ISLAM AND THE POLITICAL LANGUAGE OF MODERNITY
The predicament of Islamic political thought involves the concept of modernity, which is the outcome of Western colonialist encroachment on the Muslim world and which is until now identified with “Western” civilization (based on sciences, technology and military power). The reaction was “Islamizing modernity” or “modernizing Islam”, two reformist trends both marked by excesses and rigidity. If religion cannot be deemed in itself guilty of the Muslim world’s decay, a number of Muslim intellectuals tried however to face it suggesting, as Burhan Ghalioun, that theology overwhelmed negatively secular knowledge , or, as Abd al-Salam Yasin, that modernity implies alienation of conscience which must be healed by a spiritual jihad. What it seems needed is a fresh understanding of the past heritage.