Abstract

This essay highlights how contemporary Muslim fundamentalists reduce Islam's rich and complex intellectual legacy to a set of authoritarian rules. The three branches of classical Islamic educationÑtheology, jurisprudence, and ethicsÑare particularly targeted. The reductionist pattern applied to these areas is designed to eliminate both the scholarly space of inquiry and the room for individual reflection traditionally granted to its followers by Islamic religion. The essay ends with an analysis of the language used by Osama bin Laden in various documents over the last ten years that show how he has abused Islam's jurisprudential tradition to confer on him a convenient likeness of legality.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1898
Print ISSN
0031-8221
Pages
pp. 455-470
Launched on MUSE
2003-10-06
Open Access
No
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