Islamic Fundamentalism

Islamic Fundamentalism

Islamic Fundamentalism

Islamic Fundamentalism

Synopsis

Using detailed case studies, this volume provides an in-depth analysis of the rise of Islamic and fundamentalist movements in the Middle East and North Africa. The contributors assess the impact of such movements on international relations.

Excerpt

Suha Taji-Farouki

The establishment of an Islamic state is the ultimate goal of most Islamist programs today. Islamists have devoted considerable attention to theorizing about the notion and nature of such a state, producing a substantial literature on the subject offering numerous and varied Islamic state‐ theories. This chapter explores the general relationship between these theories and contemporary realities, looking in particular at the state‐ model articulated by Taqi al-Din al-Nabhani (1909-1977), and calls into question the claims that the proposed paradigms are "exclusively and authentically Islamic." a survey of recent Islamist activism reveals that there is frequently a significant dichotomy between the ideology of Islamic movements and their actions. This dichotomy is paralleled in the theoretical realm of political thought. Here a dichotomy arises between the rhetoric of Islamic exclusivism and authenticity, with its rejection of Western forms and norms, and the implicit assumption of these very forms and norms in these "authentic and exclusively Islamic" state-theories. in fact, the rhetorical insistence on a distinctively and exclusively Islamic state-model represents the articulation of a pressing demand to reinstate forms rooted in the indigenous culture and consonant with its fundamental values, in the face of an increasingly global, Western-dominated culture that appears to deny the validity of all cultural and civilizational alternatives. the implicit assumption of aspects of the political discourse of this global culture by Muslim theorists casts a fresh light on the fears of many Westerners concerning the necessary implications of an Islamic state, especially were such a state to emerge on Europe's doorstep.

There is little agreement among modern Sunni theorists concerning what constitutes an Islamic state and government: This reality is reflected in the extensive variations in governmental systems existing among . . .

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