Democracy and Secularism: The Binary Divide between Faith and Reason

  • Deina Abdelkader


In the wake of the Arab uprisings that started in 2010 popular will across the board expressed an interest in an Islamically informed government. However, Western liberal democracies were fearful of the implications of an Islamist political platform. This chapter examines the relationship between church and state in De Tocqueville’s and Rousseau’s writings as authors who shaped the ideology of one of the strongest Western liberal democracies, the United States of America, with a focus on their respective views of the role of religion in public life. Thus the chapter analyzes whether post-enlightenment Western European liberal thought excludes religion from the public arena. The implication of negating this binary divide between church and state is important because it allows room for variation and an indigenous look at democracy and what it means. Questioning the universality of Western liberal democracy and its rigid attachment to Enlightenment ideology and how this relates to Islam and Islamically oriented governments is the focus of the chapter.


Common Good Analogical Reasoning Public Welfare Legal Scholar Muslim World 
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© Deina Abdelkader 2016

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  • Deina Abdelkader

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