Understanding the Context of the Emergence and Spread of Islamic Fundamentalism in Kurdistan province of Iran
Religious fundamentalism is return to pure religious thoughts, beliefs, laws, and identity in the era of Islamic authority. Given the ever-growing spread of religious fundamentalism and revivalism in today’s world, and especially in Islamic countries, the present article aims at discussing the reasons behind the emergence and spread of this fundamentalist trend and the reasons that influence the contemporary man’s tendency to join this fundamentalist trend. Research perspective of this paper is qualitative approach based on grounded theory research method. Sample has been selected by purposive sampling and after doing in depth interviews with 15 participants was obtained theoretical saturation. In order to achieve the aim of this article the interviews were analyzed in three phases by using open, axial and selective coding system. The central core of reasons of participants for the tendency to religious fundamentalism are: 1. confronting modernism and secularism and their identities as opposites to Islamic identity; 2. the crisis of meaning in the individual and social life of the modern social actor; 3. uncertainty in the modern era and the concerns and worries resulting from that; 4. the need for the contemporary man to release himself from individuality and connecting with collective identity; 5. the weakness of religious spirituality in converting religion to a discourse with a visible presence in people’s individual and social lives.
Keywords: Islamic Fundamentalism, Islamic Identity, Religious Knowledge, Modernism, Seeking Spirituality
There have been various approaches trying to explain religious fundamentalism. Some thinkers explain religious fundamentalism from a historical perspective, relying on the historical trends paving the way for its emergence and spread. Some others believe that regional and cross-regional events are important factors in the development of this phenomenon(Koulaee 2005). Still some others base their explanations on the theological conflicts and differences in interpretation among Ash’arites and Mu’tazilite (Hamid Abu Zayd 2001).
Farhad Bayani, Ph.D in Sociology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.Email ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite awareness of multiple factors that are effective on political and economic connections among movement leaders, this article emphasize on sociological analysis and continuum of macro and micro level factors about explanation of fundamentalism. The stress of the article is on factors that they create ground tendency of followers of this movement to membership and activation in this religious revival movement. These followers don’t have knowledge from political and economic connections among their leaders. So, their motivation is different from their leader’s motivations. The purpose of the article is identification of effective reasons on tendency of followers to welcome religious fundamentalism approach.
Religious fundamentalism is return to disciplines that they are index of basis of religion. Always acts of fundamentalists are reactive and return to past as well as selective. They devote their energy for dimensions of religion that they are best booster their identity and provide their unity of their movement. Fundamentalists fight under name of God in monotheistic religions or under name the symbols of transcendental reference(Castels 2006). Fundamentalism is a general label which west apply to all Islamic movements that they are whether political, varying from large-scale, sometimes amorphous, basically modernist streams such as the Muslim Brothers or to small subversive organizations, such as the Tanzim aI-Jihad which assassinated Sadat in 1981, or the Shi’ite Hizballah (Kupferschmidt 1995, 42). Religious fundamentalism isn’t limited to Islam; at first fundamentalism was applied for implying to various movements of protestant in United States. Important property of these movements were return to pure understanding from first references and Christian texts to edit them from suspicions which enter to this religious tradition via modernity(Houshangi 2010, 182)
“From the late nineteenth century, fundamentalism prospered as the main pole about interpretation and understanding of reality among traditional religious groups. This religious fundamentalism there have been among important religion of world (Islam, Judaism and Christian)”(Marty and Appelby 1991-1995quotedinStump 2008, 173).“In the present post-colonial context in particular, it is important to view Islamic fundamentalism as an expression of the right of Muslim peoples to self-determination through the strict observance of Shari’a (traditional formulations of the normative system of Islam),2 whether through its application by the state, or informal communal compliance in social relations and personal life-style” (Ahmed An-Na’im 2003, 27).“Fundamentalist movements possess an essentially activist character in that they are organized to confront and defeat perceived threats to their systems of religious knowledge”(Stump 2008, 181).
