ABSTRACT

Religious fundamentalism generally involves an attack on the present corrupted character of one’s own religion, an appeal to basic principles that have been forgotten or honored in the breach, and/or the construction of an idealized image of an original community of believers. In many parts of the world where fundamentalism has become prominent, those traditionalist or orthodox forms of religiosity already exist. Most Muslims follow a fairly non-muscular version of Islam, where what counts is the simplicity and clarity of its message and the fact that it is easily transmitted and learned. For some Muslim intellectuals in what had been the Ottoman Empire, the Turkish republic’s most decisive break with the past was not the effort to model its internal affairs on Western models, but the abolition of the caliphate in 1924. Islamism should be seen against the background of a global consumer culture and images of Western lifestyles.