Islamic fundamentalism
Overview
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

: the Quran and the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L. Kettel, it is deemed problematic by those who suggest that Islamic belief requires all Muslims to be fundamentalists, and by others as a term used by outsiders to describe perceived trends within Islam.
Encyclopedia
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

: the Quran and the Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L. Kettel, it is deemed problematic by those who suggest that Islamic belief requires all Muslims to be fundamentalists, and by others as a term used by outsiders to describe perceived trends within Islam. Exemplary figures of Islamic fundamentalism who are also termed Islamists are Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb
Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian author, educator, Islamist theorist, poet, and the leading member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s and '60s....

, Abul Ala Mawdudi and Israr Ahmad
Israr Ahmad
Israr Ahmad was an Indian theoretical nuclear physicist and professor at Aligarh Muslim University since 1961...

. Economist Eli Berman
Eli Berman
Eli Berman is the Research Director for International Security Studies at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation and since 2010 a Professor of economics at UC San Diego...

 argues that Radical Islam is a better term for many post-1920s movements starting with The Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

, because these movements are seen to practice "unprecedented extremism", thus not qualifying as return to historic fundamentals.

Definitions

According to academic John Esposito
John Esposito
John Louis Esposito is a professor of International Affairs and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University...

, one of the most defining features of Islamic fundamentalism is belief in the "reopening" of the gates of ijtihad
Ijtihad
Ijtihad is the making of a decision in Islamic law by personal effort , independently of any school of jurisprudence . as opposed to taqlid, copying or obeying without question....

.
Graham Fuller
Graham Fuller
Graham E. Fuller is an American author and political analyst, specializing in Islamic extremism. Formerly vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council, he also served as Station Chief in Kabul for the CIA...

 describes Islamic fundamentalism not as distinct from Islamism but as a subset, "the most conservative element among Islamists." Its "strictest form" includes "Wahhabism, sometimes also referred to as salafiyya. ... For fundamentalists the law is the most essential component of Islam, leading to an overwhelming emphasis upon jurisprudence, usually narrowly conceived." Another American observer, Robert Pelletreau, Jr., assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs, believes it the other way around, Islamism being the subset of Muslims "with political goals ... within" the "broader fundamentalist revival". Still another, Martin Kramer
Martin Kramer
Martin Seth Kramer is an American scholar of the Middle East at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Shalem Center. His focus is on Islam and Arab politics.-Education:...

, sees little difference between the two terms: "To all intents and purposes, Islamic fundamentalism and Islamism have become synonyms in contemporary American usage."

American historian Ira Lapidus calls Islamic fundamentalism "an umbrella designation for a very wide variety of movements, some intolerant and exclusivist, some pluralistic; some favourable to science, some anti-scientific; some primarily devotional and some primarily political; some democratic, some authoritarian; some pacific, some violent." He distinguishes between mainstream Islamists and Fundamentalists, saying a fundamentalist is "a political individual" in search of a "more original Islam," while the Islamist is pursuing a political agenda.

Author Olivier Roy distinguishes between fundamentalists (or neo-fundamentalists) and Islamists in describing fundamentalists as more passionate in their opposition to the perceived "corrupting influence of Western culture," avoiding Western dress, "neckties, laughter, the use of Western forms of salutation, handshakes, applause." While Islamists like

"Maududi didn't hesitate to attend Hindu ceremonies. Khomeini never proposed the status of dhimmi (protected) for Iranian Christians or Jews, as provided for in the sharia: the Armenians in Iran have remained Iranian citizens, are required to perform military service and to pay the same taxes as Muslims, and have the right to vote (with separate electoral colleges). Similarly, the Afghan Jamaat, in its statutes, has declared it legal in the eyes of Islam to employ non-Muslims as experts."


Other distinctions are in
  • Politics and economics. Islamists often talk of "revolution" and believe "that the society will be Islamized only through social and political action: it is necessary to leave the mosque ..." Fundamentalists are uninterested in revolution, less interested in "modernity or by Western models in politics or economics," and less willing to associate with non-Muslims.
  • Sharia
    Sharia
    Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

    . While both Islamists and fundamentalists are committed to implementing Sharia law, Islamists "tend to consider it more a project than a corpus."
  • Issue of women. "Islamists generally tend to favour the education of women and their participation in social and political life: the Islamist woman militates, studies, and has the right to work, but in a chador
    Chador
    A chādor or chādar is an outer garment or open cloak worn by many Iranian women and female teenagers in public spaces. Wearing this garment is one possible way in which a Muslim woman can follow the Islamic dress code known as ḥijāb. A chador is a full-body-length semicircle of fabric that is...

