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He has also received eight international prizes for his contributions to Islamic scholarship, [12] and is considered one of the most influential such scholars living today.

However, the belief that Islam presents something tantamount to a political ideology by its very nature is of relatively recent origin Ayubi : 3. While there were earlier movements with political projects in Islamic history, a fully ideological understanding of Islam only develops in the modern period with the rooting of nation-states in the region. In contrast, premodern Islamic movements were mainly internally motivated.


However, the belief that Islam presents something tantamount to a political ideology by its very nature is of relatively recent origin Ayubi : 3. While there were earlier movements with political projects in Islamic history, a fully ideological understanding of Islam only develops in the modern period with the rooting of nation-states in the region.

In contrast, premodern Islamic movements were mainly internally motivated. For example, Salafism emerged as a reaction to a perceived corruption of Islam and refers to an interpretation of Islam that seeks to restore Islamic faith and practice to the ways of the time of Muhammad and the early generations of his followers.

Thus, Wahhabism is a more narrow designation: Wahhabis are Salafis, but not all Salafis are Wahhabis. Traditionally Salafis have taken an ambiguous, even quietist, political stance, subscribing to ideas embodied in ninth- and tenth-century Sunni texts commanding Muslims not to rebel against a Muslim ruler no matter how unjust or impious he is while at the same time teaching that if a ruler ceases to be a Muslim, he can be opposed.

However, Salafi activism typically focuses on the purification of belief and daily practices that emulate the pious ancestors, thus, tending to focus on individual comportment rather than projects of a more directly political nature. Whereas pre-modern revivalist movements were primarily focused on local sources of decline, modern movements had to respond not only to internal problems and weaknesses, but also to the forces in the modern world that they saw as hindering the existence of authentic Islamic communities: corrupt states, mass unemployment, chaotic urbanization, a sense of external domination, spurious democratic systems, and secular values.

They also sought to give Islamic thought a more rationalist, futuristic, and universalistic orientation. The notion of strengthening Islam by accommodating its principles to the requirements of global modernity was only one response to decline and colonization. Many thinkers in the region sought their response in secular ideologies. So too, there were thinkers who regarded modern values as the very source of decay and sought to distance Islam from the West.

By the mids one saw the emergence of thinkers who asserted an Islamist ideology as a distinct way. The most important example of this was the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in by Hassan al-Banna —49 as a youth organization aimed at moral and social reform. The Brotherhood became further politicized in the s and officially became a political group in The group began sending envoys to surrounding countries with the mission of spreading the movement by setting up local branches.

In its early days, certainly during the s and s, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups struggled alongside stronger and more popular nationalist groups against the common enemy of European colonialism and imperialism. As these nationalist groups came into power, many Islamists began to develop a more revolutionary outlook that directly challenged the newly formed governments. Sayyid Qutb —66 similarly viewed Islamism as offering a political system that could provide an alternative to secular ideologies such as communism and capitalism.

Sadr argued that neither communism nor capitalism which he viewed as the two chief ideological rivals of his time can offer real fulfilment to human beings, as he details what he takes to be the flaws and shortcomings of each, in contrast to the truths and benefits of Islam.

Where capitalism subordinates society to the individual, communism makes the opposite error in completely subordinating the freedom of the individual to the needs of society. Sadr rejects the notion that individual freedom is a price that must be paid in order to establish the ideal society.

While many Islamist groups have tended to give patriarchal rules religious sanction, Islamist and other Muslim women have not passively accepted secondary status. In fact, women have been active participants in the Islamist movements from the beginning. According to Ghazali, Islam permits women to take an active part in public life, through employment, political engagement, and any other activity in the service of an Islamic society Hoffman When Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt sought to create a division of Muslim Sisters, he asked Ghazali to bring her Association into the Brotherhood and lead the new division.

However, Ghazali rejected the offer to merge while promising to cooperate with the Brothers. These women were themselves imprisoned for their activities.

Lest we think for a moment that there is any consensus on this view, one should note that the concept of mutual social responsibility is criticized by Maududi for its too close association with socialist and communist thinking.

