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On the Muslim Question$
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Anne Norton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157047

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157047.001.0001

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(p.118) Chapter 6 Democracy
On the Muslim Question

Anne Norton

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how the Muslim question is tied to the question of democracy. In his book Voyous (translated as Rogues), Jacques Derrida referred to the United States and Islam as the enemies of democracy. In particular, he called Islam “the other of democracy.” Only Islam, Derrida insisted, refuses democracy. Derrida was not the only scholar to have made that claim. His account echoes Samuel Huntington. John Rawls thought Islam so alien that he was obliged to treat it separately. There are countless scholars, left and right, Anglo-American and Continental, who have insisted that Islam is the other of democracy. The chapter suggests that political philosophy in the Muslim (but not simply Muslim) tradition offers visions of democracy, cosmopolitanism, immigration, and integration that are remarkably familiar.

Keywords:   democracy, Muslim question, Voyous, Jacques Derrida, United States, Islam, John Rawls, political philosophy, cosmopolitanism, immigration

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