This article explores francophone theoretical contributions to a specific and often under-theorised question in postcolonial thought, namely, that of what is often misleadingly conceived as the relationship between ‘Islam’ and the ‘West.’ The assumed dichotomy between Islamic culture and ‘Western’ thought is perhaps one of the most destructive misapprehensions of our time, and its origins lie in British and French colonial history. Derrida and Khatibi theorise the place of Islam in contemporary thought in highly complex ways through their visions of both the plurality and the open form of reflection that Islamic culture invites. In this way they can tell us something about the dynamic Islam that still seems under-represented in contemporary critical thought, including postcolonial studies.