Confronting Ideology: Islamophobia vs. Islamist Fundamentalism


  • Nuzhat Khurshid



The notions of tradition and modernity organize the contestation of Islamophobia, as a colonialist, capitalist venture originating in the West, as opposed to the ‘traditional‘ forces of fundamentalism, which originate in the East. The print revolution, beginning as a product of colonialist capitalism, led to the explosion and expansion of ‘modern‘ ideas of cultural essentialism whereas the internet revolution has played a strong role in the spread of ‘traditional‘ ideas as defined by Islamist fundamentalism. The apparent ‘clash of civilizations‘ (Huntington 1993) presented by the interaction between the East and the West, or tradition and modernity, will be critiqued and the dangers of these abstractions, which avoid real issues such as class struggle and geopolitical control, will be shown. Finally, some ideas will be presented on how to challenge both these ideologies in their everyday uses. Using Marx‘s notion of ideology, defined as a tool used by the ruling class to abstract material concepts and maintain power, we will explore the nature of Islamophobia and Islamist fundamentalism.






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