Trump, Alfarabi, and the Open Society
What would America in the age of Trump look like through the eyes of a tenth century Arabic-speaking philosopher from the Islamic world? What would be his view of the role of women? What would be his view of freedom of speech in America’s constitutional system? I speculate that for Alfarabi the most striking feature of the United States as regime might be its religious diversity, its attempt to create a society open to a multiplicity of religious communities. Does President Trump need a philosophic education in order to deal with this uniquely modern situation? While he was aware of the universalism of Islam, Alfarabi envisioned a world divided into a multiplicity of national and religious communities. But does Alfarabi ever contemplate a plurality of religions within one community? What are the limits of politics, and how can we best deal with them in an American context?
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