The Thoughts of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Bassam Tibi and Tariq Ramadan
Chapter 3: Bassam Tibi, Civil Islam and Cross-civilizational Bridging
Chapter 3 Bassam Tibi, Civil Islam and Cross-civilizational Bridging Introduction Having examined the thought of Nasr in the previous chapter, I turn now to examine another source of Muslim rationality exercised in relation to Islam in the modern world. If we say that Nasr argues for an Islamic return to the Sacred, a kind of religious reformation, then the thought of Bassam Tibi also intends to reform Islam, but in the opposite direction. For Tibi, such reform should involve a return to the secular, rather than a return to the Sacred. Both Nasr and Tibi are concerned with the transformation of Islam in the modern world. Nasr is worried about the secularization of Islam, while for Tibi it is the politicization of Islam that is most worrying. Tibi argues that Islamic fundamentalism is indeed a kind of politicization of Islam, which does not simply consist of suicide bombing or violent activities, but has also developed as a defensive reaction against cultural modernism and as an alternative global order against the civil order in the West. For Tibi, the promotion and formation of a civil Islam is the only way out of the politicization of Islam in the modern world. In this chapter, I examine and evaluate the thought of Tibi in detail. This chapter consists of three parts. First, I will discuss Tibi’s intellectual biography, with a focus on his educational background, that is, the Frankfurt school of critical theory and its application in international relations (IR). Second, starting from...
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