About important of religious fundamentalism can be noted that “religious fundamentalism isn’t alternative for fringe groups or social groups which deprived from economic and cultural capital there for should not be assumed that influencing this movement isn’t effective on major groups in society. Actually young educated middle class who has high cultural and economic capital also tends to religious attitude. Religious fundamentalism with reliance on religious tradition established the ideal which not only related to values of modern world but also claimed win against current discourses (Mahmoudian 2002, 58). Ahmed An-Na’im believes that this phenomenon should be understood as an indigenous spontaneous response to profound social, political and economic crises … like other social movements, Islamic fundamentalism is a production the interaction of certain internal and external actors and factors … fundamentalist movements should be seen as both products and agents of social change in Islamic societies and communities (Ahmad An- Naim 2003, 25). Modernity creates structural changes which destruct tradition: urbanization, ethnic and religious pluralism and creation nation-state are some of the most important changes(Harr 2003). Analysis The spread of religious fundamentalism is essential not only because of its penetration among social actors but also because of its military power and violent actions and even streaming software in Iran. Based on the observations and experiences of the author, exist relatively strong tendency to membership in religious fundamentalism among Iranian Sunni youth that this neglect can have serious consequences for society of Iran. Understanding and recognition of extremist tendency can prevent from its spreading also with notification about reasons the spread of fundamentalism among social actors can to some extent control that which has hidden himself under religious interpretation.
The question of this article is “what are the main reasons of people for tendency to religious fundamentalism stream?”
- Definition of religious fundamentalism
Islamic movements in North Africa and the Middle East do use the corresponding Arabic terms usuli, as adjective, and usuliyya, as noun (fundamentalist and fundamentalism), to describe themselves and their beliefs as part of a historical tradition that goes back ten centuries, and not as a recent translation of the American term (Ahmad An- Naim 2003, 28).The most basic characteristic of fundamentalism is that it is reactionary. Its basic stance is oppositional, as it is always hostile to other, whom it perceives as threatening … At different times, and in different places, fundamentalists have come up with a variety of others(Herriot 2009, 9). About dimensions of religious fundamentalism, another definition, states fundamentalism is one movement which tries to access these aims:
- Revival of Quran and religious tradition.
- Reject of next changes during Middle in Islamic world, especially about Jurisprudence, theology, philosophy and etc.
- Open the doors of Ijtihad against approach of past religious scientist among Sunnis.
- Maximum views of Islam as complete way for life.
- Replace folk Islam with orthodoxy Islam (refinement, the purity of belief and behavior)(Ahmad 1991 quoted in Houshangi 2010, 182).
Qualitative research method, grounded theory, has been used to understand the subject matter of the research. The sampling method is purposive sampling by using maximum variation strategy. Sampling is done among persons who have obvious religious fundamentalist tendencies in province of Kurdistan- Iran. They have some fundamentalist approaches about interpretation of Quran, the nature and position of the hadiths of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh) and Jurisprudential approach. Using of the sampling method needs to discriminate of people or places then, we have to select places or persons with maximum variation (Creswell 2012, 155)The cause of selection this people is they have maximum data about religious fundamentalism for studying article subject. In identifying the subjects studied, three criteria, which are the criteria of fundamentalist thought, were considered; they have traditional approach about interpreting of Quran regardless of the status of the descendants of the verses and their historical nature, emphasize the full implementation of these verses in contemporary world also, they want the full implementation of prophet’s Hadiths (pbuh) regardless of the cultural and social context of the jurisprudential jurisprudence and the appropriateness of these sentences with the social characteristics of the contemporary world. After deep interview 15 participants theoretical saturation was achieved. The main reasons of participants for explaining their tendency to fundamentalist approach in interpreting of Islamic texts appeared after using triple steps open, axial and selective coding. In addition, to support the credibility criterion used from some of the techniques suggested by Shanton (2004) are: validation by members, reasoning commentary by the researcher, repeating questions and gaining the trust of the participants (shenton 2004, 64-69)
5.Findings:Examining the contexts of advent and spread of religious fundamentalism
In this section of article author tries to present an understanding about tendency of individuals to religious fundamentalist groups by analyzing interviews and encoding them. It should be mentioned that factors to be considered is related to fans and members of fundamentalist groups. If focus on reasons tendency the leaders of these movements to act, can present different factors.
