Libmonster ID: KZ-2106
Author(s) of the publication: E. BARKOVSKAYA


Candidate of Historical Sciences

In the late 80s and early 90s of the last century, the voices of those representatives of scientific and social thought in a number of countries of the Muslim East who resolutely embarked on the path of ideological confrontation with Islamist groups began to sound louder and louder. And not only because Islamism is seen as a direct threat to the stability, modernization and democratization of these States, as well as their constructive participation in international cooperation. Of particular concern is the fact that in a number of countries, with the active participation of Islamists advocating the creation of an "Islamic state" based on Sharia law, "one of the forms of totalitarianism characterized by the suppression of individual and collective freedoms, the stifling of the incentive to literary and artistic creativity, the prohibition of discussions, and the curtailment of mental activity"has been implemented.1

Representatives of the intellectual elite, who declared the need for a radical renewal of the lives of their compatriots, became direct successors of the Muslim reformers of the XIX - XX centuries.


Recognized leaders of ideological opposition to Islamists were representatives of university professors: Fazlur Rahman (Pakistan), Fouad Zakaria (Egypt), Mohamed Sharfi (Tunisia), Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim (Sudan).

Fazlur Rahman is a graduate of Punjab University and received his PhD from Oxford. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was Director of the Institute of Islamic Studies under the Government of Pakistan and a member of the Council for Islamic Ideology under the same Government. Then he emigrated to the United States, where he was a professor at the University of Chicago.

Prominent Egyptian philosopher and educator Fouad Zakaria also had experience working abroad. For a long time, he was the head of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Kuwait and became truly world-famous for his scientific works.

Mohamed Sharfi, a Tunisian native, received a law degree in France and, upon his return to his homeland, established himself as a prominent scholar, public figure and statesman. As a professor at the University of Tunis and the author of substantial scientific research on legal and other issues, he was a member of the leadership of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (1981-1989), and then served as Minister of Education (1989-1994).

Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim holds degrees from the Universities of Khartoum, Cambridge and Edinburgh. As a compatriot, disciple and follower of the Sudanese Muslim reformer Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, he acted as his lawyer in the trial. After the defendant was sentenced to death in 1985, Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim was forced to leave his homeland. Working at universities in the United States, Canada, and several African countries, he has established a reputation as an authoritative expert in the field of Muslim and international law.

From year to year, the ranks of scientists - natives of the Muslim East-are growing, who either directly or indirectly join in solving problems that somehow strengthen the theoretical equipment of anti-Islamist arguments.

Addressing, first of all, the "thinking public", the educated stratum of Muslims, the leaders of ideological opposition to Islamists make considerable efforts to ensure that their theoretical positions and recommendations find a positive response in the Muslim East and beyond. They have done much to ensure that the ideological rebuff to Islamism and its conceptual core-the theory of "reviving the original purity of Islam" and its fundamental values-is carried out taking into account the scientific developments of modern orientalism.

On the other hand, they also criticized those Western scholars whose excessive emphasis on "political Islam" coupled with inattention to the specifics of the spiritual and cultural atmosphere in the world of Islamic civilization in general, its individual regions and countries in particular, resulted in ignoring or underestimating Islamism as a socio-cultural phenomenon. As a result, Islamism was often identified with Islam, and all supporters of the "revival of Islam" and a return to its original (fundamental) values were equated with Islamists, etc.

The Islamic renaissance, according to Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim, is "a normal and healthy phenomenon in its main ideas and goals, since it seeks to provide Muslims with adequate answers to the political, economic and social issues facing their societies within the framework of their own cultural tradition. It is not surprising that Muslims, relying on their own faith and traditions, want to assert their cultural identity and challenge the phenomena that give rise to the collapse of social structures, political impotence and the collapse of hopes for economic development."2. According to the general opinion of the ideological leaders of anti-Islamism, Islam is by no means equivalent to Islamism with its tilt towards a politicized interpretation of the early Islamic heritage, with the subsequent use of "sacred primary sources" for the political purposes of individual forces and groups. For the average Muslim, Islam is JAV-

