Fundamentalist Islam Essay

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The key issue in the Middle East, increasingly, has less to do with the Arab-Israeli conflict and more to do with fundamentalist Islam. What is fundamentalist Islam? On the one hand, it manifests itself as a new religious conviction, reaffirming faith in an awe-inspiring God. On the other hand, it appears as a militant ideology, demanding political action now. One day its spokesmen call for a jihad (sacred war) against the West, evoking the deepest historic resentments. Another day, its leaders appeal for reconciliation with the West, emphasizing shared values. Its economic theorists reject capitalist greed in the name of social justice, yet they rise to the defense of private property. Its moralists pour scorn on Western consumer culture…show more content…
But if Muslims now return to the original Islam, they can preserve and even restore their power.      That return, to be effective, must be comprehensive. It is not merely a religion, in the Western sense of a system of belief in God. It possesses an immutable law, revealed by God that deals with every aspect of life, and it is an ideology, a complete system of belief about the organization of the state and the world. This law and ideology can only be implemented through the establishment of a truly Islamic state, under the sovereignty of God. The empowerment of Islam, which is God’s plan for mankind, is a sacred end. It may be pursued by any means that can be rationalized in terms of Islam’s own code. At various times, these have included persuasion, guile, and force.      What is remarkable about fundamentalist Islam is not its diversity. It is the fact that this idea of power for Islam appeals so effectively across such a wide range of humanity. Fundamentalists everywhere must act in narrow circumstances of time and place. But they are who they are precisely because their idea exists above all circumstances. Over nearly a century, this idea has evolved into a coherent ideology, which demonstrates a striking consistency in content and form across a wide expanse of the Muslim world. [2] Fundamentalist Forerunners      The pursuit of
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