Table 1. Semantic units, main categories and central cores the reasons of advent and spread of Islamic fundamentalism
|Central core (selective coding)|
|Women’s lack of hijab, the growth of social illegitimate relationships, the increase in women’s and girls’ makeup, the lack of attention to prayer, the lack of attention to halal and haram, the ignorance of the relationships of non-human beings, mixed parties between boys and girls, party banishment, neglect of the poor, forgetting God, paying attention to reading the Quran, money-wasting||Ethical weakness of society||Confronting to modernism|
|Little attention to religious judgments|
|Materialism (worldly worship)|
|Goalless in life, disappointment to the future, feelings of selflessness, the feeling of the ineffectiveness of life, confusion, the feeling of being undone, the influx of technology, the increase of cosmetic surgeries, the simulation of humans||Nihilism||The crisis of meaning in social life|
|Feeling confused, hesitant, anxiety, new situations in life, worries about unknown things like death, fear of death, worrying about the decisions that I make in life,||Existential anxiety||Uncertainty|
|Fear of unknowns|
|Loneliness, Concern for loneliness in the future, Lonely anxiety, good sense of being together, raising common issues among religious brothers, feeling one with religious brothers, feeling safe among religious scholars||Loneliness anxiety
|Harbor to collective identity|
|Feel the existential security in the crowd|
|Tedious preaching, repeated recitation of clerics, failure to address community issues, neglecting the youth, the great wealth of some clerics, business clerics, immorality in society||The gap between religion and society||The weakness of clergymen about conversion religion to discourse|
|Epistemic weakness of ordinary religious meetings|
According to Table 1, the content of interviews have been analyzed over three stages of open, axial and selective coding. The codes that have been extracted from the context of the open source encoding have been categorized in axial coding as main categories: ethical weakness of society, little attention to religious judgments, materialism (worldly worship), nihilism, depression, feel unfaithful, existential anxiety, fear of unknowns, loneliness anxiety, feel the existential security in the crowd, the gap between religion and society, epistemic weakness of ordinary religious meetings. In selective coding step, these core categories have been conceptualized as the five central cores that have the highest abstraction level: confronting to modernism, the crisis of meaning in social life, uncertainty, harbor to collective identity, the weakness of clergymen about conversion religion to discourse.
In hole, these five concepts are the reasons who the interviewees have expressed to their tendency on fundamentalist approaches to the interpretation of Islamic texts and Shari’a. With these findings, what’s most noticeable is that in one hand, a part of Muslims believe that the thoughts, values and behavioral patterns of the modern world has invaded religion and religious values. In the other hand, the official and prevalent Islam in present-day Islamic society has given its spiritual function to a large extent. For this reason, religionists have turned to other interpretations and understandings of Islam for their spiritual needs which, at least for them and their needs, has more favorable answers and spiritual services. As a result, this group of Muslims has interpreted Islam and the Islamic Shari’a to deal with the onslaught of modernism and modern beliefs, to repel its dangers and to turn to public discourse that can meet their spiritual demands in their social life. Contributing factors of advent and spread of religious fundamentalism can be stated:
1-1.Confronting to modernism
People who come to fundamentalism are sensitive about changes in society. In United States practically middle-class white men more than any other group have tendency to membership in Christian fundamentalism. Tendency to membership in fundamentalist groups is extent because of their worry about increasingly power of women, immigrants, religious and ethnic minorities, exclusive market, spread of liberalism and variety of life styles and believe these events challenge their identity and authority(Mahmoudian 2002, 59). As noted Davidson, one of the disciplines of religious fundamentalism is Islamic world in a state of decline due to political and moral rout over the centuries to take over and this decline has led to the invasion of the west in Muslim lands which has created amoral alienation via secular values based on materialism and nationalism (Davidson 1998). According to religious approach world the world is nothing but the collection of irrational, no organized, corrupt and decadent relations therefore only religion can reveal truth (Mahmoudian 2002).
