Is Tolerance Liberal? Javed Ahmad Ghamidi and the Non-Muslim Minority

Humeira Iqtidar*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Tolerance is claimed not just as central to liberalism, but increasingly as the sole preserve of a liberal order. This essay opens up a critical space for examining the naturalized relationship between liberalism and tolerance by focusing on the political thought of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi (1951–), a prominent Pakistani public intellectual who is often labeled as a “liberal” Islamic thinker. Ghamidi has never identified himself as one. Using as an investigative opportunity the disjuncture between his self-identification and how his ideas are labeled, and placing Ghamidi’s ideas within the wider tradition of Islamic thought, this essay elaborates on his vision of non-liberal tolerance predicated on individual responsibility infused with humility and shari’a-inspired state minimalism. Insight into the depth of nonliberal conceptions can facilitate a reconsideration of the relationship between liberalism and tolerance.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


  • decolonizing political theory
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
  • modern Islamic thought
  • nonliberal tolerance
  • tolerance


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