Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2171243
 


 



Seeking an Islamic Reflective Equilibrium: A Response to Abdallahi A. An-Na'im's Complementary, Not Competing, Claims of Law and Religion: An Islamic Perspective


Mohammad Fadel


University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

2012

Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, p. 1257, 2013

Abstract:     
Professor 'Abdallahi Na'im argues that there can be no conflict between religion and the state because religion and politics are part of different normative orders, and thus it is not conceivable that a conflict can arise between them. I argue that Na'im's solution to the problematic relationship of religion to state shares the same conceptual terrain as separationism in American constitutional law, a position which has grown increasingly untenable as a result of the increasing religious pluralism in the United States and the expansion of the government into areas of life in a manner that would have been inconceivable even one hundred years ago. More importantly, revealed religions such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam provide their adherents with their own conceptions of justice that sometimes do conflict with the results of secular lawmaking. I argue that instead of seeking a further separation of religion from the state, on the grounds that the former is irrelevant to the latter, it would be more useful to judge both the claims of religion and the claims of the state from the perspective of the normative concerns of justice. From this perspective, religion can serve as an important source of normative values that can criticize unjust political outcomes. At the same time, however, religion cannot claim for itself immunity from the claims of justice. Instead, a reflective equilibrium between the claims of religion and the claims of the state should be the goal. I conclude with a couple of examples from historical Islamic law illustrating both the resources that Islamic law provides in furthering a more just legal system, and interpretations of historical Islamic doctrines in a fashion that is consistent with the kind of reflective equilibrium that should be the goal of legal reflection in a politically liberal state.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 16

Keywords: Law and religion, Rawls, revealed religion, secular law

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

Date posted: November 21, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Fadel, Mohammad, Seeking an Islamic Reflective Equilibrium: A Response to Abdallahi A. An-Na'im's Complementary, Not Competing, Claims of Law and Religion: An Islamic Perspective (2012). Pepperdine Law Review, Vol. 39, p. 1257, 2013. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2171243

Contact Information

Mohammad Fadel (Contact Author)
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )
78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 571
Downloads: 151
Download Rank: 113,351

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.266 seconds