Despite many important differences among particular thinkers, the chief aim of Islamist thinkers at this stage was to offer a distinctly Islamic conception of politics as part of a revolutionary project aimed at establishing what they saw as a proper Islamic order in the present.

Yusuf al-Qaradawi Egypt, b. Both events shook the credibility of the secular Arab nationalist regimes and provided fertile soil later tilled by Islamist forces. As the corrupt p. Qutb and Maududi were central in politicizing the Islamic concepts necessary for the development of this ideological understanding of Islam.

According to this perspective, Islam is incompatible with the secularism, individualism, and general moral disintegration that characterizes modern reality, and the Islamic umma can only grow and flourish at the expense of this reality. The only antidote to the current state of jahiliyya —especially Western materialism, which he saw as the chief contaminant, which enslaves men to their passions, and to consumerism, and pits individual against individual in a system of competition, and enslaves one man to another in a system of exploitation—was the hakimiyya of God: a total Islamic view of life and a divinely ordained Islamic system.

It is this vanguard that undertakes the task of purging themselves of corruption—a sort of hijra in the manner undertaken by the Prophet Muhammad when he left for Medina after facing opposition from Meccan authorities, only to return a few years later to conquer Mecca—and undertake jihad against the forces of jahiliyya.

Both Qutb and Maududi articulate a notion of political struggle aimed at gaining political power, before all other considerations, in order to establish an Islamic state. The first sphere includes every country in which the legal judgments of Islam are applied, regardless of whether Muslims, Christians, or Jews form the majority of citizens so long as those who wield power are Muslim and adhere to the injunctions of their religion.

The second sphere consists of every territory in which Islamic rules are not applied, irrespective of whether its rulers claim to be Muslim. Qutb argues that jihad is not only a duty incumbent on all true Muslims, but it is also offensive in nature. Up until this time, Islamists in Egypt viewed the British as the enemy, though occasionally the Egyptian monarchy and capitalism were also viewed this way.

Whereas the traditional Sunni view holds that Muslims must submit to any political authority as long as it does not openly and grossly violate the Islamic faith, Qutb suggests Muslims are permitted to seize state power from secular governments.

Faraj was executed in for his role in the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. Faraj draws selectively upon medieval Islamic tracts—most notably, Ibn Taymiyya — —in making his argument. Faraj compares contemporary leaders Sadat is not mentioned by name to Genghis Khan while arguing that the former are worse than the latter in that not only do they not implement Islamic law, they do the bidding of foreign powers.

However, it is important to note that Faraj focuses on the struggle jihad against the near enemy or the enemy within: corrupt leaders of Muslim states hence, the assassination of Sadat that was said to result from its publication. It was only later that Islamist individuals and groups transcended the nation-state as a primary concern and refocused jihad against the far away enemy. Quietism did not mean complete withdrawal from political affairs.

In fact, traditional quietism was often accompanied by a denial of legitimacy on the part of existing regimes, but it was also only rarely associated with political activism, that is, with efforts aimed at removing illegitimate rulers and replacing them with a rightful successor. Khomeini sought a resolution to the problem of government posed by the absence of the Imam and the existence of corrupt rulers like the Shah by conferring responsibility for government on the jurist, by virtue of his knowledge of the sacred law.

Khomeini argued that a single jurist, possessing knowledge and moral rectitude, could rise to be a supreme jurist, holding authority over the people. The idea of guardianship or rule of the jurist wilayat al-faqih constituted the official ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran that Khomeini helped establish and was enshrined in articles 5 and of the Iranian constitution. Under Khomeini, the supreme jurist acquired absolute powers.

In political terms, Sadr argues in this work for a moderate supervisory role for the clergy in judicial matters p. Rather than wilayat al-faqih the rule of the jurist , Sadr puts forth the concept of wilayat al-umma ala nafsiha the self-rule of the community , recognizing the popular basis of political authority.

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of the Islamic revolution in Iran was its success. The takeover of the US embassy and the taking of US hostages by Iranian students on 4 November was an event greeted throughout the Muslim world as a victory of Islam over the infidels. Iranian students managed to humiliate the great American superpower—a confirmation of the Islamist belief that by acting fearlessly in the name of Islam, Muslims could defeat the infidels and transform earlier Islamist anti-imperialist discourse aimed at Europe into a discourse aimed at American imperialism and Zionism.

