The Political Protest in an Islamic Language
Insight Turkey, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 139-153, January-March 2000
8 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2010
Date Written: March 20, 1997
Throughout history, the magical language of Islam and its sacred vocabulary have been employed by many rulers (either Muslim or non-Muslim) and politically or religiously motivated opposition movements in order to legitimise their attitudes before public opinion, criticise existing orders or mobilise individuals and institutions. This language is a flexible instrument by which governments excommunicate opposition leaders and opposition leaders launch Holy War against governments. Recently, this magical and highly influential language has reappeared in the political arenas of many Muslim countries. Both legal and illegal opposition movements have increasingly employed the political language of Islam to gain popular support and overcome corrupt and discredited regimes. Therefore, in this paper our main purpose is to elucidate various and complex dimensions of the issue. In the rest of this study, we will make an attempt to find appropriate answers to the following questions: Is there such a thing as a "language of Islam"? ; why did Islam become the language of political opposition? ; and why did no other ideology become the language of political opposition?
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