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.
- decolonizing political theory
- Javed Ahmad Ghamidi
- modern Islamic thought
- nonliberal tolerance