Awakening Islam: The Politics of Religious Dissent in by Stéphane Lacroix

By Stéphane Lacroix

Amidst the roil of battle and instability around the center East, the West continues to be looking for how you can comprehend the Islamic global. Stéphane Lacroix has now given us a penetrating examine the political dynamics of Saudi Arabia, some of the most opaque of Muslim nations and where that gave start to Osama bin Laden.

the result's a historical past that hasn't ever been instructed earlier than. Lacroix exhibits how hundreds of thousands of Islamist militants from Egypt, Syria, and different heart jap international locations, beginning within the Fifties, escaped persecution and located safe haven in Saudi Arabia, the place they have been built-in into the center of key nation associations and society. The transformative consequence used to be the Sahwa, or “Islamic Awakening,” an indigenous social stream that mixed political activism with neighborhood non secular principles. Awakening Islam bargains a pioneering research of the way the stream turned an important section of Saudi society, and why, within the past due Nineteen Eighties, it grew to become opposed to the very kingdom that had nurtured it. notwithstanding the “Sahwa rebel” failed, it has bequeathed the area very assorted, and extremely made up our minds, heirs: the Islamo-liberals, who search an Islamic constitutional monarchy via peaceable activism, and the neo-jihadis, supporters of bin Laden's violent campaign.

Awakening Islam is outfitted upon seldom-seen records in Arabic, a variety of travels throughout the kingdom, and interviews with an unparalleled variety of Saudi Islamists around the ranks of today’s flow. the end result gives specific perception right into a closed tradition and its powerful model of Islam, which has been exported internationally and which continues to be dangerously misunderstood.

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Additional resources for Awakening Islam: The Politics of Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia

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In addition to this media counteroffensive, two institutions emerged to complete the anti-Nasser apparatus.  When King Saʿud declared in May 1961 that the operation of the Islamic University would rely on those individuals “who have been driven from their country after having been robbed, abused, and tortured,” he clearly identified the Muslim Brotherhood as key players. The other important institution the Saudi government created to counter Nasser’s influence was the Muslim World League, established in 1962.

As the geopolitical context changed and regional rivalries increased, the position of the Brotherhood changed as well, and it became a pivotal player on the Saudi stage. In 1957 hitherto-cordial relations between King Saʿud and Nasser suddenly deteriorated. The episode marked the onset of the Arab cold war that remained intense until the late 1960s between a “progressive” bloc leaning toward the Soviet Union, with Nasser as its self-appointed Awa k e n i n g I s l a m 40 leader, and an “Islamic” bloc led by Saudi Arabia that favored American interests.

By the early 1970s, after the trauma of the Nasser years, supporters of the traditional reformist line, known as “Bannaists,” and supporters of the revolutionary line, known as “Qutbists,” competed for control of the movement in the Middle East. The Brotherhood’s concern with Saudi Arabia was of long standing. Hasan al-Banna had shown increasing interest in the country by the late 1920s.  But this support did not mean that the authorities were favorably disposed to the movement taking root in the kingdom.

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