By Bassam Tibi (auth.)
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Extra resources for Arab Nationalism: Between Islam and the Nation-State
It is simply a product of the effects of the shrinking of the globe alluded to as a globalisation earlier in this introduction. In this case the shrinking, supported by modern mass media and transportation, is not linked to cultural fragmentation as is the case on the global level. This observation does not, however, imply that the intensification of interaction among the Arab peoples is free of connict. One should be reminded of the non-political, somewhat cultural tensions among the Arabs themselves arising from intensified mobility (migration without integration).
The options provided by political Islam document great illusions. The abode of Islam consists of fifty-two states incorporated into the international system. These states are diverse on all levels and by all definitions. Their populations have nothing more in common than the belief in Islam . However, Islam is not a homogeneous entity, inasmuch as religion is always a cultural system. Looked at as a 'cultural system' in the Geertzian sense, Islam consists of a multitude of cultural systems, since the social production of meaning underlying any cultural system, as Clifford Geertz has shown clearly, is always local.
102 Early Arab nationalism was clearly a predominantly secular ideology. In its unfolding period it was related to an Arab awareness primarily articulated , for the reasons mentioned above, by Christian Arabs. The politicisation of this cultural nationalism took place within (he context of the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire as well as in the framework of the structurally supported spread of the idea of nationalism in the Arab part of the Empire . Early Arab nationalists aimed at establishing their own nation-state resnicted to Arabs, in Asia Minor.