Islamization

Islamization

Overview
Islamization or Islamification (pejorative Muhammadization) has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. In contemporary usage, it may refer to the perceived imposition of an Islamist social and political discourse on a society with a tradition of a more varied interpretation of Islam.

The English synonyms, muslimization and arabization, in use since before 1940 (e.g., Waverly Illustrated Dictionary) convey a similar meaning.
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Encyclopedia
Islamization or Islamification (pejorative Muhammadization) has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. In contemporary usage, it may refer to the perceived imposition of an Islamist social and political discourse on a society with a tradition of a more varied interpretation of Islam.

The English synonyms, muslimization and arabization, in use since before 1940 (e.g., Waverly Illustrated Dictionary) convey a similar meaning. Due to the trend towards identifying all Muslims with Arab people, common in the Western world
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

, the latter tends to be applied to non-Arab (e.g. Turkish or Iranian) influence as well. Muslimization has recently been used as a term coined to describe the overtly Muslim practices of new converts to the religion who wish to reinforce their newly acquired religious identity.

Arabization



Arabization describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 and/or incorporates Arab culture. It was most prominently achieved during the 7th century Arabian Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests
Muslim conquests also referred to as the Islamic conquests or Arab conquests, began with the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He established a new unified polity in the Arabian Peninsula which under the subsequent Rashidun and Umayyad Caliphates saw a century of rapid expansion of Muslim power.They...

 which spread the Arabic language, culture, and—having been carried out by Arabian Muslims as opposed to Arab Christians or Arabic speaking Jews—the religion of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 to the lands they conquered. The result: some elements of Arabian
Arabian Peninsula
The Arabian Peninsula is a land mass situated north-east of Africa. Also known as Arabia or the Arabian subcontinent, it is the world's largest peninsula and covers 3,237,500 km2...

 origin combined in various forms and degrees with elements taken from conquered civilizations and ultimately denominated "Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

", as opposed to "Arabian".

Modern day (1970s to present)


Historians such as Ira Lapidus have concluded that since the 1970s, the Islamic world has witnessed a phenomenon called "Islamic revival
Islamic revival
Islamic revival refers to a revival of the Islamic religion throughout the Islamic world, that began roughly sometime in 1970s and is manifested in greater religious piety, and community feeling, and in a growing adoption of Islamic culture, dress, terminology, separation of the sexes, and values...

" similar to a Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 revival—often associated with Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism
Islamic fundamentalism is a term used to describe religious ideologies seen as advocating a return to the "fundamentals" of Islam: the Quran and the Sunnah. Definitions of the term vary. According to Christine L...

, Islamism
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...

 and other forms of re-Islamization. Largely this is because scholars such as 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....

 were instrumental in the development of modern Islamic thought, and this man was a core member 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...

, a Islamist organisation that some Muslims see as the vanguard of their faith. Although one can never speak for an entire community or people, a reorientation towards Islamic values, in contrast to the Westernization
Westernization
Westernization or Westernisation , also occidentalization or occidentalisation , is a process whereby societies come under or adopt Western culture in such matters as industry, technology, law, politics, economics, lifestyle, diet, language, alphabet,...

 moves by various Arab and Asian governments in the 1950s and 60s, appears to be taking place. The main effect appears to be a return of the individual to Muslim values, communities, and dress codes, and a strengthened community.

Another development is that of transnational Islam, elaborated upon by the French Islam researchers Gilles Kepel
Gilles Kepel
Gilles Kepel is a French political scientist, specialist of the Islam and contemporary Arab world. He is Professor at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris and member of the Institut Universitaire de France....

 and Olivier Roy. It includes a feeling of a "growing universalistic Islamic identity" as often shared by Muslim immigrants and their children who live in non-Muslim countries:


"The increased integration of world societies as a result of enhanced communications, media, travel, and migration makes meaningful the concept of a single Islam practiced everywhere in similar ways, and an Islam which transcends national and ethnic customs."


This does not necessarily imply political or social organizations:


"Global Muslim identity does not necessarily or even usually imply organized group action. Even though Muslims recognize a global affiliation, the real heart of Muslim religious life remains outside politics—in local associations for worship, discussion, mutual aid, education, charity, and other communal activities."


However, polls have shown that majority of worldwide Muslim wants democracy embedded with Islam and 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...

  which is cause of concern for some commentators at the rapid growing Western European Islamic population, the lack of assimilation of said migrants, and that these groups are allegedly potential breeding grounds for terrorists.
A third development is the growth and elaboration of transnational military organizations. The 1980s and 90s, with several major conflicts in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 in the 1980s and 2001, and the three Gulf Wars (1980-89, 1990-91, 2003) were catalysts of a growing internationalization of local conflicts. Figures such as Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 and Abdallah Azzam have been crucial in these developments, as much as domestic and world politics.

