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Young IslamThe New Politics of Religion in Morocco and the Arab World$
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Avi Max Spiegel

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691159843

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691159843.001.0001

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Strategizing the Sacred

Strategizing the Sacred

(p.177) Chapter 9 Strategizing the Sacred
Young Islam

Avi Max Spiegel

Princeton University Press

This chapter suggests that the representations of religion in young Islamists' lives are not the product of prevarication, but rather of personalization. Religious authority has become circulated to such an extent that it has come to mean multiple things to multiple members. In the midst of this diversification, political party members increasingly appropriate the authority to interpret and represent what “Islam” means or should mean to others. None of these myriad representations constitutes “lies.” Instead, these words and constructions represent and reflect members' own strategic desires for themselves. The chapter shows how the haraka represents for some a site for religious study, a place of Qurʾanic learning unfettered by politics. For others, it is a place to make contacts and to get ahead: an instrumental, not ideological, site. For still others, it serves as a strategic site, a place to try out new ideas, and even as a convenient scapegoat. And, yet, for others, it is completely ignored; it simply has no place in their lives as party members.

Keywords:   Islamist movements, Morocco, young Islamists, religious authority, religion, haraka

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