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Title: Pan-Islamism  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Islamism, Pan-nationalism, Islamic revival, List of political parties in Malaysia, Hizb ut-Tahrir
Collection: Irredentism, Islam and Politics, Pan-Islamism, Pan-Nationalism, Political Ideologies
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Islam by country              Sunni              Shias      Ibadi

Pan-Islamism (European Union with Islamic principles. As a form of religious nationalism, Pan-Islamism differentiates itself from other pan-nationalistic ideologies, for example Pan-Arabism, by excluding culture and ethnicity as primary factors towards unification.


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4
  • External links 5


The model pan-Islamism aims for is the early years of Islam – the reign of Muhammad and the early caliphate – when the Muslim world was thought to be strong and uncorrupted in one united state.

In the modern era, Pan-Islamism was championed by Jamal al-Din al-Afghani who sought unity among Muslims to resist colonial occupation of Muslim lands. Although sometimes described as "liberal",[2] al-Afghani did not advocate constitutional government but simply envisioned “the overthrow of individual rulers who were lax or subservient to foreigners, and their replacement by strong and patriotic men.”[3] In a review of the theoretical articles of his Paris-base newspaper there was nothing "favoring political democracy or parliamentarianism,” according to his biographer.[3]

While Afghani's interest in Islamic law and theology was scant,[4] later Pan-Islamism in the post-colonial world was strongly associated with Islamism. Leading Islamists such as Sayyid Qutb, Abul Ala Maududi, and Ayatollah Khomeini all stressed their belief that a return to traditional Sharia law would make Islam united and strong again.

In the period of decolonialism following World War II, Arab nationalism overshadowed Islamism. In the Arab world secular pan-Arab parties – Baath and Nasserist parties – had offshoots in almost every Arab country, and took power in Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Syria. Islamists suffered severe repression; its major thinker Sayyid Qutb, was imprisoned, underwent torture and was later executed.

Following the defeat of Arab armies in the Six-Day War, Islamism and Pan-Islam began to reverse their relative position of popularity with nationalism and pan-Arabism. In 1979 the Iranian Revolution ousted Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi from power, and ten years later the Afghan Muslim mujahideen, with major support from the United States, successfully forced the Soviet Union from Afghanistan.

These events galvanised Islamists the world over and heightened their popularity with the Muslim public. Throughout the Middle-East, and in particular Egypt, the various branches of the Muslim Brotherhood have significantly challenged the secular nationalist or monarchical Muslim governments.

In Pakistan the Jamaat-e-Islami enjoyed popular support especially since the formation of the MMA, and in Algeria the FIS was expected to win the cancelled elections in 1992. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Hizb-ut-Tahrir has emerged as a Pan-Islamist force in Central Asia and in the last five years has developed some support from the Arab world.[5]

Most recent advocate for Pan-Islamism was late Turkish prime minister and founder of the so-called Post-Modern Coup of February 28, 1997, eventually took down Erbakan government.[7]

See also




  1. ^ Bissenove (February 2004). "Ottomanism, Pan-Islamism, and the Caliphate; Discourse at the Turn of the 20th Century" (PDF). BARQIYYA 9 (1) (American University in Cairo: The Middle East Studies Program). Retrieved April 26, 2013. 
  2. ^ such as by a contemporary English admirer, Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, (see: Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, Secret History of the English Occupation of Egypt (London: Unwin, 1907), p. 100.)
  3. ^ a b Nikki R. Keddie, Sayyid Jamal ad-Din “al-Afghani”: A Political Biography (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), pp. 225-26.
  4. ^ Faith and Power by Edward Mortimer Vintage; Vintage Books, 1982
  5. ^ Hizb-ut-Tahrir's Growing Appeal in the Arab World Jamestown Foundation
  6. ^ [3] Erbakan currency
  7. ^ [4] D8 History

Further reading

  • Azmi Özcan. Pan-Islamism: Indian Muslims, the Ottomans and Britain (1877-1924), Brill Academic Publishers, 1997, ISBN 90-04-10180-2.
  • Nazir Ahmad Khan Chaudri. Commonwealth of Muslim States: a plea for Pan-Islamism, al-Ahibba (Friends of the Muslim World Muhibban-e-Alam-e-Islami), 1972.
  • M. Naeem Qureshi. Pan-Islam in British Indian Politics: A Study of the Khilafat Movement, 1918-1924, Brill Academic Publishers, 1999, ISBN 90-04-10214-0.
  • Malik, S. K. (1986). The Quranic Concept of War (PDF). Himalayan Books.  
  • Swarup, Ram (1982).  
  • Trifkovic, Serge (2006).  
  • Landau, Jacob M. (1990).  
  • Phillips, Melanie (2006).  

External links

  • Pan-Islamism in Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  • al-Afghani's Vision of a Pan-Islamic Civilization
  • al-Afghani Bibliography
  • The Manchester Document
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