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Present-day Muslims, in attempting to modernize their societies, depend greatly on the ideologies of the dominant West, but find it necessary to continue to use Islamic symbolism. Three important factors help explain why present-day Muslims evince greater attachment to traditional symbolism than had Christians in the early stages of the modern age in the West. First, Islam has always claimed to cover all aspects of life including politics, and therefore Islamic symbolism could not be easily dislodged from political rhetoric. Second, Muslims, faced with a challenging and powerful Christian world, hesitate to reject Muslim symbolism that is an important component of their threatened identity. Third, in an era of mass mobilization, even secular rulers find it useful to employ Islamic symbolism in order to appeal to the masses, whose identity even in the age of nationalism is still basically Islamic. 

 

p. 52 – Politics and Revelation, Hanna Mikhail, 1995.

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