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Entre réforme sociale et mouvement national

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Alain Roussillon

Instaurer les partages

Reform, Islam, Secularism; Farah Antûn and Muhammad Abduh

Alexander Flores

Texte intégral

1The question of how to react to the "European danger" has been haunting Arab intellectuals ever since some of them took notice of European superiority and publicly voiced their anxieties. European superiority had made itself felt not only in some crushing defeats of the Ottoman army, but in growing politico-financial dependence and commercial penetration as well. Some Arab countries even came under direct British or French rule during the 19th century. The political development of the Arab world since that time has been quite turbulent, but the unequal balance of power has basically remained the same although the club of the European powers has been joined by the United States and therefore should be called "the West" now.

  • 1 See for instance Khoury P., Une lecture de la pensée arabe actuelle. Trois études, Münster, 1981, (...)

2Likewise, the answers to the question of how to react to the Western challenge have remained almost the same. The typology dividing them into traditionalism, reformism and modernism has become almost trivial, with traditionalists emphasizing the preservation of one’s own Arabic and/or Islamic heritage, modernists stressing the necessity to adopt all important Western achievements, and Refomists trying to find a reasonable balance of preservation and borrowing.1 In this typology, the traditionalist and the modernist positions have — at least recently — rarely been taken in their pure forms. It has become obvious that an unqualified adherence to tradition will only further the acute weakness and that an uncritical borrowing from the West can undermine the very foundations of one’s own culture. Thus, most positions taken are declaredly reformist (as in the above typology) and can be distinguished by their relative closeness to one of the "extreme" positions.

  • 2 The point has often been made, in a particularly convincing way by Sharabi H., Arab Intellectuals (...)

3When the whole problem began to be discussed intensively, i.e; towards the end of the last century, the picture was less blurred. Confidence in Islam as the regulating mechanism of society was not yet as thoroughly shaken as it has been since, whereas learning from Europe was often preached about with a zeal bordering on the missionary. Nowhere were these positions evenly distributed amongst the various denominations. Very broadly speaking, Muslims tended to take a traditional or middle-of-the-road stand whereas the modernist position was at first mainly confined to Christians or other minorities. This had nothing to do with the dogmatic content of the Islamic or Christian religion but was a result of the social position of the minorities, their higher and earlier exposure to a Western-style education, and their cultural, political and commercial ties with Europe.2

  • 3 This comparism has been drawn by Fu’âd Zakariyyâ, "Al-’almâniyya darûra hadâriyya", in Qadâyâ Fikr (...)

4In one crucial respect, at least, the situation in the last quarter of the 20th century resembles that at the beginning of the century: people think and argue about the value of Islam as the institutionalized regulator of Arab societies. Yet whereas around 1900, the onslaught of secularization had already weakened the position of Islam as the "natural" regulator of society and there were even some openly secularist voices calling for the separation of religion and state, the situation now appears to be the reverse: there is a strong call for the restoration of institutionalized Islam to a dominent position in state and society, and secularists are on the defensive.3

  • 4 See my article "Secularism, Integralism and Political Islam. The Egyptian Debate" in Middle East R (...)

5Given the common perception that the Arab world is — and has been for a long time — in a state of enormous weakness and dependence, the pressing need for a change is also quite generally agreed upon. The disagreement is over the role religion can and should play in bringing about such a change. This is the focus of the recent debate over secularism in Egypt,4 and it is also true with regard to the clash of Muhammad Abduh and Farah Antûn (1902/03), which is relate in the present paper.

  • 5 For a good description of the circumstances of the debate, see Reid D.M., The Odyssey of Farah Ant (...)

6The debate was triggered by a side remark (concerning Islam and Christianity and their respective tolerance of philosophical thought) in an article by Antûn on the life and work of Ibn Rushd. Antûn had been editing his review "Al-Jâmi’a" since 1899. In it, he tried to popularize certain European achievements and ways of thinking and to recommend them to an oriental audience as a means of solving the East’s problems. The article in question wanted to show that such ways of thinking were not completely foreign to the East but had indeed been used and advocated by one of the greatest Arab philosophers. It appeared in the eighth issue of the third year of the review (June 1902). Angered by the remark that left an unfavourable impression of Islam, Abduh answered in a series of six long articles that appeared in Rashîd Ridâ’s Manâr, also in 1902, and which were also published in book form under the title "Al-islâm wa-n-nasrâniyya ma’a al-’ilm wa-l-madaniyya" (Cairo 1902/03, many reéditions). Antûn in turn answered the articles in a book by the title "Ibn Rushd wa falsafatuhu" Alexandria 1903).5

