The seductiveness of certainty: The destruction of Islam's intellectual legacy by the fundamentalists

Philosophy East and West 53 (4):455-470 (2003)
Abstract
: This essay highlights how contemporary Muslim fundamentalists reduce Islam's rich and complex intellectual legacy to a set of authoritarian rules. The three branches of classical Islamic education-theology, jurisprudence, and ethics-are particularly targeted. The reductionist pattern applied to these areas is designed to eliminate both the scholarly space of inquiry and the room for individual reflection traditionally granted to its followers by Islamic religion. The essay ends with an analysis of the language used by Osama bin Laden in various documents over the last ten years that show how he has abused Islam's jurisprudential tradition to confer on him a convenient likeness of legality
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