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Fundamentalism Can Be A Revolt Against Modernity Religion Essay

The expression ‘Fundamentalism’ comes from the Latin word ‘fundamentum’ meaning ‘base’. Fundamentalism is stringent devotion to particular theological dogmas characteristically in response against the modernism theology (Harris 2008, p. 23). Its earliest coinage was found in the American Protestantism in the initial decades of the 20th century when the evangelical Protestants circulated a succession of booklets titled ‘the fundamentals.’ This was an anthology of 12 books concerning five topics published in 1910 to protect protestant Christianity from the tests of freethinking theology. Particularly, the expression ‘fundamentalism’ came into being at the Niagara Falls Bible Conference where identification of the things that were fundamental to faith was ought. Initially, the proponents coined the term to express a precise package of theological values; this later turned out to be a movement. Since then, the word has been generalized to imply strong devotion to any particular set of values in the face of disapproval or disrespect, but has in general kept religious connotations. Traditionally, for some communities the expression connotes an adherence to a set of irreducible values (Armstrong 2001: p. 24). The term "Fundamentalism" is generally used pejoratively, predominantly when used together with other appellations such as in the expression "right-wing fundamentalists" (Ruthven 2005: p. 24).

When fundamentalism is delineated as a concept, in its widest sense, it means a loyalty to thoughts as well as principles that are viewed as foundational or basic (Heywood, 2006: p. 300). Defining the term, that way brings in the notion of dominating or monopolizing the truth; it is assuming those fundamentals as the fixed truth, or at-least, taking them to be the most precise foundationals. Therefore, as a concept, fundamentalism might be either religious or otherwise a pledge to values whether godly or artificial. At this point, it is paramount to substantiate the ‘commitment’ to demonstrating ‘religious fundamentalism’ as a happening. To start with, it is important to mention that the amalgamation of religion together with politics is the central inspiration of religious fundamentalism. In other words, religious fundamentalists in the opinion of Heywood, (2006: 300) view a sacred book as a political dogma as an ethical and political syllabus for renewal of a people as well as enlistment the masses. This can be referred to as a self-motivated construal. Consequently, tough construal religious fundamentalism promotes an in effect modernist outlook of religious conviction. As Tibi posited, religious fundamentalism takes up religious signs and packs them with fresh understandings (Tibi, 2002: p. 23). Furthermore, religious fundamentalism might be construed as an approach or set of approaches, through which under pressure believer try to safeguard their distinctive individuality as a group or society.

Religious fundamentalism embodies an extensive insurgence in opposition to the supremacy of secular modernity. Where a contemporary, Western-styled society has been set up, a religious counter-culture has developed beside it in an alert revolt. Regardless of the opinions of politicians in addition to scholars, societies globally have shown that they desire to witness more religion in civic activities. The diverse fundamentalist dogmas demonstrate a perturbing disillusionment with modernity as well as globalization. Matter of fact, each one fundamentalist group in Christianity, Judaism, as well as Islam, can be seen to be deeply entrenched in a profound dread of obliteration. Religious fundamentalists are certain that the modern, freethinking, worldly organization desires to obliterate religion. Fundamentalist groups spring up separately and vary extensively from other fundamentalists inside their belief tradition; however at the core of all these groups is the same primitive fear and it is speedily being changed in some groups into uncontrollable fury. However, this is not surprising considering that culture is at all times challenged, and the pompous secularism of the Western modernity was destined to stir a strong religious response.

Relationship between Fundamentalism and Nationalism

There exist two contradictory outlooks on the correlation involving nationalism and religion. One outlook sees the two as substitutes to each other while the other sees them as in naturally joined. Benedict Anderson (Benedict 1996: p.36) demonstrated how the construction of mass reading societies – a consequence of the discovery of printing machine as well as free enterprise- dislodged the manifest hold of script languages on human’s intellect and wiped out the trans-continental commonalities of Christianity, Islam and the others. The account of some Balkan nationalist groups goes along Anderson’s representation to a large degree. The collapse of Pan-Orthodox unity, which was linked with the unclear term of Romios and its substitution with the contemporary model of Hellene, was fundamentally dependent on printed materials (Elie 1971: p. 48). Parallel transformation took place in the Ottoman kingdom, which was changed from the exertion of the House of Osman, toiling for the victorious cause of Islam, to the attainment of the Turkish or in general Turanian intelligence (Elie 1971: p. 48).

On the contrary, Miroslav, (1988: p.93), put forward that religion has had an influential part in the creation of contemporary nations. He recognized the call for linguistic and/or religious connections permitting an advanced level of societal communication inside the society than outside it, in the creation of contemporary nations (1988: p.93). Miroslav posited that racial identity was stronger at any time it was backed by religious bodies (1988 p.96). Furthermore, he noted in numerous instances, the task of religious leaders in the creation of nationalistic societies in Europe (Miroslav, 1985: p.23). There is the significance of pre-modern links together with religion in the construction of contemporary nations. This is evidenced by the twofold legitimization case in which nationalists attempted to clutch God and the State, universe and humanity, believer and national as their foundation of reflection, as well as action.

