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Plural Islamism in Plural Modernities

This article examines the trajectory of Islamism as a modern phenomenon. It demonstrates that, having evolved under the influence of myriad political, intellectual and historical developments of the past two hundred years, the concept is still surrounded by various debates, movements, acts of violence, ideologies, policies and positions. Islamism also continues to be a significant element in Turkey’s political and intellectual life as well. The article then engages several critical questions. Has Islamism reached its end? Is a new type of Islamism emerging? Is post-Islamism on the horizon. In response, the article argues that Islamism’s diversification –as opposed to its end– leads the movement to survive as pluralities that result from structural changes stemming from global and plural modernities’ interaction with societies. In line with social and political organizations’ pursuit of violence, poverty, challenge, reconciliation and alliance, Islamism too is being plurally reconstructed.

Plural Islamism in Plural Modernities
Women pray at the first public mixed-gender Muslim prayer service in New York.
 

Islamism is an approach that emerged under the influence of political, intellectual and historical developments of the past two hundred years. Various debates, movements, acts of violence, ideologies, policies and positions surround the concept. In Turkey’s political and intellectual life, too, Islamism continues to be a significant element. As both Turkey and the broader region undergoe large-scale transformation, Islamism also receives its share of change.

At a historical junction where the Arab Spring sweeps across the Islamic world, democratic Islamic movements bloom and chaos and conflict takes place, Islamism once again moves toward crucial diversification. At the same time, Turkey continues to experience a major transformation under the Justice and Development Party (JDP). All these bring up the following questions: Have we reached the end of Islamism? Is this already the time for post-Islamism? Or is a new type of Islamism emerging? These claims all bear considerable importance.

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