By Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi'
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Additional resources for Contemporary Arab Thought: Studies in Post-1967 Arab Intellectual History
It also resorts to assassination as a means of intimidating its enemies; 4. qxd 9/13/03 1:21 AM Page 19 INTRODUCTION 19 human rights or freedom of thought. In other words, the real absence of a civil society. These trends have recently been aided by the rise of the United States to the position of sole superpower in the world; (b) as a result of the disintegration of the socialist system and the ensuing of the New World Order, the Arab world is more connected to the world capitalist system than it has ever been before.
The lack of scholarly studies of religion is based on the notion that religion belongs to the incomprehensible domain of the Sacred and the mythical, and does not warrant academic treatment except when invoked by the oppressed or by a political movement such as the Ikhwan. This attitude is held by Arab secularists who believe that if religion is confined to the subjective domain, religious movements would wither away. The position of the state, which is often secular and Western-oriented, is not much different.
In one significant sense, this is a catch-22 game and a form of cultural schizophrenia. 93 It is important to underline the fact, which is often emphasized by Amin, that Islamic revivalism was more of a response to the penetration of capitalism into the Arab world than the failure of capitalism in this world. 94 After 1967, it enhanced its position in the Arab world in the wake of the defeat of Nasserism and with the Center’s increasing need for oil. The Gulf region, after the defeat of nationalism, becomes more powerful and important than the rest of the Middle East.