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Hassan Hanafi

حسن حنفي Hasan Hanafi

The 100 Influential Voices from the Arab World is an ongoing research project on leading voices and themes in Arab public discourse. The principal investigator is Hassan I. Mneimneh.

Hassan Hanafi is currently a professor of philosophy at Cairo University. Since 1976, he has been the secretary general of the Egyptian Philosophical Society, and in 1983, he became the vice-president of the Arab Philosophical Society. His books include حوار الاجيال (The generations’ dialogue), Cairo, Dar Qibaʿ, 1998; من العقيدة الى الثورة (From dogma to revolution), 5 vols., Cairo, Maktabat Madbuli, 1988; Religious Dialogue and Revolution: Essays on Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Cairo, Anglo-Egyptian Bookshop, 1977; التراث والتجديد (Tradition and modernism), Cairo, Arab Center for Research and Publication, 1976-1977. He has been an adviser to the United Nations University in Tokyo (1985-1987) as well as a visiting professor at several universities, including the University of Philadelphia and the University of Fez. Born in Cairo in 1935, Hanafi holds a B.A. in philosophy from Cairo University (1956) and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the Sorbonne (1966).


Hassan Hanafi is engaged in the long-term project of moving the center of gravity of Islamic (and Islamist) thought toward the mutual recognition, with the West, of the constructive role of Islam in defining and shaping human interaction. Hanafi thus attempts to harmonize Islamic principles with universal ethics and social justice, and is a decided critic of radicalism, both within Islam and beyond it.

EXCERPT (Translated)

Salafi-Secularism is a radical and cruel form of secularism. It rejects dialogue with all contradicting ideologies and sects, thus becoming the alternate ideology and opposing fanaticism."

There exists no state faith in secularism, which is based on the principles of law, constitution, democratic citizenship, and equality in civic rights and responsibilities. Religion is a personal relationship between God and the individual but when it becomes public and involves the state and citizens…secularism is transformed into the new state faith…secular in theory and salafi in practice….

A rapprochement between Islam and secularim [...] reinforces the reform wings of the Islamic movement and empowers enlightened secularism over cruel secularism.

– Hassan Hanafi, "Salafi-Secularism," Al-Dustur, March 12, 2008

EXCERPT (Original in Arabic- Link)

 تعني العلمانية السلفية العلمانية المتوحشة الجذرية التي لا تقبل نقيضها أو أي حوار معها.  وعندما تتحول إلى عقيدة بديلة وتعصب مضاد لكل الأيديولوجيات والمذاهب المعارضة


 والحقيقة أن العلمانية تعني أن الدولة لا دين لها.  تقوم على القوانين الوضعية والدستور والمواطنة ومساواة الجميع في الحقوق والواجبات.  الدين علاقة خاصة بين الإنسان والله ، وليس علاقة عامة بين المواطن والدولة


    والعلمانية على هذا النحو دين جديد ، تريد إقامة الدولة عليه.


 علمانية في الظاهر وسلفية في الباطن.