Islamic State Theories and Contemporary Realities
This chapter explores the general relationship between Islamic state-theories and contemporary realities. The establishment of an Islamic state is the ultimate goal of most Islamist programs today. Islamists have devoted considerable attention to theorizing about the notion and nature of such a state, producing a substantial literature on the subject offering numerous and varied Islamic state-theories. A survey of recent Islamist activism reveals that there is frequently a significant dichotomy between the ideology of Islamic movements and their actions. The development of an Islamic state-theory that confidently accommodates contemporary realities must assume a West that will respect both the culturally specific framework within which these realities are incorporated and the values to which they are subordinated. The chapter examines Taqi al-Din Al-Nabhani's paradigm for Islamic government, especially his rejection of alien forms and norms. It demonstrates that although he developed this paradigm as a denial of contemporary realities, some of its features implicitly rest on assumptions drawn from those realities.