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Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus

Andrew March, starting from John Rawls’s concept of overlapping consensus, examines whether or not Islamic political ethics provides a legitimate ground for Muslims to come to terms with citizenship in non-Muslim liberal democracies. More specifically, March looks at Islamic religious doctrines to assess the extent of their support for residing in and being loyal to a non-Muslim liberal state, recognizing non-Muslims as equals in political terms, appreciating moral pluralism, contributing to the welfare of a non-Muslim state, cooperating with non-Muslims in a liberal political environment, and participating in liberal political systems. March argues that there exist “very strong and authentically Islamic arguments” (p. 15) in orthodox and modern religious doctrines that accept the core demands of liberal citizenship.

 

Andrew March, starting from John Rawls’s concept of overlapping consensus, examines whether or not Islamic political ethics provides a legitimate ground for Muslims to come to terms with citizenship in non-Muslim liberal democracies. More specifically, March looks at Islamic religious doctrines to assess the extent of their support for residing in and being loyal to a non-Muslim liberal state, recognizing non-Muslims as equals in political terms, appreciating moral pluralism, contributing to the welfare of a non-Muslim state, cooperating with non-Muslims in a liberal political environment, and participating in liberal political systems. March argues that there exist “very strong and authentically Islamic arguments” (p. 15) in orthodox and modern religious doctrines that accept the core demands of liberal citizenship.

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