The History of Islamic Fundamentalism

684 Words Jan 8th, 2018 3 Pages
Is it similar in nature to the fundamentalist movements of the early twentieth century?
The term "fundamentalism" today is used as a descriptive term, referring to any reactionary religious group (Ethridge & Feagin, 1979). But at its core, fundamentalism means attempting to return to "fundamentalist roots," by embracing dualistic views of the world and carrying out a series of radical reforms to return to the imaginary "past." Islamic fundamentalism is largely a reaction to modernity, its adherents viewing modern science, philosophy, and secularism as Western concepts, intruding into the fabric of Muslim societies and weakening traditional values (Hashemi, 2006). Muslim fundamentalists hold that they have exclusive access to the only true knowledge, condemning all forms of non-Islamic beliefs and values as characteristic of infidel behaviors and as satanic (Nagata, 2001).
It is hard to delineate the exact date of the beginning of Islamic fundamentalism, but most scholars agree that it is a twentieth-century phenomenon. Religious revivals, often expressed in fundamentalist terms, take place during profound political and economic transformations. When Europe was going through reforms, embracing the principles of science and secularism through turbulences and wars for hundreds of years most Muslim countries remained untouched by those developments. In late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries, colonial powers brought…
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