Zia-ul-Haq's Islamization of Pakistan



On December 2, 1978, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq
General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq , was the 4th Chief Martial Law Administrator and the sixth President of Pakistan from July 1977 to his death in August 1988...

 delivered a nationwide address on the occasion of the first day of the Hijra calendar. He did this in order to usher in an Islamic system to Pakistan. In the speech, he accused politicians of exploiting the name of Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, saying that "many a ruler did what they pleased in the name of Islam."

After assuming power the task that the government set to was its public commitment to enforce Nizam-e-Mustafa (Islamic System) a 180 degree turn from Pakistan's predominantly Common Law. As a preliminary measure to establish an Islamic society in Pakistan, General Zia announced the establishment of Sharia Benches
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...

. Speaking about the jurisdiction of the Sharia Benches, he remarked, "Every citizen will have the right to present any law enforced by the government before the 'Sharia Bench' and obtain its verdict whether the law is wholly or partly Islamic or un-Islamic."

But General Zia did not mention that the Sharia Benches' jurisdiction was curtailed by the following overriding clause: "(Any) law does not include the constitution, Muslim personal law, any law relating to the procedure of any court or tribunal or, until the expiration of three years, any fiscal law, or any law relating to the collection of taxes and fees or insurance practice and procedure." It meant that all important laws which affect each and every individual directly remained outside the purview of the Sharia Benches. However, he did not have a smooth sailing even with the clipped Sharia Benches. The Federal Sharia Bench declared rajm
Rajm
Rajm is an Arabic word that means "stoning". It is commonly used to refer to the Hudud punishment wherein an organized group throws stones at a convicted individual until that person dies. Traditionally it is called for in cases of adultery where the criteria for conviction are met...

, or stoning
Stoning
Stoning, or lapidation, is a form of capital punishment whereby a group throws stones at a person until the person dies. No individual among the group can be identified as the one who kills the subject, yet everyone involved plainly bears some degree of moral culpability. This is in contrast to the...

, to be un-Islamic; Ziaul Haq reconstituted the court, which then declared rajm as Islamic.

Islamization of the Gaza Strip


The influence of Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip has grown since the 1980s, especially as poverty has risen and fighting with Israel began in 2000. The efforts to impose Islamic law and traditions continued when 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...

 forcefully seized control of the area in June 2007 and displaced security forces loyal to the secular President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

. After the civil war
Battle of Gaza (2007)
The Battle of Gaza was a military conflict between Hamas and Fatah that took place between June 7 and 15, 2007 in the Gaza Strip. After winning Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, Hamas and Fatah formed the Palestinan authority national unity government in 2007, headed by Ismail Haniya. In...

 ended, Hamas declared the “end of secularism and heresy in the Gaza Strip.” For the first time since the Sudanese coup of 1989 that brought Omar al-Bashir
Omar al-Bashir
Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir is the current President of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. He came to power in 1989 when he, as a brigadier in the Sudanese army, led a group of officers in a bloodless military coup that ousted the government of Prime Minister...

 to power, a 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...

 group ruled a significant geographic territory. Gaza human rights groups accuse Hamas of restricting many freedoms in the course of these attempts.

While Ismael Haniyeh officially denied accusations that Hamas intended to establish an Islamic emirate, in the two years since the 2007 coup, the Gaza Strip has exhibited the characteristics of Talibanization
Talibanization
Talibanization is a term coined following the rise of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan referring to the process where other religious groups or movements come to follow or imitate the strict practices of the Taliban....

, a process whereby the Islamist organization imposed strict rules on women, discouraged activities commonly associated with Western or Christian culture, oppressed non-Muslim minorities, imposed 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...

 law, and deployed religious police to enforce these laws.

According to Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

, the Hamas-controlled government of Gaza stepped up its efforts to "Islamize" Gaza in 2010, efforts that included the "repression" of civil society and "severe violations of personal freedom." Palestinian-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh
Khaled Abu Toameh
Khaled Abu Toameh is a Israeli Arab journalist and documentary filmmaker. Abu Toameh is the West Bank and Gaza correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and U.S. News and World Report, and has been the Palestinian affairs producer for NBC News since 1988...

 wrote in 2009 that "Hamas is gradually turning the Gaza Strip into a Taliban-style Islamic entity". According to Mkhaimar Abusada, a political science professor at Gaza’s al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University
Al-Azhar University is an educational institute in Cairo, Egypt. Founded in 970~972 as a madrasa, it is the chief centre of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the world. It is the oldest degree-granting university in Egypt. In 1961 non-religious subjects were added to its curriculum.It is...

, “Ruling by itself, Hamas can stamp its ideas on everyone (...) Islamizing society has always been part of Hamas strategy.”

See also

  • Islamization of knowledge
    Islamization of knowledge
    Islamization of knowledge is a term which describes a variety of attempts and approaches to synthesize the ethics of Islam with various fields of modern thought. Its end product would be a new ijma among Muslims on an appropriate fiqh and a scientific method that did not violate Islamic ethical...

