Promoting Critical Islam: Controversy, Civil Society, Revolution

POLITICS AND RELIGION 6.4 (2013): 823-843

Abstract: Critical Islam is an intellectual orientation that prizes timeliness and broad-mindedness and a political sensibility that tends to honor majority rule, minority rights, and the good of pluralism. This essay considers how an important European Muslim scholar, Tariq Ramadan, promotes critical Islam in his call for a moratorium on stoning, his argument for the reformation of fatwa committees, and his analysis of the Arab Awakening. The essay argues that the art of controversy and the building of civil society—more so than political revolution—can cultivate a critical sensibility among Muslim scholars and publics.