I. Islam as a Religion
II. Islamic Fundamentalism
3.1. Defining Fundamentalism and the Backgrounds of Islamic Fundamentalism 3.2. Islamic fundamentalist movements
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and is second only to Christianity in number of adherents. Muslims live in all parts of the world, but the majority of Muslims are concentrated in the Middle East and Asia North Africa, Central Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia. Today, more than a billion people around the world are Muslims. It is very well known that certain networks have flourished in many countries throughout the world. Small but well-financed militant movements arise, coming against their government and the common people, instigating conflict. The danger lies when an outside government supports such extremist movements under the false impression that this constitutes preserving religious freedom. The terrorist attacks in 1990s, and basically 9/11 contributed, not unreasonably, to the Western perception that all Muslims are anti-American terrorists. Terrorist attacks receive enormous media attention, and most of developed countries peoples base their views of Muslims on the stories they hear on the news. To be sure, most Westerners are unaware of Muslim customs and ideologies, except for what they learn from the media. It is important to acknowledge that not all Muslims are fundamentalists, and not all fundamentalists are terrorists. However, fundamentalism, by its very nature, carries the threat of extremism, and extremism can easily morph into violence. Islamic fundamentalists can therefore pose a terrorist threat to their enemies. Unfortunately, many Middle Easterners perceive America as an enemy. Knowing the principles of Islam is the first step toward understanding how Islamic fundamentalism can lead to terrorism. The problem of activation of Islamic fundamentalism in many countries at present is becoming increasingly important worldwide. Traditionally, Islamic fundamentalism can be seen as a movement to rid Islam of the side effects. However, now the Islamic funtamentalism increasingly interpreted as interference of religion in the politics of states. Obviously, any active influence of religion on the state can inevitably lead to changes in political and social order, economy, law. One of the main features of Islam is that it is a significant impact on the legal aspect in the state, because it contains a set of legal and moral rules called Shariah, which is replicated by modern Islamic fundamentalists. The main aim of my term paper is to overview what is Islamic fundamentalism and what leads fundamentalists to the extremists. Also I will try to avoid the one-sided view on this problem and look at this problem from the third side. Some people see the problem of Islamic extrimism through the prism of religious conflict between the Islam and Christianity. I`m not a Muslim, neither a Christian, but I was studying all world religious, while doing my undergraduate degree. I really respect Muslims and Islam, the same as I respect Christianity. My point of view is not to judge or critizise, but to understand and try to analyse and give assumptions of future prespectives of the Islam and fundamentalist wave. Tryng to avoid the bias in my work, in my bibliography I used several Western, including Russian recourses, and also some Muslim scholars' works as well.
I. Islam, as a religion
The words Islam or Muslim have been used to describe religion, societies, civilazations, art and architecture, philosophy, history, and political thought. Today, more than 1 billion people call themselves Muslim, and in 52 countries they represent the majority of population. However, most of the world`s Muslims live as minorities in nations throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia,...