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It is a creed that contains the answer to the question of life and death, and gives hope for justice and happiness in the afterlife. Another thing is an extremist who has been subjected to biased and politicized indoctrination in the spirit of dogmas about dividing the world into Dar al-Islam ("abode of Islam", i.e. lands under the jurisdiction of the Islamic state) and Dar al-Harb ("abode of war", i.e. all other territories), about jihad (holy land). war in the name of faith) as a way to convert Dar al-harb to Dar al-Islam. Translated into the realities of modern life, the history of Islam, presented as an eternal confrontation between the forces of Good and Evil, authorizes the opposition of "pure Muslims" not only to the West (in the Islamist interpretation - imperialism, Zionism and materialism), but also to "bad Muslims". By suppressing and persecuting others, the militant Islamist believes that by carrying out jihad against "infidels", he is acting in accordance with the will of God, that violence is" the best of prayers"," the most beautiful testimony of piety", and all this will ensure his place in Paradise. This position, according to Mohamed Sharfi, is the result of a "special kind of education", the foundations of which were laid during the formation of the Arab-Muslim civilization.

In the modern world, Fuad Zakaria is convinced that it is the crisis situation in the sphere of morality, politics and economics that has contributed to the responsiveness of the Muslim masses to Islamist assurances that all the misfortunes of this world are the result of moving away from the path ordained by God. It was not difficult for Islamists to get a positive answer for themselves when they addressed Muslims with the question:"Will we constantly remain in a state of instability, fulfilling the laws that are created by people, creatures that are short - lived and mortal, or will we trust the laws of God-the creator of the Universe and the guarantor of order in it?". The response was always reinforced by the authority of the Ulama, experts in Muslim theology and law, and, as Mohamed Sharfi noted, "could not help but sound militant and uncompromising about a number of local political regimes that were corroded by corruption and failed to achieve their promised development."

Nevertheless, Mohamed Sharfi, Fouad Zakaria and many of their colleagues in the ideological opposition to Islamism emphasized that the Islamist position does not completely coincide with the position of the traditionalist Ulema. By virtue of their education (specialization in Sharia and Fiqh), the ulama are professionally and functionally focused on protecting the centuries-old heritage of Islam. Islamists, on the other hand, insist on reorganizing modern life, ostensibly following the same patterns that go back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

Everyday observations, as well as the course of the political struggle, led the ideological opponents of Islamism to fix differences that related to individual qualities, the type of worldview, as well as the political preferences of individual Islamists. It was noted that some people are characterized by personal honesty and that directness, behind which, according to Mohamed Sharfi, "obscurantism and outright primitivism" were clearly visible. Others were characterized by the desire to give a "democratic appearance to their totalitarian ideas": what might outwardly look like giving incorrect information was in fact a deliberate attempt to "throw off the trail".

Reflecting on the inevitable entry of the peoples of the Muslim East on the path of accelerated democratic development, as well as on the difficulties of uprooting the diverse origins of Islamism, theorists of countering Islamism have always noted the special danger of Islamic extremism for the fate of democracy at the initial stage of its formation. First of all, because the intrusion of extremists into political debates can in itself destabilize the process of democratization, have a powerful inhibitory effect on it, and even lead the state to an inevitable catastrophe. After all, when dealing with those who exclusively secure the right to the realization of the divine will, one cannot count on the direct dependence of the result of the discussion on the ability and desire of applicants for such a monopoly to rely on common sense and the strength of rational arguments. Most importantly, the Islamist declarations regarding an "Islamic" solution to all the problems of our time have distracted and are distracting Muslims from actions that contribute to scientific and technological progress and "socio-political transformation", from the "gigantic work" of correlating them with "fundamental religious principles" 3, from turning the heritage of Islamic civilization into a spiritual and cultural resource, etc. a bulwark of modernization and democratization in the Muslim East.

Initiating the beginning of such work, theorists of anti-Islamist opposition called for "a new look" at the history of Islam and Islamic civilization.