7What was the starting point of the debate? In his article, Antûn tackled in passing the question of religiously motivated oppression of free thought in Christianity and Islam. He had two groups of apologists, for each of the religions say that theirs was more tolerant. The Christians said that thinkers of the enlightenment had been tolerated in Europe, although they quite vigorously attacked religion, whereas a mild critic of Islam like Ibn Rushd had been excommunicated. The Muslims reciprocated that Islam had never burnt Muslims alive because of their convictions and that it was in general more tolerant of free thought, upon which the Christians in turn said that true tolerance should also comprise non-Muslims and pointed to Islamic internecine wars because of religion. Now Antûn goes on saying:

  • 6 Antûn F., "Tarikh Ibn Rushd wa falsafatihi wa huwa a’zam falâsifat al-islam", article orginally pr (...)

I do not take sides regarding these two positions but look at the problem from a different angle. For I hold that the civil authority in Islam is legally bound to the religious authority because the general ruler is ruler and caliph at the same time. Consequently, tolerance in such a way is more difficult than in the Christian way. The Christian religion has separated both authorities from each other in an original way that has opened for the world the path towards real culture and civilization, and this by one word, namely "Render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s and unto God what is God’s!" If, in such a set-up, the civil authority allows the religious authority to restrict the freedom of individuals because of their private creeds, to kill them and to soak the earth with their innocent blood, it is committing a grave crime against humanity. Yet this method (the Christian one) does not entail more tolerance than the other one if it is found to be deficient, even if its deficiency is less than that of its counterpart, for no deficiency is greater than that of the one who is able to be perfect.
And there is another consideration, namely, that science and philosophy have been able — until this day — to overcome Christian oppression, and therefore they took root in Europe, ripened and brought forth modern civilization. On the other hand, they were not able to overcome Islamic oppression which is a proof by reality for the greater tolerance of Christianity towards philosophy.6

8In the text, which is only a rather marginal remark in his article on Ibn Rushd, Antun approaches a position that was to become central for the debate: the open advocacy of secularism. Yet he is by no means secure in himself; the argument is weak and inconsistent. At first he looks into the position of Christian and Islamic apologists who adduce historical experience in their favor. This he finds inconclusive and remains (or pretends to remain) neutral. Then he maintains that a difference in principle — explained by just one verse of the Bible! — accounts for a greater Christian tolerance towards free thought. Having said this, he admits that the difference in principle by no means guarantees different behaviour in reality, thus undermining his very argument. Finally, he again adduces historical experience to prove his point, and quite inconvincingly, for the triumph of free thought in Europe — and its absence in the Islamic realm — might well be accounted for by factors other than a differential degree of oppression in both religions.

  • 7 Abduh M., Al-islîm wa-n-nasrdniyya ma’a-l-’ilm wa-l-madaniyya, Beirut, 2 1983, p. 15.

9In his long answer, Abduh noticed the centrality of this problem for Antun — in spite of its apparent marginality in the article — and he also tracked down the weak points of the argument. Consequently, he built his whole answer around the refutation of Antûn’s claims. He identified four critical points in Antun’s statement. In his own words: "1) That the Muslims were tolerant with their own thinkers but not with those of other religions; 2) that there were Islamic groups who fought each other for reasons of religious creed; 3) that the essence of the Christian religion helps Christians to be tolerant towards science; 4) that the Europeans enjoy the developed modern civilization thanks to the Christian religious tolerance."7

  • 8 Ibid., pp. 16-28.
  • 9 Ibid., p. 185.

10Of these points he deals shortly with the first two by adducing evidence contrary to Antûn’s claim.8 The fourth point is also dealt with rather shortly. It might be interesting, though, to cite a few of his remarks here because he quite pertinently calls in question Antun’s claim that the triumph of modern civilization in Europe is due to genuine Christian tolerance. Abduh states that the Christian authorities were forced to give in: "Is it correct to call the submission to the victor ‘tolerance’? Does one call the inability to fight ‘leniency’ if it is accompanied by the resolution to fight once one is able to? Or does one call the abstention from evil ‘kindness’ if is due to forceful prevention?"9 And he — again quite correctly — identifies the factors responsible for the triumph of enlightenment as either unrelated to Christianity or as inimical reactions to Christian oppression. Here is a funny anecdote he relates in this context, and his comment:

  • 10 Ibid., pp. 187-188.