Fundamentalist groups believe that western world (will be equivalent to the modern world) is full of immorality and corruption so if material and secular values of the it established in Islamic world will be involved in this corruption, therefore must deal with the growth and dominance the values of modernity. Remarks of one the middle-aged participants in this regard could show more of their position on the manifestations of modernity: “with the arrival of satellites and the Internet, our youth have been away from prayers and coming to mosques, and they spend most of their time watching these internet programs and films and music broadcast on satellite channels”. The other one is the father of two girls that would be said: “I do not like to see my daughters European and American movies, because girls and women do not wear hijab in these movies, and some of these movies show girl’s and boys’ free ties. These are prohibited in our religion”. They believe that the way of battle with this process is return to religious values, rituals and traditions. With reliance upon religious principles and use of religious guidance -the kind that existed in the beginning of Islam- can solve problems of modern man also society governed. Islamic fundamentalism believes that the community can be saved from moral, economic, and political corruption via spread and boom of Islamic values.
Religion claims that it has three achievements for man. In the other words, religion is source of three: Giving knowledge, giving identity and giving bliss(Soroush, Contemporary Muslim Dialogue 2014). Giving knowledge refers to dimension of religion which tries answer to questions and unknowns. One of the missions of religion is providing knowledge resources for man but these must coordinator with religious knowledge. It means that religion don’t claims that can answer questions about mathematics, biology, architecture but presents appropriate responses about philosophy of creation, wisdom the process of world, philosophy of death, ontology and worldview. Islam also gives identity. Giving identity is refer to that religion provides distinct identify there for followers define self via their religion. Until three centuries ego Islamic identity was powerful and all of Muslims in answer to this question which who are you? They are said we are Muslim. About three centuries ego Islamic identity waned and this decline was due to the weakness of Islamic religious knowledge (Soroush, Contemporary Muslim Dialogue 2014)also Muslims have a poor performance about religious knowledge and rethinking in religious knowledge there for couldn’t provide appropriate answers to new questions in contemporary world via Islamic knowledge. On one hand this weakness and the other hand, tries of western science and secular think about appropriate answers to challenge questions cause of weakness of religion, as public discourse, in public sphere of society. Islamic identity via Islamic knowledge was strengthened and if Muslim were accompanied with scientific authority then Islamic identity could be powerful. In fact, knowledge is creator of identity. Now that civilization of west, modernism and secularism are main creators of knowledge in the world and this condition rooted in the weakness and isolation of Muslim scholars, there for modern and secular identity have been dominant on other sources, including religious identities even Christianity and Judaism, the creation of knowledge and they are the only source of power poses identity for modern man. In response to this condition some Muslims try to rebuilding Islamic identity and strengthening again it. Turner also believes that this contrast with modernism is one of influencing factors in spread of religious fundamentalism: religious fundamentalism is one reaction to modernization, including consumerism, sexual freedom and secularism (Turner 2004). This creation of identity not with thinking and review about religious knowledge there for attention was focused on rebuilding of Islamic identity. This led to create violence, war and noisy actions and it was characteristic of religious fundamentalism. In the other hand religious fundamentalists for revive of Islamic identity versus modern and secular identity doing actions so that this identity is shown in bold. Because these actions not accompanied with religious knowledge there for these actions are unpredictable. If in the past three centuries, Muslim scholars to respond to new questions were reviewing in religious education in this case, Islamic identity was strengthened and not necessity to violent actions. In reality revive of religious identity is good if accompanied to religious knowledge. Obviously, coordination between knowledge and identity religious can provide bliss in this world and other world (The world hereafter).
