Public Freedoms in the Islamic State

Rached Ghannouchi; Translated by David L. Johnston

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May 19, 2020
576 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300211528
HC - Paper over Board

Rached Ghannouchi has long been known as a reformist or moderate Islamist thinker. In Public Freedoms in the Islamic State, he argues that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—in its broad outlines—meets with wide acceptance among Muslims if their interpretation of Islamic law is correct. Under his theory of the purposes of Shari‘a, justice and human welfare are not exclusive to Islamic governance, and the objectives of Islamic law can be advanced in multiple ways.

Rached Ghannouchi is cofounder, intellectual leader, and current head of the Ennahda Party, the largest political party in Tunisia. In 2016, under Ghannouchi’s direction, Ennahda separated itself from Islamism and divided its political activities from its religious ones. David L. Johnston is visiting scholar in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department at the University of Pennsylvania, adjunct instructor at Saint Joseph's University, and affiliated assistant professor of Islamic Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

“Rached Ghannouchi is one of the most influential, most interesting, and most promising thinkers and leaders of political Islam today. Finally, the magnum opus of his political thought on public and personal freedom is available in English. It is an important document for how human rights and freedoms can be squared with the claims of Islamic political movements.”—Frank Griffel, Yale University

Rached Ghannouchi presents the case for Islamic democracy in this in-depth study of public freedoms in an Islamic state. David Johnston’s clear translation should be read by anyone interested in the emerging movements of Muslim democrats.–John O. Voll, co-author of Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring

"Rachid al-Ghannouchi is one of the world’s most influential Islamist thinkers, and his Public Freedoms in the Islamic State is essential reading for anyone interested in the relationship between Islam and democracy."—Anne Wolf, author of Political Islam in Tunisia: the History of Ennahda
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