Chapter

Religious Fundamentalism and the Power of History

Malek Khouri

in The Arab National Project in Youssef Chahine's Cinema

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9789774163548
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970153 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774163548.003.0009
Religious Fundamentalism and the Power of History

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Arab intellectuals begam voicing their opposition to the extremist religious agenda as fundamentalism gathered momentum. Islamic fundamentalism had a direct effect on intellectual and cultural life in the film production center of the Arab world—Egypt. The development of Islamic fundamentalism in the early and mid-twentieth century ran parallel to attempts to establish a modernist united secular state in the Arab world. Filmmakers in Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria in particular presented strong cinematic polemics against fundamentalist practices and ideology. Chahine's Destiny marked a major attempt to counter the rise of religious fundamentalism. The film's plot reclaims the philosopher's story via a self-reflexive rendering of historical dichotomies between conservative forces and ideas and proponents of intellectual and social progress. The film concomitantly makes a statement against dogmatic religious repression in contemporary Arab and Muslim societies.

Keywords: fundamentalism; Tunisia; ideology; dichotomies; progress

Chapter.  6700 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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