Between Realism and Resistance: Shi'I Islam and the Contemporary Liberal State

Journal of Islamic Law and Culture 11, 107-120, 2009

U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper

14 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2015 Last revised: 26 Feb 2016

Haider Ala Hamoudi

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Date Written: May 3, 2009

Abstract

On the question of commitment to the liberal state, Shi'i doctrine, which can be gleaned from the voluminous works of modern Grand Ayatollahs, can be ambiguous. Nevertheless, some forms of what might be dubbed orthodox Shiism appear more compatible with modern notions of liberalism than others. This Article divides modern Shi'i thought into four categories and concludes as a general matter that at least three of those categories appear possibly compatible with liberalism, and a fourth almost appears to recommend liberalism as a preferred form of political order. Nevertheless, the association of liberalism with Western thought at a time when so much of the global Muslim community, Sunni or Shi'i, is deeply hostile to the West and its ideas creates a substantial obstacle to its broader adoption.

Keywords: Islam, liberalism, Shi'ism, Shi'i politics, Shi'i political philosophy, Islamic law, Islamic political philosophy, Islamic politics

Suggested Citation

Hamoudi, Haider Ala, Between Realism and Resistance: Shi'I Islam and the Contemporary Liberal State (May 3, 2009). Journal of Islamic Law and Culture 11, 107-120, 2009; U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2626512

Haider Ala Hamoudi (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh - School of Law ( email )

3900 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-624-1055 (Phone)

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