Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Islam Definition

Islam Definition History

This article is about the political Islamic movement. For the religion of Islam, see Islam.
"Militant Islam" redirects here. For other uses, see Islamic terrorism.
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Islamism (Islam+-ism; Arabic: إسلام سياسي‎ Islām siyāsī, "Political Islam", or الإسلامية al-Islāmīyah) is a set of ideologies holding that "Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life".[1] Islamism is a controversial neologism, and definitions of it sometimes vary (see below). Leading Islamist thinkers emphasize the implementation of Sharia (Islamic law); of pan-Islamic political unity; and of the selective removal of non-Muslim, particularly Western military, economic, political, social, or cultural influences in the Muslim world that they believe to be incompatible with Islam.[2] Some observers suggest Islamism's tenets are less strict, and can be defined as a form of identity politics or "support for [Muslim] identity, authenticity, broader regionalism, revivalism, [and] revitalization of the community".[3] And following the Arab Spring political Islam has been described as "increasingly interdependent" with political democracy.[4]
Many of those described as "Islamists" oppose the use of the term, and claim that their political beliefs and goals are simply an expression of Islamic religious belief. Similarly, some experts favor the term activist Islam,[5][6] or political Islam,[7] and some have equated the term militant Islam with Islamism.[8]
Central figures of modern Islamism include Jamal-al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad 'Abduh, Rashid Rida, Muhammad Iqbal, Muhammad Asad, Sayyid Qutb, Hasan al-Banna, Abul Ala Maududi,[9] Said Nursî, Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, Ruhollah Khomeini,[10] Ali Shariati, Navvab Safavi, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Rashid al-Ghannushi.
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Definitions [edit]

Islamism has been defined as:
"the belief that Islam should guide social and political as well as personal life",[1]
"the [Islamic] ideology that guides society as a whole and that [teaches] law must be in conformity with the Islamic sharia",[11]
an unsustainably flexible movement of ... everything to everyone: an alternative social provider to the poor masses; an angry platform for the disillusioned young; a loud trumpet-call announcing `a return to the pure religion` to those seeking an identity; a "progressive, moderate religious platform` for the affluent and liberal; ... and at the extremes, a violent vehicle for rejectionists and radicals.[12]
an Islamic "movement that seeks cultural differentiation from the West and reconnection with the pre-colonial symbolic universe",[13]
"the organised political trend, owing its modern origin to the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928, that seeks to solve modern political problems by reference to Muslim texts",[14]
"the whole body of thought which seeks to invest society with Islam which may be integrationist, but may also be traditionalist, reform-minded or even revolutionary",[14]
"the active assertion and promotion of beliefs, prescriptions, laws or policies that are held to be Islamic in character,"[5]
a movement of "Muslims who draw upon the belief, symbols, and language of Islam to inspire, shape, and animate political activity;" which may contain moderate, tolerant, peaceful activists, and/or those who "preach intolerance and espouse violence."[15]
a term "used by outsiders to denote a strand of activity which they think justifies their misconception of Islam as something rigid and immobile, a mere tribal affiliation."[10][16]
Islamism takes different forms and spans a wide range of strategies and tactics, and thus is not a united movement.
Moderate and reformist Islamists who accept and work within the democratic process include parties like Justice and Development Party of Turkey and Tunisian Ennahda Movement. Jamaat-e-Islami of Pakistan is basically a socio-political and democratic Vanguard party but has also gained political influence through military coup d'état in past.[17] The Islamist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Palestine participate in democratic and political process as well as armed attacks, seeking to abolish the state of Israel. The radical Islamists like al-Qaeda, Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Taliban, entirely reject democracy and self-proclaimed Muslims they find overly moderate, and preach violent jihad, urging and conducting attacks on religious basis.
Another major division within Islamism is between the fundamentalist "guardians of the tradition" of the Salafism or Wahhabi movement, and the "vanguard of change and Islamic reform" centered on the Muslim Brotherhood.[18] Olivier Roy argues that "Sunni pan-Islamism underwent a remarkable shift in the second half of the 20th century" when the Muslim Brotherhood movement and focus on Islamistation of pan-Arabism was eclipsed by the Salafi movement with its emphasis on "sharia rather than the building of Islamic institutions," and rejection of Shia Islam.[19] Following the Arab Spring, scholar Oliver Roy has described Islamism, or political Islam, as "increasingly interdependent" with democracy in much of the Arab Muslim world, such that "neither can now survive without the other." While Islamist political culture itself may not be democratic, Islamists need democratic elections to maintain their legitimacy. At the same time, their popularity is such that no government can call itself democratic that excludes mainstream Islamist groups.[4]

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