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

By Stéphane Lacroix

Amidst the roil of warfare and instability around the heart East, the West remains to be trying to find how one can comprehend the Islamic global. Stéphane Lacroix has now given us a penetrating examine the political dynamics of Saudi Arabia, the most opaque of Muslim international locations and where that gave beginning to Osama bin Laden.

the result's a background that hasn't ever been instructed prior to. Lacroix indicates how hundreds of thousands of Islamist militants from Egypt, Syria, and different center jap international locations, beginning within the Nineteen Fifties, escaped persecution and located shelter in Saudi Arabia, the place they have been built-in into the center of key kingdom associations and society. The transformative outcome was once the Sahwa, or “Islamic Awakening,” an indigenous social circulate that combined political activism with neighborhood spiritual principles. Awakening Islam bargains a pioneering research of the way the circulate turned a necessary 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. even though the “Sahwa insurrection” failed, it has bequeathed the realm very diverse, 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, quite a few travels during the nation, and interviews with an unparalleled variety of Saudi Islamists around the ranks of today’s circulation. the end result presents specific perception right into a closed tradition and its effective model of Islam, which has been exported the world over and which continues to be dangerously misunderstood.

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The Sahwa, whose cohesion was ordinarily limited by the strength of divisions between fields, was able to establish unity. Above all, the weakening of field corporatism made previously unimaginable cross-sectoral cooperation possible. Sahwi intellectuals and Sahwi ulema joined forces and combined resources: the mobilization could get orga nized and take hold. The protest dynamic created was so powerful that representatives of Islamist movements that had historically been rivals of the Sahwa even contributed their support.

As a result of the processes described earlier, the field of power is made up of an assemblage of fields, each of which appears to be separate and self-regulating. ” Consequently, local field logics tend to win out over political ones, and challenges tend to be formulated in the terms of each specific field and to target its dominant figures rather than the political authorities, who operate behind a screen. Moreover, in the fields that make up the world of cultural production, autonomy fulfills another equally important function because it is essential for the legitimating power of those fields.

They found refuge in the kingdom, which welcomed and protected them, and, after God, guarded their lives. . After they had spent a few years among us, we realized that they needed work, so we found ways for them to support themselves: some of them became teachers, others university professors—we opened the doors of schools and universities to them. But unfortunately, they had not forgotten their earlier affiliations, and they began to recruit people, to create movements, and they rose up against the kingdom!

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