By Neslihan Cevik

This ebook identifies a brand new Islamic shape in Turkey: Muslimism. Neither fundamentalism nor liberal faith, Muslimism engages modernity via Islamic different types and practices. This new shape has implications for discussions of democracy and Islam within the area, related activities throughout spiritual traditions, and social thought on faith.

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I also show how these engagements are rooted in deep Islamic theological and intellectual debates and are more than instruments utilized to open up the public space for the religious. 44 The emergence of an Islamic expression that is qualitatively distinct from Islamism, however, does not signify the end of Islamism. Instead, it indicates that Islamism no longer dominates the religious field in Turkey and it is losing its previous cultural salience and relevance for a growing number of Muslims.

The National Vision and its parties hegemonized Islam’s political representation and mobilization until the 2000s: the National Salvation Party (NSP, Milli Selamet Partisi, 1973), the Welfare Party (Refah Partisi, 1983), the Virtue Party (Fazilet Partisi, 1997), and the Felicity Party (Saadet Partisi, 2001) were directly or indirectly chaired by Erbakan and embodied the core ideology of the movement. ”48 As such, the movement attempted to marginalize Islamic expressions and actors outside its own circle and monopolize political and public representations (including even intellectual debates) of Islam.

This theological inclination toward the individual also caused the new Muslim status group to aspire to a style of society and governance that would heighten individual autonomy, choice, and self-expression in respect to ultimate spiritual matters as well as economic, civic, and political action; all of course within a context of religious submission. To pursue their theological aspirations, preferred lifestyles, and political leanings, these religious men and women used Islam to engage contemporary institutions.

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