Arkoun is described by his followers as the liberator of Islamic heritage ,despite his deep critical views that managed to create enormous attacks againist him from most Islamic scholars and defenders .
The fact that he went in depth in critical analysis to Islamic concepts has been unpreceded and hence unique. Such critical analysis and depth requires deep understanding and believes in the meaning of Islam beyond regular analysis and concepts. It requires as well , and mostly, a couragous and persistent attempts, that will undoubtedly be attacked.
Arkoun was fighting in his research and studies all patriarchal inheritances , that blocked the real meaning of Islam ,and wrapped it with generations and decades of patriarchal culture .
Managing to go deeper beyond our understandings of religion that we inherited decade after the other , under different notions of patriachal tyranny and interests , seems until this momnet as striking on sensitive nerves.
In his studies, Arkoun, directly effected by certain French Schools of ideologies, that determined his challenge to strike the Islamic heritage icon for the rest of his life , as most of his fellow thinkers, can be easily accused of etheism . He strongly beleived that being opened to other ideologies and cultures, daring to explore different beleives and heritage , will only help us understand our own religion in depth . He managed to understand Islamic enlightenment only when he managed to search into older Christian and Jewish heritages .
Arkoun humanistic philosophical perspective shed the light on the in-depth meaning of Islam as religion for humanity .In times, Moslems busied themselves in setting rules and blocking thinking to Moslem nations along decades of darkness .
When discussing tolerance and reconciliation , Arkoun argues in his study the fact that tolerance doesnt exist in Islamic teachings, that adopts medieval Christian teachings , that doesnt really beleive in tolerance. He adds his argument to what he calls our othdodoxed minds , that blocks us from accepting any other .
While reading the Articles, I couldnt but remind myself of the continuous direct and indirect arguments about religious tolerance that took place in our classrooms, and long before took place in every setting of our lives, and yet, we always claim that we are the most tolerant of all .
We perceive our claimed tolerance as ALLOWING the OTHERS of living under the big nation of Islam , as fellow, second class citizens , claiming to give them equality .
Until this moment, and hundreds years after the fall of Islam , Moslems still claim tolerance that doesnt exist , and proclaim equality and justice towards the OTHERS that is based on arrogance and up to bottom given virtue from the strong to the weaker, despite the fall of Islamic regimes . However, Islam , still remains tobe a great religion , with a great teaching that inspired the world, and changed the map of the world .
As much as Mohammad (PBUH) masterminded Islam in the most enlightened, genius way , Islam continued to produce people that were inspired by the beautiy of those teaching , despite the continuous monopoly of patriarchal ideologies on the teaching and the practice. Arkoun as a humanist, philosphical , Islamic thinker, managed , with others that preceded him such as Ibn Sina , Ibn Rushd, Ahmed Amin and others to break the blocking nerves of intloerant orthodoxed thinkings that trapped our minds.