Islam and the Choice of Liberalism


WHEN February 23, 2015
6:30-8 PM WHERE NYUAD Campus, Conference Center WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute Open to the Public

Islam is a major constituent of liberalism and has been ever since the latter emerged as an ideology and a political order. However it is a constituent that had to be repudiated and disavowed as an “other” in order for liberalism’s self to emerge. This lecture shows the choice that liberalism as ideology and liberalism as political regimes speaking in its name offer and impose on Muslims: one of choosing between liberalism or “Islam." At stake in this talk is understanding the ideological and historical processes through which Islam became (in the eyes of liberalism) the name of despotism, intolerance, subjection, misogyny, and homophobia – in short the name of illiberalism and anti-liberalism. Concurrently, Europe and Protestant Christianity became viewed as the name of democracy, tolerance, egalitarian citizenship, philogyny, and homophilia – in short the name of liberalism.

Simultaneous Arabic interpretation will be provided.

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