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Religions 2015, 6(2), 527-542; doi:10.3390/rel6020527

Fitnah: The Afterlife of a Religious Term in Recent Political Protest

1
Department of Philosophy, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Myasnitskaya st., 20, Moscow 101000, Russia
2
Department of Political Science, National Research University Higher School of Economics. Myasnitskaya st., 20, Moscow 101000, Russia
3
Laboratory Monitoring for Socio-Political Destabilization Risks, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Myasnitskaya st., 20, Moscow 101000, Russia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Peter Iver Kaufman
Received: 6 November 2014 / Accepted: 16 March 2015 / Published: 20 April 2015
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Abstract

The phenomenon of fitnah could be traced throughout history in different regions and cultures. The Arab spring events of 2011–2012 are not an exception in this context. The next outburst of protest activity occurred where it was not expected in the near future—in Ukraine. If we compare the events in the Arab countries in 2011 and Ukraine in 2013–2014, it can be concluded that in essence they fit the characteristics of fitnah very well, which are attributed to it by the Arabic political culture. In both cases, the fitnah acquired permanent character turning into anarchy and chaos (“fouda”). The government/the ruling power found itself unprepared for such manifestations of fitnah and miscalculated the threat posed by the protesters. From our perspective, in the modern world this phenomenon can be explained by the rapid development of Internet technologies that gives the opposition an opportunity to prepare a protest virtually, in an area not totally controlled by the government. View Full-Text
Keywords: revolution; Arab spring; fitnah; internet technologies; political destabilization revolution; Arab spring; fitnah; internet technologies; political destabilization
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Lifintseva, T.P.; Isaev, L.M.; Shishkina, A.R. Fitnah: The Afterlife of a Religious Term in Recent Political Protest. Religions 2015, 6, 527-542.

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