chapter  4
28 Pages

Social closure and takfir: The interrelationship between secular and militant ‘switchmen’

Introduction In this chapter, it is argued that Weber’s usage of the concept of social closure can make a valuable contribution to enhancing our understanding about the processes that result in the formation and reinforcement of distinct secular and militant Islamic groups. The origins of the respective forms of closure and interrelationships between methods of exclusion and usurpation involving national and Western governments and militant groups are examined. Particular attention is placed upon processes of secularization, especially the role of education, that have contributed, ironically, to the contemporary resurgence of militancy and the adaptation of Islamic concepts like tawhid, takfir and jahiliyya as codes of closure.