Monday, April 16, 2007

Muslim Reflections on Carl Schmitt

via StumbleUpon, one Parvez Manzoor
reviews several Schmittian studies, The Sovereignty of the Political: Carl Schmitt and the Nemesis of Liberalism. In sum:

Karl Löwith cogently demonstrates that the political, and hence the existential, as a sovereign domain, as a norm unto itself, is 'meaningless' and cannot stand at the highest rung of the scale of human values - a conclusion with which no Muslim, indeed no believer, can disagree.

The author also makes an implicit rebuke of entirely politicized forms of Islam:

For Muslims, who find themselves at the receiving end of civilizational polemics, the lesson of Carl Schmitt is precisely the political nature of the world-order, the duplicity of its institutions and the sanctimony of its moral crusaders. Universalism is the mask that hides the countenance of hegemony and might is the right of the elect. Carl Schmitt's thought, an authentic product of Western self-reflection, opens up an intellectual space that allows us the luxury of indulging in counter-polemics. And yet, we must be wary of the polemical as well as the political. For the ultimate value that Islam stands for is not political but trans-political; the final aim of its mission is not the eradication, or subjugation, of its enemies, not the establishment of a universal state, not the sustenance of a global order of terror and economic exploitation, but the unity of man and peace in the city of humanity. Islam means sovereignty of the Transcendent and not of the political.

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