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Few concepts are both so controversial and recurrent within the philosophical and cultural debate as the concept of relativism.

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Islamism is a highly militant mobilizing ideology selectively developed out of Islam’s scriptures, texts, legends, historical precedents, organizational experiences and present-day grievances, all as a defensive reaction against the long-term erosion of Islam’s primacy over the public...

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After the Nineties of the 20th Century tolerance returned to the centre stage in political thought, returning to fashion a concept that has certainly been central within the framework of political thought in modern times, but that appeared to have become a closed book with the French Revolution that...

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Transnational migrations and global interdependence challenge the liberalism of western countries, which is becoming increasingly national and less universal.

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The concept of modernity can be analysed from various points of view. A sociological perspective sees modernity as the historical era arising from feudal society’s profound transformation processes and that, starting with the Protestant Reformation, sees the emergence of the new bourgeoisie..

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A month of ideas.
Giancarlo Bosetti Editor-in-chief
Association for dialogue and intercultural understanding
Intercultural Lexicon
IT Tuesday, 14 November 2006


Sadik J. Al-Azm

Islamism is a highly militant mobilizing ideology selectively developed out of Islam’s scriptures, texts, legends, historical precedents, organizational experiences and present-day grievances, all as a defensive reaction against the long-term erosion of Islam’s primacy over the public, institutional, economic, social and cultural life of Muslim societies in the 20th century.

This ideology is put in practice by resurrecting the early concept of Islamic Jihad (Holy War) in its most violent and aggressive forms against an environing world of paganism, polytheism, idolatry, godlessness, infidelity, atheism, apostasy and unbelief known to that ideology as the Jahiliyyah of the 20th century.

The ultimate goal for Islamism is to save the contemporary world from this Jahili condition – imposed on it by the modern West – pretty much the way the rise and rapid spread of Islam 13 centuries ago saved the world from the very similar Jahili condition that dominated it at that time.

The proceedings of this grand salvivic project are already manifestly evident: (1) In the re-Islamization processes presently underway in currently “nominally” Muslim countries and societies, (2) in the internal armed Jihad against the apostate regimes dominating at present all so-called Muslim states and ruling all so-called Muslim countries and (3) in the external grand Jihad against the global unholy alliance of Western Crusaderism with world Jewism, Zionism and Israelism.

Islamism as ideology and practice is:
(a) Fundamentalist, because it presents itself as the authentic movement of return to and retrieval of the now forgotten “fundamentals” (usul) and “basics” (usus) of Islam, with special emphasis on the lapsed imperative and duty of Jihad itself. (b) Revivalist, because it presents itself as the primary agent of the double process of reviving those fundamentals, as active beliefs and efficacious practices, in the lives of Muslims and of reviving the currently hibernating masses of the Muslim World by injecting into their lives, hearts, minds and institutions those neglected fundamentals.

(c) Integralist, because its immediate goal is to re-integrate all autonomous aspects, areas and spheres of modern society and life – such as the social, the economic, the political, the cultural, the scientific, the aesthetic, the domestic, the personal, the religious, the spiritual etc. – under Allah’s religion and rule as manifested in his Shari’a Law. (d) Theocratic, because its manifest program is to restore Allah’s Hakimiyyah, Sovereignty or Dominion over his rebellious human creatures during the modern period in general and the 20th century in particular via the establishment of truly Muslim states and state apparatuses.

(e) Theonomist, because its immediate aim is the direct, literal and comprehensive implementation and application of Allah’s Shari’a Law which is absolute, indivisible and subject to no human debate. (f) Terrorist, because of its declared despair of any other method and/or means of furthering its goals and programs other than the immediate and direct attack on both the internal and the external enemy – as violently, extravagantly, spectacularly and destructively as possible – heedless of the longer-term chances of success or failure of such attacks, contemptuous of their self-destructive consequences and dismissive of their social, political and economic fall out even on Islamism itself. For, the point is to hit the enemies where it hurts most, and what can hurt more than blowing up their innocent civilians and passers by whole sale.


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