Starting to refute Islamist claims to the uniqueness and "sacred" nature of the mission to "return to the Koran", Mohamed Sharfi, Fouad Zakaria and their associates drew attention to the fact that Islam is not an exception to other faiths (Christianity, Judaism, among others) that are subject to evolution, whose history is marked by advocates for restoration "of the "original purity" of the faith, for the union in one hand of political (secular) and spiritual power. An excursion into the history of Islamic civilization led to the conclusion about the continuity of statements for the "revival of Islam" and "return to the Koran" in the present and in the ranks of historically preceding Islamic movements.

Modern Islamists, said Mohamed Sharfi, are " direct descendants of forces that resisted progress." Being the personification of "militant conservatism and obscurantism" during the Middle Ages, they hindered the development of a rationalistic trend in Islam, whose representatives were guided by ijtihad

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(the principle of rational independent judgment of the Ulama on issues whose solution is not reflected in the Qur'an and Sunnah). Due to a number of circumstances, the conservatives managed to gain the upper hand, and this largely predetermined both the decline of the Islamic civilization of the Middle Ages, and the subsequent lag of Muslim countries behind Europe. Meanwhile, the European Renaissance owed much to the discovery of the ancient heritage. And it took place not without the mediation of those prominent representatives of the Arab-Islamic world, who not only translated many works of ancient Greek scientists, including philosophers, but also enriched science with their own achievements. It is not for nothing that the" golden age " of Islamic civilization is marked by an impressive contribution made to the world treasury of scientific knowledge thanks to the philosophical works of Oriental scientists Farabi, Kindi, especially Ibn Rushdi (Averroes), thanks to the works of Khorezmi in mathematics, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) in medicine, etc.

In modern times, the successors of the rationalistic trend of thought in Islam were Muslim reformers with their idea of the spiritual and cultural rise of the Islamic world in order to overcome the backwardness that doomed it to defenselessness before the pressure of European colonialism. The reform ulama themselves and their followers, represented by the organizers and leaders of the national liberation struggle, turned to ijtihad as a way to renew the Islamic world. Meanwhile, the conservative Ulama, " locked in their own narrow world, arrogantly ignored everything that happened outside of it, and everything that did not concern Muslim law and Arabic grammar."4. By emphasizing the need for strict compliance with sharia law, conservatives often collaborated with colonialists for their own well-being.

Although modern social, economic, and cultural life has little in common with the events of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the Islamist program still requires the creation of a state based on Sharia law. The implementation of sharia law is identified with the "revival of Islam". According to Fuad Zakaria, the regressiveness of this program is due to the fact that it embodies the" intellectual underdevelopment "of the Muslim community with its inherent "alienation in space and time"5. "Alienation in space" originates from the traditional medieval isolation and internal isolation of the Muslim religious community. It is supported by strict equality with the ideals and traditions of the "sacred" heritage, as well as isolation from other faiths, other cultures, and finally, hostile perception of any external influences. "Alienation in time" is reflected in a constant look back at the legacy of the past surrounded by a halo of sanctity, in attributing to it the ability to comprehensively regulate modern life, and finally, in understanding and evaluating the realities of modernity by the standards of the ideals of past centuries.


The zeal and fervor that accompanied the debate about the spiritual and cultural heritage of Islam in the Muslim East in the late 70s and early 80s is quite understandable. It could not have been otherwise after the failure of previous attempts by a number of countries to copy the experience of the industrial West in the "catch-up development" mode.

Playing up the failure of the pro-Western course, Islamists hastened to identify the trends of global development with "Westernization", so that the" return to the Koran "appeared as an Islamic alternative to" detoxification " and its main manifestation - the destructive impact of the so-called mass culture of the West on the spiritual and moral foundations of the Muslim East.

In response, the ideological opponents of Islamism put forward an alternative project for the state-legal arrangement of the Muslim East based on such universal indicators of modern progress as secular statehood, democratization and constitutionalism. Directly linked to the implementation of this project was the battle for the souls and minds of the masses, whose faith in the ideals of the early Islamic "golden age" was not unsuccessfully used by Islamists in purely political interests. Having entered this battle, the ideological opponents of Islamism clearly marked the difference between their own views on the spiritual and cultural heritage of Islam and the position of Islamists. First, they did not limit the creation of the Islamic heritage to the" golden age "of the Prophet Muhammad and his closest companions, based on the fact that in subsequent centuries"the wheel of history did not stop". Secondly, the heritage itself was viewed in the light of the historical changes that had taken place, so that its individual elements were not evaluated in the same way.

