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Islamic congresses were proposed by late-nineteenth-century Muslim reformists to promote internal reform of Islam and resist Western imperialism. The dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire and abolition of the caliphate after World War I created a void that Muslim leaders and activists sought to fill by convening these congresses. Purposes included seeking an Islamic consensus for their own ambitions; garnering Muslim support against non-Muslim enemies, particularly in the Arab struggle against the British mandate and Zionism in Palestine; and claiming the caliphate. Issues were more political than religious. The competition for authority in Islam continued into the 1990s and 2000s with congresses seeking to legitimate policies and bring together Islamic opposition movements in pursuit of power.

Subjects: Islam.

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