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The Crisis of Islam - Essay Example

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The Crisis of Islam

Thus, the Muslim fundamentalist movements advocate an unreserved rejection for the West for "causing" all these social ills to transpire due to Western influences and modernization. This rejection is expressed in their denunciation of and violence on Western countries, their interests and peoples as well as 'impious' Muslim people who have 'embraced' the Western modernization and education. Establishment of states and societies based on Islamic law and traditional mores are the end goals of the Muslim fundamentalists. This is so because Muslim fundamentalists view the world as one to be dominated by Islam, and the Western countries and peoples will waste away to give way to this domination. Thus, in this paper, the key explanatory factors that lead the Muslims towards anti-American and anti-Western sentiments are economic and political domination as well as the imperialistic culture that the United States and the West exhibit, hampering the quest of Islam religion and Muslim government towards world domination.
The struggle between Western and anti-Western influences are said to have been traced since the seventh century in the expansion of Islam in the Middle East from 622 A.D. to the present. Lewis emphasized that during Muhammad's lifetime, the Muslims were both a political and a religious community, with the Prophet as head of state who ruled the government and the people, dispensed justice, collected taxes, waged war and made peace.1 This description gives an initial knowledge that the Muslim religion is not at all a plain religion like the Christian religion now, but is also a political embodiment, a way of life, and a set of mores and traditions, which a Muslim must follow at all costs.

As already mentioned, the factors that led towards anti-Western and anti-American sentiments are social, economic, and political ones. The social factors are the staggering global poverty blamed on imperialist influences by the Western countries and the United States, which Lewis covertly mentioned in his book. Extreme economic inequality and problems related to this are also viewed by Islam as being caused by Western domination. Lewis' thesis is that Islam's obsession with the United States is an old occurrence and constitutes the Middle East's escalating hatred for the West.2

The anti-Western and anti-American Muslim sentiments are traced done to the antiquated dominance of Islam, which extended from Morocco to Indonesia, from Kazakhstan to Senegal. It goes back to the mission of the prophet Muhammad in Saudi Arabia during the seventh century and the creation of Islamic community and state.3
Lewis emphasizes that the abysmally low knowledge of the Americans about Islam's venomous sentiments against the ...Show more

Summary

This paper aims to identify and explicitly explain the key explanatory factors of anti Western sentiment as indicated in Bernard Lewis' The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror. Lewis asserts that the Islamic world is confined in an internal struggle of addressing and ultimately solving endemic problems of society, such as extreme economic inequality, poverty, and despotic governments…
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