It is not enough to say that Islam and liberalism occupy two separate worldviews. Yes, making such distinctions and being critical of Muslims’ unprincipled use of liberal categories — freedom, equality, human rights, etc. — is important.

But, it’s not enough in this day and age. Why? Because, if you set up that dichotomy, many will opt for liberalism. In other words, people will say, “Fine, if Islam and liberalism are distinct, then I choose liberty! I choose freedom and equality, blah blah blah!”

What we need is to critique liberalism, to show that it is inconsistent and illogical, not only from the Islamic perspective, but also *on its own terms*. This is the way Al-Ghazali argued against the philosophers — by showing their inherent incoherence. This is how Ibn Taymiyyah argued against some of the excesses that were cropping up in the Kalam of his time — by uncovering the deep assumptions of Greek logic and demonstrating their inconsistency.

This is also how the Prophet Ibrahim (s) argued against the idolaters when he spoke about the star, moon, and sun, saying “This is my Lord.” His methodology is even more apparent when he tells the idolaters to ask their false god about who smashed the rest of the idols. By using the logic of the mushriks, he demonstrated the silliness and irrationality of their beliefs.


Daniel Haqiqatjou

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