Modernist Islamic Political Thought and the Egyptian and Tunisian Revolutions of 2011

In: Middle East Law and Governance
Author: Mohammad Fadel
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As revolution in the Arab world became clear, questions were raised whether political Islam had or would hae any role in the revolutions. The popular press seemed to minimize or deny the role of Islam in the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. The attempt to minimize the role of Islam in these revolutions does little to help us understand the course of Islamic political thought over the last 150 years in the Arab world, its relationship to the democratic demands of the Arab peoples, and the prospects for a reconciliation between modern Islamic political thought and certain forms of democratic secularism. The central hypothesis of this essay is that neither the Tunisian nor the Egyptian Revolutions can be properly understood without the contributions of Islamic modernism to modern political thought in the Arab world.

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