"Anti-Historism" in the approach of Islamists to the centuries-old cultural heritage of the Arab-Islamic world, said Fuad Zakaria, is akin to the position of" old turbans " among conservative Muslim clerics. Like them, Islamists perceive the heritage of Islam as a" sacred treasure " that must be preserved unchanged. But then it seems to freeze in a state of fossilization and lifelessness, so that referring to it is equivalent to "exhumation - digging up a corpse" 6.

If hopelessly outdated traditions are identified with the legacy of the past, their "revival" is fraught with a twofold danger. On the one hand, human efforts are concentrated on the "unwise" task of evaluating modernity according to the criteria of centuries gone by. Thus, people are forced to "forget that each generation overtakes the previous one, overcoming the antagonisms that arise between them"7. On the other hand, the supporters of "revival" fall into the traps of endless battles, since the understanding of the heritage of each of the participants in such battles is marked by their own preferences and interests. Finally, the conflicting parties invariably associate the search for mass support with appealing to the legacy,

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thus provoking fratricidal wars among co-religionists.

Islamists do not limit themselves to instilling distorted views on the Islamic heritage, but also subject it to ideologization and mythologization. First of all, the idea of "reviving Islam"takes on the contours of the myth about the possibility of turning back history. Its political subtext is the legitimization of an Islamist breakthrough in politics under the slogan of restoring the "Islamic state" and introducing Sharia law everywhere. In the heat of ideological battles, the true face of those who pretend to be the harbinger of "rebirth", but "voice the ideology of conservatism and death", who pass the death sentence on all "outsiders"is becoming more and more clearly revealed.8

Asking what is meant by the true heritage of Islamic civilization, Fuad Zakariya replied: these are only those elements of it that still retain their vitality, fertilizing the modern thought and culture of the Muslim East. They ensure historical continuity between the achievements of the past and modern progress. But these elements, of course, do not need to be "revived" or"revived". Like the modern economy, Fuad Zakaria concluded, the cultural heritage of Islamic civilization needs a constant flow of investment. The most important lessons of the European Renaissance are that its great founders were distinguished by their openness not only to foreign cultural borrowings (in particular, from the ancient heritage), but also to foreign civilizational influences (from the Islamic civilization, for example) .9

Entering the third millennium, Mohamed Sharfi assured, Muslims will be able to achieve harmony between their religion and the requirements of modernity, to ensure social and religious peace, relying on the achievements of their predecessors in the face of representatives of the rationalist trend in Islam in the Middle Ages, as well as Muslim reformers in the Modern era. The main thing that should be adopted from them is the belief in human dignity and the greatness of the human mind, which is able not only to distinguish between good and evil, but also to understand the meaning of life and the purpose of a person's mission in the world, to penetrate into the essence of things. Among the developments of individual reformers, the "vector method" was recognized as particularly fruitful, i.e., the position that God determined the vector in the direction of which humanity should move, based not on blind submission, but on common sense and a correctly understood Islamic path.10

Secondly, the principle of a differentiated approach to Islamic institutions, according to which all of them were divided into absolute and eternal (such were recognized as duties to God - ibadat), as well as subject to changes in the spirit of the times (duties of people resulting from earthly co - existence and interaction with each other in this world-muamalat).

Fuad Zakaria noted how difficult the answer to the question is: how do we reconcile the claims that religious texts are applicable everywhere and always, with the rapid changes that are taking place in the world, in public and political life? It is possible to distinguish between the general, i.e., fundamental prescriptions of these texts, and the particular prescriptions for which the use of ijtihad is applicable. But then the problem immediately arises: how to determine which fragments of religious texts contain eternal dogmas of fundamental precepts in their immutability, and which are not such and are capable of changing in the spirit of the requirements of social development.

