Rhetoric and Ideology in Egypt’s Wasaiyya Movement

Rhetoric and Ideology in Egypt’s Wasaiyya Movement © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/157005810X502655 Arabica 57 (2010) 251-266 brill.nl/arab Rhetoric and Ideology in Egypt’s Wasat ̣ iyya Movement Jacob Høigilt Fafo Institute for Applied Studies (Oslo) Abstract Islamic centrism ( wasat ̣ iyya ) is commonly presented as an open-minded and dialogue-oriented form of Islamism. This article questions that view by analyzing texts written by two prominent centrists: Muh ̣ ammad ʿ Ammāra and Fahmī Huwaydī. Focusing on rhetorical techniques, the article argues that their texts are characterized by aggressive polemics not conducive to pluralist public debate. While relying heavily on barrages of rhetorical questions and implicit arguments, they avoid serious discussion of difficult issues. These characteristics of their texts are brought out by a discourse analysis based on modern text linguistics, specifically Functional Grammar as developed by Michael Halliday. This approach to Islamism is new and helps explaining why centrism, despite its professed open-mindedness, has failed both to defuse the high ideological tension in contemporary Egyptian debates about Islam in society and to contribute to bringing those debates forward. Keywords wasat ̣ iyya , islamism, Egypt, rhetoric, functional grammar Introduction What does the rhetoric of centrism ( wasat ̣ iyya ) look like? http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Arabica Brill

Rhetoric and Ideology in Egypt’s Wasaiyya Movement

Arabica, Volume 57 (2): 251 – Jan 1, 2010

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2010 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0570-5398
eISSN
1570-0585
D.O.I.
10.1163/157005810X502655
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI: 10.1163/157005810X502655 Arabica 57 (2010) 251-266 brill.nl/arab Rhetoric and Ideology in Egypt’s Wasat ̣ iyya Movement Jacob Høigilt Fafo Institute for Applied Studies (Oslo) Abstract Islamic centrism ( wasat ̣ iyya ) is commonly presented as an open-minded and dialogue-oriented form of Islamism. This article questions that view by analyzing texts written by two prominent centrists: Muh ̣ ammad ʿ Ammāra and Fahmī Huwaydī. Focusing on rhetorical techniques, the article argues that their texts are characterized by aggressive polemics not conducive to pluralist public debate. While relying heavily on barrages of rhetorical questions and implicit arguments, they avoid serious discussion of difficult issues. These characteristics of their texts are brought out by a discourse analysis based on modern text linguistics, specifically Functional Grammar as developed by Michael Halliday. This approach to Islamism is new and helps explaining why centrism, despite its professed open-mindedness, has failed both to defuse the high ideological tension in contemporary Egyptian debates about Islam in society and to contribute to bringing those debates forward. Keywords wasat ̣ iyya , islamism, Egypt, rhetoric, functional grammar Introduction What does the rhetoric of centrism ( wasat ̣ iyya ) look like?

Journal

ArabicaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2010

Keywords: Egypt; Wasaiyya; rhetoric; islamism; functional grammar

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