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Islamism is far more diverse than a violent political ideology. Discuss.

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Introduction

Islamism is far more diverse than a violent political ideology. Discuss. Especially after the event of 9/11, Islamism has been increasingly frowned upon in societies. Political Islam and its seemingly uncooperative nature have brought forth connotations of terrorism, suicide bombings and political instability. The world continues to be on their guard against terrorist threats, and hatreds continue to be harbored, especially in the West. However, little is known about their diversity, which is important in achieving non-biased views on Islamism as a holistic movement. In truth, Islamism is a complex phenomenon with multiple dimensions and various ramifications. According to Ayoob (2004), in practice, no two Islamisms are alike because they are determined by the contexts within which they operate. This essay will argue firstly, that Islamism, like Islam, is not monolithic. It has a diverse array of political objectives and tactics in a Muslim world spanning Africa and Asia. The essay will argue therefore, that Islamism is not an inherently violent political ideology. It will discuss the media's overemphasis on violent Jihadi groups, which has presented many misconceptions about Islamism. ...read more.

Middle

Understanding this would create space for the notion of a 'varying Islamism'. Islamism, or an Islamism, is also largely dependent on the context in which it is placed. 'What works in Egypt, will not work in Indonesia. What works in Saudi Arabia, will not work in Turkey' (Ayoob, 2004). According to Ayoob (2005), there are almost as many varieties of political Islam as there are states that are predominantly Muslim. Like Islam itself, Islamism is context-specific, as a result of the many different interpretations of religious precepts and local culture (Levin, 2006). By understanding the existence Islamism, or any other worldwide political movement, we are able understand how it is impossible for it to survive without diversity, and solely on violence. Lawrence (1998) suggests that the principal reason for the negative view of Islam as violent, and alien, is the predominance in popular thinking of the 'public Islam'. 'Public Islam' is defined by Lawrence as the Islam identified by political scientists, journalists, and policy makers, mostly as adversaries (Lawrence, 2005). ...read more.

Conclusion

Although Islamism as a political movement is one that is antidemocratic and bears a holistic vision of Islam, whose final aim is the restoration of a worldwide caliphate, many Islamist groups have seen to put violence out of the agenda. The jihad, which Claiming that Islamism has tried to achieve its political means solely through violence, is unfair to the far greater majority of Islamist groups which have and still carry out peaceful political activity in whatever their context. Violent jihadist groups such as the Al-Qaeda, Islamic Jihad and al-Gamaa al-Islamiya (Egypt), Laskar Jihad and Jema'ah Islamiah (Southeast Asia), and Lashkar-i-Taiba and Jaish-i-Muhammad (Pakistan) are in fact a very small minority of Islamist groups (Ayoob, 2005). Islamism faces its own danger of a small but growing fraction of their Muslim fundamentalist-fanatic minority which embraces violence. But their embrace of violence is more the result of a lack of modern education, than Islamist theory. According to Mahmood (2002), because of the lack of education in Muslim nations, Islamists tend to be more emotional than rational and pragmatic. This does not mean that they are inherently violent, however they would be more susceptible to being violent than the more contemporary political religions. ...read more.

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