A standard formula continues to shape most analyses of religious political mobilization: passionate religion enters into the political sphere to take over the state in order to submit society to religious traditions. This formula especially characterizes analyses of Islamic political mobilization given Islam’s global image as a “special” religion: Islam is inherently fundamentalist and inexorably desires the state to implement the fundamentalist agenda. This “special” theology then spawns an equally “special” political culture and orthopraxy, marked by authoritarianism, misogyny, a militant intolerance of moral and cultural diversity, extremism, and a tendency to violence. These aspects of Islam explain, it is maintained, why Islam is a clashing religion and why Muslim countries fail to adopt such universal norms as popular sovereignty or human rights.
KeywordsCivil Society Moral Agency Moral Imperative Political Sphere Religious Authority
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