The most significant change in thinking with this new strand is the belief that Muslims face an existential threat from an external enemy that requires all able Muslim men to fight it wherever they can.

According to Ibn Taymiyya,. If we take the initiative, it is a collective duty [which means that] if it is fulfilled by a sufficient number [of Muslims], the obligation lapses for all others and the merit goes to those who have fulfilled it…. But if the enemy wants to attack the Muslims, than repelling him becomes a duty for all those under attack and for the others in order to help him. Ibn Taymiyya : Despite the recent growth of transnational terrorist actions by radical Islamists against Western countries and their citizens, the primary target of most Islamists has always been and remains the secular or un-Islamic states, leaders and institutions in Muslim-majority countries, and their ultimate aim is the establishment of an Islamic state within the framework of existing nation-states.

In this sense, political Islam develops in response to secularism, which it attempts to render alien to Islam. This mode of argumentation often involves establishing secularism in terms that render it specific to the Western historical experience. According to this line of argumentation, secularism emerges in Europe in response to the development of Christian theocratic rule in the Middle Ages.

Since Islam has no church structure to intervene in or conflict with the state, so the argument goes, Islam did not need to adopt secularism in order to protect politics from religious absolutism. Rather, Islam as a comprehensive way of life is already infused throughout the polity. Throughout, the s to early s the Muslim Brotherhood rejected the idea of direct participation in political process, parliament, and trade unions.

By the mids, they gradually began to participate in parliamentary elections in alliance with other political parties. What accounts for this shift of strategy? After the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat by the Islamic Jihad group in October , many of the leading theorists of the Islamic revival al-sahwa al-islamiyya sought to clarify their position from the political turmoil engulfing the country and from the extremist forces that contributed to its emergence.

She distinguishes conservative from radical Islamists in three areas: modes of action, ideological basis, and socioeconomic visions. Radical Islamists adopt violent means of establishing an Islamic state where conservative Islamists work within the existing political system. The individuals associated with this trend consist primarily of Egyptian Islamists working outside of organized groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood—for example Muhammad al-Ghazali —96 , Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Fahmi Huwaydi b.

The main components of this intellectual trend were outlined in a pamphlet entitled A Contemporary Islamic Vision: Declaration of Principles and penned by Kamal Abu al-Majd, a professor of law at Cairo University These principles p.

Other groups have attempted to create new or reform old Islamist political parties and groups explicitly based on wasatiyya principles: for example the Nahda Party in Tunisia, the Justice and development Party in Morocco, the reform party in Algeria, the Jordanian Islamic Action Union, the Umma Party in Kuwait, the Yemeni Reformist Union Islah. They have also had a considerable impact on the thinking of the Muslim Brotherhood itself.

Moderate Islamists draw attention to the deficiencies of secular democracy in the normative sphere and offer their own alternative that can not only coexist with democracy and pluralism, but places Islamic values at the centre of their vision. Clearly wasatiyya Islamism is intended as an alternative to secular ideologies. Islamists envision a state in which Islamic law is the basis of the constitution, to which all are accountable, and where governance is conducted through a process of consultation shura.

However, while many early Islamists were quick to resist equations of shura with democracy, the wasatiyya intellectuals have sought to reconcile Islamic thought with democratic elections, rotation of power, party pluralism, and a respect for the basic rights of citizens. True democracy, according to Qaradawi entails the freedom for Muslims to perpetuate their message and compete fairly in majoritarian elections. This will not conflict with democracy, in his view, since the binding texts are few and p.

Islamic moderates focus primarily on grass-roots mobilization, education, and charitable work, while also affirming that the greatest obstacle to the realization of both an Islamic state and society remains the existing un-Islamic regimes. However, in this context, Qaradawi does not call for violence or revolutionary efforts aimed at seizing the state through a frontal assault. Like many Islamic thinkers, Qaradawi distinguishes between offensive and defensive jihad.

