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RELIGION LIBRARY

Islamic Fundamentalism

Islamic Fundamentalism is a broad term that refers to the philosophical or theological approach of certain groups within the Islamic tradition who hold that the Qur'an is the inerrant and literal word of God, and that Muslims are required to strictly adhere to the religious practices and moral codes found there. Most forms of Islamic Fundamentalism maintain that a true Muslim state and society is essential for following Islamic religious law, and hold that there should be no distinction between religious and political life, a position that puts them in tension with the modern democratic principle of the separation of church and state.  However, Fundamentalist Islamic movements vary greatly regarding doctrine and social and political positions. Some fundamentalist movements are markedly conservative and propound a narrow understanding of the Islamic tradition, whereas others employ Marxist and other socialist strategies and principles. Many fundamentalist Muslim groups also employ a sharply dualist ideology in which everyone is either part of the group or against it. This affects how they interact with other groups, including other Muslim traditions, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, and the secular West. For some Islamic Fundamentalists, this position is linked to the concept of jihad (struggle, or more typically regarded as holy war) that is common among some Islamic fundamentalist groups. Islamic fundamentalism is also the primary source of much of the resistance to the West and secular modernism within Muslim countries.  Although Islamic Fundamentalism receives a tremendous amount of attention in the western media, it represents a minority position within the Islamic tradition and is openly rejected and resisted by many Muslims.

Quick Facts

Formed 1875
Adherents Unknown
Deity Allah
Sacred Text Qur'an
Origin Middle East
Headquarters None
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