- Do not confuse words
- Description of the Islamists movements
- Limits of Islamism
People of the western societies usually get confused when it comes to Islam and its political transcriptions. This makes people feel some kind of “Islamic threat”. Analyzing the relations between Islam and politic is difficult because there is no one Islam timeless and unique. On the contrary there are a lot of diverse practices and opinions among Muslims intellectuals about Islam and more precisely about what should be the ideal political transcription of the religious principles contained in the Koran and the Sunnah. Islamism is one of them.
According to the definition of Olivier Roy, it is a contemporary movement which considers Islam as a political ideology. It emerged recently, within the twentieth century. It is felt in western societies as an absurd return to the path, to the archaism of the middle ages but it is a product of the modernity.
What is really Islamism? First we are going to go back to the meaning of
words– Islam, Islamism, and fundamentalism - in order to avoid confusion. Second we will try to show both the similarities and the divergences between the different Islamists movements. Then we are going to study the limits of the Islamist ideology with the view of explaining the thesis of Olivier Roy: political Islam had failed.
[...] The first solution is permitted by predication. It implies that people not only subscribe to the movement but also become a convert. Islamists movements are more than simple political party. They are more sects to this point of view. The latter solution reminds the communist approach to the concept of revolution and transformation of the society. Besides the Islamists attempt to reach a too ideal and virtuous society to be possible. For instance the oumma ideally is as unique as God. [...]
[...] Above all it is essential to remind that Islamism isn’t Islam. Indeed, Islam is a monotheist religion which came into existence in the seventh century of the occidental calendar. Mohammed is the Prophet who spread God’s revelations to the future Muslims. The sources of Islam result from these revelations combined in the Koran and from the Prophet’s life as described in the Sunnah. Even if Islam and Christianity are both monotheist religions, the first differs from the latter for example because it doesn’t recognize Jesus as the son of God (as said in the Koran: begetteth not, nor is He begotten 112:3) and doesn’t recognize either the concept of Trinity but believes in the uniqueness of God. [...]
[...] Indeed, both claimed for the right to interpret the Koran and the Sunnah while this is traditionally the privilege of the oulemas. Besides, they made a political lecture of the Koran. For example, the words shura or hibz which mean council and party are interpreted in a modern political context. Another common belief is the uniqueness of God and the idea that the society should reflect this uniqueness. Islam isn’t only a belief but also an order which includes all the aspects of the society. [...]
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