The Islamic Fundamentalist Ideology: Context and the Textual Sources
2004-05-06 14:48:38

from The Challenge of Fundamentalism: Political Islam and the New World Disorder by Bassam Tibi, 1998. Bassam Tibi was born in Damascus and is currently Professor of International Relations at the University of Göttingen, Germany. [The article does get technical at points, but it's well worth the effort.] The Western public sees religious fundamentalism chiefly through the lens of news coverage related to acts of terrorism and other sensational events. Western perceptions of fundamentalism, preoccupied with the equating of it with extremism, are thus misperceptions. True, most of the published views of fundamentalists reflect rather more a new variety of totalitarianism than an effort to "Islamize democracy."[1] But it is deplorable to see some observers taking at face value the window dressing of eloquent Islamic fundamentalists living and acting in exile in the West. After all, no deeper understanding of Islamic fundamentalism is to be reached simply by pinpointing the anti-democratic direction of the movement. Being preoccupied with democracy is a characteristically Western way of looking at things, but in the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism—or, for that matter, in the minds of the Islamic peoples—democracy is not an important issue.
  • The Repoliticization Of Islam In Pursuit Of A New Order
  • The Regional And Global Context Of The Fundamentalist Writings
  • Caliphate, The Fetwa, and The Distortion Of History And Scripture
  • see also The Fundamentalist World Revolution: Jihad Between Peace and Militancy and The Idea of an Islamic State and the Call for the Implementation of the Shari'a/Divine Law

    To understand the currents that should concern us, we need to study the ideology and major themes of Islamic fundamentalism, as it is propounded by operatives within Islam. The pivotal concept of its ideology is what the fundamentalists call nizam/order. Their goal is an Islamization of the political order, which is tantamount to toppling existing regimes, with the implication of de-Westernization. Thus each theme in their ideology is related to a set of dichotomies: divine order versus secular order, nizam Islami/Islamic system versus the secular nation-state, shura/consultation versus secular democracy, shari'a/Islamic law versus positive law or human legislation, and, above all, hakimiyyat Allah/God's rule versus government of the people by the people. In this chapter and the next, I will introduce the ideology of Islamic fundamentalism by drawing upon its major Arabic sources and the phenomena I observed on the spot during numerous research visits, not restricted to the Arab parts of the World of Islam, over the past decade. My focus, however, is on the Arabic sources. This approach is justified by the fact that the Arab part of Islamic civilization is the religiopolitical center of Sunni Islam. In the West there have been great exaggerations of the impact of the Islamic Revolution in Iran on the rest of the World of Islam.[2] These exaggerations overlook the fact that Sunni Muslims have a concept of order different from that of the Shi'i Muslims in Iran.

    Ideologies do not fall from heaven, and they do not stand in isolation. They are always articulations of specific historical conditions. But in arguing thus, I do not mean to suggest that ideologies are simply reflections of an objective situation. Ideologies that are based on religions as cultural systems are shaped by the realities, and they in turn contribute to shaping the reality by giving it symbolic meaning. This was the Geertzian approach I employed in my earlier book Islam and the Cultural Accommodation of Social Change, and I have kept true to it here.[3] In studying the social context of Islamic fundamentalism I do not reduce its ideology to existing social and political structures. I am inclined rather to discover the interplay between the ideological and structural components of this context.

    Islam is a religious belief, not an ideology. As a Muslim I believe in Islam as a faith and honor its precepts as a source of ethics for humans and of orientation in their conduct. But this is not the way fundamentalists see Islam. Fundamentalisms, of whatever stripe, are not expressions of a renaissance of religion, but rather reflect political ideologies ostensibly drawn from religions in an effort to remake the world, thus clearly for political ends. The true fundamentalist is basically a political man with a political outlook, and in some cases a political activist with little or no interest in religious ethics and divinities. It becomes obvious, then, that my concern here is to study Islamic fundamentalism as a political ideology, not to inquire into the religion of Islam itself. The distinction between Islam as a faith and the political ideology of Islamism as a variety of religious fundamentalism is most important to denying Islamists their claim that they are the true representatives of Islam. They are not!


    The repoliticization of the Islamic cultural system occurring today in the shape of a political revival[4] has been the most salient feature of public life in countries belonging to Islamic civilization. In the age of Arab liberal thought and secular nationalism, Islam was maintained as a belief and a cultural identity but was, however, depoliticized in the decoupling of concepts of political order from religious faith. Traditional Islamic political thought is based on the religious universalism of Islamic revelation, and a political interpretation of this universalism runs, of course, counter to the modern institution of the nation-state. But although the current revival of political Islam is an expression of an Islamic revolt against the prevailing international order of nation-states and its local configurations, it is not a revival of traditional Islamic political thought. Islamic fundamentalists do not speak about the restoration of the traditional Islamic order of the caliphate, but rather of the nizam Islami/Islamic order, with clearly modern implications. Western academic literature on the phenomenon of the repoliticization of Islam can be classified in three categories:
    1. Writing that deals with the phenomenon in terms of day-to-day events, its authors relying on the news coverage by the media and on other published secondary materials in Western languages, mainly English. (There are also some books and articles in French and German.) This category can be further subdivided into (a) survey, articles and books, consisting largely of narratives of events, and (b) conceptually oriented works informed by social science theories. All of the literature in this category is hampered by its apparent failure to use primary sources.[5] Most of these authors do not watch the phenomenon at first hand, do not read Arabic or other Middle Eastern languages, and thus fail to encounter fundamentalism on the ground.
    2. Scholarly writing that deals with various movements related to political Islam, as well as writing that extends this scope to deal with the phenomenon empirically, within the framework of field work on a national level (case studies).[6] These studies, though at times suggestive, lack the conceptual overview that would have produced a better grasp of the phenomenon. Some of the authors who have encountered political Islam on the spot, such as the French writer Olivier Roy in Afghanistan, tend to generalize from their one-country experience while lacking an appropriate conceptual framework. Any generalization from one case must be flawed, aside from the fact that the lack of an overarching concept leads to a sweeping impressionism.[7]

    3. Scholarly writing that requires the ability to read materials in Arabic and other Middle Eastern languages and to find ways of gaining access to them, requirements that are often neglected. An analysis of the writings of the current revival promises major insights, and studying political literature in its native languages is an excellent way to seek an understanding of its ideology. Aside from a handful of scholarly works on political Islam, such as those of Emmanuel Sivan, Nazih Ayubi, and Youssef M. Choueiri,[8]we find not much of this category. Few of the authors of the large and continually growing body of writings on political Islam published in the West over the last two decades seem to make use of primary sources.

    In the following I shall be focusing on Sunni Islam and thus dealing with the literature produced by the Sunni Arab fundamentalists published in Arabic. Shi'i material is published mostly in Farsi, the dominant language of Iran. The major topic of the literature of resurgent political Islam is the Islamic system of government, al-nizam al-Islami, which we shall deal with in the next chapter. In the view of the authors of these works, all existing political systems in the Middle East, except those of Iran and Sudan, and in some cases Saudi Arabia, are un-Islamic. It is time, they infer, to return to true Islam, to the divine order established in Medina by the Prophet Muhammad himself. In so doing, they are pursuing for their prospects a decidedly backward orientation. But the choice of the neo-Arabic term nizam[9] to denote the old order of the seventh century that so enthralls these authors reveals a typical confusion between the old and the new. It is therefore hardly surprising to discover in their effusions a great many projections of the present into the past. Understandably, most of the concerns of Islamic fundamentalists are related to the current crisis situation, but they articulate them in the traditional language of Islam. Still, a closer look at their belief in the authority of scripture discloses its embedding in the modern context. Moreover, even the language used (for example, the term nizam) often consists of modern additions to the classical Islamic lexicon.[10]The fundamentalists are thus not so much reviving classical Islamic concepts as they are introducing new ones that have grown out of the modern context. For fundamentalists, whatever they may claim, are not traditionalists: the much touted nizam Islami is something new that resembles more a religiously legitimated dictatorship or an otherwise totalitarian rule than it does the traditional caliphate.

