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JSPES, Vol. 30, No. 4 (Winter 2005 )
pp. 425-458

Roots of Conflict: The Islamist Critique of Western Values

John C. Zimmerman

The author studies the writings of key Islamists, both traditional and modern, to determine the views that prompt radical Muslims to abhor Western influences. He finds that these spring from major differences in culture, and concludes that because Islam never experienced the European Enlightenment Islamists do not value individual freedom to the extent that the West does. Instead, Islamists believe that the state should adhere to and enforce Sharia, as reflecting the will of God, and that individuals should therefore submit to the moral principles of Sharia law.