Islamism (Political Islam)

The term political Islam gained currency in the 1980s, followed by Islamism in the 1990s, to designate the use of Muslim concepts and organizations to legitimate new political movements. Political Islam notably appears as the title of a short book by an Egyptian critic of the movement, Muhammad Sa'id al-'Ashmāwi, al-Islām al-siyāsi in 1987. Islamism was first used in French (Islamisme), as in the title of the translation of Judge ‘Ashmāwi's book 2 years later. This French-initiated term gradually gained currency in English as Islamism. Both terms are used to describe contemporary Islamic movements in which the political dimension predominates over the devotional and ritual concerns. In other words, political Islam denotes a politicized reading of Islam with a pronounced ideological character, which accounts for ...

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