    Islamic political groups in the Arab states of the Middle East resort to Islam as a frame of reference (and a source of legitimacy and respectability) in their opposition to the nondemocratic orders of these states. They invoke the concept of shura/consultation, integrate it into their concept of an Islamic political system, and present it as an Islamic alternative to Western democracy. Again, we are confronted with the old religiopolitical symbols rilled with new meaning, in the Geertzian sense (see note 3). As we shall see in the next chapter, there are just two very brief sentences in the Qur'an encouraging the Prophet Muhammad to have consultation (shura) with his companions, and the content of these two lines can scarcely be considered a "concept" unless radically reinterpreted—which is, in fact, what the advocates of the new political Islam do. Despite being anti-democratic by nature, the new concept of nizam Islami is adorned with the trappings of democracy through reference to the notion (lacking in the Qur'an) that counsel is incumbent on Muslim rulers. Thus our reading of the contemporary political writings of Islamic fundamentalists must focus on the related notions of the nizam Islami and shura, which fundamentalists consider central.

    All Muslim fundamentalists set the implementation of the shari'a/Islamic law (tatbiq al-shari'a) as the primary condition for the realization of an Islamic system of government. Our examination of the nizam Islami must therefore be cognizant of the call for the implementation of shari'a. With its reappraisal of political Islam in the guise of current Islamic usuliyyal fundamentalism, contemporary Arab political thought has undergone a major change: a shift from secular to religiopolitical commitments. Even once-leading Arab Marxist authors such as the celebrated Anwar 'Abd al-Malek have suddenly discovered that the Qur'an had enjoined political practice long before Marx did: "Twelve centuries ahead of the praise of praxis in the Marxian 'Theses on Feuerbach' the Qur'an had urged the believers to commit themselves ... to the practice [of politics]."[11] The ex-Marxist 'Abd al-Malek thus speaks with contempt of the authors of various secular writings, including 'Ali 'Abd al-Raziq (al-lslam wa usul al-hukm/Islam and the Basis of Government, Cairo, 1925) and Sadiq Jalal al-'Azm (Naqd al-fikr ad-dini/Critique of Religious Thought, Beirut, 1969). This shift to a religiopolitical commitment is compelling to the extent that a discussion of the major themes of the currently prevailing political writings published in Arabic will remain incomplete if the discussion fails to deal with this issue.

    The publication dates of the politically salient contributions to the fundamentalist ideology in question lead us to conclude that the rise of political Islam clearly began in the Arab part of Islamic civilization; it did not take hold, as commonly believed, through the Iranian Revolution. The prominent contemporary ideologue of Islamic fundamentalism, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, published his call for al-hall al-lslami/the Islamic solution[12] in the early 1970s, at a time when Khomeini's name and the ideology of Khomeinism[13]were completely unknown in the Arab areas of the Middle East. The first printing of the major contemporary treatise on the alleged political system of Islam, written by Muhammad Salim al-'Awwa,[14] was published in 1975 in Cairo, without reference to Khomeini or to Iran. Only in the later editions (sixth printing, 1983) do we find such references. For this reason, it seems justifiable to exclude the Shi'i Iranian Revolution from the arguments of this chapter and to focus on Sunni Arab Islam, without denying (or exaggerating) the later interplay between the two (see note 2).

    In their writings, the Islamic fundamentalists present themselves as true scripturalists, though they invoke the scriptures (wittingly or unwittingly) in a highly selective manner. In any event, I shall not restrict myself to a scriptural approach in studying the relevant writings. Instead I will offer a contextual understanding of their content, concentrating on the political structures within which Islamic fundamentalism operates. There exists no geographically isolated Islamic world, but rather a religioculturalry diverse Islamic part of our current world, addressed here as an Islamic civilization. Ideologically, political Islam is based on the rejection of the global system of nation-states. Thus the spirit of rejection that we see set forth in the political writings of Islamic fundamentalists: even though political Islam claims a new alternative to the prevailing order, it is based rather on reviving old dreams and, hence, is primarily millenarian in character. Still, Islamic fundamentalists are not traditionalists; their ideal is the selectively perceived and arbitrarily purified state of seventh-century Islam. This primeval golden age is presented as a referent for solving the problems of the present crisis on a global basis, that is, as an alternative world order. The selectively scriptural recourse to the past is assumed to set the norms for the future of Islamic civilization. But this millenarian notion helps us little in understanding the real issues. In fact, Islamic fundamentalism addresses current issues with a new ideology. I shall spell out this contention.


    Our context here is a global one, our time is world time, and the history involved, as affected by modernity, is global history. As earlier outlined, the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 marked the decay of the divine order and the emergence of the modern international system of secular states. In the three hundred years following the Peace of Westphalia, Europeans imposed this system of states, each enjoying internal and external sovereignty, on the rest of the world. In much of the World of Islam this sovereignty exists in only nominal form, and I have therefore coined the term "nominal nation-state." The decline of the Ottoman Empire[15] was not the result of a "Western conspiracy against Islam," but a part of unfolding global history; it marked the end of the long historical epoch of divine orders that had reigned virtually throughout the world.

    After the abolition of the caliphate in 1924 the Arabs adopted the idea of the nation as a concept for political action, but chose not to restrict it to any one of the Arab nation-states that had come to exist in reality. The Arab dream of a pan-Arab state embracing all individual Arab states remains technically feasible, and is not incompatible with the framework of international order as a system of nation-states. This was the dream that gripped the thinking of Arab nationalists and thus superseded and deferred the dream of an Islamic universalism. As we have seen, the political option of an Arab nation is consonant with a real structure, the modern, globally prevailing, international system of nation-states.^

    Arab nationalism, though irredentist in nature, has been imprisoned in the idea of the nation-state for the simple reason that it has aspired to the larger goal of an overarching Arab nation-state. Pan-Arab nationalism was at odds with the notion of Islamic umma because, on the one hand, it excluded all non-Arab Muslims (for example, those in Indonesia, the largest Islamic nation) from this entity and, on the other, because it included Arab Christians (for example, those in Lebanon and Egypt) as citizens and no longer as dhimmi/protected people, that is, minorities. The writings of Sati' al-Husri are a literary manifestation of this period, which began in the early 19205 and lasted until the late 1960s.[16] The Arab defeat in the Six-Day War of 1967 was a turning point, because the war's outcome contributed to the de-legitimization of the secular Arab regimes involved in this crushing defeat. In an authoritative book published in French, Arabic, and English, the preeminent Moroccan historian Abdallah Laroui views the historical period triggered by the Six-Day War as a period of crisis,[17] and the crisis has not receded since, but rather has intensified. The Gulf War only complicated matters, by adding its own bitter legacy to the post-1967 Arab predicament.[18] In an article in Arabic published in Beirut in the literary/critical journal Mawaqif, edited by the preeminent Arab poet Adonis, I called the process of self-chastisement in the years 1967-70 "From Self-Glorification to Self-Criticism."[19]

    Secular pan-Arab nationalism, as once reflected in the many writings of Sati' al-Husri (see note 16), had to step aside to make way for political Islam. The new political pamphleteering has superseded the voluminous, hitherto prevailing writings of pan-Arabism, and reflects more recent attitudes. In one of the politically pioneering works of this new genre, the previously mentioned Egyptian Muslim Brother Yusuf al-Qaradawi (see Chapter 5) declared al-Hall al-lslami faridha wa darurah/The Islamic Solution as an obligation. This option provides the "ma'alim fi/ial-tarq/signposts" (Sayyid Qutb) on the road to the future of Islamic civilization.