When the French kings ordered the streets of Paris to be paved in the way they had seen in the city of Cordoba, and when they forbade to raising pigs in those streets, the priests of St. Antony were angered, and they proclaimed that it was necessary for the Saint’s pigs to run freely around in the streets like before. Therefore, a big uproar occurred that forced the government to allow the pigs — with the provision that bells should be fastened to their neck.... Now one could say that the priests of that time were free not to fasten bells to the pig’s necks and that their doing so must be reckoned to be a great tolerance towards science.... I can easily agree that such a kind of tolerance regarding pig bells appeared from time to time, but I do not think it was sufficient to build that civilization the Europeans are so proud of today — and from whose value we do not detract at all.10

  • 11 Ibid., pp. 28-59.
  • 12 Ibid., pp. 65-133.
  • 13 Ibid., pp. 79-87.

11Yet Abduh directed the main thrust of his argument against the third point: Antûn’s claim of a difference in principle of the two religions that accounts for a greater tolerance of Christianity towards science. In a long comparison of the two religions, he comes to the opposite conclusion. He maintains that the essentials of Christianity are the belief in miracles, a tendency towards the irrational, the submission to religious authority, and similar qualities all of which render it quite intolerant of science and philosophy. Belief and reason, in his view, are opposed to each other in Christianity,11 not in Islam. With regard to it, Abduh emphasizes the privileged place given to reason, the avoidance of excommunication, the tolerance towards other religions and so on.12 He strongly denies the existence of any kind of theocratic rule in Islam. Political rule in Islam is of a purely civil nature, he maintains. There is no mediator between God and his believers. It may be noted that he expressly says that the prophet was not a ruler. (For a similar but much more elaborated statement ‘Ali ‘Abdarrâziq was to be severely castigated some two decades later). If there is a ruler — as there necessarily must be — he does not have his mandate from God but from the people. If he deviates from the right path the Muslims have to admonish or even depose him.13

  • 14 Ibid., pp. 59-61.

12As for the separation of religious and civil authorities Antûn sees in Christianity, it is, in Abduh’s view, hardly feasible. For a king would always be influenced by his own religious belief and act accordingly even if political expediency tells him otherwise. In the inevitable struggle between the two authorities, the religious one always has a certain benefit insofar as it claims a right from God and thereby influences the hearts and souls of people. It is wrong to interpret the verse "Render unto Cesar..." as if it advocated such a separation of the two powers. It simply calls for the unabated authority of God — except for such mundane matters as the taxes that should be duly given to the worldly rulers.14

13Thus, Abduh concludes, if there is a difference between the two religions regarding their tolerance of free thought it is to the credit of Islam — its basic texts as well as its followers’ actual conduct prove it. Yet in general these religions have the same aims — the distinctive feature of Islam is simply that it preaches them in their purest form:

  • 15 Ibid., pp. 62-64.

Religion is the confession of God, it is one and the same for the first believers and for the others, only its forms and expressions change. Its spirit and the truth of what all the people were called to by the prophets and envoys do not change: belief in God alone and the sincerity in his adoration, the mutual help of people in achieving the good and their abstention from harming each other as much as they can. This does not prevent religion from developing with the development of the human mind and the readiness of people to perfect the right-guidedness. I hold that the religion of Islam came to unite all mankind on this basis and that one of its most important tasks is to end the existing disunity between the people of the book and to call them to agreement, brotherhood, love and mutual understanding. This it what Muslims have worked at century after century according to the degree of their attachment to Islam.15

14Another long part of Abduh’s answer is devoted to the decadence and ossification of the life of Muslims (not of Islam!) which he thus — being a good Islamic reformist — does not deny at all. He traces it back to the damaging influence of non-Arabs who came to power in the Islamic empire and imbued its whole culture with their pre-Islamic notions and ways of living. Thus people came to practice and believe something which they quite wrongly deem Islamic:

  • 16 Ibid., p. 150.

Most of what you see today and what is called Islam by common people is not in fact Islam. It has retained of the Islamic practice the form of prayer, fasting and pilgrimage and a little of the texts not understood in their true meaning. By way of the harmful innovations and superstitions that have overcome their religion, people have been led to the ossification I mentioned, and have taken it for religion.16

  • 17 Ibid., pp. 172-183.
  • 18 For instance in ibid., p. 145 and 150.

