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A political and religious philosophy also known as radical Islam, or the Islamist movement. Both of these terms are now commonly used by specialists in Middle Eastern affairs, to distinguish between Islam (as a religion and culture) and the modern day fundamentalist-political movement known as Islamism.

Since the 1970s a large number of Islamist groups have developed in most Arab and Muslim nations; their goal is to create Islamic theocracies as the governing political bodies of all Arab and Muslim nations, Israel, and all nations that Muslims held at any point in history (e.g. Spain, etc.) Many of these groups are violently opposed to the Arab and Muslim governments currently in existence, as well as to the governments of the United States and Israel.

Due to the predominance of the Islamist movement, Islam in the last 30 years has become increasingly intolerant of any disagreement or criticism. A recent feature of worldwide Islam is the tendency to issue public death threats against Muslims who disagree with the religion, ask to modernize the Quran, or write a book about leaving Islam. The death threats are not the province of a small number of fanatic clerics; in most of the cases cited below there have been public demonstrations by thousands of people in many nations, even in Arabs in Western nations such as England, burning the "heretics" in effigy and calling for their death. Moderates in the Arab community are not empowered to overturn the fatwas (religious edicts) calling for such death sentences. For examples of some of these death sentences, see Fatwa </wiki/Fatwa>.

Islamist movements:

Afghanistan -- Taliban
Algeria -- GIA
Egypt -- Gamat Ismalia
Saudi Arabia -- Wahhabite sect
International -- Al-Qaida
Palestinian Authority - Hamas

also see: Osama bin Laden

Links The following report on the Islamist movement was written by Greg Noakes, an American Muslim who works at the Washington Report. [Evaluating the Islamist movement]

The following report on the Islamist movement was written by Aicha Lemsine, an Algerian journalist and author. [Muslim scholars face down fanatacism]

[Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam, and discussion of Islamism]

Further reading

  • "Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews" Khalid Duran with Abdelwahab Hechiche, The American Jewish Committee and Ktav, 2001
  • "The Islamism Debate" Martin Kramer, University Press, 1997
  • "Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook" Charles Kurzman, Oxford University Press, 1998
  • "The Challenge of Fundamentalism: Political Islam and the New World Disorder" Bassam Tibi, Univ. of California Press, 1998