    In the Arab part of the Middle East, the repoliticization of Islam began as a response to the repercussions of the Six-Day War.[20] Spillover effects soon spread far beyond the Arab core of the "abode of Islam" to its periphery. In the process, political Islam has become a global issue related, in varying degrees, to all of Islamic civilization.

    Again, one could question this statement by observing that Islam has always been political, even after the abolition of the caliphate in 1924. The birth of the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt in 1928, as well as the emergence of Wahhabi-inspired Saudi Arabia, could be advanced as further evidence against the argument of a retreat of political Islam since the 19205. Furthermore, one could cite the involvement of Islamic symbols in the struggle against French colonial rule in Algeria,[21] as well as in Morocco. In fact, secular ideologies, primarily pan-Arab nationalism, emerged in the post-World War I period as the dominant political discourse, while Islam as a political ideology, but not as a religious belief, seems to have receded ever since,[22] at least until the early 19705. This assessment is not meant to so exaggerate the dynamics of the period that one might conclude that the political understanding of Islam had vanished altogether. Students of the contemporary history of the Middle East know that even Sherif Hussain of Mecca, the "leader" of the Arab Revolt of 1916 against the Islamic (essentially Turkish) order of the Ottoman Empire, coveted the thought of becoming the caliph of all Muslims himself. In fact, he made just such an attempt, in his abortive caliphate of 1924, shortly after the abolition of the Ottoman caliphate.[23] Nevertheless, and notwithstanding the fact that Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, considered the i'adat al-khilafa al-mafqudahl restoration of the lost caliphate to be the chief political goal of his party,[24]political Islam had by then receded and was no longer the driving political force in the Arab part of the Middle East. In the global context of world time those political ideologies based on the idea of a secular nation uniting the Arabs replaced the then seemingly abandoned understanding of a universal umma that included all Muslims. Even a leading Syrian shari'a scholar, Muhammad al-Mubarak, at times dean of the faculty of shari'a at the University of Damascus, drew a clear distinction between al-umma al-'Arabiyya, the uniting of both Muslim and Christian Arabs as one nation, and al-umma al-Islamiyya, a very loose understanding of solidarity (al-ukhuwwa/brotherhood) among Muslims, lacking decisive political consequences.[25]

    In Arabic there exists no particular term for the secular meaning of la nation, as defined in the historical context of the French Revolution. In classical Arabic and in the formative years of Islam there was a clear distinction between a qawm, that is, the particular tribe to which an Arab belonged, and the umma/community, which is the supreme frame of reference of identity for all Muslims. In modern times la nation has been translated into Arabic as the very term umma, thus confusing the religious meaning of the political community established by the Prophet Muhammad in the seventh century with the secular meaning that had unfotded in Europe in the course of the eighteenth century. "Nationalism" has been translated into Arabic as the neo-Arabic term al-qawmiyya, which is based on the classical Arabic term qawm meaning tribe, people. This translation opened the way for the polemical cry of Islamic fundamentalists that secular Arab nationalists are reverting to the pre-Islamic jahiliyya/age of heedlessness of tribes. Truly, the Islamic umma historically aimed at replacing the qawm/tribe in uniting all Arab tribes in one community.

    In the secular literature of pan-Arab nationalism we confront chiefly projections of modern European meaning, such as that of la nation, into the classical Arab history and lexicon. Most of the authors of this literature trace the Arab nation back even into pre-Islamic times.[26] The ethnic conflict between Arabs and the mawali (non-Arab Muslims) is being translated into a national conflict between those who want to maintain the Arab purity of

    Islam and those who want to welcome non-Arab elements into it. Enmity and confusion—-between tribes, ethnosectarian communities, and the modern nation-—have been at work among Islamists and secularists alike.

    Political thought always reflects a worldview. In interpreting Islam as a cultural system along the lines of the anthropology of Clifford Geertz (see note 3), I want to advance the hypothesis that Islam has always been the underlying cultural basis of the particular worldview of Muslims, and even of pan-Arab secularists. In the Middle East there has never been a process of structural and cultural changes underlying an orderly shift of the world-view from a religious to a secular one, as happened in the historical process that once unfolded in Europe. In this sense, there has never been a real societal process of secularization underpinning secular ideologies in the Middle East, not even in secular Turkey. In Turkey the state claims to be secular, but the society is not; and it cannot be described as secular in the sociological meaning of the term. We can argue, in fact, that the continuity of the Islamic worldview, persisting even in the midst of social change, has facilitated the recent shift from secular ideologies to those of political Islam and to the worldview it reflects.[27] In examining Islam's function as a cultural system underlying a worldview, one cannot escape the fact that secular ideologies were never able to put down strong structural roots in Islam, or to affeet the prevailing worldview. Thus, secularization as a separation of religion and politics has remained a surface function.

    Long before the rise of Islamic fundamentalism a former sheikh of al-Azhar who received his academic education as well as his doctorate from a German university (Hamburg, 1936)[28] defined the worldview of Muslims as one based on a separation of the world into "the West" and the "abode of Islam." To him, the West has intruded upon the World of Islam, and in the process has provoked a deviation from Islam.[29] The concern of Muslims should ultimately be to return their people and their ideas and institutions to Islam. It follows, then, that the desire "to rebuild Islamic social life on the very principles of Islam"[30] has always been a salient feature of Muslim thinking.

    Preoccupation with the glorious Islamic past characterizes the views of both the secularists and the fundamentalists in the Middle East. This preoccupation is a major obstacle to the unfolding of a worldview adjusted to the structure of the real, existing world of today. Muslim fundamentalists for the most part continue to be preoccupied with dichotomizing the world into an Islamic East and a Christian West, but our world can no longer be reduced to such a simplifying dualism. Although the war in Bosnia enforced this dualistic worldview, the realities of our modern world are characterized by far more complex structures, and the preoccupation with West/Islam dualities hampers the development of insights into these structures. If one agrees with Edward Said that the "East" is a creation of the "West,"[31] then one can hardly exclude modern Arab and Islamic writers from culpability for creating a "West" that is the enemy. The alleged holistic "West" does not exist; it is a creation of Islamic thought. It seems to me fruitless to continue such a debate.

