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Title: An analysis of the history and discourse of the Tunisian Islamic movement al-Nahda : a case-study of the politicisation of Islam
Author: Hamdi, Mohamed Elhachmi
ISNI:       0000 0001 3585 8021
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1996
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The aim of this study is to discover and analyse the history and discourse of the Tunisian Islamic movement al-Nahda, within the context of post-independence Tunisian history and the progression of thought within contemporary Islamic movements. As such, the study is both historical and analytical. It tries to give an accurate reading of the emergence, rise and recent eclipse of al-Nahda, as well as a comprehensive analysis of its political, social and intellectual discourse. The importance of the study comes from the fact that it may be considered the first academic research done in English on the Tunisian Islamic Movement. Up to now, it has received only scant treatment in English sources. Even in Arabic or in French sources are rare, and are usually written by either sympathisers or opponents of the movement. The history and the ideas of the movement are analysed in six chapters. The first concentrates on studying the reasons and factors behind the emergence of the movement; the second on the politicisation of the movement and the implications of that politicisation for its priorities and discourse; the third on the three major confrontations between the movement and the Tunisian regime that culminated in 1991 in the banning of all al-Nahda's activities inside Tunisia. The basic concepts of a political Islam in the movement's literature are explored and analysed in chapter four, in particular the Islamists' belief in the comprehensiveness of Islam and their rejection of secularism. Chapter five then concentrates on studying the detailed proposal put forward by the leader of al-Nahda for the definition of a modern Islamic state. Chapter six addresses the Islamists' cultural agenda and their insistence on an Islamic identity for Tunisia, with particular reference to the perceived polarisation between Westernisation and Islamisation. The thesis also contains an appendix comprising some of the movement's most important documents translated from Arabic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: History