    . Islamist groups include women's associations." While the fundamentalist preaches for women to return to the home, Islamism believes it is sufficient that "the sexes be separated in public."

Controversy

The term Islamic fundamentalism is often criticized. Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis
Bernard Lewis, FBA is a British-American historian, scholar in Oriental studies, and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University...

, a leading historian of Islam, had this to say against it:


The use of this term is established and must be accepted, but it remains unfortunate and can be misleading. "Fundamentalist" is a Christian term. It seems to have come into use in the early years of this century, and denotes certain Protestant churches and organizations, more particularly those that maintain the literal divine origin and inerrancy of the Bible. In this they oppose the liberal and modernist theologians, who tend to a more critical, historical view of Scripture. Among Muslim theologians there is as yet no such liberal or modernist approach to the Qur'an, and all Muslims, in their attitude to the text of the Qur'an, are in principle at least fundamentalists. Where the so-called Muslim fundamentalists differ from other Muslims and indeed from Christian fundamentalists is in their scholasticism and their legalism. They base themselves not only on the Qur'an, but also on the Traditions of the Prophet, and on the corpus of transmitted theological and legal learning.
John Esposito has attacked the term for its association "with political activism, extremism, fanaticism, terrorism, and anti-Americanism," saying "I prefer to speak of Islamic revivalism and Islamic activism." In contrast, American author Anthony J. Dennis accepts the widespread usage and relevance of the term and calls Islamic fundamentalism "more than a religion today, it is a worldwide revolutionary movement." He notes the intertwining of social, religious and political goals found within the movement and states that Islamic fundamentalism "deserves to be seriously studied and debated from a secular perspective as a revolutionary ideology."

In 1988, the University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

, backed by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is an independent policy research center that conducts multidisciplinary studies of complex and emerging problems. The Academy’s elected members are leaders in the academic disciplines, the arts, business, and public affairs.James Bowdoin, John Adams, and...

, launched The Fundamentalism Project
The Fundamentalism Project
The Fundamentalism Project, which was sponsored by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was an international scholarly investigation of conservative religious movements throughout the world. The project, which began in 1987 and concluded in 1995, was directed by Martin E. Marty and R. Scott...

, devoted to researching fundamentalism in the worlds major religions, Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Judaism
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

. It defined fundamentalism as "approach, or set of strategies, by which beleaguered believers attempt to preserve their distinctive identity as a people or group ... by a selective retrieval of doctrines, beliefs, and practices from a sacred past."

At least two Muslim academics, Syrian philosopher Sadiq Jalal al-Azm
Sadiq Jalal al-Azm
Sadiq Jalal Al-Azm is a Professor Emeritus of Modern European Philosophy at the University of Damascus in Syria. He has been a visiting professor in the department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University until 2007...

 and Egyptian philosopher Hassan Hanafi
Hassan Hanafi
Prof. Dr. Hassan Hanafi is a professor and chairs the philosophy department at Cairo University. He is a leading authority on modern Islam.Hanafi was born into an artistic family in Cairo...

, have defended the use of the phrase. Surveying the doctrines of the new Islamic movements, Al-Azm found them to consist of "an immediate return to Islamic ‘basics' and ‘fundamentals.' .... It seems to me quite reasonable that calling these Islamic movements ‘Fundamentalist' (and in the strong sense of the term) is adequate, accurate, and correct."

Hassan Hanafi reached the same conclusion: "It is difficult to find a more appropriate term than the one recently used in the West, ‘fundamentalism,' to cover the meaning of what we name Islamic awakening or revival."

