Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics

Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics

Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics

Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics

Synopsis

Modern Islamist Movements provides a clear and accessible examination of the history, beliefs and rationale of Islamist Groups and their grievances with the West and governments within the majority-Muslim world, while examining some of these groups' visions for a global Islamic empire.
  • A clear and accessible text that examines the history, beliefs and rationale for violence emerging from Islamist movements, while examining some of these groups' visions for a global Islamic empire
  • Examines Islamist grievances against the West and modern governments in the majority Muslim world, while providing an overview of Islam's relations with the West from the period of the Crusades to the modern age
  • Discusses the historic development of Islamism in Egypt, the West Bank and Gaza, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan
  • Explains classic Islamic understandings of jihad and Bin Laden's, al-Qaida's, and other Islamists interpretations of this concept
  • Offers an historical account of the formative relationship between al-Qaida, other Islamists, and Islamic intellectual trends beginning in the eighteenth century
  • Appropriate for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as interested general readers

Excerpt

What we are seeing now is a radical international jihad that will be a
potent force for many years to come
.

The New York Times, June 16, 2002

Islamism is nothing new. It is rooted in long-standing currents within modern Islamic history. Alongside democracy, socialism, communism, monarchy, and autocratic authoritarianism, Islamism is one of modernity’s most influential political and religious ideologies. Islamists, also known as “Islamic fundamentalists” and “Islamic revivalists” (among other designations) – assert that the literal truth of the Quran, Islam’s most sacred text, together with its legal and ritual injunctions based on Islamic law (Sharia), must be applied to all Muslims and to religious minorities living in majority-Muslim countries. Islamists also believe that: (1) Islamic principles must dictate every aspect of life, both personal and societal; (2) Islam contains the truth and that other religions are either false or of limited validity; (3) traditional rules must govern sexual relations (i.e., sex may only take place within heterosexual marriage and licit concubinage); and (4) Western and secular cultures promote a range of consumerist and permissive lifestyles which are antithetical to Islam. Thus, Islamism – the complex current which is this book’s focus – is the reinflection and reaffirmation, in substantially changed political and socio-cultural settings, of time-honored forms of understanding and behavior. Yet, Islamists are not utterly opposed to every kind of change; rather, they maintain that change must be regulated by traditional beliefs and practices.

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