Dec 6 - Islamism Future Of Ideology Summary

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Summary of Politics 1020E Lecture: Radical Islam & The Future of Ideology (Dec 6, 2011) We begin the twenty-sixth lecture by continuing the discussion of threats to Islam, with special reference to the US threat in the post- 1945 period. Radical Islamism represents a kind of reactionary Muslim Counter- Enlightenment. Its most important ideologue is Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the Egyptian writer whose visit to the United States reinforced his rejection of modern, permissive, liberal societies. Qutb emphasizes the struggle against jahiliyya : ignorance, darkness, or barbarism. Both capitalists and communists represent this enemy, since both reject the authority of God. Qutb believes that many Muslims suffer from false consciousness, which stops
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Unformatted text preview: from realizing their true interest in fighting against the enemies of Islamic society. Since Qutb’s death, radical Islamists fought the West by attacking Muslims who (in their view) are corrupt, attacking US power, educating boys in the Qur’an, and bearing witness. We briefly discuss the claim that there is a clash between so-called ‘Western’ and ‘Islamic’ civilizations. One should be skeptical of this claim. The future of ideology will have to take into account the continuing influence of nationalism, religion, and environmental degradation. Is ideology coming to an end? This has been claimed before, and it was premature. This is likely to happen again to anyone bold enough to predict ideology’s end anytime soon....
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