A few weeks back, a book title caught our eye. It was called Two Billion Caliphs, written by Haroon Moghul. Mixing personal narrative and theological ruminations, it promised to offer a bold new vision for Muslims living in the 21st century. Being that we frequently talk about the importance of religion in the modern world, inviting Haroon on was a no-brainer.
A rich episode ensued. We talked about how 9/11 did (and didn’t) change everything for Muslims in America and how secularism and liberalism drive assimilation for good and for ill. If the Islamic tradition is being subsumed under liberalism, particularly in the West, does Islam's future include so-called "atheist Muslims"? And when it comes to politics, does the future of Islam in America include a Trumpist Republican party that, despite its anti-Muslim sentiments, still manages to run candidates like Dr. Mehmet Oz?
In Part 2, available here for subscribers, Shadi and Haroon debate whether Islam can (or should) be de-politicized and what that might mean in practice. Haroon then goes on to explain why he has parted ways with Sufism, and why everyone must become a caliph.