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Philosophy of NonviolenceRevolution, Constitutionalism, and Justice beyond the Middle East$
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Chibli Mallat

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199394203

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199394203.001.0001

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Shattered Political Language

Shattered Political Language

Reconstructing a Humanist Culture of Nonviolence

4 Shattered Political Language
Philosophy of Nonviolence

Chibli Mallat

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines, in a millennium-deep cultural perspective, the way in which persisting patterns of political language in the Middle East and beyond have been shattered by nonviolence. In a first part, it describes the dominance of the concept of terrorism and the way it was undermined by the Middle East nonviolent revolution. It examines then the ambiguity of the Middle East central political concepts of fitna, bid‘a, and jihad, including the historical divide between Sunnism and Shi‘ism. It rediscovers legal, poetical, historical, and philosophical nonviolent testimonies of Middle Eastern culture prefiguring ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi and the nonviolent advocates of the contemporary Middle East.

Keywords:   terrorism, fitna, Sunnism/Shi‘ism, bid‘a, jihad, classical poetry, philosophy, history, law, Kawakibi

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