Types of Interactions of Fundamentalist Movements
Fundamentalist movements have many commonalities, such as anti-modern sentiments and the belief that they are the chosen or true believers of God. These radical views have led to the creation of the fundamentalist enclave and have determined how it reacts to the outside secular world. The fundamentalists’ stance toward the outside world is dependent on their assessment of the secular world, as well as the role they believe they are meant to play in the divine plan (Almond, Appleby, & Sivan, 2003, p. 148). The one point that fundamentalist groups are in agreement on is the fact that God’s world is not meant to be pluralistic; therefore the enemy must be vanquished. The four basic orientations in which fundamentalist movements are classified are the world conqueror, world transformer, world creator, and world renouncer.
The world conqueror mentality believes that enemy must be abolished by assuming control of the existing structures of society through militant means. The fundamentalist movements that are classified as world conquerors are often organized according to an authoritarian type leadership where the militant cells are required to be blindly obedient to those in the leadership positions (Almond, Appleby, & Sivan, 2003, p. 151). Their ideologies often exhibit strong support for their nation as well as the necessity for a government in which religious leaders rule. They believe that in order to renew the faith of the unbelievers they must initiate a series of revolutions. Al Qaeda is a prime example of a world conquering fundamentalist organization. Structurally the multiple cells spread out across the globe abide by the instructions disseminated by the core group and its hierarchy of leadership. It supports a hegemonic Islamic world view in which all people are devoted to the teachings of the Qur’an and there is no other religion besides Islam. Al Qaeda is a militant group that believes the only way to true salvation is through coercion. The September 11, 2001 attacks were Osama Bin Laden’s attempt to launch a revolution against the secular United States and inspire all Muslims to re-devote themselves to ridding the world of all religions other than Islam. Hamas in the 1980s took on the word conquering mentality when it began competing with the PLO for the resistance to Israeli occupation (Almond, Appleby, & Sivan, 2003, p. 154). Hamas at this time was in the best possible position to oppose Israeli occupation due to the PLO signing the Oslo Accords of 1993. The world conqueror has a destroy and then rebuild viewpoint which is in sharp contrast to the world transformer.
The world transformer mentality believes the means by which the enemy is to be destroyed is through their institutions. The world transformers believe that secular society can be converted by reconstructing its institutions according to fundamentalist standards (Class Notes 2/17/14). They believe that once institutions...