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Post-IslamismThe Changing Faces of Political Islam$
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Asef Bayat

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199766062

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199766062.001.0001

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Saudi Arabia and the Limits of Post-Islamism

Saudi Arabia and the Limits of Post-Islamism

(p.277) 10Saudi Arabia and the Limits of Post-Islamism

Stéphane Lacroix

Oxford University Press

The “Islamo-liberal” reform movement, which took shape in the late 1990s around a group of former Islamist intellectuals striving to blend Salafi Islam with democracy, represented a Saudi version of post-Islamism. This chapter examines the fate of this movement, and accounts for the Islamo-liberals’ failure to effectively influence Saudi politics. It shows that the Islamo-liberals were unable to overcome the fragmentation of the social and political spheres, i.e. between intellectuals and ulema as much as between Islamists and liberals, and only prospered when they were instrumentalized by a faction of the royal family against another – an irony for a group whose project was to challenge the very foundations of the Saudi political system.

Keywords:   Saudi Arabia, Post-Islamism, Liberal Islam, Salafism, Ulema

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