2.The crisis of meaning in social life
Luckman argues that in wide level exist three types of structural arrangements for holy worlds: first, religion spread in whole of social structure. A situation characterized by ancient societies. Second, the separation of religion is based on proximity to political institutions in ancient society. Finally, institutional separation and specialization of religion as distinctive section of activity is characteristic of modern societies (Luckmann 1998 quoted in Turner 2004).
The most important of factors about advent and spread of religious fundamentalism, whether Islamic or in other faiths, is fade of religion in social life. In pre-modern societies religion in addition to needs related to identities, knowledge and bliss, as well as fill semantic vacuums for pre-modern man also he helped about interpretation and perception of philosophy of realities and events. The acceleration of economic and social changes and extension of new cultural views created vacuum norms and values for many groups in world (Mahmoudian 2002, 58). Now this role is pending with spread the penetration of secular think and weakness the presence of religion in social life. Because in one hand religion is weak and in the other hand experimental and secular sciences couldn’t secure semantic vacuum modern man. In this condition, to some extent, religious revivalism, reinterpretation of religious knowledge and effort to secure of semantic vacuum of man can explain spread of religious fundamentalism. A 38-year-old woman said this in an interview: “before I participated in religious commentary and recitation sessions with religious siblings, it was too long ago that I was disappointed with my future, and with myself, what was the benefit of this recurring life? why should I leave this world? But now, taking part in these meetings and becoming more familiar with religious teachings, I have found a positive view of the purpose of God from the creation of man and this world, and the future is not scary and I do not feel depressed”.
Turner implies that secularism and modern culture are put out religion from society and put it on sidelines. In current and western model of religion, religious experiment is private and individual experiment there for, Judaism and Islamic fundamentalism is reaction to such changes. Fundamentalism try to secure the authority of religion in judicial and economic affairs and government (Turner 2004). In this regard, Turner quoted from Derrida: “Derrida described this process as the issuance of individualistic version Latin Christianity and world reactions as global itinization and he it explains to a strange coalition of Christianity as the experiment of death God along with the capitalism of tele techno scientific (Derrida 1998, 13 quoted in Turner 2004, 356). Berger and Luckman also emphasize on importance of meaning in social life: Berger and luckman’s sociological theory integrated existentialism philosophy’s Jean-Paul Sartre and classical sociological tradition. Berger and Luckman based on existentialism philosophy argue that man create social world so that deal to knowledge of meaningless of manafter the Christianity and give order and meaning to their lives again. Threats of physical anxiety will never fade because social world which we have created is fragile phenomena and is existence this danger which advent meaningless events in behind the appearance of order(Seidman 2011).
Goff man search the structures which invisibly influenced on individual actions in behind of daily positions. These structures are schemata of interpretation which enable individuals to interpret, understand, recognize and label to events in their life(Ritzer and Douglas 2001, 336). Modernism, in contemporary world and accompanied with increasingly boom of secular culture and value, through change of schemata of interpretation related of social actors controls their selections and value patterns. Although exist in the world various religions but when guided schemata of interpretation of social actors to material world and coordinated to these values, in reality we see religion aversion. Modern material culture has led schemata of interpretation of social actors toward materialism and material life also this idea is promoted that anything that man want is legitimate. This idea tells pleasure, welfare, demands and wisdom of man is principle and legitimate. There for with this schemata of interpretation isn’t logical that modern and secular man deny fast pleasure and demands and move to spiritual values such as holiness, austerity, dedication and heavenly bliss. In fact, schemata of interpretation affected worldview of social actors. Because contemporary religious institutions have lost greatly their functions of relaxation and meaning creational so they couldn’t fill spiritual and semantic challenges thus some of people tend to greed of fundamentalism think. Man in any time need to rely on supernal and metaphysical values. In modern world which man is the axis of everything, common value system can’t secure man’s spiritual needs. The rotation of contemporary man to religious values and traditions, which thought would weaken in modern period, perhaps is an answer to this spiritual and semantic need.
