Can Liberalism tolerate Islam?

abc.net: by Abdul Hakim Murad: Must one be liberal to belong to the West? For all the polite multiculturalist denials, this question is being put to us more and more insistently.

The European Union, as it struggles to articulate a common cultural as well as economic vision, regularly toys with grand statements about Europe as a vision of human community, whose success underpins the universal model now being urged upon the rest of humanity. European liberals – with their Enlightenment, civil society, democratic institutions and human rights codes – sometimes seem to self-define as a secular Messiah, willing and ready to save the world. To resist is, by implication, to align oneself with an unregenerate, sinful humanity.

Yet we Europeans are in fact in the middle of a difficult argument. We are constantly quarrelling with ourselves over definitions of belonging. We can unite to build an Airbus, but will we really unite around a moral or cultural ideal? What, after all, are the exact historic grounds for European cultural unity? And – this now looks like the continent’s greatest concern – how can Muslims fit in?

Islam and the western tradition

Perhaps it helps if we look at Europe’s distant roots. Homer, long ago, told us how Europa, the daughter of the King of Phoenicia, was abducted by Zeus, duly ravished, and borne off to the island of Crete, where she gave birth to the Europeans. There is something emblematic and transgressive about this myth of origin: a Lebanese maiden torn from the breast of Asia and deposited in a corner of the continent which eventually bore her name.

More: 

1 reply

  1. On the surface yes but deep down no. A European or westerner no matter how liberal and agnostic he or she is still have fear of Islam and effect of all propaganda against Muslim history. And Muslims themselves are too busy to get a bad name in involving all kind of useless activities to gain nothing and loose every thing. Like bragging rights to have nuclear arsenal to close to have it or mindlessly telling the world that they soon will get their old glory days by jihadi schemes. On top of that the Mullah is loose to do anything evil he can to get in power.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.