Interpretation of texts

Islamic fundamentalists, or at least "reformist" fundamentalists, believe that Islam is based on the Qur'an, Hadith
Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 and Sunnah
Sunnah
The word literally means a clear, well trodden, busy and plain surfaced road. In the discussion of the sources of religion, Sunnah denotes the practice of Prophet Muhammad that he taught and practically instituted as a teacher of the sharī‘ah and the best exemplar...

 and "criticize the tradition, the commentaries, popular religious practices (marabout
Marabout
A marabout is a Muslim religious leader and teacher in West Africa, and in the Maghreb. The marabout is often a scholar of the Qur'an, or religious teacher. Others may be wandering holy men who survive on alms, Sufi Murshids , or leaders of religious communities...

ism, the cult of saints), deviations, and superstitions. They aim to return to the founding texts." Examples of individuals who adhere to this tendency are the 18th-century Shah Waliullah
Shah Waliullah
Shah Waliullah Muhaddith Dehlvi was an Islamic scholar and reformer. He was born during the reign of Aurangzeb. He worked for the revival of Muslim rule and intellectual learning in South Asia, during a time of waning Muslim power...

 in India and Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab
Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab
Muhammad Ibn Abd-al-Wahhab was an influential Sunni Muslim scholar.-Childhood and Early Life:...

 in the Arabian Peninsula. This view is commonly associated with Salafism today.

Social and political goals

As with adherents of other fundamentalist movements, Islamic fundamentalists hold that the problems of the world stem from secular
Secularism
Secularism is the principle of separation between government institutions and the persons mandated to represent the State from religious institutions and religious dignitaries...

 influences.

Some scholars of Islam, such as Bassam Tibi
Bassam Tibi
Bassam Tibi , born 1944 in Damascus, lives in Germany since 1962 and, since 1976, he is a German citizen. He is a political scientist and Professor of International Relations. In academia, he is known for his analysis of international relations and the introduction of Islam to the study of...

, believe that, contrary to their own message, Islamic fundamentalists are not actually traditionalists. He refers to fatwa
Fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

hs
issued by fundamentalists such as "every Muslim who pleads for the suspension of the shari‘a is an apostate and can be killed". The killing of those apostates cannot be prosecuted under Islamic law because this killing is justified” as going beyond, and unsupported by, the Qur’an. Tibi asserts, “The command to slay reasoning Muslims is un-Islamic, an invention of Islamic fundamentalists”.

Conflicts with the secular state

Islamic fundamentalism's push for sharia and an Islamic State
Islamic State
An Islamic state is a type of government, in which the primary basis for government is Islamic religious law...

 has come into conflict with conceptions of the secular, democratic
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 state, such as the internationally supported Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

. Anthony J. Dennis notes that "Western and Islamic visions of the state, the individual and society are not only divergent, they are often totally at odds." Among human rights disputed by fundamentalist Muslims are:
  • Freedom from religious police
  • Equality issues between men and women
  • Separation of religion and state
  • Freedom of speech
    Freedom of speech
    Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used...

  • Freedom of religion
    Freedom of religion
    Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

     – Muslims who leave Islam
    Apostasy in Islam
    Apostasy in Islam is commonly defined in Islam as the rejection in word or deed of one's former religion by a person who was previously a follower of Islam...

    , "should be executed" after meeting certain requirements – i.e. presence of a Khalifah to propagate the punishment while the right of non-Muslims to convert to Islam is celebrated.

Islamic fundamentalist states

The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran
Iranian Revolution
The Iranian Revolution refers to events involving the overthrow of Iran's monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and its replacement with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the...

 is seen by Western scholars as a success of Islamic fundamentalism. Some scholars argue that Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 is also largely governed by fundamentalist principles, but Johannes J.G. Jansen
Johannes J.G. Jansen
Johannes "Hans" J. G. Jansen is a retired scholar of contemporary Islam in the Netherlands.Jansen is a graduate of the University of Amsterdam, his doctorate in Arabic is from the University of Leiden. He has worked in Egypt, where he was the Director of the Dutch Institute in Cairo...

 disagrees, arguing that it is more akin to a traditional Muslim state, where a power separation exists between "princes" (umarā) and "scholars" (ulama
Ulama
-In Islam:* Ulema, also transliterated "ulama", a community of legal scholars of Islam and its laws . See:**Nahdlatul Ulama **Darul-uloom Nadwatul Ulama **Jamiatul Ulama Transvaal**Jamiat ul-Ulama -Other:...