Fazlur Rahman was one of the first to find a way out of this predicament, calling for a "reassessment of the intellectual heritage of Islam" based on "a new reading of the sacred primary sources." In his opinion, the approach to the Qur'an and Sunnah should be based on an objective historical approach to the Qur'anic texts in order to take into account the changes that took place in the very content of the Revelations that were sent down to Muhammad for a very long time (over 22 years). The study of the early Revelations received by the Prophet in Mecca, Fazlur Rahman concluded, leads to a precise understanding of the main goal of his prophetic mission - the creation of a "morally healthy and just society" based on the principles of humanism, egalitarianism, social justice, and solidarity. 11

Fully sharing Fazlur Rahman's view of the Revelations of the Meccan period of Muhammad's life, Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim noted that they tend to refer to all mankind, to all people as "children of Adam"12. The Prophet himself was enjoined (as recorded in the Qur'an (16: 125)), "Call to the way of the Lord with wisdom and good admonition." Thanks to the Meccan epistles, Mohamed Sharfi emphasized, Islam was presented as "a religion of peace, brotherhood, love, freedom (including religious freedom) and equality."13 Does not the Qur'an (2:30) present it as a substitute for God on earth as a sign of the trust placed in man from above?

According to Fazlur Rahman, the Revelations sent down to the Prophet in Madinah, where he moved and where, together with his closest companions, he began to settle the Muslim community, were imbued with a primary concern for the difficult life of the first Muslims in a far-unfriendly environment. The Medinan epistles, therefore, to a much greater extent than the Meccan epistles, reflected the specific historical specifics of their time.14 The Islamists gave preference to the Madinah ones, and Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim put this in direct connection with the actions of theologians and jurists of the Muslim Middle Ages, who, in his opinion, thoughtlessly and violently rejected the highest level of the message, implementing a more realistic version of the Madinah message.15

According to the unanimous opinion of the ideological opponents of Islamism, it is time to put everything in its place, returning the Meccan Revelations to their roots-

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its significance. It was proposed to do the same with regard to the Sunnah, i.e., the various traditions of Mecca and Medina about the deeds and sayings of the Prophet and his closest companions.

Considering many hadiths as a "controversial" source of Islam, Mohamed Sharfi noted that even Ibn Hanbal and Abu Hanifa, the founders of legal schools in Islam (Hanbalis and Hanifis), differed in determining the number of reliable hadiths (the first numbered 50 thousand, the second - 70 thousand reliable traditions).16. It was the Medina component of the Sunnah that characterized the greatest number of so-called "weak" hadiths, whose truth is doubtful for one reason or another. Thus, behind the call attributed to the Prophet - "If anyone changes his faith, kill him" - there is only one person who allegedly heard it. This is a certain Ibn Abbas, who was only 13 years old in the year of Muhammad's death. The time has come, Mohamed Sharfi concluded, to put an end to the fruitless debate about this or that supposedly normative legal provision of the Koran. It should be clearly understood once and for all that Islam is a religion, not a legal system, a state, or a political reference point. " 17

Fazlur Rahman directly raised the question that the "sacred primary sources" should be seen only as the focus of"general moral principles". He considered it a dangerous delusion to believe that the Qur'an contains normative provisions that are applicable to any specific life situations. At the same time, we should not immediately reject those elements of the Sunnah that contain generally valid spiritual and moral principles. An analytical approach to hadiths should not, however, be limited to criticizing them. It is necessary that eventually a "fresh view of Islam" is formed. Raising the intellectual level of modern Muslim thought, one should take into account the lessons of history, on the one hand, and the achievements of science, especially in the field of studying the current state of society, on the other 18.


Focusing on the moral-value and humanitarian-rationalistic potential of the spiritual and cultural heritage of the Islamic civilization, exposing Islamists in its biased and politicized interpretation, the ideological opponents of Islamism purposefully prepared the ground for bringing mass consciousness to a qualitatively new level that meets the requirements of modern political culture. This goal was pursued by a course of gradual elimination of illusions and utopias that traditionally go back to the absolutization of the early Islamic "golden age" and the idealization of state and legal institutions of that time. This opened up the prospect of overcoming the alienation of the Muslim masses from modern forms of social and political activity and, consequently, their subsequent involvement in the mainstream of civil life.