While Qaradawi may seem to be suggesting that offensive jihad can only be undertaken once defensive jihad has been achieved, other passages clarify that this is not the case. Among the considerations Qaradawi discusses are the fact that the development of new communication technologies facilitates this form of jihad and the fact that fighting non-Muslims in an offensive military jihad risks considerable harms, including the loss of the weapons these countries supply Muslims for their defensive jihad al-Qaradawi : Thus, Qaradawi concludes, in the present, military jihad is best pursued in defensive form and offensive jihad is best undertaken through non-military means.

Qaradawi p. Absent democracy and political freedoms, Qaradawi advises Islamic movements to seek alliances and political participation through whatever channels are available to them. Ghannushi encourages Muslims to participate and share power in existing non-Islamic governments as a non-violent means of laying the foundation for a truly Islamic social order.

It is in this context that the Muslim Brotherhood began participating in elections through alliances with other groups since Islamist parties were banned in Egypt.

They also began outlining an electoral programme in , a reform initiative in , and another electoral programme in The concept was first put forth by French scholars Roy , among others who asserted that Islamism had failed, both intellectually and politically, and that Islamists were increasingly articulating secular or apolitical positions as a result.

Islamic awakening : between rejection and extremism

Taha Jabir Al-Alwani, Ed. Nancy Roberts, Economic, Politic]. Under the extraordinary pressures of the economic and political challenges of the modern world, it comes as no surprise that many of our young Muslims have reacted by treading the path of intolerance and rigid interpretation. In this thoughtful and timely book the author examines the worldwide revival of interest in Islam and articulates the wisdom of understanding both the letter and the spirit of the Qur'an and the Sunnah. New edition. Looking for answers in a world marked by enormous volatility, pressure and political and economic corruption, Muslim youth are an easy target for extremist movements.

Dawson, Miles Menander, and : Haslina Ibrahim. Islamic extremism is any form of Islam that opposes "democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs. Some have criticized political rhetoric that associates non-violent. Islamic awakening between rejection and extremism. ISBN Islam: an introduction. Occupation: Islamic scholar, Professor, Doctor. Literally, extremism means being situated at the farthest possible point from the center.

The Crescent and the Cross pp Cite as. Muhammad was a prophet who also, in his later life, became a statesman. Fleeing persecution in his native Makkah Mecca , he was invited, with his followers, to Madinah Medina , where he founded a plural state, based on a constitution known as the Covenant of Madinah.

A must-read treatise in the movement towards an Islamic Renaissance. Qaradawi contends that the extraordinary pressures of the modern world and internal decadence have distorted the Islamic vision of many Muslim youth. The response has been aMoreA must-read treatise in the movement towards an Islamic Renaissance.

The author stresses the concept of moderation in both traditions as a platform to combat extremism in multireligious and multiracial societies. The author employs qualitative methodology in which the descriptive, comparative and textual analysis method are applied on the written materials that are related to the topic. Findings reveal that scholars of both traditions discussed the concept thoroughly in their discourses. Some of the similar universal values such as justice, equilibrium, forebearance and others can be found in both traditions and are useful to deradicalize the extremists. All manuscripts submitted to this Journal must represent original work by the author s.

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By Tommaso Virgili The request addressed by some Arab states to Qatar to shut down the Al-Jazeera media network has ignited a heated debate. The channel, which is owned by the Qatari government, is definitely an important media giant, but has come under fire in the Middle East and in the West alike for allegedly spreading manipulated news to advance the Qatari political agenda, and for being the mouthpiece of radical Islamists, from Osama bin Laden onwards. The notoriety and influence of Al-Qaradawi is such that even top-level officials from different Arab states have felt the urge to confront him directly, accusing him of providing an ideological mantle to jihadi terrorism. He has also a marked foothold in powerful Islamic organizations worldwide, heading, among others, the Doha-based International Union of Muslim Scholars and the European Council for Fatwa and Research — de facto , Islamist umbrellas. The scholar, in other words, views himself as a proponent of an Islam rejecting at once the excesses of secularism and religious extremism. And what does this entail, in its turn? Qaradawi does not beat around the bush on the point, and reiterates that apostasy from Islam encounters death penalty.

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