    Still, we do need to understand how Islamic fundamentalists deal with the issues of government, democracy, and the disruptive effects of rapid social change, for these are the dominant issues informing the present ambiance of crisis, and it is dismaying to see them debated within the framework of the "Orient/Occident" dichotomy. I have no inclination to engage in the polemics of the debate on orientalism, but it is nonetheless appropriate and fair to concede that orientalism is not an invention of Edward Said. The label describes a real attitude of some ethnocentric Western authors writing about the "Orient," not to mention the trappings of decades of Western cinematic melodramas. Said, however, stretches the argument too far. Those who, in his footsteps, adopt the concept simplify the issue and even reverse the idea of orientalism. A Damascene critic of Said, Sadiq Jalal al-'Azm, in a piece no less polemical than Said's Orientalism itself, has argued that Muslim authors orientalize themselves when they claim for themselves a frame of reference different from those of the rest of humanity. In al-'Azm's view, this is orientalism in reverse.[32] While giving Said his due, I cannot overlook the trap of romanticizing manichaeism he unwittingly falls into while dealing with the Orient/Occident dualism.[33]

    Many Muslim writers argue that Islamic thought is distinct,[34] altogether different from the analytical tools of social science. Implicitly, then, they subscribe to the idea of homo islamicus originally put forward by Western orientalists themselves. The program of "Islamization of knowledge"[35] is one of the discouraging aspects of current political Islam. I argue that we Muslims, like peoples of any other civilization and their traditions, can engage in dispassionate reasoning. It is true that ostensibly neutral tools of analysis can have sensitive cultural connotations, since by necessity they originate in a specific cultural context. It is, however, wrong to infer from this acknowledgment of an existing cultural diversity the disputable generalization that there can be no general knowledge in these terms, owing to the lack of a universal civilization. Islamic fundamentalists insist that there is an Islamic knowledge that by its nature divorces them from the West, but surely political Islam can be understood and analyzed by thoughtful interpretation of its texts in the light of the concomitant historical context. The literary production of Muslim authors, like that of any group embedded in a given civilization, is generated from encounters with real issues and is based on human knowledge and experience. Studying and understanding these issues in their historical context is possible even for non-Muslims. To concede the distinctive character of a culture is not tantamount to contending that these specifics can be properly understood only by members of the culture itself.

    All political thought reflects continuity. Topical issues relate to recent events, but their articulation often reveals far older concerns and, hence, a conspicuous historical continuity. Fundamentalist writers—like writers elsewhere—seldom embark upon truly new grounds. For the most part, they revive the discussion that arose in the aftermath of the abolition of the caliphate in 1924, though in a new language and with new concerns. Most of the new writers find time to refer to the aforementioned book by 'Ah' 'Abd al-Raziq, al-Islam wa usul al-hukm/Islam and the Basis of Government, either to continue refuting and demonizing him or to set new precedents.[36] In discussing Islam and government[37] only a few of the adherents of political Islam insist on the restoration of the caliphate. The larger debate is on "the Islamic system of government" (see note 14). Most fundamentalist writers stress the political character of Islam, but no longer insist on maintaining the term "caliphate," as we shall see later. Fundamentalist thought is clearly embedded in a new context, one that differs markedly from that of classical Islam. In short, the issue of whether Islam is basically a religious belief or is, rather, a system of government manifested as an expression of a divine order—whether domestic or global in purview—situates the fault lines between secularists, liberal Muslims, and fundamentalists in the Islamic world.


    The ongoing debate on Islamic government may raise expectations that the fundamentalist approach is in fact dealing with the real problems emanating from the crisis of the nation-state. There is a need for finding an appropriate political system for the people of Islamic civilization, but in the course of reviewing the literature of Islamic fundamentalism, we find that the political thought expressed seldom goes beyond the self-congratulatory assertion that divine order in general is preferable to any secular one. In keeping with the classical tradition of Islamic thought, in which politics was inseparably linked with the shari'a, the political writings of Islamic fundamentalism are convictional in attitude and scriptural in method. One's first glimpse of this literature reveals that in addressing the current state of affairs it neither offers a political analysis nor shows a way out.

    The notion of al-nizam al-Islami, to be dealt with in the next chapter, is set forth as a conviction lying beyond evidence and the need for firm grounds. Those who share it are viewed to be true Muslims; those who question it, whatever their sympathies, are scorned as deviants of the Islamic umma, or even "infidels." Since the symbol of Islamic order so easily projects different patterns of meaning, it is not surprising that it is an issue in contention even among its own adherents. Islamic fundamentalists of various currents insist on the righteousness of their own views, and deny righteousness to their fellow Muslims, other fundamentalists included. Scriptural argumentations[38] provide the logic of the debates, for only the scripture is conceded to uphold or to reject any given interpretation of the notion of an Islamic system of government. The lessons of history, the actuality of existing political structures, and the efficacy or inefficacy of institutions do not matter as a source or defense of argument, for if their reality does not accord with the precepts invoked, then they are merely refutable deviations from true Islam. A liberal Muslim thinker, Mohammad Arkoun, recently denounced this sort of anti-intellectualism and made the point that every religion, Islam not excluded, is subject to rethinking, that is, to the lessons and forces of history.[39] Needless to say, the response by the representatives of political Islam has been mostly hostile.

    Again, there is considerable historical continuity in Islamic thought, as there is in the thought of cultures elsewhere. Most of the Arab-Islamic contributions to the debate on the shari'a draw upon two Islamic writings of the early twentieth century, works that are already acclaimed as classics. One is Rashid Rida's al-Khilafah wa al-imamah al-'uzma/The Caliphate and the Great Imamate;[40] the second is 'Ali 'Abd al-Raziq's al-Islam wa usul al-hukm/Islam and the Basis of Government. In the first we encounter the idea that Islam is din wa dawla/unity of religion and state; in the second we learn the opposite, that although such a unity has been imputed to Islam, the notion lacks any justification in the primary sources, that is, in the Qur'an and the hadith.

    Those Muslims who side with Rida against 'Abd al-Raziq no longer insist that the caliphate is the only legitimate Islamic system of government. True, there was a protracted silence concerning the issue of Islamic government in the years preceding the reappraisal of political Islam. Anyone who follows the intellectual currents of Arabic publications is familiar with such books as Muhammad Yusuf Musa's Nizam al-hukm fi al-lslam/The Political System of Islam, Muhammad Dia'uddin al-Rayes's al-Nazariyyat al-siyasiyya al-lslamiyya/Political Theories of Islam, and 'Abdulhamid Mutawalli's Mabadi' nizam al-hukm fi al-lslam/Principles of the System of Government in Islam, none of them less than 30 years old.[41] (I will return to these works in Chapter 8.) This category of Islamic political writings was rare, however, before the 1970s or, at the least, was not the dominant genre in the political literature. Moreover, these writings were not generally as appealing upon publication as they have become since. But one cannot infer from their newfound following that Muslims had earlier done away with Islam, as most of the current fundamentalist writings suggest. Islam never ceased to be the major source of the Islamic world-view. It did recede, however, as a framework for the legitimation of a political order.

    Prior to the rise of political Islam, the dominant understanding of Islam was to be found in the authoritative textbook on Islam, al-lslam, 'aqidah wa shari'a/Islam, Doctrine and Law, by the late sheikh of al-Azhar, Mah-mud Shalrut.[42] This book, which saw ten printings, includes a chapter on al-umma fi al-lslam/the community in Islam. Shalrut argues that Islam does not restrict the meaning of umma/community to a specific dawlastate, because this would lead to a "delimitation and narrowing, contradicting the universalism of Islam."[43] Shaltut stresses the ukhuwwa al-lslamiyya/Islamic brotherhood. The fraternity of Muslims, which is the ethical value and the content of solidarity among Muslims, is the salient meaning of the Islamic umma. Fundamentalists refute this view by invoking the Islamic principle of shura, as a principle of Islamic government. Shaltut states unequivocally that "neither the Qur'an nor the Prophet set a specific system of shura. "[44] In other words, no less an authority than Mah-mud Shaltut indirectly depoliticizes Islam while putting greater emphasis on the ethical content of umma, in the sense of moral fraternity, than on dawla/state, as an expression of a political system.