15However, all this, in his view, has not affected the essence of Islam. It is still preserved, if only in the form of the Koran, and can be regained once the Muslims awaken from their slumber. The recognition of the true principles of Islam, and in the first place the advice to combine belief and the search for knowledge, seems to be the only solid basis for reform.17 Abduh does not elaborate here, but it appears that the method he envisages for bringing about such an awakening is education. At any rate, he repeatedly expresses his revulsion at politics which he holds responsible for the decay.18

16While Abduh may have overstressed the merits of Islam as compared to Christianity, he certainly could show the weakness of Antun’s argument in two crucial points, namely, the alleged difference in principle between the two religions and the claim that the triumph of enlightenment shows a greater tolerance of Christianity. Still, Antûn took up the challenge. This was courageous not only in view of Abduh’s standing and popularity but also because his own case as he had presented it in the article on Ibn Rushd was rather weak. If he wanted to hold out he would have had to reconsider the whole matter, and that is what he actually did.

17Dismissing the attention Abduh has given to the admittedly sloppy formulation of the original article, Antûn reformulates its statement in a way that renders it much more reasonable indeed. He says that reality shows that philosophy and science have won the upper hand in Europe and that this development was facilitated by the fact that in Christianity the civil authority was separated from religion and given supremacy over it. He goes on saying:

  • 19 Antûn in his answer to the second answer of ‘Abduh, in id., Ibn Rushd wa falsafatuhu, Beirut, 1981 (...)

This is the explanation of that passage to which the master (Abduh, A. F.) felt obliged to answer on 35 pages and which made him attack the nature of Christian religion without appropriate arguments.... Thus there is nothing to justify the fuss the master made but there is one subject to which he should have confined his research because it is the crux of everything I say and he says. Yet unfortunately the master did not devote to this subject more than two of his 35 pages and then another 35 pages and yet another 35 pages etc. All this is not what I meant, and I do not need it either. All I need is one thing, and this thing I have proclaimed the basis of tolerance in all religions: the separation of civil from religious authority.19

  • 20 Ibid., pp. 141-150.

18Antûn starts from the assumption that the rights of men derive from their being men, not from their affiliation to a religion. Religion shall be a private matter, and all men — including atheists! — shall have the same political rights. The link of religious and political power would destroy this too. Both powers, in his view, serve completely different purposes. Religions are called upon to regulate matters of the hereafter, their authorities should not interfere in worldly matters, because by their very nature they tend to be intolerant. The main task of governments is, however, the protection of the freedom and the property of man, including the protection of the freedom of thought from any intrusion. The linkage of religious and wordly power is detrimental for both: religion is abased by its being used for the purposes of rule, and wordly power is weakened by religious disunity. The attempt of governments to produce or preserve religious unity in order to further their power is doomed to failure. For all these reasons it is better to separate both powers.20

  • 21 Ibid., pp. 151-155.

19Antûn notes Abduh’s objection that the religious affiliation of a ruler would stop him from being neutral in his religious policy, and makes it an argument for the constitutional framing of monarchic rule and democratic forms of government in general. In this context, he speaks of consultative bodies (magâlis shurawiyya) but immediately notices that the traditional Islamic concept of shûra is not sufficient to counterbalance autocratic rule. Consequently, he voices a demand for truly democratic institutions with the competence to decide (magâlis amr).21

  • 22 Ibid., pp. 156-158.

20Antûn holds that religion has been weakened by its being abused in the interest of the rich and powerful. Only for the weak and humble does religion, in his view, still serve a useful purpose: to comfort and to call for the good. Even in this field, though, he sees it as losing ground to socialist ideas.22

21Regarding the possibility of theocratic rule in Islam so vigorously denied by Abduh, Antûn draws a picture much closer to historical reality; or,

  • 23 Ibid., p. 154.

The claim that the power of the head of state in Islam is derived from the people — in contrast to Christianity where it is derived from God — does not solve this problem (that of the constitutional framing of absolute power).... The leadership of the state was exposed to the unbridled whims of the people and to the unfettered arbitrariness of the ruler. Therefore, it was necessary to add to the authority of the ruler another one balancing that of the people. For this reason, the power of God was added to that of the ruler and "rebellion against the caliph" became "rebellion against God and his envoy." Thus religious Islamic authority resorted to the derivation from God in order to keep the people in check and weaken its power. Otherwise it would not have lasted.23

22Concerning the importance of the verse "Render unto Cesar...", Antûn refrains from discussing its original meaning (thereby implicitly conceding that Abduh may be right in his interpretation). Its meaning, in his view, is irrelevant.

  • 24 Ibid., pp. 150-151.

