Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics


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Islam and Politics: Crash Course World History 216

Frida Nome - - Journal of Islamic Studies 26 3 Civilizing Islam, Islamist Civilizing? Christopher Houston - - Thesis Eleven 58 1 The Brewing of Islamist Modernity. Houston - - Theory, Culture and Society 18 6 Sortie de la Religion, Sortie de la Politique? Donald Loose - - Bijdragen 66 3 Hale - - Journal of Islamic Studies 15 1 Politiek, religie en christendom: Drie vragen aan Marcel gauchet. Donald Loose - - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 67 4 - Religion, Modernity, and Politics in Hegel.

Thomas A. Lewis - - Oxford University Press. Gerard Casey - unknown. Robert Carle - - Human Rights Review 6 3 Farhad Khosrokhavar - - Thesis Eleven 76 1 Davis eds. Lee Cormie - - Horizonte 13 37 El-Affendi - - Journal of Islamic Studies 19 2 Today, a new generation of Muslims who were reared on Islamist ideology has begun to adapt their behavior to the norms and expectations of civil democracy. In some though not all countries the Islamist obsession with revolution has declined, and a process of distancing and individuation from collective militancy has taken place.

Post-Islamism can be understood as both a condition and as an ongoing political project. In short, whereas Islamism represents the fusion of religion with political ideology and instrumentalized conceptions of divine law, post-Islamism emphasizes religiosity and human rights and ethical responsibility.


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For these reasons, post-Islamism as a political project holds the potential of serving as a qualitative and normative bridge or transition away from Islamism and toward Civil Islam. At the same time, however, post-Islamists remain vulnerable to the revolutionary ideology and authoritarianism that is inherent in more standard Islamism. Through this, Islamists have become more experienced at participating in the democratic process and they have learned to compete successfully with other movements for favor with the Turkish electorate.

But the AKP is not simply an Islamist party. It is rather an amalgamation of different groups, not all of which may be accurately considered Islamist. As prospective officials running for election and as ruling politicians, Islamists within AKP have had to address and also represent the interests of a group much larger than their own ideological constituency. The combination of this democratic learning process with the existing political constraints imposed on Islamism by the established secular order has contributed to a strong tendency toward post-Islamism in Turkish religious and political life.

Civil Islam has also had significant influence in modern Turkey. Among other things, it has played an important role in moderating the Islamist tendencies within AKP. The Hizmet movement is the main proponent of Civil Islam in Turkey. Today, there is a growing competition within Turkey and inside the AKP in particular between Islamism and the practitioners of Civil Islam. Understanding the Hizmet Movement The Hizmet movement originated in Turkey and is now active in education, civil society, business and other activities in over one hundred and fifty countries worldwide.

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Islamic Movements of Europe

The movement, which is not sponsored by a government or by a political party, is a transnational civic initiative rooted in the spiritual and humanistic tradition of Islam. One of the main goals of the Hizmet organization has been the elevation of a Muslim consciousness that is compatible with modern civil democracy and opposed to Islamism. Muslims cannot act out of ideological or political partisanship and then dress this partisanship in Islamic garb, or represent mere desires in the form of ideas; strangely enough, many groups that have put themselves forward under the banner of Islam export a distorted image of Islam and actually strengthen it.

As a Muslim movement, Hizmet seeks to revitalize religious faith, and it also believes Islam has a role to play in enriching and sustaining civic and democratic political life. But in sharp contrast with Islamists, the participants of Hizmet do not seek to become a political party, nor do they seek political power for themselves or for the purposes of spreading a particular political ideology. Instead, the movement aims to improve modern society and advance human flourishing by strengthening spirituality and individual piety.

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Indeed, the importance of Sharia law is mentioned only two times in the Holy Book and whereas the exigency of faith is manifest on numerous pages. Through a learned reconstruction of traditional Sufism and concepts, the study shows, among other things, the limits and fundamental poverty of Islamist thought and it helps to overcome the seeming incompatibility of Islam and civil democratic modernity. His sermons are full of symbolism, allegories and aphorisms; instead of canonical interpretation, the spiritual and internal dimensions of Islamic belief are accentuated.

