chapter  11
10 Pages

Towards a New Fundamentalism

Islamic fundamentalism has become so relevant today that we must enquire into its sources. When did this form of religious fundamentalism emerge? And why has it proven so lethal? It may be interesting to point out that Weber, when speaking about Islam, never used the term “fundamentalism” as we now know it today. He argued that Islamic sects, including the Karijites or Shiites and the Mahdism sects, made a strong linkage between dogma and politics. He also stated that Islam is marked by mundane concerns from its beginnings, that is, as a religion of warriors who sublime jihad less to conquer the world than to get economic advantages from people (looting) forced to accept Islamic power. Contemporaneous fundamentalism makes a new link, but for other purposes, between sectarianism and combat, or practical ethics and violence. We distinguish below between various stages of fundamentalism and three rationalities, looking into how to connect them.