Chapter

Contemporary Arab Ideology

Abdallh Laroui

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Contemporary Arab Ideology

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He is a historian and political theoretician, active in the Moroccan national movement. He studied in Paris and is now professor of history at Muhammad V University, Rabat.

Laroui usually writes in French, leaving it to others to translate his works into Arabic. In this selection written in 1967, he critiques the Arabs tendency to misread their own and Western history. First, he takes to task those Arabs who raise a false dichotomy between the East and the West couched in terms of Islam versus Christianity. Next, he attacks the facile adaptation of European liberal nationalism by those seeking to end the decline of Arab civilization. These individuals maintain that the Arab is naturally free but that his freedom has historically been appropriated by imperialist outsiders like the Ottomans; the solution would be to remove alien rule. Finally, Laroui addresses what he believes to be the false prescription of those who believe technology and industry will alone suffice to reverse Arab decline. Having critiqued the shortcomings of each of these perspectives, he concludes that Arab and Western ideology cannot in any event be seen in isolation from one another.

Chapter.  3550 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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