Awakening Islam: The Politics of Religious Dissent in by Stéphane Lacroix

By Stéphane Lacroix

Amidst the roil of warfare and instability around the center East, the West remains to be trying to find how one can comprehend the Islamic global. Stéphane Lacroix has now given us a penetrating examine the political dynamics of Saudi Arabia, essentially the most opaque of Muslim international locations and where that gave delivery to Osama bin Laden.

the result's a heritage that hasn't ever been advised sooner than. Lacroix indicates how millions of Islamist militants from Egypt, Syria, and different heart japanese international locations, beginning within the Fifties, escaped persecution and located shelter in Saudi Arabia, the place they have been built-in into the middle of key country associations and society. The transformative outcome used to be the Sahwa, or “Islamic Awakening,” an indigenous social stream that mixed political activism with neighborhood spiritual principles. Awakening Islam bargains a pioneering research of the way the circulation grew to become a vital component to Saudi society, and why, within the overdue Nineteen Eighties, it grew to become opposed to the very country that had nurtured it. although the “Sahwa rebel” failed, it has bequeathed the realm very diversified, and intensely decided, heirs: the Islamo-liberals, who search an Islamic constitutional monarchy via peaceable activism, and the neo-jihadis, supporters of bin Laden's violent campaign.

Awakening Islam is equipped upon seldom-seen records in Arabic, a number of travels during the nation, and interviews with an extraordinary variety of Saudi Islamists around the ranks of today’s circulation. the outcome gives particular perception right into a closed tradition and its powerful model of Islam, which has been exported the world over and which is still dangerously misunderstood.

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Extra info for Awakening Islam: The Politics of Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia

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From the outset the movement had a dual purpose: to fight against foreign occupation and to work for the establishment of an Islamic state that would apply shariʿa. The movement grew rapidly in Egypt and the rest of the Middle East, where it began to establish branches by the late 1930s. The Brotherhood provided crucial support to the Egyptian revolution of July 23, 1952, that brought Gamal Abdel Nasser to power. But although it hoped to see a new political arrangement emerge that would favor it, the movement soon became the principal victim of the military regime.

Indeed, possessing religious or “modernizing” legitimacy does not simply require that the Al Saʿud family set forth a legitimating discourse based on Islam or modernity.  In this instance the religious and intellectual fields constitute those apparatuses. The autonomy of those fields is therefore fundamental because endorsement by the ulema or the intellectuals is credible and hence acceptable only if it seems sincere and disinterested. The approval is all the more effective coming from the dominant elites in the field, provided they appear to have reached their eminence because of merit and not merely because the political authorities have supported them.

The league also included figures from movements close to the Brotherhood, such as the Pakistani Abu al-ʿAla Mawdudi, the founder of Jamaat-e Islami. An Educational System at the Ser vice of the Brotherhood The Arab cold war allowed the discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood to gain a foothold in Saudi Arabia, but primarily as one intended for export and directed to the outside world. Beginning in the mid-1960s, this changed when the discovery of radical cells declaring adherence to Arab nationalist and leftist ideas in major Saudi cities persuaded Faysal that the fight against them needed to go beyond external propaganda.

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