Globalization has played a large role in the expansion of Islamic movements and ideas in a variety of ways. One of the largest impacts of globalization has been associated with the injection of Western liberal ideas and actions into circles that had been formerly made up of conservative Muslims. As a result, religion has become more private but more significantly, information sharing has resulted in uniting Muslims who have been culturally different (Lazuk.) In addition, globalization has caused a great deal of debates about reforms associated with social, political, and religious issues as well as inspiring widespread debates about the rights of women.
Globalization has also caused more unity between Muslims around the world, inspiring a worldwide brotherhood around the practice of Islam. The sharing of information during the globalization process has occurred through satellite TV, the Internet, international travel, a wide range of books and magazines. Also, various speakers from the Middle East and Western countries on the lecture circuit have exposed Muslims to a wide range of traditions, religious and cultural, that come from other parts of the world. In some ways, the Muslim world has been opposed to globalization because of the influence of liberalism coming from the W.. More conservative Muslims have been striving to hold on to religious and cultural traditions in the face of the widespread coverage of democratic values imported from the West. A prime example of the way that globalization has impacted Muslim countries involves the revolution in Egypt in 2011, when a large group of citizens organized and revolted against the leadership of that country, succeeding in replacing Hosni Mubarak as the leader; as portrayed in the film The Square, Egyptians had become furious about the lack of freedom and democracy in their country, and undoubtedly they had become educated about the way that other citizens around the world were living, ideas that became visible to them through social media and other aspects of globalization (Noujaim.)

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The impact of globalization on Islam has had different impact on religious Islam versus political Islam. Islam as a religion refers to a practice that is based on Scripture, rather rigid, and based on philosophy that emanates directly from the Koran. Political Islam essentially refers to a combination of religious ideology along with the politics and culture of a certain state, and which refers to various nations that are guided by the ideas put forth in religious Islam. Globalization may have had less of an impact on religious Islam because the followers of the Scriptures are resolute in their beliefs, and are concerned with being devout. Political Islam, however, has resulted in taking parts of the Koran and distorting them by taking actions against their perceived enemies, i.e. the infidels.

My belief is that governments and societies should be concerned with a small segment of the population of political Islamists, because they have taken ideas from the Koran and interpreted them to mean that they will be rewarded for killing those who do not follow the teachings of Mohammed. Their belief that they will go to heaven and be rewarded for killing the unfaithful makes them an impossible enemy to threaten, since they have no fear of death and in fact welcome it. As a result, the threat that these people pose is almost impossible to anticipate and/or stop because they welcome death. They are therefore not afraid of being killed while in the process of conducting attacks. The most shocking evidence of this for me was during the holy month of Ramadan when I would have anticipated that such a peaceful time would be accompanied by fewer or no attacks on civilians. Instead, the attacks were more numerous and more lethal and I learned that instead of what I had believed, certain Islamists were motivated to carry out more attacks during Ramadan because they believed that they would receive even greater rewards for eliminating infidels particularly during this month. Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world today, comprising approximately 1.25 billion people (Mandeville.) As a result, it becomes imperative to understand both the religion itself and the way that it is being interpreted by a group of extremist Muslims because as recent events have demonstrated, the only way to anticipate or thwart future extremist actions may be to develop stronger connections with Muslim leaders, religious figures, and activists.

  • Lazuk, Ethan. “Islam and Globalization.” 2016. Our Everyday Life. Web. 31 July 2016.
  • Mandeville, Peter. Global Political Islam. New York: Routledge, 2007. Print.
  • The Square. Dir. Jehane Noujaim. Perf. Khalid Abdalla. 2013. Film.