The Middle East in the World System Context in Comparison with India and China: Some Backgrounds of Islamism in the MENA Region
This chapter is devoted to a systemic consideration of the preconditions for the emergence of modern Islamism in the Middle East. Since Islamism is spread almost in every country of the Middle East, it seems reasonable to formulate some ideas explaining its widespread influence in this part of the world through a comparative analysis of some developmental trends in this macroregion and in China and India. Such an analysis seems of vital importance since radical Islamism appears a powerful destabilizing force at the global and regional levels. We attend to the need to delineate between radical and moderate Islamisms, since in many Muslim societies the latter appears to be more a stabilizing force and not a destabilizing one. We maintain that the success of Islamism is strongly determined by the traditionally fragile statehood in the Middle East. At the same time, in certain respects, for example, in terms of language, ethnicity, and religion, the Middle East seems to be much more homogenous than, say, India which is one of the most multilingual states of the world. This homogeneity became the most important basis for internationalization of Islamism in the MENA region, which could then easily cross the state boundaries making them transparent.