Thus, while continuing the reformist course of revamping the consciousness and way of life of the Muslim masses, the theorists of ideological opposition to Islamism did not always and fully rely on the arsenal of the reformers ' struggle with the traditionalist Ulama. For example, it cannot be said that they widely used the method of interpreting "sacred primary sources", i.e. filling religious dogmas with new content, tested by a number of prominent Muslim reformers (including Jemal ad-Din Afgani, Muhammad Abdo). This method is similar in form to one of the methods of legal practice in Muslim law (talfiq). The latter consisted in the fact that a general principle or particular rule was created on the basis of sources that sometimes belonged to different legal schools (madhhabs). Moreover, Mohamed Sharfi, Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim and their associates rejected the principle itself. The reason was not only the frequent appeal to it of both Islamists and traditionalist ulema, thanks to which they have long managed to maintain among the Muslim masses the belief that the Koran and Sunnah are the center of absolute principles in their immutability, which should be guided to this day. Talfiq was found to be methodologically flawed, as the views and words of various lawyers are used out of context and combined based on the personal preferences of the person who uses it.

As the anti-Islamist ideological confrontation unfolded, its leaders gradually came to the conclusion that in modern conditions it is no longer possible, like reformers, to close themselves in the circle of debates on Islamic issues, partly because there they were in a deliberately less advantageous position in the eyes of the traditionally inclined Muslim masses. The Islamist attacks were based on the Ulama's centuries-old experience in protecting the "sacred heritage": there were accusations of encroachment on Muslim holy sites, of adherence to innovations forbidden in Islam, so that any rational counterargument was passed off as apostasy and even "unbelief" , etc. The main thing is that when ideological opponents of Islam were involved in discussions about certain aspects of Islam, they felt themselves drawn into an endless series of disputes, whose final results it was often nullified by everyday life practice. The solution of seemingly one religious problem, noted Mohamed Sharfi, is fraught with the risk of other equally complex ones. Thus, it is not enough to prove that the Meccan texts of the Qur'an embody the fundamental universal values of Islam, it is not enough to declare the Medina texts marked by the specifics of a historically limited period of time. It is not enough to move away from the literal approach to the Qur'an, interpreting its provisions in the spirit of the times. It is important to understand that the perception of religious institutions as absolutely unchangeable contradicts the very nature of things.19 Even compliance with the norms of ibadat has to be adjusted to take into account the realities of social life and changing life circumstances. Example

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This is due to the situation with fasting in the northern countries with their white nights, and in some places with many months of polar day and polar night, in which it is almost impossible to follow the Koranic injunction about fasting from sunrise to sunset. As early as the beginning of the twentieth century, the Ulama issued a fatwa, according to which Muslims who arrived, say, in Sweden or Norway as diplomats, travelers, etc., were allowed to determine the hour of the beginning and end of fasting according to the time schedule of their countries of permanent residence.

Without turning a blind eye to the fact that the uprooting of Islamism initially requires overcoming the religious and traditionalist attitude of the Muslim masses, Abdullahi Ahmed al-Naim directly stated: the educated part of Muslims should take on the task of educating the rest of their co-religionists, significantly crowding out the Ulama, who are stagnant in blind adherence to ancient ideas.20 Mohamed Sharfi insisted on the importance of "the highest pedagogical art" for conducting mass explanatory work, and most importantly-on the development of a modernized system of education and civic education.21 Hoping that the growing young educated generation will be able to reach the frontiers of modern civilization, Fuad Zakaria appealed to millions of true believers of young Muslims not to accept Islamist slogans at face value and learn from the experience and mistakes of other countries. He taught us not to believe those who claim to be able to know the will of God and fulfill the divine law, since people are inherently ordinary human properties and qualities.22

All these practically significant considerations and recommendations logically followed from the final conclusion that fundamentalism in its Islamist hypostasis is, in the words of Fazlur Rahman, a phenomenon that "deviates from Islam", and above all-because of the biased and selective politicized approach of Islamists to "sacred primary sources", to the spiritual and cultural state Islamic civilization 23. The mere recording of such a" deviation " made it more solid and impressive, in the light of the religious mindset and logic, to expose Islamist tricks and subterfuges for the purpose of using Islam for political purposes.

