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Passive Revolution: Absorbing the Islamic Challenge to Capitalism

While Islamic fundamentalism or “radical Islam” has attracted a great deal of public attention, some societies in the Muslim world have experienced the gradual evolution of radical Islam into “moderate” or “political” Islam. Although moderate Muslims in such societies still maintain a pious commitment to Islam in their daily lives, they are not necessarily against the idea of a market economy, democracy, or the West.

While Islamic fundamentalism or “radical Islam” has attracted a great deal of public attention, some societies in the Muslim world have experienced the gradual evolution of radical Islam into “moderate” or “political” Islam. Although moderate Muslims in such societies still maintain a pious commitment to Islam in their daily lives, they are not necessarily against the idea of a market economy, democracy, or the West. Where does moderate Islam come from? Is it the outcome of structural changes such as the modernization and rationalization of Muslim society? Or is the emergence of moderate Islam largely contingent upon a complex interaction between politics, the economy, and everyday social life? Finally, how should we approach this newly emerging alternative to radical Islam?

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