By Prof. Dr. Mustafa Acar
It is a generally observed phenomenon that the liberal values such as freedom, plurality, multi- culturalism, openness, limited government, and free market economy are not so welcomed in the Muslim world today. To put it differently, many Muslim intellectuals as well as political authorities and the laymen are either indifferent or skeptical, or even hostile towards the liberal democratic values. One would wonder why? Why is the Muslim world hesitant or skeptical about these values? What would be the historical, social and intellectual causes of this observation, if any? In light of this, this paper argues that the answer is closely related with the fact that the School of Tradition won the fight against the School of Reason back in the Medieval Ages. This intellectual-philosophical conflict between these two major schools combined with certain geo-political reasons had important, destructive consequences in the Muslim world. In this regard, intellectual, cultural, economic and political consequences of the conflict between Rationalist and Traditionist schools cannot be underestimated.