Yet what is relevant in our context is that the kinds and peoples in Europe have forced the heads of religion to separate the religious and the powers with the help of this verse and with another one, namely, "My kingdom is not of this world." The heads of the Christian religion, defending their power, said the same things the master is saying — that this separation is an unthinkable innovation.... The kings and philosophers who were the soldiers of the civil authority interpret it (the verse) in a way that necessitates the separation However that may be, the actual occurrence of this separation and its continuance until today and for all eternity [sic!] are a clear indication that the power of reality and the interpretation that has actually imposed itself back the proponents of separation,24

23But even in the opposite case, as in the linkage of the two powers being a religious obligation in Christianity, the interest of society constrained by religious power would finally impose itself and put an end to that constraint — even at the risk of destroying religion altogether.

  • 25 Ibid., p. 151.

Thus the best thing to do is to interpret everything in the scriptures, wherever possible, in such a way that it supports the consistency of religion and separation. Otherwise, religion would be an obstacle in the way of civilization, although God has given it for the benefit of mankind. Therefore 1 unhesitatingly agree with those who state that in every religion there are verses allowing for the separation of the religious from the civil authority. That is what I have to say regarding "Render unto Cesar what is Cesar’s!", that is, I follow the rule I have set before, namely to interpret any verse in such a way that it leads to virtue.25

24It may be interesting to note that Antûn, while fervently advocating the acceptance of European achievements and models, at the same time cautions against the motives of European politics towards the East that may be hidden behind the lofty slogans. One of the first outspoken modernists of the Arab world, he sees the double face of modernism and seems to anticipate the criticism levelled at so many later proponents of his stand: that they are unconsciously — or even consciously!

25– paving the way for Western domination in one form or another, that they are agents of "cultural imperialism". He calls for seeing both sides of the Western influence.

  • 26 Ibid., p. 157.

Europe uses religion as an instrument. It bases religion on politics not politics on religion. If we were now to draw a picture of the missionary sent to the East it would be that of a man with a monk’s hat, in his right hand a Bible, in his left a sword and a flag, and on his back the commodities of London, Paris, Rome and Berlin.
And yet the East should not be ungrateful. The East must not forget that those missionaries, while harming it on the one hand, also were useful for it on the other. Life and civilization would not have returned to it had it not been for those missionaries. Syria is an example for the correctness of that thesis for its recent reawakening was initiated by the arrival of the American and Jesuit missionaries. The Easterners should not allow anybody to call them ungrateful. They should on the one hand appreciate what was the basis of their reawakening, and on the other hand, they should tell the Europeans: our interest does not coincide with yours, and if, therefore, science and culture unite us, politics divide us from each other.26

  • 27 We have only cited Antun’s main arguments for secularism here, concentrating on one chapter of his (...)

26Thus, Antûn took up the challenge issued by Abduh, but instead of dealing with the latter’s criticism in detail, he chose to positively develop his main idea — secularism — and to base it on a solid foundation. He succeeded in doing so, avoiding the shortcuts and weaknesses that had rendered the first formulation of his proposition so vulnerable.27

  • 28 Antûn, op. cit., p. 164.

27Both Abduh and Antûn see the weaknesses of their society. Both call for reform, both suggest a gradualist approach. However, their conceptions of the framework of reform are quite different from one an other. Abduh wants to retain — or restore — the connection between religion and world and to further the reform of the world by the reform of religion. Antûn holds that the elimination of any institutionalized influence of religion on worldly matters is a necessary precondition of reform. "The principle of the master makes religious reform the basis for the reform of the state. Yet the Ottoman Christians — and all the Christians of the East — do not want to hear anything of religious reform at this time — neither in Christianity nor in Islam. For since a long time they have realized that no worldly reform is intended by religion because God has given it for his worship only."28

28While Abduh — out of conviction or expediency — chooses his intellectual standpoint not only within religion but within Islam (to which he ascribes a certain edge over other religions), Antûn takes it outside of any religion. Both live in an Egyptian society strongly penetrated by European influences; both have come into close contact with Western ideas. But they digest these influences in different ways — according to their different interest, social position, and world view. Abduh cannot bring himself to see Islam "from the outside" as it were. He feels obliged to give it a privileged place and a privileged role as an instrument of reform. Antûn accepts the European conceptions almost without qualifications and presents them as models for the reform of oriental society. His being imbued with European ideas and his belonging to a minority facilitate the choice of his intellectual standpoint: outside of religion.