Insisting on the unity of forces capable of rebuffing Islamism, the leaders of the ideological opposition to Islamists are unanimous in recognizing the need to overcome possible differences of political, ideological, and confessional nature. Mohamed Sharfi placed his main hopes on activists of democratic movements, whether they were fighters for women's equality, supporters of the republican form of government, etc. The example of all of them was the work of "enlightened thinkers and reformers", who in some cases encouraged the state to take on the role of "locomotive of change" 24.

Indeed, the events of recent years indicate significant changes in the policy of a number of states in the Muslim East towards Islamism. In most countries, a differentiated approach is adopted to various Islamist groups: to moderate ones, i.e. those who show loyalty to the existing government and order, on the one hand, and to militant radicals, on the other. The leadership of a number of countries shows considerable maneuverability, combining repressive and forceful methods of suppressing militant Islamism with tactics of allowing moderate groups, i.e. groups loyal to the existing authorities and order, to participate in elections and work in the state apparatus (for example, in Pakistan and Jordan). At the same time, moderate "pragmatists" try to transform "the system for themselves, trying to take a worthy place within it", while "radicals are fighting for a change of system", often acting "outside the law"25.

However, "moderate Islamism can always degenerate into extremism or at least give a more or less strong outbreak of Islamic terrorism if the appropriate conditions are met." 26 The possibility of such a development of the situation is all the more likely because, in the context of a significant social base for fueling Islamism, the efforts of fighters for the "intellectual heritage of Islam", as some analysts note, do not yet bring the desired results. All these circumstances, in turn, make it urgent to further develop a large-scale ideological confrontation with Islamism.

Mohamed Charfi. 1 Islam and Liberty. The Historical Misunderstanding. London - New York: Zed Books. 2005, p. 16.

An-Naim Abdullahi Ahmed. 2 On the road to the Islamic Reformation. Civil Liberties, Human Rights and International Law (translated from English). Moscow, 1999, p. 14.

Fouad Zakariya. 3 Laicite ou islamisme. Les arabes a l'heure du choix. Paris - Caire: La decouverte - Al-Fikr, 1991, p. 113.

Mohamed Charfi. 4 Op. cit., p. 27.

Fouad Zakariya. 5 Op. cit, p. 47.

6 Ibid., p. 60.

7 Ibidem.

8 Ibid., p. 68.

9 Ibid., p. 56, 61.

10 Ibid., p. 95.

Rahman Fazlur. 11 Islam. New York-Chicago-San Francisco: Rinehart and Winster, 1966, p. 25 - 27.

An-Naim Abdullahi Ahmed. 12 Edict. soch., p. 67.

Mohamed Charfi. 13 Op. cit., p. 95 - 96.

Rahman Fazlur. 14 Op. cit., p. 30.

An-Naim Abdullahi Ahmed. 15 Edict. op., p. 66.

Mohamed Charfi. 16 Op. cit., p. 49.

17 Ibid., p. 35.

Rahman Fazlur. 18 Islam and Modernity. Transformation of an Intellectual Tradition. Chicago-London: University of Chicago Press, 1982 p. 147, 154 - 155, 162.

Mohamed Charfi. 19 Op. cit., p. 98.

An-Naim Abdullahi Ahmed. 20 Edict. op. p. 75; see also: Rahman Fazlur. Op. cit., p. 221.

Mohamed Charfi. 21 Op. cit., p. 5.

Fouad Zakariya. 22 Op. cit., p. 118.

Rahman Fazlur. 23 Op. cit., p. 222.

Mohamed Charfi. 24 Op. cit., p. 4 - 5.

Malashenko A.V. 25 Islamic Alternative and Islamist Project, Moscow, Carnegie Moscow Center, 2006, p. 85.

Landa R. G. 26 Political Islam: preliminary results, Moscow, Institute of the Middle East. 2005, p. 265.


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