The Left

Faisal on Secularism

Faisal has a magisterial article in the Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper.

I won’t extract extensively from it, because I think you should read it in full.

His starting point is the struggle within the Islamic philosophical tradition between the Mutazilites, who drew upon  Aristotelian metaphysics, and the Asharites, who rejected the rationalism espoused by the Mutazilites, and took the view that Hellenistic philosophy was a nasty alien import. Their perspectives shaped the debate as to where the line of demarcation between the sovereignty of God (huquq Allah) and the sovereignty of man (huquq ibaad) should properly be drawn.

Faisal concludes that secularism is best seen as a “pragmatic social and political philosophy which influences democratic process along with other normative ideas such as pluralism and human rights” rather than “a pseudo-religious doctrine applied, usually by force, into the public space”.

Well, he’s right.

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