Khaled Abou El Fadl’s Methodology of Reform

Law, Tradition, and Resisting the State

in Journal of Law, Religion and State
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Contemporary Islamic legal scholar, Khaled Abou El Fadl, proposes a coherent methodology for the narration of individually formed discourses within the Islamic community against their sublimation by both authoritarian fundamentalism and liberal relativism. In examining his work, this article identifies a tripartite methodology involving a process of de-legitimization for the current hegemonic narrative, a re-presentation of plurality both possible and existent, and an evaluation of this plurality in light of the broader tradition. Abou El Fadl’s work serves as the building block of a political and social form of resistance to the homogenization of identity and meaning within society, which allows for the narration of alternative discourses to those that are currently hegemonic, whether within the state as a whole or within a religious or social tradition. This resistance, brought about through the author’s structural methodology, aims to offer insights for the development of a notion of state-individual negotiation and identity formation.




Robert Dunn, “Identity, Politics, and the Dual Logic of Postmodernity Fragmentation and Pluralization” in Identity Crises: A Sociological Critique of Postmodernity (1998), 153–162.


Honesty Policy. 2014. “Happy British Muslims”. Retrieved 2 September 2015,


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