chapter  8
13 Pages

A Religiosociological Interpretation of the Politicization of the Islamic Cultural System: Political Islam as a Defensive Cultural Reaction to Rapid Social Change 1

WithBassam Tibi

This chapter outlines the sociopolitical factors behind the repoliticization of Islam and its raising to the status of political ideology. A study of Islam in the sociology of religion cannot be anything other than the investigation of this religious system as a fait social in the Durkheimian sense. A competent sociologist of religion must of course also be familiar with the sources; criticism of the Orientalists' approach is not to be understood as a denial of the necessity for studying Islamic sources. A political superseding of Islam did take place following the fall of Islamic modernism from the sphere of political ideologies in the Arab East, after which Islam as a political ideology has had to quit the field in favor of secular ideologies such as nationalism and socialism.