The Radical Nation-State and Contemporary Extremism

In: Middle East Law and Governance
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  • 1 Doshisha University, Japan

Abstract

In recent years Muslim extremist groups have sought to establish a contemporary Islamic caliphate. Such groups have not historically sought to establish such a territory; this form of sovereignty did not exist in the Prophet’s time, and is quite unlike the traditional Islamic model or that practiced by the Prophet in Medina. Moreover, this ideal state incorporates elements of the modern, sovereign nation-state. It is ironic that, although such groups criticize Western systems and laws, their concept of ‘the state’ derives from the very European ideology that they so violently oppose. This paper examines how notions of modern statehood have influenced the ideologies of state and law espoused by contemporary extremist groups.

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