Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

An-Na'im as I read him is postulating a process theory when it comes to the relationship of Islamic law to international law. He is advocating a bargaining relationship in which the Islamic side and the international side meet as equals in negotiating their contributions to the universal international. This process-based equality can only be achieved if, first, the international eschews its We sternness and the Islamic retains its internal sense of diversity, indeed secularism. The international abandons its Westernness when it abandons its pre-World War II impulse to colonize, imperialize, and hegemonize, acts which at heart render equality in the bargaining process meaningless. The Islamic preserves its internal diversity by reminding itself and the world that there is an other to Bin Laden and aggressive jihad, that other being a liberal Islam that could join the table of negotiations with the Western quite comfortably and with ease. In other words, the world and Muslims need to understand that for every Bin Laden there are millions of An-Na'ims.

The problem with An-Na'im's postulates as I see it is that they seems to render the Islamic too indeterminate and the international too determinate, and to approach the idea of process in too formalist a way. Let me explain.

Publication Citation

98 Am. Soc'y Int'l L. Proc. 167-168 (2004)