    In denying that the primary sources of Islam provide a "specific system of shura," Shaltut clearly intends to reduce this Islamic precept to an ethical norm and virtually dismisses the notion of hukumah Islamiyya/Islamic government. This term, which has been used extensively by Khomeini, conveys the same meaning as the term hakimiyyat Allah/God's rule preferably used by Sunni Arab fundamentalists. To be sure, all fundamentalists subscribe to this concept of divine order. Shaltut's understanding of modern international relations, to which he adheres in this work, is also striking. In his view, Islam is primarily a mission of peace: "If non-Muslims maintain peace, so they must be in this case, from the point of view of Islam, considered brothers to the Muslims, comprising with them humanity. Each has his own religion...." (ibid., p. 453, which makes no mention of sisters). In so stating, Shaltut formulates an Islamic alternative to fundamentalism. Although his book, along with the more recent two-volume handbook by al-Azhar, Bayan li al-nas/Declaration to Humanity,[45] is not a particularly enlightened contribution to an Islam quite capable of embracing the cultural accommodation of social change (see note 3), it is nevertheless a significant effort to adjust the Islamic worldview to the changed conditions of our age. In reviewing the political writings of Islamic fundamentalism, we no longer encounter this notion of plurality in humanity ("each has his own religion"). Political Islam is of a completely different caliber. Those Muslims who regard their religion more as an ethical than a political context, as a source of conduct and not a system of government, are considered by fundamentalists to be "misguided Muslims," or even apostates. Thus the fundamentalists draw the conclusion that they are justified in slaying these Muslims they arbitrarily declare apostates. In a widely read popular book by two exponents of political Islam, Asalib al-ghazu al-fikri li al-'alam al-Islami/Methods of the Intellectual Invasion of the Muslim World, we encounter some of the new fundamentalist attitudes. The authors of this book, Jarisha and Zaibaq (professors teaching in Medina), do not exclude even 'Abduh, the foremost intellectual father of Islamic modernism, from their polemic. Muhammad 'Abduh (1849-1905) lived in Cairo and after the years of exile in Paris became Grand Mufti of Egypt in 1888. 'Abduh made an effort at a synthesis between Islam and cultural modernity. In the view of fundamentalists 'Abduh and all Islamic reformers are themselves products of the "intellectual invasion" by the West and are therefore indicted.[46]The edge of the polemic becomes even sharper when the authors turn to Rifa'a R. al-Tahtawi, who, in his well-known diary of his experiences as imam/religious and political leader to the contingent of Egyptian students in France in the 18205, gives an enthusiastic account of Parisian life. Tahtawi viewed Europe as a model for Muslims.[47] The fundamentalists Jarisha and Zaibaq condemn Tahtawi. For them the only adequate understanding of "true Islam" is the one that first acknowledges that "the major task of the Qur'an is to govern [an yahkuma]... [and] the unity of state and religion is the crucial part of this understanding, not such that religion is a partial dimension of the state, but on the contrary, such that religion is the major element of the state [qism lahu la qasim/a part of it, not a partner to it]" (ibid., pp. 38-39).

    As Jarisha and Zaibaq put it, there has been a colonial mu'amarah/conspiracy[48] directed against Islam, a conspiracy that resulted in the destruction of the caliphate. The authors apparently do not consider the fact that the concept of a caliphate cannot be found in the Qur'an. True, the verb khalafa/to succeed does occur in several of the Qur'anic suras (the Qur'an is subdivided into 114 suras) but in meanings quite different from "to succeed in office." A role in this alleged conspiracy is assigned to Arab nationalism, which is seen by Jarisha and Zaibaq as a product of "missionizing crusaders."[49] Moreover, "Arab nationalism was disseminated by the British spy Lawrence" (ibid., p. 41). Arab nationalists are mostly secularists, in the sense that they distinguish between a divine order and the secular nation-state. But in the view of Jarisha and Zaibaq, Arab nationalists are victims of the Jews, who are held to be the precursors in the conspiracy to separate religion from state in order "to destroy religion.... Islam, however, does not permit such a separation. The state is in the fiqh/ Islamic jurisprudence of Islam an indivisible part of the religion, so that there can be no religion without the state and vice versa."[50] The fact that the political culture of our age is based on the nation-state denotes, for Jarisha and Zaibaq, a "return to the jahiliyya," that is, to the pre-Islamic age of heedlessness. The "return to Islam" promoted by the sahwa al-Jslamiyya/ Islamic awakening expresses an Islamic determination to overcome the setbacks suffered by Islam. The call for al-nizam al-lslami/the Islamic system of government is considered the major feature of this awakening, which in the view of these authors, as a return to the divine, focuses on three issues:

    1. Islamic legitimacy (al-shar'iyya al-Islamiyya);

    2. The Islamic umma, which supports the shar'iyya; and

    3. The political power necessary for upholding this concern, that is, the implementation of the shari'a (Jarisha and Zaibaq, p. 239).

    Quite apart from their obsession with conspiracy it is striking to see Jar-isha and Zaibaq drawing on a neo-Arabic term simply translated from modern Western languages: al-shar'iyya. Students of Islam are familiar with the traditional Islamic concept of al-siyasa al-shar'iyya, in which the adjective shar'iyya is derived from the noun shari'a. The traditional concept of the classical jurist Ibn Taimiyya[51] gives siyasa the meaning "the running of a state." This concept renders the state authority valid only if standing in conformity with the shari'a. In the language used by Jarisha and Zaibaq the adjective shar'iyya becomes a noun that in modern Arabic means "legitimacy."[52] In this equation the term shar'iyya covers the meanings both of "legitimacy" and "s/iari'fl-based policy." This acrobatic wordplay results in the formula "la shar'iyya bighair shari'a/there can be no legitimacy without implementing the shari'a, "[53] which epitomizes the view that every political system of government is devoid of legitimacy if the commitment to the practice of Islamic shari'a is missing. This striking example reveals the fundamentalists' play of language in mixing old and new concepts, as well as introducing new meanings and simultaneously claiming both originality and authenticity.

    The question arises now whether the caliphate is indeed the political system our authors acclaim in their formula of al-shar'iyya al-lslantiyya, supported by the Muslim umma and upheld by the true Muslim rulers. Jarisha and Zaibaq do not evade the question; they present their position as follows:
    If political rule, first, is based on the shari'a of God and, second, is accepted by the Muslims, then the form matters little. We may name it caliphate, imamate, or we may refer to whatever names so long as the aforementioned requirements are fulfilled. If, however, these requirements are missing, then no political authority can claim to have legitimacy.... This is the true understanding of the protection of religion and of... how to refer to it as guidance for worldly affairs. In fact, this is the definition of the caliphate, and properly the definition of any legitimate order.[54]
    As this passage shows, the authors no longer insist in their fetwa on the restoration of the caliphate. Their goal is a political system based on the shari'a or, more properly, on their understanding of it, because, as outlined above, the shari'a is a post-Qur'anic construction. As most of the Islamic fundamentalists do, Jarisha and Zaibaq resort to the neo-Islamic and neo-Arabic term al-nizam al-lslami. They plead, too, for the absolute imposition of the Islamic shari'a as the incontestable framework or orientation for resolving all issues, to be applied in all times, in all places, and for all peoples. "If the shari'a is established in this sense and if the Islamic law is practiced under the aforementioned conditions [that is, unlimited, absolute validity], then it follows that there is an Islamic system (nizam Islami)" (ibid., p. 244). Any other option, and especially options based on secular views, are considered contrary to the tenets of Islam. For Jarisha and Zaibaq, "Secularization is an assault ('udwari) on Islam" (ibid., p. 249). The suspension (ta'til) of the shari'a is equated with the suspension of God's will and therefore considered to be the source of all evils.

