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Religion and ideology: Mu'ammar al-Kadhdhafi, Islam and the "Third International Theory"

By Jan Hjärpe


The modern state of Saudi Arabia constitutes an example of the gradual institutionalization of an enthusiastic and militant movement, the first significant reform movement, Wahhabism, not only in its foundation but also in its development during the 1960's and 70's. In his religious education the late King Faisal was the pupil of his maternal grandfather, himself a descendant of Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. The domestic and foreign policy of the profoundly pious King Faisal was an application of his religious principles. We may note that the doctrines of Wahhabism are an important factor in the development of the complexity which is modern Islam. The Libyan Arab Republic (L.A.R.) and its leader since the revolution of September 1st 1969, Mu'ammar al-Kadhdhafi function in this paper as an example of a reinterpretation of Islam and an explicit attempt to make this form of Islam the basis of a political ideology, the "Third International Theory". L.A.R. claims to be the model state, the Utopia, of the practical application of this ideology, in its institutions and in its political actions

Topics: Ideology, Politics and Islam, Islamic revival, Wahhābīyah (Wahhabis), Libya -- History, Propaganda, Muslim nationalism, Nationalism, Religion (General), BL1-50
Publisher: The Donner Institute
Year: 1976
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