Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  28 minutes
Date:  2012
Genre:  Interview
Language:  English
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Islam Unknown (episode 3): Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

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Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is a Sufi dedicated both to Islam and to secularism.

Islam Unknown (episode 3): Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im

Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im is a Sufi dedicated both to Islam and to secularism.

An-Na'im is unwavering in his opposition to any Islamic state. Indeed, he says the idea does not appear in the Qur'an, and only became popularized in the 20th century as a reaction to European colonialism. In fact, he goes so far as to say 'the notion of an Islamic state is a heretical innovation.'

The soft-spoken author of Islam and the Secular State, An-Na'im fled Sudan for the United States in 1985, after his mentor - one of the most religious men he had ever known - was executed for apostasy. The experience has clearly influenced his view that religion can only flourish when the state is neutral. Further, he argues that fatwas - such as that against Salman Rushdie - are little more than un-Islamic power grabs.

While some (such as Mehmet Asutay, in episode 8 of this series) argue that Turkey is an example of co-existence between Islam and secularism, An-Na'im's vision of secularism is more radical - and he sees secularism not as a hindrance to religion, but as the only guarantee of the freedom of believers to freely practice their beliefs.

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Main credits

Elders, Fons (interviewer)

Other credits

Camera-sound, Rob Smits; editing, Theo Raben; music, David Parsons.

Distributor credits

Docuseek2 subjects

Religion and Spirituality
Philosophy, Critical Thinking and Ethics
History of Religion
Netherlands, The

Distributor subjects

No distributor subjects provided.


,"Islam Unknown (episode 3): Abdullahi Ahm",Icarus Films

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