The Failure of Political Islam

Abdullah Al-Ahsan
1996 American Journal of Islam and Society  
Olivier Roy, a researcher at the National Center for ScientificResearch in Paris, wrote Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan ( 1985) andcoauthored, with Andre Brigot, War in Afghanistan (1985). Roy seems tohave earned the respect of Western policy makers by making successfulpredictions about the war in Afghanistan. Publication of his present workwithin two years of its original publication by a leading American universityis a reflection of this. In the present work, translated by Carol Bolk,
more » ... s undertaken a general work on Islam and politics in contemporarytimes and has made another courageous prediction: "Any Islamist politi•cal victory in a Muslim country would produce only superficial changesand law" (p. ix).Roy writes in the context of a historical situation that "many consideran era of an Islamic threat" (p. 1) but does not identify the nature of thisthreat. What is this threat and to whom is it directed? From some of hisremarks, it seems that the threat is directed toward Westem civilization, ingeneral, and our contemporary nation-state system, in particular. His assuranceto those who take the "Islamic threat" seriously is that the nation-stateframework continues (and perhaps will continue) to be the determining factorbecause "the UN has globalized Muslim states." Despite its rhetoric,even revolutionary Iran has become just another nation-state and "the FIS'sAlgeria will do nothing more than place a chador over the FLN's Algeria"(p. 60), counsels Roy ...
doi:10.35632/ajis.v13i3.2305 fatcat:5wgastmv6ngi5dhufbyubnl6ly