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FERRI E (2014). Islam y Occidentes: límites de la interpretación esencialista. DERECHOS Y LIBERTADES, vol. 31, p. 77-102, ISSN: 1133-0937


The author identifies and criticizes the so-called essentialist interpretation of Islam, which is widespread not only in some European and American Orientalist circles, but also even in intellectual contexts of more diverse political orientation. According to this vision, Islam is by its nature, in its essence, “intrinsically incompatible” with the West. In this way Islam is identified with fundamentalist islamism, as Huntington does in The Clash of Civilizations, and the latter is considered the true, constant and unchangeable expression of Islam, not susceptible to transformation.

To this one counterposes a West described, in the same way, as a reality with characteristics of universality, absoluteness and ahistoricity, such as freedom and democracy. The author demonstrates the ideological and abstract dimension from that interpretation and the historical inconsistency of a perspective that reduces Islam and the West to two “platonic ideas.”


Palabras clave: Occidente, Libertad, Islam, Democracia, Laicidad

Key words: Western civilization, Freedom, Islam, Democracy, Secularism