Minding Arab Fundamentalism

Gabriele Marranci, an anthropologist based at the National University of Singapore, writes  at his blog on the revolts in Arab Countries and on how anthropologists have helped to perpetuate the myth of a fundamentalist Arab-Muslim mind:

Although we need to acknowledge that each revolt finds its raison d’être in local contexts and issues, we have also to recognize that Arab youth in the region want a change: they wish to end the long post-colonial period of time marked by dictators at the service of western economic and geopolitical interests…

…What is happening in the Middle East today, and even taking into consideration the local aspects of the revolt, the tribal interests and the economic factors, shows a very different reality from a monolithic Muslim mind controlled by the symbolic dimension of theology. Muslim Arabs are not, in other words, homo theologicus. The revolts–marked by the young age of those whom started it–show that many Arab Muslim youths, after losing faith in the US in the 1980s, have also lost their hope in the traditional Islamic movements.  Moreover, the violent methodology of Al-Qaeda has totally alienated the majority of Muslims.

Press here to read  From anthropology to politics: the myth of the fundamentalist Arab Muslim mind

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