Secularism, Liberal Democracy, and Islam in Europe: A Habermasian Critique of Talal Asad

Peer-reviewed Journal Article

Jakobsen, Jonas (2015) Secularism, Liberal Democracy, and Islam in Europe: A Habermasian Critique of Talal Asad, Contrastes (Málaga)(20): 113–125.

​This article develops a Habermasian critique of the work of the anthropologist Talal Asad. Drawing freely upon Habermas, I argue that Asad's critique of secularism and liberal democracy is flawed by "essentialism" (a reductionist binary between "Muslims" and "westemers") and "self-reference" ( an implicit reliance on normative ideas that are explicitly rejected). Finally, I defend a Habermasian approach to the case of Islam in Europe against the Asadian approach.

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