What Is Liberal Islam?: Faith and Modernity

Issue Date April 2003
Volume 14
Issue 2
Page Numbers 45-49
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In assessing the nature of “liberal Islam,” we must ask the fundamental question: What is “Islam”? All too often, it is answered on the basis of misleading assumptions about what is “naturally” the case that liberal Muslims must challenge or as it were “denaturalize” if they are to win the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world. There is an unfortunate and widespread tendency to conflate Islam with attributes, practices, and institutions that are exogenous to it. Thus, “Islam” has become a code word for such a wide range of ideas and things that its true meaning has become almost completely obscured, suppressed, or lost.

About the Author

Laith Kubba, a native of Baghdad, is senior director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Endowment for Democracy. From May 2005 to March 2006, he was chief press spokesperson for Iraq’s Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaffari.

View all work by Laith Kubba