The Singularity of the Jordanian Religious Experience

Publication Abstract

Moaddel M. 2002. "The Singularity of the Jordanian Religious Experience." International Journal of Society, Culture, and Politics 15(4): 527-68.

The history of the Islamic movement in Jordan displays glaring contrasts with its counterparts in other Islamic countries such as Egypt, pre-Revolutionary Iran, and Syria. In a marked departure from a history of violence that characterized the relationship between the state and the Islamic opposition in these countries, the Jordanian Muslim Brothers was not only a peaceful movement but also often defended the state against the challenges of radical ideologies. Following the democratization process launched by the late King Hussein, the Muslim Brothers participated in electoral politics. To adapt itself to the new pluralistic environment, the movement displayed a move toward secularization. This process was reflected in an organizational differentiation and the rationalization of religious discourse. This paper attempts to explain this remarkable phenomenon by first considering the effects of the structure, ideology, and cultural policies of the state and of the development of social classes on the Islamic movement. It then considers the way in which the legal framework and political pluralism in the 1990s contributed to the secularization of the movement.

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