Call At: +919779121071   |
Question & Answers
Home > Q/A
Islamic political movements have been very much in the news in the late twentieth
Posted On: Nov. 8, 2017
Author: Shipra

Islamism Islamic political movements have been very much in the news in the late twentieth century in the Middle East. These interest groups are known by several names such as Hizbullah, Fatah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and al-Qaeda etc. In order to understand their motive, it is important to review the link between the Arab nationalism and rise of modern Islamism. Analysts have found it to be quite challenging. The separation between Islamists and Arab nationalists is a recent phenomenon and represents their political differences and disagreements. A number of military coups were engineered by young Arab nationalist officers to capture power in several countries that included Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Algeria. During this period, Arab nationalism raised its head and became the official ideology of the Arab states. This took the shape of exclusiveness that was radical in nature and had a social touch as well. Several factors turned the Arab nationalist entity into an authoritarian state that included the military background of their ruling forces, their fragile base of authenticity, and the clash with the sweeping programs of carrying out modernization and centralization. This development caused confrontations between the Arab nationalist establishments and the Islamic political forces. The dispute was about power, identity and legitimacy of the movement. The earliest confrontation took place in 1954, in which Egypt initiated a desperate drive to finish off Islamic opponents. During this confrontation, Muslim activists were put behind bars without trial. They were also subjected to torture and both physical as well psychological. The Muslim intellectuals had to flee as well as put to death. The Islamic opponents were accused of being reactionary, and blamed for use of religion for political purposes to serve the interests of the western powers. Islamists, on the other hand, held the Arabs responsible for being a radical regime and charged them for waging a deliberate war against Islam and destroying the Islamic identity of the Arab personnel. Both views were one sided and were the result of political conflict. In fact Arab nationalism was perceived as the political outburst of reformers who were quite active in their endeavor to establish Arab identity of their own. It was meant to reaffirm their Arab identity and reflected as an answer to the failure of Ottoman empire to defend Islam and protect the land holdings of the Arabs and the Muslims. This feeling was reinforced by several other events that took place around that time period, such as the French bombardment of Damascus in the 1920s, the British disrespect of the Arab opposition to the Jewish immigration into Palestine, and the brutal crushing of the Palestine revolt in the 1930s. the divisive forces of the imperialists in morocco were equally responsible for increasing the feeling of defeat amongst Arabs. All this resulted into the radical thinking and actions of the Arab nationalists. Reference Antonius G. (2013) The Arab Awakening Taylor & Francis, Hourani A. (1983) Arabic Thought in the Liberal Age Cambridge University Press Sharabi H. (1970) The Arab Intellectuals and the West John Hopkins Press