However, the issue of how and why religious fundamentalism exists remains. To find out this, the origins of religious fundamentalism ought to be investigated. As explained above, religious fundamentalism, as a phenomenon happened in resistance to the test of the freethinking theology to Christianity. In the beginning, Christian fundamentalism was a faction in opposition to tapering the part of religion in public as well as personal fields of social existence. It was not in support of the ‘secularization of humanity’ or the purported ‘privatization of the religion.’ In the late 20th century, this perception was utilized to point up to the Islamic movements, the supposed ‘Islamic fundamentalism’.

Islamic Fundamentalism

The genesis of Islamic fundamentalism as a trend can be followed back to the 1st half and generally the latter half of the 20th century. Islamic fundamentalism, exist as contemporary political groups and thoughts, typically oppositional, which try to set up, in one way or another, an Islamic nation. Customarily, Islamic fundamentalism exists alongside the colonialist authority, in addition to its position in the Islamic countries. At the very start, the Muslim brotherhood was set up in 1928 in Egypt as an antagonism to the British occupation in the horn of Africa nation. Next was Jamaat Islamia set up in Pakistan, and claimed to present Islam as a vibrant and activist political dogma which is obligated to acquiring government control in order to execute its societal, financial as well as political program. As a result, Islam ensured that Pakistan came into existence as a nation (Enayat, 2004: p. 83). Afterwards, in1979, in Iran, the Islamic fundamentalists ousted the worldly government of Reza Shah in support of setting up an Islamic state. Khomeini, the founding father of Islamic Shiite fundamentalist group, declared that Islam is a religion in which worship is connected to politics as well as political goings-on is a shape of basis adoration. Nevertheless, it is imperative to keep in mind the reality that Islamic fundamentalism is extremely diverse in diverse locations and a foundation for a universal ground is hard to realize. The grounds for the existence of Islamic Fundamentalisms are different, but they all have the identical endeavor, i.e. to get power. As a result, each Islamic fundamentalist, regardless of their location, their time as well as the extent to the way that they operate, are dissimilar. Perhaps, it can be posited that they are not interested in recovering the old truths; rather, they try to recreate their world in respect to the dogmas that are new using a new construal to the revered writings, that is, the Koran. All Islamic fundamentalists lay emphasis on the notion that all present formations of government and governing in the Islamic world ought to be substituted with a comprehensive system based on religious tenets, i.e. the Sharia Law, which includes each thought on life; politics, societal life and the financial system.

In scholarly accounts of the past, the period of modernity commenced with the age of Enlightenment in the 17th century and it is politically mirrored in the French revolt. A major extensive consequence of the age of Enlightenment is the notion of a secular society, which has had a deep impact on the religious groups to present day. Throughout the chiefly Franco and Anglo imperial occupation of the Middle East, the Arab-Muslim society has had to face up to secularism too. As a result, fundamentalist Islamist groups were established with their main universal characteristic being the denial of modernity as well as its ideas of secularism in addition to eccentricity. In particular, these groups are chronological phenomena, which may only possibly have emerged in the course of modernity. If one appreciates al-Qaida as an acute case of Islamic fundamentalism (which without doubt it is), the circle ends at that point, for al-Qaida (the archetypal extreme Islamic fundamentalism) is a sign of sickness which views itself as the cure.

After the September 11 attacks, questions have been raised as to whether Islamic fundamentalists (typified by al-Qaeda), who view themselves as the personification of "real" Islam, can actually be seen as or said to be Islam. As expected, this is a contentious problem, and it has been characterized by ideological prejudices. A number of people have laid emphasis on the – existent – aggressive underlying tone of Islam’s sacred book, the Quran, and taken this fact to be accountable for the aggression of this fundamentalist Islam. A number of others have stressed that the term ‘Islam’ denotes tranquility, or may be viewed as the ‘religion of love’. The root is the matter of if any person has the right as well as distinction to interpret religion for others, and as a result, can lay down the decree on what the foundation of a group of beliefs in truth implies. Similar to Christianity, Islam is made up of a number of currents, which all assert to characterize the lone and single "chaste" and "real" belief. If religion is seen as a chronological occurrence, that is, a notion that has surfaced in a particular chronological milieu and that continually adjusts to temporal as well as limited changes, this apparent problem can be unraveled. As a result, religions will be said to develop expansively as time passes on and are liable to deep changes.

