The Impact of Maqasid al-Shari'ah on Islamist Political Thought: Implications for Islam–West Relations

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Halim Rane

Abstract

Although most of the more conservative, first generation Islamist political parties have experienced a decline in voter confidence in recent years, there has not been a commensurate decline in support for Islam to play a role in the politics of Muslim countries. In this context, a second generation of Islamic-oriented (as opposed to ‘Islamist’) political parties have emerged which espouse a maqās.id-oriented approach in response to both domestic and international factors. Muslim political leaders have asserted such principles and goals as democracy, good governance, economic prosperity, socio-economic justice, human rights and pluralism as Islamic objectives. By establishing their policies on these objectives they have also attracted broader constituencies that include Muslims and non-Muslims, secularists and Islamists, and have eased some of the apprehensions Western governments have with Islam in Muslim politics.

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