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Globalization and Political Islam

erschienen in der Publikation "Jahrbuch für internationale Sicherheitspolitik 2004" - Dezember 2004

Schlagworte zu diesem Beitrag:  Religion, Islam


Globalization and Political Islam

The Challenges of Modernity

In this article we argue that Islam as a political ideology is not a new phenomenon, but the result of a long, complex historical process. It was a response to the expansion of Europe and the decline of the great Islamic empires in the 19th century, on the one hand, and failed modernization in the post-colonial societies in vast parts of the Islamic world, on the other. Attempts at an endogenous modernization of society, economies, politics and culture from above to counter marginalization and peripheralization in the world economy have taken place intermittently from the mid-19th century, first of all in the Islamic empires and, after the break-up of these empires into smaller states and regions and after decolonization, in the secular-authoritarian states in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

How can we understand the historical and socio-economic causes of the rise and activities of Islam as a political ideology in the modern history of Islamic countries? What are the roots of political Islam? What is the role and place of political Islam in the current political scene in Islamic countries and beyond?

All traditional cultures face the difficulty of having to deal with an ever more pluralistic world. As a result, the obstinacy of individual cultures comes into conflict with the increasing plurality of lifestyles and values. There are two ways of solving this conflict: back to the past or innovation. In the first case, orthodoxy prevails. The second case will lead to renewal, by adapting the identity to meet the requirements of new circumstances and challenges. The variety and contradictory nature of Islamic political ideas and practice - from the late 19th century onwards - are the result of the confrontation with these challenges of modernity. In contrast to the a-historical and cultural-essentialist assumptions of some scholars, such as Samuel Huntington, who declare the phenomenon of political Islam to be a characteristic of the inevitable "clash of civilizations", according to which conflicts and threats to world peace and security in the 21st century will be carried out along civilisational fault lines, in this article we argue that the main fault-lines between and within cultures are socio-economic but not geo-cultural and that conflicts in the world of today do not take place between cultures but rather within them.

Eigentümer und Herausgeber: Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung | Roßauer Lände 1, 1090 Wien
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