Islamic Liberation Theology
By Hamid Dabashi
In this book, I wish to investigate the specifically ‘‘Islamic’’ manners of opposing this imperial upsurge in the aftermath of the ‘‘Islam and the West’’ binary opposition. The signs of this resistance are all over the globe – but difficult to read because the dying ashes of the old dialectic and the emerging fire of the new confrontation are still mixed and too early to decipher. Released from the binary nexus of ‘‘Islam and the West,’’ Islam as the faith of a globalized community, and the imperial proclivities innate to the operation of capital continue to be evident and operative. What precisely is the nature and function of that globalized imperial power and what an Islamic (or any other) mode of resistance to it would be is still too early to tell. A few facts are evident and articulating them in some detail will clear the air for further urgent reflections. If, as I suggest, the supposition of an eternal conflict between ‘‘Islam and the West’’ is no longer a legitimate category, and if, as I will demonstrate, ‘‘the West’’ has lost all its categorical legitimacy to be an antagonistic interlocutor for Islam – what then? Today Muslims, as millions of other people around the globe who do not confess their faith but share their fate, face an incessantly globalized empire whose amorphous shape has not yet allowed for an articulated response. The purpose of this book is to articulate and historicize the contours of that response. What I propose in this book is radically different from the current wisdom of looking into political Islamism in order to understand the nature and function of spectacular acts of violence that militant Muslims commit. The prevalent understanding of contemporary militant Islamism, whether generated by the US propaganda machinery or otherwise, continues to operate on an outdated epistemic assumption that we have inherited from the colonial phase of Muslim encounter with European modernity. In this book, I will propose the end of that form of Islamic ideology, and begin to articulate the terms of its emerging geopolitics, and, more importantly, the liberation theology that is contingent on the changing parameters of a whole new social history for a globalized Islam.