The Force of Islamic Tradition. ISLAMISM ( Is·lam·ism ) noun \is-ˈ lä -ˌmi- zəm , iz -, -ˈla-; ˈ iz-lə -\ : a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam
noun \is-ˈlä-ˌmi-zəm, iz-, -ˈla-; ˈiz-lə-\
: a popular reform movement advocating the reordering of government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam
: an Islamic revivalist movement, often characterized by moral conservatism, literalism, and the attempt to implement Islamic values in all spheres of life.
After independence, Middle Eastern nations inherited many elements of western culture and technology. Leaders set up secular governments and schools. They replaced Islamic Law with law codes based on western-style principles. In cities, especially, many young people embraced western music, clothing, and cultural values.
However, some Muslims saw westernization as a form of colonialism. To them, it was an evil force undermining Islamic society. They found in religion a powerful way to express their grievances. Islamist followers demanded a return to what they saw as values set out in the Koran and early Islamic traditions. However, people in Muslim lands often disagreed about if this should be done.
The Islamists insisted that governments use the Shariah as the basis of law. They also wanted to restore authority to religious leaders and to enforce the strict separation of men and women in public places, such as work places and schools.
The Islamists view spurred a religious revival throughout the Muslim world. It seemed to offer a balance to the rapid social and economic changes sweeping the Muslim world.
-Ch 27, section 1 (pages 593-594)