Fromherz Allen James

in Ibn Khaldun

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780748639342
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653201 | DOI:

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This chapter discusses Ibn Khaldun's rise to signify the universal claims of a modern nation. His universalism is unprecedented that he became the inspiration for an acceptable, modern-day 'asabiyya of nationalism. In Tunisia, his name became ‘thick’ with more national and modern meaning than with historical meaning, and thick with meaning for different modern, social and national agendas and groups within Tunisia and the Islamic world at large. The same as in Tunisia, Egypt also held a national claim to Ibn Khaldun as part of their Islamic intellectual heritage. Attempts have been made to create pubic memorials for him as well as to locate his precise place of burial. The quest for his tomb signified the quest for recognition of the intellectual achievements of the new flowering of Arab intellectualism as it was a quest for the specific place that Ibn Khaldun was buried. In present-day Egypt, Ibn Khaldun is a symbol of defiance towards brutalities of the nation-state. He became a symbol of modernism, of democracy and of civil society connecting East and West. The chapter ends with a discussion of the several ways in which Ibn Khaldun's thoughts and the condition of his historical context challenged common modern assumptions and misconceptions about Middle East.

Keywords: universalism; 'asabiyya; Tunisia; Egypt; symbol of modernism; symbol of defiance

Chapter.  7380 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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