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Review of Religion and Politics
Marx - disintegration
Durkheim - unification
Barakat – generally agrees with Marxist approach
Din (religion) and Dawla (state)
Barakat (Society  Religion)
Lewis (Religion  Society)
Implications for (in)flexibility of religion
Key Issue: Relationship between religion and
the state (government)
Islam vs. Islamism – Islam is a religion. Islamism is
an ideology defining economic and legal systems
based on Islam
Muslim vs. Islamist – Muslims follow the religion of
Islam but is not necessarily an Islamist. Islamist
has ideologies following Islamism
Distinct Categories of Islamists
Takfiri – radical fundamentalist
Nationalist Militant – combine Islamist ideology with specific local
political demands
Institutionalist – seek political role through state institutions
Implications for democratic governance?
Islam as the basis for law
Sami Zubaida reading on the “law state”
Taqlid – imitation; following established teachings uncritically
Ijtihad – independent judgment of a qualified legal scholar
Madhhab – jurisprudential school of thought
Madhab – School of Thought in Islamic Jurisprudence
Islam as a Tool (cultural “tool kit”)
Framing – “tools that lend order and sense to an otherwise
confusing world by providing language that captures or constructs
the meaning of problems.”
Framing in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s
What government activities were the movements challenging?
• US Troops in Saudi Arabia
• Corruption and decadent behavior of ruling family
• Extreme economic disparities
Alternative frames – liberal, Marxist-secular, feminist, Islamic
Islamic frame only one that resonated
• Led to Nasiha Petition (“memorandum of advice” from
religious scholars demanding change in government behavior)