The Islamization of the Middle East and
North Africa beginning in the seventh century expressed the impulse and dogma of
a combative faith, and the explicit connection between religion and politics.
Islam demanded the convergence of the spiritual and temporal domains by the
In the twentieth-century, Arab nationalism
and the concept of pan-Arab unity were promoted in place of the primacy of Islam
as the definition of collective identity and political vision. Certainly the
link between Arabism and Islam is an important and often subtle one.
Nonetheless, Islam returned with a vengeance in the latter part of the century
to reaffirm in a fundamentalist modality that religion is the singular standard
in moral and political affairs.
The agents and mechanisms of Islam include
a variety of religious movements, parties, and regimes, poised against
non-Muslim populations across the Mideastern terrain. The victimized groups
include four categories:
Classical dhimmi non-Muslims,
especially the Jews including the state of Israel, and a variety of Christian
Heretical non-Muslims, like Druzes and
Muslim minorities, like the Berbers and
Kurds. 4. Individual Muslims, such as intellectual and political figures, who
are denied free expression of ideas and choice of life-style.
The sweeping goal of Islam, which has been
achieved to a large extent, is to reduce and eliminate the non-Muslim entities
and groups from the Mideast and preserve the region as a pure Islamic milieu.
The immediate targets are Israel and Lebanon due to their special national and
religious identities that challenge monolithic Muslim superiority and rule.
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