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Hamas and Civil Society in GazaEngaging the Islamist Social Sector$
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Sara Roy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159676

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159676.001.0001

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Islamist Conceptions of Civil Society

Islamist Conceptions of Civil Society

(p.51) Chapter 3 Islamist Conceptions of Civil Society
Hamas and Civil Society in Gaza

Sara Roy

Princeton University Press

This chapter presents a conceptual framework for ideas about Islamic civil society and explores the meaning of civil society to Islamists themselves. An Islamic civil society does not differ in certain ways from a non-Islamic or secular civil society but embraces some of the same values (e.g., civility, tolerance) and roles (e.g., independent entities compensating for the deficiencies of the state). Another prominent theme is that Islam, both as a religion and as an expression of cultural identity, should not be relegated solely to the private sphere but should also be situated squarely in the public sphere. A third theme stressed compatibility between Islam and civil society, arguing that Islam contains all the requisite elements to form a civil society and that traditional Islamic society was indeed a version of civil society.

Keywords:   Islamic civil society, Islamists, secular civil society, Islam, religion, cultural identity, public sphere

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