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Islam, Secularism, and Liberal DemocracyToward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies$
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Nader Hashemi

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195321241

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195321241.001.0001

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Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies

Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies

The Historical Background

(p.23) 1 Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies
Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy

Nader Hashemi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a historical context through which to examine the struggle for democracy in Muslim societies. It re‐examines the relationship between religion and political development through the long view of history. After reviewing the place of religion in liberal‐democratic and modernization theory, an alternative reading of on the rise of Islamic fundamentalism is provided. Drawing on key developments in the early modern European history and the scholarship of Fernand Braudel and Michael Walzer, parallels are discovered between the emergence of radical religious protest movements in the 16th/17th century Europe and similar events in the late 20th/early 21st century in the Middle East. The emphasis is on a sociological interpretation of religious fundamentalism. It is argued that historical depth is required to understand the relationship between religion and political development and that some forms of radical religious protest movements have a proto‐modern character to them.

Keywords:   religion, radicalism, Puritanism, John Rawls, Islamism, modernization, fundamentalism, Michael Walzer, history, Islamic fundamentalism, reformation, Muslims, Europe, England

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