    As a liberal Muslim with a Middle Eastern background I agree wholeheartedly with Mark Juergensmeyer's plea that the West ought to overcome its arrogance and be more tolerant[55] toward non-Western cultures. This must not amount, however, to a consent to religious fundamentalism (or, as Juergensmeyer names it, religious nationalism). Indeed, I would not care to live in a divine order overseen by Islamic fundamentalists. When one learns of the fetwa/religious decree by the late Egyptian fundamentalist sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali (died in 1996), renowned as an authority on the Islamic concept of human rights,[56] the limits of tolerance are reached. In his fetwa of June 1993 he declares that "every Muslim who pleads for the suspension of the shari'a is an apostate and can be killed. The killing of those apostates cannot be prosecuted under Islamic law because this killing is justified."[57] There is no justification in the Qur'an for such an entree to the slaying of fellow Muslims. There is not one revelation in the Qur'an that sanctions the killing of murtad/apostates. The command to slay reasoning Muslims is un-Islamic, an invention of Islamic fundamentalists. The shari'a, after all, is a post-Qur'anic construction.[58]

    The right to view religious belief as an ethics and to refuse to permit its politicization to be part and parcel of intellectual freedom ought not to be questioned. Freedom of belief is a basic human right,[59] and the Qur'an rigorously forbids the killing of Muslims (Qur'an-Surat al-Nisa, 4/92). It is thus frightening to realize that on the authority of this fetwa the killing of the Egyptian essayist Faraj Fuda (in June 1992) was justified. Algerian fundamentalists, who in 1993 alone slew twelve leading Algerian intellectuals,[60] also resort to this fetwa and legitimize their killing of Muslims as shari'a-decreed executions. Islam as a religious belief is thereby distorted, and the fundamentalists defile Islam not only by legitimizing the totalitarian rule they seek but also by silencing reasoning liberal Muslims. In the terms of scriptural fundamentalism, simply coining the formula "Rethinking Islam" (see note 39) puts the enlightened Algerian Muslim Mohammed Arkoun at grave risk, for fundamentalists view "rethinking" of this sort as heresy. Rethinking Islam can lead to one's being listed among those apostates to be executed. Arkoun is careful, but courageous enough to use this formula as the title of one of his important books. "Rethinking Islam" may suggest to some that shari'a and human rights are at odds (see note 59).

    An unbiased reading of the political writings of current fundamentalists leads one to conclude that we are dealing with a brand of political propaganda. The style, language, and method of argumentation of these works all reveal propagandistic tactics, not a theology or an intellectual discourse. Reasoning is for these zealots a heresy.

    The importance of books produced by Islamic fundamentalists lies, of course, in their great political impact. I have encountered the cited Jarisha and Zaibaq volume throughout the Islamic world. Other, more serious works are being published to meet the increasing demand among Muslims to learn more about the caliphate as the historical form of political rule in Islam. Among these current writings is a fairly scholarly work, based on historical sources, titled al-Islam wa al-khilafah/Islam and the Caliphate, by 'Ah' Husni al-Khartabuli. Although he defends the Islamic caliphate, al-Khartabuli indicates clearly that there exists no single scripture, either in the Qur'an or in the hadith, supporting the idea that this is the true Islamic system of government. He nevertheless insists that "despite the fact that the caliphate was abolished in Turkey, it is still divine and respected by all Muslims. Ever since its abolition Muslims have never stopped asking for its restoration."[61] This is the only judgment related to the present that is included in this most comprehensive book, which covers the history of the caliphate from its inception after the death of the Prophet Muhammad until its abolition in 1924. Without so much as a blush, al-Khartabuli refers to events of the tenth century, during which Muslims had simultaneously three caliphs, one in Baghdad, the second in Cairo, and the third in Cordoba (now Spain), each one claiming to be the true Islamic successor of the Prophet. Al-Khartabuli merely describes this bizarre state of affairs and restricts himself to reporting that the rule of the caliph over the two holy shrines (in Mecca and Medina) was no longer a requirement for establishing the caliphate.

    More outspoken is the liberal Muslim and jurist Muhammad Said al-Ashmawi in his courageous book on the Islamic caliphate, published in Cairo. Ashmawi bluntly states that neither in the Qur'an, as the Islamic revelation, nor in the sayings of the Prophet (hadith) does there exist a religious justification for the political order of the caliphate. "The caliphate has no Islamic grounds ... it did disservice to Islam in confusing religious belief and politics."[62] Ashmawi is among the Muslim intellectuals in Cairo hunted for his rational arguments by fundamentalists.


    Aside from these references to the debate on the caliphate we can conclude from the study of Islamic fundamentalist literature that the caliphate and its restoration are no longer pivotal issues in contemporary political Islam. The focus now is on another concept, the nizam Is/ami—the formula of the search for a divine Islamic order in the age of fundamentalism. Within Islam there is considerable dissent on the authenticity of the concept of nizam in Islamic sources. There are neo-Islamic advocates of an Islamic system of government based on implementing the shari'a. These are the fundamentalists. Then there are Muslims who believe that in Islam there exists no clear precept that might determine how a government should be assembled if it is to have an Islamic legitimacy. And there are also Muslims to whom Islam—in the tradition of Sufism/Islamic mysticism—is a source of ethics and a way of life, not a formal system of government. Islamic Sufi-mystics believe that religious faith is spiritual and based on "love of God," not on a rigorous implementation of shari'a/Islamic law. In the Middle East and North Africa, the warriors of political Islam have seized the lead from these tolerant Muslims.

    Some bright liberal Muslim thinkers do not contest the political character of Islam. They do, however, refuse any dogmatic solution to the crisis of the nation-state in Islamic civilization, be it purely secular or fundamentalist. It is unfortunate that these Islamic thinkers[63] are such a small minority and that they are already exposed to the threat of being slain as murtad/apostates. It is not only Westerners who denounce this distressing intolerance in contemporary Islam. Muslim liberals do also. Must we who condemn intolerance then feel "guilty of intolerance of our own,"[64] as Juer-gensmeyer himself does for not having been perceptive enough to anticipate the anti-secular views of those who plead for a divine order?


    [1]On this disputed issue, see Bassam Tibi, Fundamentalism, in: Seymour M. Lipset,ed., The Encyclopedia o/Democracy, 4 volumes, here vol.2 (Washington, D.C.: Congressional Quarterly, 1995), pp. 507-10. The opposite view is: John L. Esposito and John O. Voll, Islam and Democracy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1996).

    [2]See Bassam Tibi, The Iranian Revolution and the Arabs: The Quest for Islamic Identity and the Search for an Islamic System of Government, in: Arab Studies Quarterly, vol. 8, 1 (1986), pp. 29-44.

