Formulations in Muslim Liberation Theology

Universality of Liberation Theology: One is Equal to All and All are Equal to One
Saied R. Ameli

Department of Communications & Institute for North American and European Studies – University of Tehran
Liberation Theology: Theology of movement and resistance.
 LT emerges when theology is isolated form public life and when people are isolated from the products of religion leading to a nostalgia for justice and metaphysical values.
LT requires three major elements to work as a universal force applicable to, among other things, solving the Palestinian problem:
Return to God: Foster the concept of universality of God. Variety of insular God communities detracts from universal message of mercy, compassion and commitment to the poor and oppressed, as these attributes are understood to be applicable to one’s specific God community.
Selflessness: Minimization of personal desires & dogmatic attachment to nationality, ethnicity and even religion is central to caring of the oppressed.
Centrality of Justice: Decentralisation of ethnicity and centralization of Justice. This position advocates the liberation of Palestine. Justice is the point of engagement between religion and politics.
Source: Towards a New Liberation Theory, Reflections on Palestine, Edited by Arzu Merali and Javad Sharbaf, Published by: Islamic Human Rights Commission, 2009.
Islamic liberation Theology
Resisting the Empire
Professor Hamid Dabashi
“My principal objective in this book is to make this distinction between Islamic revolutionary movements throughout the nineteenth and twentieth century and the mode of Islamism identified with the events of 9/11, then acknowledge with appreciation and in fact give a homage to the extraordinary significance of anti-colonial Islamic revolutionary movements, while categorically differentiating them with the sort of militant adventurism and barbaric and senseless acts of violence identified with the figure of Osama bin Laden, and then, most importantly, give an outline of the emerging Islamic liberation theology that is as legitimate as its predecessor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with the added advantage of not falling into the trap of an absolutist, puritanical, and totalistic disposition.” (page, 20)
“The only way that an (Islamic) liberation theology can be part of a global resistance to any empire (American or otherwise) is to be party to a global conversation, safeguarding its theological monotheism by placing it within a heterogeneous, multifaceted, and syncretic theodicy that instead of trying to rationalize and thus dismiss the existence of alterity, incongruity, and choice in the world, it in fact embraces its ideological rivals and theological alternatives.” (pages, 15, 27)
“This new mode of liberation movement, which is better understood as a theodicy than a theology, is predicated on the necessity of a new strategy of resistance at a moment when Islam has spread into a new global configuration of its historical habitat. While Osama bin Laden’s militant adventurisms, following the nightmares of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the reign of the clerical cliques in the Islamic Republic of Iran, have finally dismantled and concluded legitimate Islamism, Islam is yet again emerging as the tabula rasa of political resistance to the globalizing empire. The result of this new condition is the possibility of a liberation theodicy that corresponds to the geographical transmutation of Islam beyond its imaginary, hitherto compelling, boundaries. The dangerous liaison colonially manufactured between ‘‘Islam and the West’’ having now fully exhausted its historical usefulness, both the US empire and the emerging pockets of resistance to it will have to cross over presumed cultures and their corresponding countries, one in seeking to dominate, the other in assuring resistance to that domination.
What the precise contours of this liberation theodicy will be is still too early to say.” (page, 197)
“Resisting the US-inspired globalized empire (which should never be equated with Americans at large, the overwhelming majority of which have a healthy dose of either active resistance to or else nagging suspicion about its efficacy) can no longer be in terms of a singular ideology embedded in a medieval theology, or an ideologically updated version of it to resist a center-based ‘‘Western’’ empire, or else contingent on spectacular acts of senseless and iconic violence. Resisting that empire requires regional alliances based on crosscurrents of ideas, sentiments, ideologies, and cultures. The worst aspect of Islamic ideology was its persistent reliance on Islamic Law (Shari’ah), the consequences of which for a free and democratic society is simply catastrophic, for it mutates the free and autonomous citizens of a potential republic into the legal subjects of a medieval jurisprudence that no matter how liberally it is interpreted it remains deadly contrary to creation of free and autonomous citizens of a republic. The only way that an (Islamic) liberation theology can be part of a global resistance to the US (or any other) empire is to be party to an equally liberating and global conversation, safeguard its theological monotheism by embracing it within a multifaceted theodicy that instead of trying to account for the existence of evil in the world in fact embraces its own alternatives and oppositions.“ (pages 263-264)
Source: Routledge, 2008
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Malick Elias

The vision of 'Vivaislam' is to provide a space for Muslim and non-Muslim activists to air their voices on how best to organise and manage their world. The aim is to focus upon recommending solutions to issues of social injustices, freedoms and citizenship facing predominantly Muslim and non-Muslim societies, rather than offering descriptions of problems. It is our hope that these voices will reach the echelons of power and influence.