  • Arabization
    Arabization
    Arabization or Arabisation describes a growing cultural influence on a non-Arab area that gradually changes into one that speaks Arabic and/or incorporates Arab culture...

  • Islamic revival
    Islamic revival
    Islamic revival refers to a revival of the Islamic religion throughout the Islamic world, that began roughly sometime in 1970s and is manifested in greater religious piety, and community feeling, and in a growing adoption of Islamic culture, dress, terminology, separation of the sexes, and values...

  • Spread of Islam
    Spread of Islam
    The Spread of Islam started shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. During his lifetime, the community of Muhammad, the ummah, was established in the Arabian Peninsula by means of conversion to Islam and conquering of territory, and oftentimes the conquered had to either...

  • Politics and sports
  • Talibanization
    Talibanization
    Talibanization is a term coined following the rise of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan referring to the process where other religious groups or movements come to follow or imitate the strict practices of the Taliban....



By area:
  • Islamization in Iran
  • Iranian Cultural Revolution
  • Islamization of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Islamization of Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Slavic population underwent a large-scale conversion to Islam after the region’s conquest and occupation by the Ottoman Empire in the second half of the 15th century, giving it a unique character within the Balkan region...

  • Islamization of Palestine
    Islamization of Palestine
    The Islamization of Palestine occurred as a result of the Islamic conquest of Palestine in 640 CE/A.D. It was a long process by which Islam was gradually accepted by the majority of the indigenous Christian, Samaritan and Jewish population of the area...

  • Islamization of the Temple Mount
    Islamization of the Temple Mount
    The Islamization of the Temple Mount refers to the view that Muslim authorities have sought to appropriate and Islamicize the Temple Mount for exclusive Muslim use...

  • Islamization of Jerusalem under Jordanian occupation
    Islamization of Jerusalem under Jordanian occupation
    Islamization of Jerusalem under Jordanian occupation refers to the allegation that Jordan sought to transform the demographics and character of East Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967 in order to make it more Muslim. Egyptian political commentator Bat Ye'or and Mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek have...

  • Islamization of Syria
    Islamization of Syria
    The Islamization of Syria occurred as a result of the Muslim conquest of Syria in 637 CE/AD. It led to Muslim Rashidun control over the entire Levant and brought about major changes to Levantine religious, cultural and social fabric that continue to this day...

  • Islamization of Egypt
    Islamization of Egypt
    The Islamization of Egypt occurred as a result of the Islamic conquest of Egypt by the Arabs led by Amr ibn al-Aas the military governor of Palestine. The indigenous Coptic population of Egypt underwent a large scale gradual conversion from Coptic Christianity to Islam. This process of Islamization...

  • Eurabia
    Eurabia
    Eurabia is a conspiracy theory about the alleged Arabization and Islamization of Europe, and the European leaders' alleged capitulation to Islamic influences.-Origin of the term:...



By method:
  • Islamic Missionary Activity
    Islamic Missionary Activity
    Dawah, Islamic missionary work, means to "invite" to Islam, which is estimated to be the second largest religion after Christianity. After the death of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, from the 7th century onwards, Islam spread rapidly from the Arabian Peninsula to the rest of the world, initially...

  • Conversion to Islam in prisons
    Conversion to Islam in prisons
    -Concern in United States:Concern over jailhouse conversions to Islam first rose in 2001 when Imam Warith Deen Umara, Islamic chaplain for the New York State prison system, was reported to have praised the September 11 attacks...



Other:
  • Banu Qurayza
    Banu Qurayza
    The Banu Qurayza were a Jewish tribe which lived in northern Arabia, at the oasis of Yathrib , until the 7th century, when their conflict with Muhammad led to their demise, after the Invasion of Banu Qurayza, took place in the Dhul Qa‘dah, 5 A.H i.e. in February/March, 627 AD...

  • Criticism of Islamism
    Criticism of Islamism
    Criticism of Islamism concerns critique of those beliefs or notions ascribed to Islamism or Islamist movements. Such criticisms focus on the role of Islam in legislation, the relationship between Islamism and freedom of expression and the rights of women.Among those authors and scholars who have...

  • Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

  • Christianization
    Christianization
    The historical phenomenon of Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire peoples at once...

  • Stop the Islamification of Europe
    Stop the Islamification of Europe
    Stop Islamisation of Europe , also known as Stop the Islamification of Europe, is a group with the self-declared goal of "preventing Islam becoming a dominant political force in Europe". It is a political interest group which has been active in Denmark and has conducted anti-Islamic protests in the...

    - Political group

Further reading

  • Devin De Weese, Devin A, Islamization and Native Religion in the Golden Horde, Penn State Press, Sep 1, 1994, ISBN 0-271-01073-8
  • Lapidus, Ira M. 2002, A History of Islamic Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

External links