INR 3003 Lecture 17: Wahhabism to Militant Jihadism

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International Affairs
INR 3003
Whitney Bendeck

Wahhabism to Militant Jihadism 1. 20th Century Humiliation: 1. Mustafa Kemal – Atatürk (father of Turkey): vision for Turkey in opposition to Islamic view. Determined to secularize Turkey. 1924: abolished Caliphate. 2. Extremists call for the restoration of the Caliphate. 3. Secularized government (removed religion). 4. Took religion out of curriculum, changed the style of dress (more Westernized). 5. Created a new script – not Arabic, Turkish. Attacked uniting bonds of Islam (except maybe trade). After WWII, another grievance. 6. 1948 formation of Israel (at expense of Arab lands). U.S. major champion. 1. Those within Arabic world who opposed saw Israel at their expense. 7. The U.S. cannot be targeted as a colonial power, but can be for post WWII American imperialism. 8. Currently: Turkey cannot be placed with the East or West. Islam, but then Ataturk... 2. Rise of Reform and Radical Islamic Extremism 1. Two Types of Reform 1. Internal-Fundamentalism 1. Seek to bring it back to the original teachings. 2. Response to what are seen as corruptions and misinterpretation. 3. Get back to fundamentals of the religion. 4. Islamic Fundamentalism: a conservative reform going back to the basics 2. In Response to the West 1. Response was not uniform. 2. Used to call Beirut "Paris of the East.” Iraq used to be very forward thinking/moderate, maybe secular. ■ Women "had a lot of freedom.” ■ Very progressive Iran (prior to Ayatollah). Others completely rejected the West (more widespread recently). 3. Reaction responding to imperialism. ■ Draw a distinction: everywhere Western imperialism -- opposition, but not always militant extremism/terrorism. ■ Region distinct from others: Reestablishment of the caliphate/Golden Age was a historical collective memory they wanted to revive. Ataturk and Western powers destroyed unity of Western world. ■ Extremists: merging two reforms into 1. 1. Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: conservative and extreme reaction to "perceived" threat to Islam/foreign presence. 3. More domestic than international terrorism. Russians tried to prop up Marxist government in Iran from 1979-1989. Al-Qaeda formed. Went from one sect to a group with aspirations to rule. Radicalization takes place as a reaction to imperialism. 2. Wahhabism: An Islamist, conservative/fundamentalist movement 1. Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-92) 1. A religious(Sunni) scholar and reformer in modern day Saudi Arabia. 2. Lead movement for internal reform. 3. Felt Islam had been corrupted (foreign ideas and practices). Assimilated foreign ideas into his own belief system. 2. Conservative Teachings 1. Teachings of the prophet misinterpreted. 2. Model: Muhammad himself, a rejection of modernization. 3. Corruptions and add-ons removed. 4. Men should be reading the Qur'an and be responsible for their own faith (easy parallel to Martin Luther). 5. Nothing explicitly dangerous: not received well (especially by elite because they had the most to gain from corruptions). Expelled from his hometown, ostracized. 3. Alliance with the Saud Family 1. Received by a
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