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Political Islam in the Arab World Essay

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Updated: Nov 25th, 2021


In the Middle East, Islam is one of the main unifying forces which help political leaders to create a strong political ideology and sustain a national of power. The orderliness of the Muslim community worldwide is upheld by the pillars of the hierarchical principle of religious difference, which operates through the many institutions of power in society and through the citation of Prophetic sayings as well. Foreigners and poeple belonging to other religions are included in or excluded from society because of, and based on, their religious values, while the material distinction of difference cannot be endorsed as a means to separate foreigners from the society, knowledge, religion and civilization.

The main causes of strong power

The rise of political Islam during the last four decades can be explained by changing patterns of war and peace, consolidation of authoritarian rules in Arab countries, the revolutionary ideas in Iran, the relations with the USA and the Gulf War. All these events have led to consolidation of religious power and the rise of strong political Islam (Kepel 299). What is labeled in the West “battered relationships” associated with fear, confusion, anxiety, attack, and domination, is a means of social control and the means to preserve families from the painful consequences of war. Thus, an indirect expression and self-denial to cope with abusive political relations is transformed into love and sacrifice for the sake of the nations. The religious experience transference is a universal phenomenon. When a person gets acquainted with another culture, he or she brings his/her stereotypes and past experiences into this context making their judgments respectively. So, the Islamic leaders judge the world around them as Other and reject any civilized approaches to peace and social order. Then, the understanding of the existing inequality becomes dependent upon reality and cultural attributions. For instance, reality necessitates that education for is the first and foremost step to eradicate religious inequality. The equation is that the higher the educational status is, the narrower the gap becomes. In terms of methodological shortcomings, actual internalization of destiny as a learned behavior taught them to prefer early marriage over higher education for better employability skills (Cleveland 514).

Political Islam and the Other

Jihad and the personality of bin Laden led to the war against the West. But the question that has been preponderating and involving all the great diplomats, Is Military Action, or Propaganda or Non-violent agitations are an act of terrorisms? Some may reply that obviously they are also acting of terrorism as they involve massive killings, even of the innocent civilians by bombings, air raids etc. Pages from the history books are the reflection to the unprecedented causalities of the civilians in case of Military actions (Kepel 303). These two actions, military and terrorisms are the two sides of the same coin, both involves killings and destructions whereby terrorists resort to the bombings and killings of the masses without any provocations. They mostly go by the illegal means, and are contrary to the established norms of law, whereas terror cause by military actions follows the law of the state (Cleveland 517).

The military action is generally provoked by what is known as preventive war as Bombings over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the intervention by Americans in Iraq to counter the preemptive attack and to prevent any potential conflict in the future, Israel’s attack on Lebanon to prevent any future offensives and rescue the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, Ethiopia’s entry into Somalia to overthrow a weak government but wanted desperately to put an end to the growth of the Islamic Court and was initiated by the longstanding conflict with Eritrea (Cleveland 439). But the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley was not termed to be an act of terrorism but an act of “propaganda of the deed” which was termed by Marxists, some anarchists, and other radicals. The advocators of the “propaganda of the deed” believed that their heroic action would give inspiration to the masses and will ultimately make anarchist ideas famous (Cleveland 515).

Western Influences and Qur’an

They make the individuals their target but are against killing innocent bystanders. The processions, example of the propagandists are the radicals who wished to assassinate anybody but merely advocating their voice. The latter induces certain outcomes which will be subjected to reward or punishment since some operant conditionings are obligatory, others are chosen, but all tend to modify or bring about a change in ones behavior (Cleveland 516). The Qur’an perfected rights and political power. The political leaders challenged the Prophet’s revelations but God’s words were descended to abhor their dissensions. Today the Muslims profess Islam, but openly rebuff it when it calls for equality. Women in the Qur’an are better off than any woman in any society today. The category of religious difference also operates within Muslim society. Here, it serves to establish the biological and material differences.


In sum, political Islam becomes a strong force which unites Arab countries and populations. It becomes a tool against western expansion in the region and proliferation of American ideas into Arab culture. In application, Arabs experience coercive attitudes imposed upon them by religion, but, nevertheless, no operant change takes place in their inherent attitudes. Political Islam is a response to the Cold war and cultural occupation of Arab lands by the West and the USA.

Works Cited

Cleveland, W. A History of the Modern Middle East, 3rd edition, Westview, 2004.

Kepel, G. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam, Harvard University Press, 2002.

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