Middle East Muslims Differ over the Meaning of the Fundamentalist Revival

By Gerald Butt, | The Christian Science Monitor, April 1, 1992 | Go to article overview

Middle East Muslims Differ over the Meaning of the Fundamentalist Revival


Gerald Butt,, The Christian Science Monitor


`SINCE 95 percent of Egyptians are Muslims, it is natural that they should want an Islamic state," the speaker on the platform declared, to a roar of approval from the crowd.

The scene was the Cairo International Book Fair last January. The speaker at a debate on the fringes of the exhibition was Ma'amoun el-Hodeiba, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, the main Islamic fundamentalist group in Egypt. A few days earlier, Muslim fundamentalists in Algeria had delivered a crushing defeat at the polls to the ruling National Liberation Front. Feelings were running high.

When the meeting ended, hundreds of fundamentalist supporters, chanting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great"), surged through the fairground. An Egyptian living in London who was visiting Cairo for the book fair came into an exhibition hall looking shaken. "They're crazy," he said. "If democracy means fundamentalism, then forget democracy."

Opponents of the Islamic movement in the Middle East are alarmed by the way in which Arabs of all classes are increasingly returning to their "fundamental" Islamic roots. But many Muslims argue that - contrary to the popular view outside the region of fundamentalism as a sinister force threatening the West - the current Islamic revival is a positive development.

Prof. Aziz Shukri, head of the law faculty at Damascus University, says the Islamic movement is simply seeking a system of life that is compatible with the region's religious and social roots. Fundamentalism, he says, "is going back to the roots of Islam, to the Holy Koran, to the traditions of the Prophet ... to see if they can provide a good response to the problems we face. Islam might not be complete, it might need updating. But it is definitely more likely to suit my life than any imported ideology."

Throughout the Middle East, Muslims cite the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979 as an important source of inspiration in rediscovering their roots. This does not mean, however, that there is overwhelming support for the policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Most Iranians belong to the Shiite sect of Islam, while more than 80 percent of Muslims are part of the Sunni movement. Even within Iran there are major differences over the interpretation of Islamic doctrine. This is seen in the tension between the relatively pragmatic view of President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani - who apparently seeks better relations with the West - and the uncompromising policies of hard-liners like Ali Akbar Mohtashemi. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Middle East Muslims Differ over the Meaning of the Fundamentalist Revival
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.