The Future of Islam After 9/11

Publication Abstract

Moaddel M. 2004. "The Future of Islam After 9/11." Futures 36(9): 961-77.

This article projects the possible future of Islam in Iran, Egypt, Jordan, and beyond, by analyzing the historical background and extrapolating from survey data collected before and after 11 September 2001. Islamic culture is actively produced, rather than being an inevitable reflection of social arrangements, so it is important to understand how its intellectual leaders and activists perceive and resolve the issues facing their faith. The key concepts are targets, in relation to which ideas are produced, and societal visibility. If these targets are visible and clear, then one may be able to reasonably estimate the kind of religious discourses most likely to develop in the Islamic movement in the future. The future of Islam is most visible in Iran, where there is a move toward reformism and rejection of political Islam. In Jordan, there is a moderate visibility to predict that the country’s Islamic movement will continue its tradition of moderation and conservatism. In Egypt, the future of Islam is least visible. While extremism is on a decline, it is not clear the degree to which a leftist-conservative alliance will dominate the country’s cultural landscape.

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