Berger believes that contemporary world isn’t secular because modernism has shaken many of ancient absolutions. Uncertainty is situation that its tolerance is very difficult for people thus any movement, until unreligious, which is annunciator ancient absolutions and present of new absolutions will be welcomed(Berger 2001 quoted in Azad Armaki and Zare 2008, 138).Indeed uncertainty and relativity of any social reality create worry and risk for man because pre-modern man was effected by religion and tradition also for any selection has based on religion or social tradition there for his/him selections was approved by from them and this approval provide security and repose for he/she. In modern period, man is responsible to all selections and responsibilities related to these selections. As a result, always there are some concerns about what are the consequences of this choice? Or is this the right choice?… and questions like these. It can be argued that modern man is so involved risks and anxiety cause due to outcomes of his choices that for access of serenity and disclaimer of his choice prefers return to traditional and religious society because in religious society man use from religious guidelines at the socio-economic crossroads of his life thus reduced his worries related to his choices. In other words, modern man to get rid of these anxieties, worries and increasingly uncertainties prefers return to religion. The fact that by finding new evidence we obtain better and more accurate about phenomena causes that can’t be the final viewpoint about any phenomena. The spread of such viewpoint can challenge religious absolutism (Houshangi 2010, 186).The uncertainty have permeate in various levels of social life also modern man about everyday decisions faces with relativism and uncertainty that this situation is continuous hanging and it brings continuous anxiety and unrest. The property of man ontology is that can’t be undecided but he needs absolute solution and selections although to be determined in the future that these solution and selection were wrong. In reality view point of uncertainty can’t provide feel safe for man. When man can select one object that be sure the object is the best object among others.
In religious society, religion and tradition helped to humans in their selections and these religious beliefs created security after selection for humans. Other more important subject in religious society was discourse of fate that provided serenity to human beings. In this situation, if man not achieve to his demands or consequences of his selections isn’t expected, his belief to God and fate- that they are beyond human decisions and can incompatible compared with his demands-provide serenity and acceptance for human beings. Against with expressed situation, modern man believes that everything is customizable, predictable and caused by rational interferences of human being there for in the event of any failure blames himself and his wisdom. This situation can causes deep and extensive depression in modern era because the contemporary world has extensive complexity and uncertainty increasing thus man can’t rely on any situation. A 25-year-old girl, who has been present in a group of Islamic fundamentalists for about a year, told me about the confusion she had before: “previously, there was a lot going on that I was distressed and worried about several issues such as examinations and job interviews for several days. I would be so annoyed. But since we have realized the importance of God’s power and majesty and that he is the creator and director of this world, and that it is enough, we will try and give the result to God, I have become much calmer and I have more peace of mind than ever. Because the righteousness and divine power dominate this world”.
When people rely on religion and religious view release from anxiety and worry due to uncertainty. Different aspects of religion, especially jurisprudence and Islamic worldview, are clear main topics of everyday life, philosophy of existence and many of social and individual actions so has release modern man from multi aims and multi routs. Religious fundamentalist groups through their interpretations of religious contexts and active presence in public sphere have a definite and clear response- may be incorrect- to questions and bewilderment of modern man. There for it can be argued that one of influencing factors on the spread of religious fundamentalism is tendency of man to release from uncertainty.
4.Harbour to collective identity
Other reason that can be effective on tendency of people to membership in religious fundamentalist groups is this fact that people join these groups so that connect themselves to somewhat wide network of social connections and overcome on individualism. Individualism is outcome of modernity.“As Durkheim was predicted: according to be plural of modern culture, individualism will be our few common beliefs”(Seidman 2011, 60). Because in modern world weak religious identity in comparison individualism and secular identity there for Muslims and non-Muslims actors are affected by the spread of materialism and invasion of values and norms that they are conflict with human. As a result modern social actors feel alone. Some of people who are present in these groups rather than seeking to original and traditional Islam try link to network of connections with humans who are sympathetic to gather and suffer from invasion of individualism and capitalism values. In interviews with some of these people, one of their strong reasons for welcoming them to Islamic fundamentalist groups and communities is the same link and interaction with a collective identity. For example, one of them said this: “When I’m coming back to work, I am very happy about being present for interpreting and reading the Quran in a group of friends who are sympathetic to me, and this is motivating me and some kind of delight”.
