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Muslim Ethics: Emerging Vistas Hardcover – October 15, 2004
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The rest of the book, as I understand it, is basically an extended argument in favor of the idea that the Islamic umma, which fuses together the sacred and the secular (or din and dunya, for world and religion, in Arabic), is preferable to the liberal secular status quo that exists in West, especially in Europe. Sajoo points out that there have been a lot of philosophers in the West, such as Michael Walzer in his book, Spheres of Justice, who have become dissatisfied with the idea that civic society is nothing more than a system of restrictions on harm that make atomic individuals free to pursue the good according to their own conceptions. Instead, society needs a shared conception of the good. This is the communitarian critique of liberalism, and Sajoo appropriates it to push the umma the Islamic community -more accurately translated as nation - as a more "holistic" alternative.
Red lights should be flashing at this point. Shouldn't we be suspicious of the combination of religion and state? Sajoo assures us that these worries are misplaced, based on Orientalist bigotry against gentle Islam, which assumes Islam is monolithic and unchanging. In fact, the umma is more about a shared ethical framework than a legal system.Read more ›