The Arab Revolution Takes Back the Public Space
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In 1991, al-Sadiq al-Nayhum, a Libyan thinker exiled in Geneva, published a book of collected essays in Arabic with the provocative title Islam in Captivity: Who Stole the Mosque and Where Did Friday Disappear?2 The thesis of the book was not novel. Al-Nayhum posited that modernity had failed to take root in the Arab world because in large part it had grown out of Western history and developed in a Western cultural and epistemological context, which is incompatible with the culture and knowledge nurtured by Islam. Al-Nayhum, predictably, advocated a return to a pure, foundational Islam to rebuild the battered and confused Arab societies.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
University of Chicago Press
Rabbat, Nasser. “The Arab Revolution Takes Back the Public Space.” Critical Inquiry 39, no. 1 (September 2012): 198-208. © 2012 by The University of Chicago.
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