The Myth of the Islamic State

May 5, 2010

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Abdullahi A. An-Na'im

There is no such thing as an “Islamic State.” That's what Emory University Professor Abdullahi An-Na'im believes.

He's a self-proclaimed heretic who argues that Islamic law, or Shariah, should never be under the control of the state and that for Islam and its practitioners to flourish, the state must be secular. An-Naim writes that Islamic reform is as much about the reinterpretation of the texts as it is about the reformed application of the Shariah.

An-Na'im is author of the book Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shariah.

Jerome asks An-Na'im why he thinks a secular state is necessary to creating the conditions under which citizens will be good Muslims.