Religion, State and Nation: Islamic Parties Between Ideology and Religion
Author: Jocelyne Cesari
December 18, 2019
When the state appropriates Islam through institutionalization and nationalization, Islamist opposition groups can use the staying power of Islam to form influential opposition that becomes the main political force across countries. In this book chapter, Jocelyne Cesari contends that these Islamist groups have major assets required for the emergence of capable political opposition: ideological coherence based on national identity and legitimacy in terms of political mobilization. However, these assets have been made fragile by the lack of political success during the Arab Spring and a rise in alternate forms of mobilization. Finally, their acceptance of democracy remains a debated matter. Cesari concludes that while Islamic political cultures could evolve into more inclusive forms of civil religion, the current global context and security concerns tend to push both states and their citizens towards greater regulation of religion. This chapter was published in The Routledge Handbook to Religion and Political Parties.