    [3]In this chapter I draw on Clifford Geertz's interpretation of "religion as cultural system." See Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures (New York: Basic Books, 1973), pp. 87ff, which is one of the sources of the interpretive framework that I employ in my work for understanding Islam. See Bassam Tibi, Islam and the Cultural Accommodation of Social Change (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1990).

    [4]R. Hrair Dekmejian, Islam in Revolution: Fundamentalism in the Arab World (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1985), in particular the chapter: Islamic Ideology and Practice, pp. 37-58.

    [5]See for instance Daniel Pipes, In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power (New York: Basic Books, 1983); and Edward Mortimer, Faith and Power The Politics of Islam (London: Faber & Faber, 1982).

    [6]See for example the various contributions in James Piscatori, ed., Islam in the Political Process (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983); John Esposito, ed., Islam and Development: Religion and Sociopolitical Change (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1980); and Shireen T. Hunter, ed., The Politics of Islamic Revivalism (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988).

    [7]Very interesting is Olivier Roy, Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985). Problematic, however, is Olivier Roy, The Failure of Political Islam (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994).

    [8]Emmanuel Sivan, Radical Islam (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1985). See also Emmanuel Sivan, Interpretations of Islam: Past and Present (Princeton, N.J.: Darwin Press, 1985); Youssef M. Choueiri, Islamic Fundamentalism (Boston: Twayne, 1990); and Nazih Ayubi, Political Islam (London: Routledge, 1977).

    [9]The term nizam does not occur in the Qur'an or in the classical sources. See Wilfred C. Smith, The Meaning and End of Religion, second printing (New York: Mentor Books, 1978), p. 117.

    [10]See Bernard Lewis, The Political Language of Islam (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), pp. 3-6.

    [11]Anwar 'Abd al-Malek, al-Fikr al-'Arabi fi ma'rakat al-nahda (Arab Thought in the Battle of a Renaissance), second printing (Beirut: Dar al-Adab, 1978), p. 115.

    [12]Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Hatmiyat al-hall al-Islami (The Islamic Solution Is De-terminable), 3 volumes: Vol. i al-Hulul al-mustawrada (The Imported Solutions) (Beirut: al-Risalah, 1974); vol. 2 al-Hall al-lslami faridah wa darurah (The Islamic Solution Is an Obligation and a Necessity) (Beirut: al-Risalah, 1974). In 1988 al-Qaradawi published the third volume in this highly influential series as: Bayinat al-hall al-lslami wa shabahat al-'ilmaniyyin wa al-mutagharibin (The Distinctive Marks of the Islamic Solution and the Suspicions of the Secularists and the Westernized) (Cairo: Maktabat Wahba, 1988).

    [13]Ervand Abrahamian, Khomeinism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).

    [14]Muhammad Salim al-'Awwa, Fi al-nizam al-siyasi li al-dawla al-Jslamiyya (On the Political System of the Islamic State), sixth edition (Cairo: al-Maktab al-Misri al-Hadith, 1983).

    [15]Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, second edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1979), pp. 21-39.

    [16]For more details on al-Husri and on pan-Arabism, see Bassam Tibi, Arab Nationalism: Between Islam and the Nation-State, third edition (London and New York: Macmillan and St. Martin's Press, 1996). See also the review of the first edition by Michael Hudson in: International Journal of Middle East Studies, vol. 17, 2 (1985), pp. 292-94.

    [17]Abdallah Laroui, The Crisis of the Arab Intellectuals: Traditionalism or His-toricism? (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), pp. vii-xi. On the repercussions of the Six-Day War, see also the new part 5 in the third edition of Tibi, Arab Nationalism (see note 16).

    [18]Sadiq Jalal al-'Azm, al-Naqd al-dhati ba'd al-hazimah (Self-Criticism after the Defeat) (Beirut: Dar al-Tali'a, 1968, fourth printing 1970). The contributions alluded to (also by me) were published in the years 1967-70 in the Beirut-based journals Dirasat 'Arabiyya, al-Adab, al-'Ulum, and, in most cases, in Mawaqif. Fouad Ajami, in his book The Arab Predicament: Arab Political Thought and Practice after 1967 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), covers only the debates published in Mawaqif, including the contributions by al-'Azm and me.

    [19]For a reference and a contextualization of this article of mine, see Fouad Ajami, The Arab Predicament (see note 18), pp. 28-29.

    [20]Bassam Tibi, The Renewed Role of Islam in the Political and Social Development of the Middle East, in: The Middle East Journal, vol. 37, 1 (1983), pp. 3-13. On the repercussions of the Six-Day War, see Bassam Tibi, Conflict and War in the Middle East, 1967-1991: Regional Dynamic and the Superpowers (London: Macmillan, 1993), pp. 80-104.

    [21]Concerning the political role of Islam in these cases, see the following studies: on the Muslim Brethren, see Richard P. Mitchell, The Society of Muslim Brothers (Oxford and London: Oxford University Press, 1969); on Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, see Helen Lackner, A House Built on Sand (London: Ithaca Press, 1978); and on Islam in colonial Algeria, see Ali Merad, Le Reformisme Musulman en Algerie (Paris: Press Universitaire, 1967).

    [22]See Bassam Tibi, Islam and Modern European Ideologies, in: International ]oumal of Middle East Studies, vol. 18, i (1986), pp. 15-29.

    [23]Anis Sayigh, al-Hashimiyun wa al-thaurah al-'Arabiyya al-kubra (The Hashimites and the Great Arab Revolt) (Beirut: Dar al-Tali'a, 1966), pp. 238-39.

    [24]Hassan al-Banna, Majmu'at Rasi'il al-Imam al-shahid Hassan al-Banna (Collected Letters of the Martyr-Imam Hassan al-Banna) (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 1965), p. 14.

    [25]Muhammad al-Mubarak, al-Umma al-'Arabiyya ft ma'rakat tahqiq al-dhat (The Arab Nation in the Battle of Self-Assertion) (Damascus: Mu'assasat al-Matbu'at al-'Arabiyya, 1959), pp. 43 and 108-9. See also Bassam Tibi, Islam and Arab Nationalism, in: Barbara Freyer Stowasser, ed., The Islamic Impulse (Washington, D.C.: Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, 1987), pp. 59-74.

    [26]See, for instance, 'Abdulrahman al-Bazzaz, Hadhihi qawmiyatuna (This Is Our Nationalism), second printing (Cairo: Dar al-Qalam, 1964), pp. 23off. When it comes to modern times, al-Bazzaz speaks of "modem Arab Nationalism," ibid., pp. 369ff.

    [27]See Bassam Tibi, The Worldview of Sunni Arab Fundamentalists: Attitudes toward Modern Science and Technology, in: Martin Marty and Scott Appleby, eds., Fundamentalisms and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991). On secularization and social change, see Bassam Tibi, Islam and Secularization: Religion and the Functional Differentiation of the Social System, in: Archives for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, vol. 66, 2 (1980), pp. 207-22.

    [28]Muhammad el-Bahy, Muhammad Abduh: Eine Untersuchung seiner Erziehungsmethode zum Nationalbewusstsein und zur nationalen Erziehung in Agypten (doctoral dissertation, University of Hamburg, 1936). (Although the correct transliteration is al-Bahi, the dissertation was submitted with al-Bahi's name transliterated as cited.)

    [29]Muhammad al-Bahi, al-Fikr al-lslami al-hadith wa silatuhu ft al-isti'mar al-gharbi (Modern Islamic Thought and Its Connection with the Imperialism of the West), fourth printing (Cairo: Maktabat Wahbah, 1964), in particular pp. 15ff.