  • 29 For the discussion of a similar case, see Mohamed-Saleh Sfia, "Egypte: impact de l’idéologie socia (...)
  • 30 See Sharabi, op. cit., pp. 62-67.
  • 31 Antûn, op. cit„ p. 31.

29The immediate effect of Antûn’s secularist plea remained limited. That was not so much due to the fact that his opponent was the respected Abduh or that the latter’s arguments were so convincing. Rather, Antûn’s suggestions were derived from European (mainly French) historical experience, and Egyptian society had not yet made similar experiences — at least not as deeply and thoroughly. Consequently, these suggestions were only favourably received by a few well- informed intellectuals.29 Furthermore, the reception of these ideas was made more difficult by the fact that Antûn belonged to the Syrian Christian minority in Egypt and that a considerable part of the Egyptian elite at that time saw the fight against the British rule as their main task and tended to reject any European influence.30 Nevertheless, Antûn opted for presenting his position quite openly — obviously he thought that once an insight had been won it should not be kept in store until conditions would be "ripe." He dedicated his book to "the reasonable people of the East of all confessions for if we want reform in our beloved East it can only be based on them. The foundation of such a reform is the absolute respect of the freedom of thought and publication so that the truths and principles can be made clear slowly but surely. And if it is true that this belongs to the axioms of science and culture, it is equally true that people are not yet accustomed to it. Yet they will never get accustomed to it if not with the help of the reasonable people."31

30Thus, his immediate impact on this respect remained limited. Yet it is amazing how many themes that have been brought up ever since were already touched upon by him, and not necessarily in a less developed form.

Notes

1 See for instance Khoury P., Une lecture de la pensée arabe actuelle. Trois études, Münster, 1981, pp. 287-293.

2 The point has often been made, in a particularly convincing way by Sharabi H., Arab Intellectuals and the West: The Formative Years, 1875-1914, London/Baltimore 1970, passim.

3 This comparism has been drawn by Fu’âd Zakariyyâ, "Al-’almâniyya darûra hadâriyya", in Qadâyâ Fikriyya 8, Oct. 1989, pp. 272-294.

4 See my article "Secularism, Integralism and Political Islam. The Egyptian Debate" in Middle East Report, Washington, n° 183, July-August 1993, pp. 32-38.

5 For a good description of the circumstances of the debate, see Reid D.M., The Odyssey of Farah Antûn. A Syrian Christian’s Quest for Secularism, Minneapolis & Chicago 1975, pp. 80-90. The content of the debate is related in Albert Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age 1798-1939, London and Oxford, 1970, pp. 253- 259.

6 Antûn F., "Tarikh Ibn Rushd wa falsafatihi wa huwa a’zam falâsifat al-islam", article orginally printed in Al-Jama’ia, now in ibid., Ibn Rushd wa falsafatuhu, Beirut, 1981, pp. 201-217.

7 Abduh M., Al-islîm wa-n-nasrdniyya ma’a-l-’ilm wa-l-madaniyya, Beirut, 2 1983, p. 15.

8 Ibid., pp. 16-28.

9 Ibid., p. 185.

10 Ibid., pp. 187-188.

11 Ibid., pp. 28-59.

12 Ibid., pp. 65-133.

13 Ibid., pp. 79-87.

14 Ibid., pp. 59-61.

15 Ibid., pp. 62-64.

16 Ibid., p. 150.

17 Ibid., pp. 172-183.

18 For instance in ibid., p. 145 and 150.

19 Antûn in his answer to the second answer of ‘Abduh, in id., Ibn Rushd wa falsafatuhu, Beirut, 1981, p. 141.

20 Ibid., pp. 141-150.

21 Ibid., pp. 151-155.

22 Ibid., pp. 156-158.

23 Ibid., p. 154.

24 Ibid., pp. 150-151.

25 Ibid., p. 151.

26 Ibid., p. 157.

27 We have only cited Antun’s main arguments for secularism here, concentrating on one chapter of his book, namely, his answer to Abduh’s second answer. The rest of the book that deals basically with the person and work of Ibn Rushd lies outside the scope of our treatment.

28 Antûn, op. cit., p. 164.

29 For the discussion of a similar case, see Mohamed-Saleh Sfia, "Egypte: impact de l’idéologie socialiste sur l’intelligentsia arabe (Salâma Mûsâ)", in: La deuxième Internationale et l’Orient, ed. by Georges Haupt and Madeleine Reberiou, Paris 1967, pp. 409-422.

30 See Sharabi, op. cit., pp. 62-67.

31 Antûn, op. cit„ p. 31.

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