Such emotional performances serve as an expressive vehicle to establish connections between the earliest Muslims and contemporary ones. Through this, a type of saintly personality is suggested as a model for emulation, and believers are encouraged to take as their life-project the goal of triumphing over carnal desires, politicized ambitions and the fleeting pleasures that the world offers to the egotistical self.

In this, members of the Hizmet depart from the ways of the dervishes of the traditional Sufi brotherhoods.

Indeed, as Paul Heck has argued, in contrast to the puritanism of Wahhabism, the anti-modern pietism of Tablighism, and the harsh and enmity-filled ideology of contemporary jihadism, reformed Sufism as practiced by the Hizmet movement adopts a positive view of the modern world. For Hizmet members, self-negating service to others can be regarded as a form of modern religious practice. This service to others is a function of individual choice; unlike in some traditional Sufi orders where prayer is imposed on individuals by the larger community, service to others is not externally-imposed or strictly systematized in Hizmet practice.

Instead, individuals are encouraged to choose the intensity and frequency of their practice. Because of this core teaching, it is not surprising that the movement has expanded rapidly—and not only in Muslim countries, but also in non-Muslim ones.

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Hizmet practitioners have rendered service to others in more than countries. Instead, Islam is a call to critical engagement and communication with others and to working together for shared goals like the betterment of human society. Of course, in some secularist contexts—such as in the post-Soviet countries of the larger Turkic world—this could be seen as a challenge to the normative framework and to purely a-religious forms of sociability.

This may be one reason why critics have mistakenly suspected the Hizmet members as crypto-Islamists and of harboring hidden agendas. This is a projection of worldly mysticism onto his understanding of secularism. In fact, he seeks to eradicate the elements which give rise to actual and potential conflict between Islamic religious interests and the modern world.

For these reasons, he seeks to prove that science and Islam are not at odds.


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In his view, the more Muslims witnessed the perfect order of nature by the use of modern sciences, the greater they understand God. Through this, the modern idea of progress through the advance of science, technology and education is shown to be perfectly compatible with an esoteric and spiritual understanding of Islam. As he writes:. Secularization is inevitable characteristic of human nature. But man is not only a body.

"Modern Islamist Movements : History, Religion, and Politics" by Jon Armajani

He has a soul, too. He has a metaphysic dimension besides the physical one. He has both sacred and profane aspects. Therefore a perfect democracy can welcome both the physical and metaphysical needs of its subjects. The needs of a person are not solely made up of worldly needs. People should have the benefits of freedom of thought and freedom of economic action, but they also have another side which is open to eternity… If democracy is to be a full-fledged democracy, it needs to include things that help to fulfill such demands and it needs to give support to them.

That means, democracy requires a metaphysical dimension. It also needs a side that is open to our accounts for the other world, to our unfulfilled accounts. Why not have such a democracy? The Hizmet movement does not make the stark distinctions that Islamists make between Islam and un-Islam. For these reasons, the movement has spearheaded inter-faith initiatives and other forms of outreach aimed at curtailing the clash between Islam and the West promoted by Islamist movements and others. As John O. As the impact of the educational activities of those influenced by him attests, his vision bridges modern and postmodern, global and local, and has a significant influence in the contemporary debates that shape the visions of the future of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

On the issue of Islam and democracy, one should remember that the former is a divine and heavenly religion, while the latter is a form of government developed by human beings. In this approach, the separation of the religious and political domains that civil democratic modernity rests upon is obvious; human beings are existentially free not only to make choices about their personal lives but also to make choices with regard to their political actions. If a state In the presence of such a state there is no need to seek an alternative state. The Quran is an explanation of the reflections of the divine names on earth and in the heavens… It is an inexhaustible source of wisdom.

Such a book should not be reduced to the level of political discourse, nor should it be considered a book about political theories or forms of state. To consider the Quran as an instrument of political discourse is a great disrespect for the Holy Book and is an obstacle that prevents people from benefiting from this deep source of divine grace.

On the basis of this, the Hizmet movement seeks to promote a new Islamic attitude, one that embraces secularism and that stresses tolerance and respect for all people regardless of their faith and worldview.

Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics
Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics

Related Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics



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