    [30]Ibid., p. 409.

    [31]Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Random House, 1978), pp. 5-7.

    [32]Sadiq Jalal al-'Azm, al-lstishraq wa al-istishraq ma'kusan (Orientalism and Orientalism in Reverse) (Beirut: Dar al-Hadatha, 1981). This 1981 essay of al-'Azm is now also included in: Sadiq Jalal al-'Azm, Dhihniyyat al-tahrim (The Mentality of Taboo) (London: El-Rayyis Books, 1992), pp. 17-85. Regarding al-'Azm, see note 18.

    [33]The dualism of Orient and Occident is simply a modern version of a manichaeistic division of the world. Said's anti-orientalism clearly smacks of such romanticizing manichaeism. Maxime Rodinson, like this author, thinks that Said has an important point, but he warns, however, of "jdanovisme," that is, of the world-view of dividing the cosmos into friends and enemies. See Maxime Rodinson, La fascination de I'lslam (Paris: Collection Maspero, 1980), pp. 14-15.

    [34]'Abdulhalim Mahmud, Urubba wa al-Islam (Europe and Islam) (Cairo: Dar al-Ma'arif, 1979), pp. 39ff; and Ahmad M. Jamal, Muhadarat ft al-thaqafa al-Islamiyya (Lectures on Islamic Civilization), third printing (Cairo: Dar al-Sha'b, 1975), pp. 11-28.

    [35]See The Islamization of Knowledge, series published by The International Institute of Islamic Thought (Herndon, Virginia). For a critique of these views, see . Bassam Tibi, Culture and Knowledge: The Politics of Islamization of Knowledge, in: Theory, Culture & Society, vol. 12, 1 (1995), pp. 1-24.

    [36]'Ali 'Abd al-Raziq, al-Islam wa usul al-hukm (Islam and the Basis of Government), second printing (Beirut: Maktabat al-Hayat, 1966; first published 1925). This work was attacked by, among others, Mahmud 'Abdul-Aula, Anzimat al-mujtama' wa al-dawla fi al-Islam (Social Systems and the State in Islam) (Tunis: al-Sharika al-Tunisiyya li al-Tauzi', 1973), pp. 47ff; and by Mahmud Salim al-'Awwa (see note 14), pp. 131ff. Earlier attacks are included in the books referred to in note 41.

    [37]See Tareq and Jacqueline Ismael, Government and Politics in Islam (London: F. Pinter, 1985).

    [38]On scriptural Islam juxtaposed to historical Islam, see the assessment by Clifford Geertz, Islam Observed, second printing (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1971).

    [39]See Mohammed Arkoun, Rethinking Islam (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1994).

    [40]On Rida's views and for references, see the renowned study by Malcolm Kerr, Islamic Reform: The Political and Legal Theories of Muhammad 'Abduh and Rashid Rida (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966).

    [41]The references are: Muhammad Yusef Musa, Nizam al-hukum fi al-Islam (The Political System of Islam) (Cairo, 1962); Muhammad Dia'uddin al Rayes, al-Nazariyyat al-siyasiyya al-Islamiyya (Political Theories of Islam) (Cairo, 1953); and 'Abdulhamid Mutawalli, Mabadi' nizam al-hukm fi al-Islam (Principles of the System of Government in Islam) (Alexandria, 1964).

    [42]Mahmud Shaltut, al-Islam 'aqidah wa shari'a (Islam, Doctrine and Law), tenth printing (Cairo: Dar al-Shuruq, 1980).

    [43]Ibid., p. 433.

    [44]Ibid., p. 440. See the shura chapter in Bassam Tibi, Der wahre Imam: Der Islam von Mohammed bis zur Gegenwart (Munich: Piper Press, 1996), chapter 10, pp. 315-32.

    [45]See Sheikh Jadulhaq Ali Jadulhaq, Bayan li al-Nas (Declaration to Humanity), 2 volumes (Cairo: al-Azhar, 1984,1988). This Azhar sheikh died in March 1996. His successor is Sayyid Tantawi.

    [46]'Ali M. Jarisha and Muhammad Sh. Zaibaq, Asalib al-ghazu al-fikri li al-'Alam al-Islami (Methods of Intellectual Invasion of the Islamic World), second printing (Cairo: Dar al-I'tisam, 1978), pp. 201-4.

    [47]On Tahtawi, see Albert Hourani, Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), pp. 67-82. See also the chapter on Tahtawi in Tibi, Der wahre Imam (see note 44), pp. 221-37, ^th references.

    [48]On conspiracy-driven thought in the contemporary Arab-Islamic Middle East, see Bassam Tibi, Die Verschworung: Das Trauma arabischer Politik, second edition (Hamburg: Hoffman & Campe, 1994, first edition 1993).

    [49]Jarisha and Zaibaq (see note 46), p. 239.

    [50]Ibid., pp. 60-61. This antisemitic attitude can also be found in Faruq Abdel-Salam, al-Ahzab al-siyasiyya wa al-fasl bain al-din wa al-siyasah (Political Parties and the Separation of Religion and Politics) (Cairo: Maktab Qalyub, 1979), pp. 8-36 and 53-54.

    [51]See Abu al-Abbas Ahmed Ibn Taimiyya, al-Siyasa al-shar'iyya (The Shari'a-Bound Politics), new printing (Beirut: Dar al-Jil, 1988).

    [52]See Bassam Tibi, Authority and Legitimation, in: John L. Esposito, ed., The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995), 4 volumes, here vol. l, pp. 155-60.

    [53]Jarisha and Zaibaq (see note 46), p. 239.

    [54]Ibid., pp. 248-49.

    [55]Mark Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? Religious Nationalism Confronts the Secular State (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), p. 199.

    [56]See Muhammad al-Ghazali, Huquq al-insan bain ta'alim al-Islam wa i'lan al-umam al-muttahida (Human Rights between the Islamic Tenets and the UN Declaration), third revised edition (Cairo: Dar al-Kurub al-Islamiyya, 1984).

    [57]This fetwa is published in part in the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat, June 23,1993. On this fetwa, see Bassam Tibi, Im Schatten Allans: Der Islam und die Menschenrechte (Munich: Piper Press, 1994), pp. 175-78.

    [58]See the shari'a chapter in Tibi, Im Schatten Allahs (referred to in note 57), pp. 194-216.

    [59]See Bassam Tibi, Islamic Law/Shari'a, Human Rights, Universal Morality and International Relations, in: Human Rights Quarterly, vol. 16,2 (1994), pp. 277-99.

    [60]See Flora Lewis, In Algeria and Elsewhere: A War on Liberal Thought, in: International Herald Tribune, August 20,1993.

    [61]'Ali Husni al-Khartabuli, al-Islam wa al-khihifah (Islam and the Caliphate) (Beirut: Dar Beirut li al-Tiba'a wa al-Nashr, 1969), p. 39.

    [62]Muhammad Said al-Ashmawi, al-Khilafah al-Islamiyya (The Islamic Caliphate) (Cairo: Dar Sina, 1990), p. 21.

    [63]To these authors belongs Muhammad Said al-Ashmawi, al-Islam al-siyasi (Political Islam), second edition (Cairo: Dar Sina, 1989). Prominent among the Muslim exiles is Mohammed Arkoun, Rethinking Islam (see note 39).

    [64]Juergensmeyer, The New Cold War? (see note 55), p. 199.

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