Fighting Rage with Fear: The “Faces of Muhammad” and the Limits of Secular Rationality
Author(s)Shirin S. Deylami
Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
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AbstractIn recent years, a number of incidents have pitted Islam against secularism and liberal democracy. This essay examines the Danish publication of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons in order to examine the deployment of rationality as a litmus test for political membership. It argues that Western media and political analysis of the protests surrounding the cartoons constructed Muslims as anti-rational and thus unfit for democratic citizenship. Such a deployment of rationality inhibits the possibility of and demands for political pluralism. The essay then looks to two disparate theorists of affective reason, Abdulkarim Soroush and William Connolly, to offer an alternative model of reason that encourages pluralist political engagement.