One of the core values of capitalism is overall competition for achieving of profit and seeking bless. Man who life in such society must battle with other actors to achieve his demands thus the main feature in this situation is feeling of social insecurity. In this situation is very likely that people rely on group and collection of individuals which they are sympathetic and instead of pursuing material and competitive values, they follow revival of moral values, spirituality, trust on God, represent and volition of God in their life. Membership in these groups for modern manas well as they seek to rebuild their religious identity they follow freedom of individuality, individualism and social isolation. Perhaps principles of modernism forgot that man is social and it thinks that security of his material needs is enough. The neglect of spiritual dimensions of social actors is one of causes that they tendency for participate in communities such as religious communities. This condition isn’t limit to Islam but is such tendency among followers of other religions to presence inhuman communities for freedom of pain alone. Instances of such groups are T groups, groups of sensitivity training, groups training of human relationships and groups meet (Karimi 2010, 67).In all these groups, people try solve personality and spiritual challenges and what is important is the presence among the people groups. Perhaps can argue that one of the main cause tendency of Muslims to membership in religious fundamentalist groups is their interest to freedom of pressure and outcomes of individualism and connection to collective identity in human community. If in addition to this, the reconstruction of religious identity is also important in this case, the human community can be religious fundamentalist group.
5.The weakness of clergymen about conversion of religion to discourse
The weakness of clergymen about conversion religion to discourse in public sphere is one causes that reduced role of religion to answering to cognitive challenges. Religion compared with its powerful rivals- science and secularism- has weaker role in context of social context and it is absent in landmark times that modern human need to knowledge, serenity and enlightenment. Instead of religion, science and secular think have prepared and justified answers to questions of human modern and in this way increasingly strengthen their popularity and span in social life. This more than anything caused by negligence and poor performance of clergymen about bring religion and religious discourse in modern social life. Clergymen is weakness about rethinking, reload and extraction of religious knowledge to answering to questions and challenges about ontological and epistemological knowledge. This condition has caused lag from its competitors. One young participants says about it: “As a young person in the new world, I face social and personality problems that I can expect from the clergy of the mosques to solve them, but when I come to them, they are not familiar with these issues and they are alien at all”.
Religion is increasingly deleting from modern human thinking, opinion and context of life. God, religion and holy affairs are out from axioms of contemporary human and against pre-modern human that these affairs were axioms now this is not and modern human is suspected in all things (Soroush, The Similarities and Differences between Jalaluddin Rumi and Ali ibn Abi Talib 2014). This doubt isn’t rational doubt which seek to achieve certainty via knowledge but these spiritual affairs has deleted from his individual and social life while hasn’t suitable alternative which fill the spiritual vacuum of holy affairs. Indeed main section of this condition affected by passivity clergymen about epistemology of religion to answering modern human questions and challenges. In contrast, experimental science and secularism are active in all social fields and try to answer the unknowns of contemporary man. Even science and secularism respond to questions which the answer to these questions is mission of religion. For example answers about beginning of life, the creation of the universe, the philosophy of human creation, meaning of happiness, good and evil, etc. In addition to the weaknesses of clergymen, lack of charismatic leadership who can bold as fascinating and deep religious knowledge and identity is one of the main causes reducing the power of religion in contemporary. Religion as other schools of thought in addition to capability about giving knowledge, giving identity and giving bliss needs to charismatic personality and leadership so that due to attraction and popular this charismatic leader can spread religious knowledge and beliefs among people. The definition of charismatic leader is domination based unusual dedication to whom his heroic force and order created by him justified this dedication(Aron 2002, 40).
