RECOMMENDED READING: “Islamism and Islam”


When the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch comes upon a reference source of great value, it will be added to the Resources section of the site. In this case, the source is a book by Syrian-born scholar Bassam Tibi titled “Islamism and Islam”, described by as follows:

“Despite the intense media focus on Muslims and their religion since the tragedy of 9/11, few Western scholars or policymakers today have a clear idea of the distinctions between Islam and the politically based fundamentalist movement known as Islamism. In this important and illuminating book, Bassam Tibi, a senior scholar of Islamic politics, provides a corrective to this dangerous gap in our understanding. He explores the true nature of contemporary Islamism and the essential ways in which it differs from the religious faith of Islam.

Drawing on research in twenty Islamic countries over three decades, Tibi describes Islamism as a political ideology based on a reinvented version of Islamic law. In separate chapters devoted to the major features of Islamism, he discusses the Islamist vision of state order, the centrality of antisemitism in Islamist ideology, Islamism’s incompatibility with democracy, the reinvention of jihadism as terrorism, the invented tradition of shari’a law as constitutional order, and the Islamists’ confusion of the concepts of authenticity and cultural purity. Tibi’s concluding chapter applies elements of Hannah Arendt’s theory to identify Islamism as a totalitarian ideology.”

Buy it here.

In these times of growing polarization and hatred, it is important to remember that much of what is now so problematic in the Islamic world was of modern creation and therefore need not represent the future of Islam. GMBDW also feels strongly that everybody who who wants to follow the Global Muslim Brotherhood seriously needs to understand how profoundly important the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, its founder Hassan el-Banna, and perhaps most significantly Brotherhood ideology Sayyid Qutb were in the origins of Islamism, sometimes referred to as “political Islam.” There could be no better start than by reading this work by Bassam Tibi.

According to an online bio of Dr.Tibi:

Bassam Tibi was born in 1944 in Damascus/Syria. He migrated to Europe in 1962 and from 1973 until his retirement in autumn 2009 he was Professor of International Relations at the University of Göttingen, Germany. Parallel to his tenure in Göttingen, he is a visiting non?resident A. D. White Professor?at?Large at Cornell University, USA. He held fellowships at universities such as Harvard, Princeton and Ann Arbor in the US, NUS/Singapore and the Islamic Hidayatullah State University of Jakarta in addition to other visiting positions in the world of Islam (e.g. al?Ahram Center in Cairo). He is author of the book Islam between Culture and Politics. In 2009 Routledge published Tibi’s most recent book Islam’s Predicament with Cultural Modernity: Religious Reform and Cultural Change.

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