). In contrast, Jansen argues, Khomeini
Ruhollah Khomeini
Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini was an Iranian religious leader and politician, and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution which saw the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the Shah of Iran...

 came to power advocating a system of Islamic government where the highest authority is the hands of the ulamā (see Wilayat al Faqih).

Muslim Brotherhood

The Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 is a fundamentalist Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 transnational movement and the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. The world's oldest and largest Islamic political
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 group, it was founded in 1928, in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 by the schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna
Hassan al-Banna
Sheikh Hasan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna known as Hasan al-Banna was a schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential 20th century Muslim revivalist organizations.-Early life:Banna was born in 1906 in Mahmoudiyah, Egypt...

.

The Brotherhood's stated goal is to instill the Qur'an and sunnah as the "sole reference point for ... ordering the life of the Muslim family, individual, community ... and state". Since its inception in 1928 the movement has officially opposed violent means to achieve its goals, with some exceptions such as in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

 or to overthrow secular Ba'athist rule in Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 (see Hama massacre
Hama massacre
The Hama massacre occurred in February 1982, when the Syrian army, under the orders of the president of Syria Hafez al-Assad, conducted a scorched earth policy against the town of Hama in order to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime of al-Assad...

). This position has been questioned, particularly by the Egyptian government, which accused the group of a campaign of killings in Egypt after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 during the previous Mubarak's regime, and members was being arrested for their participation in it. As a means of circumventing the ban, supporters run for office as independents.. Now they have their own political party called Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)
Freedom and Justice Party (Egypt)
The Freedom and Justice Party , is an Islamist political party in Egypt. The party is nominally independent but has strong links to the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, the largest and best organized political group in Egypt...

.

Hamas

Hamas
Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

 (an acronym of Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamat al-Islāmiyyah, meaning "Islamic Resistance Movement") is a fundamentalist Islamist Palestinian
Palestinian people
The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

 organization with a socio-political wing and a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades
The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades is the military wing of the Palestinian Islamist fundamentalist socio-political organisation Hamas. Created in 1992, under the direction of Yahya Ayyash, the primary objective of the group was to build a coherent military organisation to support the goals of...

. Canada, Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, Japan, and the United States classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

Based largely upon the principles of Islamic fundamentalism that were gaining momentum throughout the Arab world in the 1980s, Hamas was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood
Muslim Brotherhood
The Society of the Muslim Brothers is the world's oldest and one of the largest Islamist parties, and is the largest political opposition organization in many Arab states. It was founded in 1928 in Egypt by the Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna and by the late 1940s had an...

 in 1987, during the First Intifada
First Intifada
The First Intifada was a Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories. The uprising began in the Jabalia refugee camp and quickly spread throughout Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem....

. The Hamas affiliated military wing was responsible for the majority of violence and killings attributed to Hamas and conducted numerous attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers. Tactics have included rocket attacks
Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel
Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip have occurred since 2001. Between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rockets had been launched, leading to 28 deaths and several hundred injuries, as well as widespread psychological trauma and disruption of daily life.The weapons,...

 and from April 1993, until they ceased in January 2005, suicide bombings. Hamas violence has been directed at Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, and rivaling Palestinian movements in the West Bank and Gaza.

Human rights controversy

Fundamentalist Islamic states and movements have been criticized for their human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 record by international organizations. The acceptance of international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 on human rights has been somewhat limited even in Muslim countries that are not seen as fundamentalist. Ann Elizabeth Mayer
Ann Elizabeth Mayer
Ann Elizabeth Mayer is an Associate Professor of Legal Studies in the Department of Legal Studies and Business Ethics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.- Biography :...

 writes that states with a predominantly Muslim population, even when they adopt laws along European lines, are influenced by Islamic rules and precepts of sharia, which cause conflict with international law on human rights. According to Mayer, features found in conflict include severe deficiencies in criminal procedure, harsh criminal penalties causing great suffering, discrimination against women and non-Muslims, and prohibition against abandoning the Islam religion. In 1990, under Saudi leadership, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, a group representing all Muslim majority nations, adopted the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam is a declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference adopted in Cairo in 1990, which provides an overview on the Islamic perspective on human rights, and affirms Islamic Shari'ah as its sole source...

, which substantially diverges from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 (UDHR). The Cairo declaration lacks provisions for democratic principles, protection for religious freedom, freedom of association and freedom of the press, as well as equality in rights and equal protection under the law. Further it stipulates that "all the rights and freedoms stipulated in this Declaration are subject to the Islamic shari'a".

