Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics

By Jon Armajani | Go to book overview

2
Egypt

As with virtually any historical movement, one can begin the history of Islamism at any of several points. In Egypt, one possible starting point for examining this movement’s history can be the ideas of three significant intellectuals, all of whom were born in the nineteenth century and spent significant portions of their lives in Egypt – Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1838–97), Muhammad (Abduh (1849–1905), and Muhammad Rashid Rida (1865–1935). These intellectuals formulated their Islamically-based ideas in the midst of enormous change and turmoil in Islam, in Egypt, and in the rest of the majority-Muslim world.

One of the most significant historical forces in Egypt and in much of the majority-Muslim world during modern history was Western colonialism. Some powerful Western countries with substantial colonial interests in the Muslim world were Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Italy. The Western country that had the greatest influence on Egypt during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was Great Britain. Those countries’ colonialist influence was felt in the majority-Muslim world in ways that were military, cultural, economic, religious, linguistic, and educational. The nineteenth century was a time in Islamic history when some Muslim intellectuals inside and outside of Egypt critiqued colonialism and attempted to assert authentic Islamic identities in the face of colonialism’s onslaught. Afghani, (Abduh, and Rida were three such Muslim intellectuals.


Jamal al-Din al-Afghani

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani was probably born in the Shiite-majority country of Iran, but he claimed his familial lineage was rooted in Afghanistan, which is

-37-

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Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Modern Islamist Movements - History, Religion, and Politics iii
  • Contents vii
  • List of Maps viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Egypt 37
  • 3 - The West Bank, Gaza, and Israel 85
  • 4 - Saudi Arabia 122
  • 5 - Pakistan 164
  • 6 - Afghanistan 188
  • 7 - Conclusion 218
  • Index 221
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