Article

Political Islam

John O. Voll and Tamara Sonn

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0063
Political Islam

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The term Political Islam refers generally to any interpretation of Islam that serves as a basis for political identity and action. More specifically, it refers to the movements representing modern political mobilization in the name of Islam, a trend that emerged in the late 20th century. Political Islam is a distinctive aspect of a broader 20th-century development that is often called Islamic Resurgence, in which Muslims worldwide seek to strengthen their understanding of and commitment to their religion. Not all Islamic Resurgence movements can be characterized as Political Islam, however. The Tablighi Jamaʿat, for example, has expanded greatly since its beginnings in northern India in the 1920s. The movement resolutely avoids political activism, however, and many Sufi brotherhoods displayed renewed dynamism in the final decades of the 20th century without advocating programs of Political Islam. Similarly, Muslims engage in many different types of political activities that are not included in discussions of Political Islam. Thus, the term is usually used to identify a specific kind of political program and is not just a generic label for any political activity in the Muslim world.

Article.  6687 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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