Descirbe the goals of Islamic revitalization movements such as Wahhabism in the Arabian Peninsula and dan Fodio’s movement in West Africa and how were these regions affected by the new world...

Descirbe the goals of Islamic revitalization movements such as Wahhabism in the Arabian Peninsula and dan Fodio’s movement in West Africa and how were these regions affected by the new world order and were there alternative Islamic revitalization proposed?

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Islamic "reform" or "revitalization" movements such as those led by Usman dan Fodio in current-day northern Nigeria and by Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the 18th century cleric whose followers successfully embedded themselves into the government and culture of modern-day Saudi Arabia, are invariably born out of resentments among non-establishment clerics and their followers over non-Islamic (read: Western) influences and corruption among ruling elites who don the veneer of Islam but not the commitments to Islamic principles. Usman dan Fodio led such a movement in the Hausa region of what is now Nigeria in an effort, led militarily by his brother, Abdullahi, in rejection to the corruption and perversions of Islam he witnessed among rulers throughout northern Nigeria. Dan Fodio's movement could be seen as a precursor to today's Islamic State (or ISIS, or ISIL, or Daesh), as well as to Afghanistan's Taliban movement, both of which exercise extreme brutality to enforce their dictates regarding Islamic law, or Sharia

The Wahhabi movement of modern-day Saudi Arabia is a more interesting case, as it exercises its influence in consort with that nation's ruling monarch, the House of Saud. A delicate, precarious balancing act exists within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with endemic corruption among some members of the royal family and the late-King Abdullah's efforts at liberalizing Saudi society counter-balanced by the continued influence of the fundamentalist Wahhabis. The House of Saud would fall very quickly if it ran afoul of the Wahhabi clerics who issue fatwas that are zealously enforced by the Wahhabi-directed Committees for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the groups of quasi-official fanatics who publicly and sometimes violently punish Saudi women for failing to adhere to strict codes of decency, such as the wearing of hijab and appearing in public with males to whom they are not related. 

Movements like the Taliban and the Islamic State, as with such earlier movements like that of dan Fodio and the Wahhabis, exist to replace corrupt secular or flawed Islamic regimes with ones that pass their litmus test for religious/ideological purity. Dan Fodio, interestingly, would probably fail today's test by the likes of the Islamic State because of the influence of Sufism, a mystical version of Islam, within his thinking. They would, however, applaud his efforts at replacing corrupt regimes with ones more committed to strict interpretations of Islamic law.

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