Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’Im, Islam and Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari’a
Author(s)Abdel Salam Sidahmed
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AbstractThe relationship between Islam, state, and politics has been the subject of decades-long and extensive debates in the fields of politics (and policy), academia and media. One perception brought about mostly by orientalist studies purports that Islam – unlike Christianity does not “render what is to Caesar unto Caesar”; rather Islam does not recognize a separation between church and state or a distinction between religion and politics. Though such a view is fairly outdated, it is by no means abandoned, and it appears to hold some influence among many of those concerned with the affairs of Muslim-majority societies. There is a perception among some observers of these societies that a uniform “Muslim culture” tends to inform the political behaviour of Muslims, and that the religious foundation of this culture was grounded on unity between religion and the state given the historical fact that Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam was both a Prophet and a statesman.