"Islam is not the major obstacle . . . for democratization" in Muslim societies," declared Jocelyne Cesari, a Harvard and Georgetown University professor of Muslim politics, on January 27 at George Washington (GW) University. Cesari's presentation of her book, The Awakening of Muslim Democracy, before an audience of about thirty failed to justify her overconfident contention that the Muslim world's authoritarianism has no basis in Islamic doctrine.
. . . She asserted counterfactually that, for legitimating liberty under law, the "resources in the Islamic tradition are the same" as "in the Jewish tradition or the Christian tradition." Contradicting Islamic history, she stated that, "nothing in Islam" demands an "Islamic state" and that "not even one part" of the "totalitarian project" in the current Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) "existed historically." "The idea that Islam subsumes everything is a modern . . . not a traditional idea," she later elaborated. In her imaginary conception of Islam, the "role of religion is not about state institutions," but "improving the common good of the people."
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