Islamism

Islamism (also often called political Islam or Islamic fundamentalism)[1] is a political ideology which posits that modern states and regions should be reconstituted in constitutional, economic and judicial terms, in accordance with what is conceived as a revival or a return to authentic Islamic practice in its totality.[2][3][4][5]

Ideologies dubbed Islamist may advocate a "revolutionary" strategy of Islamizing society through exercise of state power, or alternately a "reformist" strategy to re-Islamizing society through grassroots social and political activism.[6] Islamists may emphasize the implementation of sharia,[7] pan-Islamic political unity,[7] the creation of Islamic states,[8] or the outright removal of non-Muslim influences; particularly of Western or universal economic, military, political, social, or cultural nature in the Muslim world; that they believe to be incompatible with Islam and a form of Western neocolonialism. Some analysts such as Graham E. Fuller describe it as a form of identity politics, involving "support for [Muslim] identity, authenticity, broader regionalism, revivalism, [and] revitalization of the community."[9]

The term itself is not popular among many Islamists who believe it inherently implies violent tactics, human rights violations, and political extremism when used by Western mass media.[1] Some authors prefer the term "Islamic activism",[10] while Islamist political figures such as Rached Ghannouchi use the term "Islamic movement" rather than Islamism.[11]

Central and prominent figures in 20th-century Islamism include Sayyid Rashid Rida,[12] Hassan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Abul A'la Maududi,[13] Hasan al-Turabi,[14] and Ruhollah Khomeini. Many Islamist movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, have been willing to pursue their ends by peaceful political processes, rather than revolutionary means.[15] Others, notably Qutb, called for violence, and his followers are generally considered Islamic extremists. However, Qutb openly denounced the killing of innocents.[16] According to Robin Wright, Islamist movements have "arguably altered the Middle East more than any trend since the modern states gained independence", redefining "politics and even borders".[17] Following the Arab Spring, some Islamist currents became heavily involved in democratic politics,[17][18] while others spawned "the most aggressive and ambitious Islamist militia" to date, such as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[17]

Islamism is a concept whose meaning has been debated in both public and academic contexts.[19] The term can refer to diverse forms of social and political activism advocating that public and political life should be guided by Islamic principles.[19][20] In academic usage, the term Islamism does not specify what vision of "Islamic order" or sharia is being advocated, or how the advocates intend to bring about that vision.[21]

  1. ^ a b William E. Shepard; FranÇois Burgat; James Piscatori; Armando Salvatore (2009). "Islamism". In John L. Esposito (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195305135. The term "Islamism/Islamist" has come into increasing use in recent years to denote the views of those Muslims who claim that Islam, or more specifically, the Islamic sharīʿah, provides guidance for all areas of human life, individual and social, and who therefore call for an "Islamic State" or an "Islamic Order." [...] Today it is one of the recognized alternatives to "fundamentalist," along with "political Islam" in particular. [...] Current terminology usually distinguishes between "Islam," [...] and "Islamism," referring to the ideology of those who tend to signal openly, in politics, their Muslim religion. [...] the term has often acquired a quasi-criminal connotation close to that of political extremism, religious sectarianism, or bigotry. In Western mainstream media, "Islamists" are those who want to establish, preferably through violent means, an "Islamic state" or impose sharīʿah (Islamic religious law)—goals that are often perceived merely as a series of violations of human rights or the rights of women. In the Muslim world, insiders use the term as a positive reference. In the academic sphere, although it is still debated, the term designates a more complex phenomenon.
  2. ^ "Islamism – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics". www.sciencedirect.com. Retrieved 10 September 2021.
  3. ^ Megoran, Nick (2009). "Theocracy". International encyclopedia of human geography. N. J. Thrift, Rob Kitchin. Amsterdam. ISBN 9780080449104. OCLC 496521377.
  4. ^ Tibi, Bassam (1 March 2007). "The Totalitarianism of Jihadist Islamism and its Challenge to Europe and to Islam". Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. 8 (1): 35–54. doi:10.1080/14690760601121630. ISSN 1469-0764.
  5. ^ Bale, Jeffrey M. (1 June 2009). "Islamism and Totalitarianism". Totalitarian Movements and Political Religions. 10 (2): 73–96. doi:10.1080/14690760903371313. ISSN 1469-0764. S2CID 14540501.
  6. ^ Roy, Failure of Political Islam, 1994: p. 24
  7. ^ a b Eikmeier, Dale (2007). "Qutbism: An Ideology of Islamic-Fascism" (PDF). The US Army War College Quarterly: Parameters. 37 (1): 85–97. doi:10.55540/0031-1723.2340.
  8. ^ Soage, Ana Belén. "Introduction to Political Islam." Religion Compass 3.5 (2009): 887–96.
  9. ^ Fuller, Graham E., The Future of Political Islam, Palgrave MacMillan, (2003), p. 21
  10. ^ "Understanding Islamism" (PDF). International Crisis Group. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 March 2013.
  11. ^ Rashid Ghannouchi (31 October 2013). "How credible is the claim of the failure of political Islam?". MEMO. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  12. ^ Zhongmin, Liu (2013). "Commentary on "Islamic State": Thoughts of Islamism". Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (In Asia). Routledge: Taylor & Francis group. 7 (3): 23–28. doi:10.1080/19370679.2013.12023226.
  13. ^ Fuller, Graham E., The Future of Political Islam, Palgrave MacMillan, (2003), p. 120
  14. ^ Zhongmin, Liu (2013). "Commentary on "Islamic State": Thoughts of Islamism". Journal of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies (In Asia). Routledge: Taylor & Francis group. 7 (3): 38–40. doi:10.1080/19370679.2013.12023226.
  15. ^ Hamid, Shadi (October 1, 2015). What most people get wrong about political Islam. Brookings. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  16. ^ p. 296 Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism by John Calvert
  17. ^ a b c Wright, Robin (10 January 2015). "A Short History of Islamism". Newsweek. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  18. ^ Roy, Olivier (16 April 2012). "The New Islamists". foreignpolicy.com.
  19. ^ a b Emin Poljarevic (2015). "Islamism". In Emad El-Din Shahin (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 1 February 2017. Islamism is one of many sociopolitical concepts continuously contested in scholarly literature. It is a neologism debated in both Muslim and non-Muslim public and academic contexts. The term "Islamism" at the very least represents a form of social and political activism, grounded in an idea that public and political life should be guided by a set of Islamic principles. In other words, Islamists are those who believe that Islam has an important role to play in organizing a Muslim-majority society and who seek to implement this belief.
  20. ^ John L. Esposito, ed. (2014). "Islamist". The Oxford Dictionary of Islam. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Term used to describe an Islamic political or social activist. Coined in preference to the more common term "Islamic fundamentalist." Islamists (al-Islamiyyun) are committed to implementation of their ideological vision of Islam in the state and/or society.
  21. ^ Krämer, Gudrun. "Political Islam." In Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. Vol. 6. Edited by Richard C. Martin, 536–540. New York: Macmillan, 2004. via Encyclopedia.com

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