In early centuries that it is simultaneous with increasing domination of science and secularism, Islam was denied more than any time from charismatic leadership. Its condition accompanied with natural distance which was created between religion and people- because weakness of creating religious knowledge for respond to questions of modern human-has an main role in creating distance between Muslims and religious thinks. In contrast, Muslims welcome from western thinks and knowledge -the humanities and the natural sciences-.The advent of some religious leaders in century whom can to be gathered relatively large group maybe corroborant the need to charismatic leader to thriving religious trend among Muslims. One sample in past is Osama bin Laden, although because having identity-driven acts of violence carried out but could many people attracted to religious fundamentalism. Many Muslims – especially young- welcome from Bin Laden’s programs, acts and interpretations and even various branches of Al- Qaida created in various Islamic countries. For example Al Qaeda in Yemen, Al Tunisia, Al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. Some of the interviewees were so affected by bin Laden’s character that one of them said that: “Because of the rapture that was in the face, the words and the behavior of bin Laden, I also use a long beard. It seems to me that he, with the magic in his speech, attracted all my friends”. Even can argue that speedy action of DAESH related to election of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as religious leader is corroborant the need of religious society to charismatic leadership.
Although absolutely these acts are terrorist activities and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a perfect sample of terrorist and have an important role in Islam phobia but notes to need for charismatic leader who is permanent and dynamic presence in the field of thought and public discourse. So, the better is that charismatic leader elected among spiritual and thinker leaders who has an urgent moderation and flexibility to encounter with contemporary challenges and take cognitive and emotional guidance of Islamic world. These charismatic leaders can revival religious giving identity and giving knowledge via connection to non-Islamic world and rethinking about religious knowledge for response to current questions. Indeed, Islamic giving bliss also will provide following this process.
Along with these internal inactions which exist among clergymen, in contrast, religious fundamentalist groups by hold out with regular meetings for its members and answer to contemporary challenges–however wrong answer- could serve their dynamism and have managed recruit new members. Although spirituality in turn religion into a discourse has failed but fundamentalist groups based on their interpretation and reading from religion have been able to be successful about conversion religion into discourse. In fact, fundamentalist movements are successful about readout of religious texts in way that statements extracted from these and provide answers to unknowns and questions of modern man so could influence among people seeking spirituality.
The main goal of this article is explanation of religious fundamentalism emphasizing on Islamic fundamentalism. As implied in previous subject, different factors are effective on tendency of people to membership in religious fundamentalism. Against the current idea that believe fundamentalism is result of political and geopolitics conspiracy, this article stresses on two dimensions which have minimum connection with macro political and economic matters. Broadly speaking these dimensions are; first, rebuilding of Islamic identity and strengthen it against secular and modern identities (confronting to modernism). Islamic identity that was once one of the mainstays of Muslims now has a bad situation and in most cases either absent or weak and secularism and modernism has been invaded it. Because religious knowledge and religious thinking are weak in rebuilding of Islamic identity so, violent and extremist movements are unique way there organization of Islamic identity. In the other hand, the need for spirituality or seeking spirituality (the crisis of meaning in social life, uncertainty and harbor to collective identity) in modern human in absent of religion and spirituality has shown itself to need to membership in fundamentalist groups. This reality intensified by pressure and the invasion of secularism and modernism so, modern man for confronting with his daily anxiety needs to spirituality in order to achieve peace and freedom from challenges of uncertainty. In this condition, weakness of clergymen about conversion of religion to discourse has led the creation alternatives for security spirituality. Author believe that seeking spirituality is most important factor in shaping up the idea of religious revival. Because clergy men is weakness about religious thinking, this need to spirituality secured by religious re-interpretations by the religious revivalist movements. This religious re-interpretations show itself to the think of religious (Islamic) fundamentalism.
In short, factors stated in article for explanation of religious fundamentalism is 1. The rebuilding of religious identity 2. Seeking of spirituality 3. The weakness of clergymen in discourse.
.Fundamentalist and terrorist group active in Syria and Iraq.