An actual de-mystification of Islam fundamentalism can be based on two fundamental insights. First, this term, ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ through its theological undertones is a misnomer. Notwithstanding the expressions religious frills and connotations, Islamic fundamentalism does not qualify as a religious fact at all. It has surpassed the limits of fundamentalism. In fact, instead of representing a restoration of the dogmas and customs of Islam, these movements (al-Qaeda, Shi’a etc) are founded on a denial of a great deal of the doctrinal heart as well as customary institutional foundation of Islam. Secondly, the genuine nature of Islam fundamentalism is that of a dogma spawned by the essential of nation’s capitalism. It is the societal surroundings particular to the Muslim society in the age of capitalist corruption, the requirement for an ideological reaction enough to the requirements of capitalism that have created the phenomenon known as ‘Islamic fundamentalism.’

The degree to which Islamic fundamentalism has renounced the very customs of Islam which it purports to preserve is seen in its cultural as well as political singularity. Traditional Islam was by principle pluralistic. Islam had and still has a conspicuous lack of any highest doctrinal power like the Western Christianity traditionally had the Councils, as well as the Papacy; both buoyed and mirrored its pluralism. In the old Muslim societies extensively differing schools of thought as well as a massive amount of factions along with groups thrived - all in the realm of what was commonly established as Islam (Tibi, 2002:p. 32). The brutal singularity, as well as narrow-mindedness typical of Islamic fundamentalism along with its political governments is a bare opposition to the pluralism of the traditional Islamic society. In reality, these characteristics of Islamic fundamentalism are common with totalitarian and make up the very personification of the most barbaric inclinations of 20th century capitalism. The interpretation on the Islamic law, both the spirit and the letter are violated to match up solely to the tyrannical requisites of the contemporary capitalist state for a mass enlistment and intolerant response to indemnify ideological power over the masses.

The correlation linking civil society to the state offers an additional pointer of the extent to which Islamic fundamentalism infringes on the customary frame of the Islamic society. In traditional Islam, there exists no basis for incorporation of religion into the state. What’s more, traditional Islam does not allow reduction of the civil society to the nation. In stark contrast, Islamic fundamentalism is devoted to the coldblooded repression of the civil society as well as the lowering of religion to the requirements of the authoritarian rule. The social fabric of customary Muslim world, by now torn under the effects of capitalism, gets its ‘coup-de-grace’ from the government machinery erected by those who purport to defend it. This Islamic fundamentalist has put into place the authoritarian state, which is busy uprooting the final remnants of conventional social, as well as cultural structures not well suited to the needs of capitalism in the Muslim realms.

Even when viewed sociologically, Islamic fundamentalism does not express time-honored Islam in any way. The social basis and set basis of the Islamic fundamentalism is not the clerics, (mullahs and alim) of the conventional Sunni and Shia societies, of which some remnants still survive, but instead are generally to be found in the contemporary capitalist, segments of community: the town centers, the institutions of higher learning, teachers, scholars, engineers, et cetera. This is a pointer to the incongruity of established Islam and the fundamentalism protected in the supposed ‘Islamic Republic’. The mullahs heading of the Islamic fundamentalist groups are intimately connected to the town strata, which make up the influential social base of fundamentalism all through the Muslim societies nowadays. Their main aim is to suck up the civil society into a dictatorial state, which they (the Mullahs) will run and oversee - a nation, which essentially is the personification of the capitalist rule of worth.

Bearing in mind that “the term ‘fundamentalism’ has an apparent Protestant foundation representing the accurate yet imaginative understanding of the Bible, political Islam” is the more precise expression that can denote what masquerades as Islamic fundamentalism since the main concerns of these groups are chronological as well as political. They just exploit the Qur’an, the Sharia (Islamic law), the hadiths (accounts concerning the words, as well as activities of Muhammad), and additional texts to justify their extreme viewpoints along with deeds. Islamic fundamentalists are at present imaginatively utilizing chosen fundamentals of the Islamic belief, together with thoughts, methods, and present as well as past institution, to deal with particular contemporary dilemmas. Such matters comprise political, societal, financial, and cultural disquiets that lately came out in the Islamic communities owing to the growth of the global capitalist marketplace, the creation of new nation-states etc. While these current matters operate as the drive for the creation of Islamic fundamentalists, these movements hide themselves beneath the manifestation of being proponents of a return to the splendid past.

These so-called fundamentalists are not able to denounce modernity uncritically. Instead, they are trying to control as well as normalize it by utilizing their Islamic tradition as a justification, albeit unconvincingly. The truth of the current circumstances is that numerous of the answers that Islamic fundamentalists offer lack an explicit past precedent in the Islam customs. Rich persons or states whose riches are dependent on oil markets, as well as other contemporary, global supplies of wealth monetarily sustain a number of groups. Initially Islamic 'fundamentalism started as a revolt against modernity; however, modern Islamic fundamentalism has deviated, and it serves to entrench modernity.

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