THE CRISIS OF MODERNITY OF THE ARAB-ISLAMIC WORLD
The Westernization of Islam, which began at least two hundred years ago, has two major consequences: a positive one, meaning the enlightenment of the elites which tried to reform Islam; and a negative one, "the perverse effect of contact with the West", as the experts often call it, which consists of the development of religious sects within the Muslim societies. The direct and striking conclusion, upon first analysis, is that Islamic fundamentalism is the product of Western modernity. Of course, the line of explanation has its origin in colonial times, seen as a major disappointment by those Muslims who believed in the benefits of a European-style modernity, and continues with the Cold War period, with the examples of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where the mobilization of Islamist elements was beneficial in the fight against the Soviet enemy and the active proselytism practiced by the latter.
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