6 May 2019

Why Political Islam is so popular

Israëlische controlepost © iStockphoto.com/ichinterlang
Israeli Checkpoint © iStockphoto.com/ichinterlang

Dr. Joas Wagemakers (Islam and Arabic) appeared in Nederlands Dagblad on April 25th to discuss the popularity of political Islam in Muslim countries. 

Dr. Joas Wagemaker
Dr. Joas Wagemakers

According to Wagemakers, the Arab world was searching for a new identity after 1967. This identity became Islam. While each country's 'Islamisation' process was different, they all came to existence against the same backdrop. 

War against Israel

The Arab loss in the Six-Day War against Israel played a big role in this. The Arab sense of self took a hit after the war, and the search for a new identity led them to Islam. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia felt threatened by the revolutionary ideologies present in the region. As a counteroffense, the country steered itself into a conservative Islamic direction, which got spread to other Muslim countries.