'; Bronwyn Winter POLITICAL RESISTANCE AND REFORM 7. The Crisis of State-led Islamization and Authoritarian Communal Governance in Malaysia; Lily Zubaidah Rahim 8. Sisters in Islam: Engendering Islamic Law Reform in Malaysia; Ratna Osman and Catherine Hirst 9. Religious Pluralism, Inclusive Secularism and Democratic Constitutionalism: The Indonesian Experience; Nadirsyah Hosen 10. Voices of Dissent: Social Movements and Political Change in Egypt; Tara Povey 11. Militant Laicists, Muslim Democrats and Liberal Secularists: Contending Visions of Secularism in Turkey; Christopher Houston