The Cairo declaration followed years of limited acceptance of the Universal declaration by predominantly Muslim states. As an example, in 1984, Iran’s U.N. representative, Said Raja’i Khorasani, said the following amid allegations of human rights violations, "[Iran] recognized no authority [...] apart from Islamic law.... Conventions, declarations and resolutions or decisions of international organizations, which were contrary to Islam, had no validity in the Islamic Republic of Iran.... The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which represented secular understanding of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, could not be implemented by Muslims and did not accord with the system of values recognized by the Islamic Republic of Iran; this country would therefore not hesitate to violate its provisions." These departures, both theoretical and practical, have resulted in a multitude of practices and cases criticized by international human rights groups. See human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
The state of human rights in Iran has been criticized both by Iranians and international human right activists, writers, and NGOs. The United Nations General Assembly and the Human Rights Commission have condemned prior and ongoing abuses in Iran in published critiques and several resolutions.The...

, human rights in Saudi Arabia
Human rights in Saudi Arabia
Human rights in Saudi Arabia are intended to be based on Islamic religious laws under rule of the Saudi royal family. The government of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi legal system, has been criticized for its treatment of religious and political minorities, homosexuals, apostates, and women...

, and Taliban treatment of women
Taliban treatment of women
While in power in Afghanistan, the Taliban became notorious internationally for their treatment of women. Their stated aim was to create "secure environments where the chasteness and dignity of women may once again be sacrosanct," reportedly based on Pashtunwali beliefs about living in purdah.Women...

 for specific examples.

See also

  • 2009 Diyala Province Bombing
  • Anwar al-Awlaki
    Anwar al-Awlaki
    Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

  • Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (organisation)
    Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah (organisation)
    For the Islamic Muslim Arabic term see Ahlus Sunnah wal JamaahAhlus Sunnah wal Jamaah is an Islamic organisation operating in the United Kingdom, intended to be a successor to the banned Al-Muhajiroun organisation. Founded in November 2005 in north London, its head is "Simon" Sulayman Keeler...

  • Forced conversion in Islam
  • Fundamentalist Christianity
    Fundamentalist Christianity
    Christian fundamentalism, also known as Fundamentalist Christianity, or Fundamentalism, arose out of British and American Protestantism in the late 19th century and early 20th century among evangelical Christians...

  • Hindu fundamentalism
  • Islamic extremism
    Islamic extremism
    Islamic extremism refers to two related and partially overlapping but also distinct aspects of extremist interpretations and pursuits of Islamic ideology:...

  • Islamic terrorism
  • Islamofascism
    Islamofascism
    The term Islamofascism is a neologism which draws an analogy between the ideological characteristics of specific Islamist movements from the turn of the 21st century on, and a broad range of European fascist movements of the early 20th century, neofascist movements, or totalitarianism.-Origins of...

  • Jewish fundamentalism
    Jewish fundamentalism
    The term Jewish fundamentalism may refer to militant religious Zionism or Ashkenazi or Sephardi ultra-orthodox Judaism.The term "fundamentalism" was originally used in reference to certain Christian groups but today commonly refers to the anti-modernist movements of any religion based on literal...

  • Mormon fundamentalism
  • Mona Mahmudnizhad
    Mona Mahmudnizhad
    Mona Mahmudnizhad was an Iranian Bahá'í who, in 1983, together with nine other Bahá'í women, was sentenced to death and hanged in Shiraz, Iran because of her membership in the Bahá'í Faith...

  • Mohammad-Taqi Mesbah-Yazdi
  • Salafi
    Salafi
    A Salafi come from Sunni Islam is a follower of an Islamic movement, Salafiyyah, that is supposed to take the Salaf who lived during the patristic period of early Islam as model examples...

  • Women's clothing in Iran

Further reading

  • Sikand, Yoginder Origins and Development of the Tablighi-Jama'at (1920–2000): A Cross-Country Comparative Study, ISBN 81-250-2298-8
  • Roy, Olivier, The Failure of Political Islam, Harvard University Press, 1994
  • Shepard, William. "What is 'Islamic Fundamentalism'?" Studies in Religion. Winter 1988.

External links

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