Peace Be Unto Those Who Follow Right Guidance.
There are all sorts of limits that liberalism imposes and all sorts of exclusions it secures. Modern liberal society does claim to value multiplicity and variety of experiences, which seems attractive until you look carefully at what this means. Indeed, it justifies certain kinds of arrangement as being more open and tolerant when it isn’t. The mere fact that there is supposed to be a multiplicity of views and preferences in modern society is given as the reason for the moral and political superiority of the market: because the market is the mediator among people who have very different preferences, it is the best possible arrangement for our egalitarian, plural world; that is what the market is—a way of responding equitably (neutrally) to the fact that people want different things, physical, intellectual, spiritual. So the market comes to be seen as the supreme value rather than merely a dispenser of multiple values. It creates a particular kind of society in which wants are generated and increasingly monetized, and so only certain kinds of social relations can flourish. The liberal-secular prescription is that one must accommodate every sort of experiences and belief, and one must value them all, but it ends up encouraging a specific kind of experience typified in the consumption of commodities. The market is not a neutral mediator of multiple values; it is an active constructor, a re-former of specific values [emphasis added]. (p.79)
Extract taken from “Interview with Talal Asad” by Ovamir Anjum. The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 35(1), 2018, pp.55-90.