Justice Versus Freedom: The Dilemma of Political Islam

  • Mbaye Lo
Part of the Political Economy of Islam book series (PEoI)


This chapter argues that the US and its allies are engaged in two broad conflicts with groups associated with Islam: a decades-long, often violent battle with militant Islamists, and a more passive fight against political Islam; militant Islam is another form of extremism within political Islam. The chapter offers a nuanced look at the nature of this conflict, arguing that there are two divergent visions of political culture: the Islamist justice project and the neo-liberal freedom agenda. Militant Islam draws on the “just-cause” principle to substantiate its jihad project, while the neo-liberal world, dominated by the US, brandishes the “defense of freedom” principle when marshaling its forces against militant Islam. How this difference exhibits itself loudly in the political thinking and ideological language of the warring parties is explored. The chapter also highlights the research method employed, as well as the rationale for selecting the cases of Sudan’s Islamists, Morsi’s short-lived rule in Egypt, and DAESH in Iraq and Syria.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mbaye Lo
    • 1
  1. 1.Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, International Comparative Studies and Duke Islamic Studies CenterDuke UniversityDurhamUSA

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