First Thoughts on Channel 4 – The State

The State - Ep1
(Picture: Channel 4)

Okay, so firstly, I didn’t know if I was going to discuss The State. And secondly, I decided that if I did, I wasn’t going to discuss it until I’ve watched the series in it entirety. However, after #TheState started trending on Twitter, I couldn’t resist clicking the link and read other people’s views on the show. Which then subsequently resulted in me opening up WordPress, and writing this post.

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What role does scripture play in fundamentalist ideology?

When one thinks of fundamentalism, one most likely thinks of violence, preaching and a literal interpretation of scripture. But to what extent does scripture play a role in fundamentalist ideology? In this essay, therefore, I shall focus primarily on Islamic and Christian fundamentalism and their sacred texts – the Quran and the Bible. I will illustrate how religion and ideology are conjoined with one another when exploring fundamentalism. I will also address the question why do fundamentalists select particular passages from their chosen scripture and declare them as “decisive authority” (Lawrence 1995: p. 60)? Ultimately, I will critically examine what Islamic and Christian fundamentalist ideology entails and how their scriptures play a role, and how it underpins their ideology.

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Did Islam Spread by the Sword in India?

Islam has had a huge social, political and economic impact on India. However, the older religion of Hinduism was dominant in India when Islam expanded into the Middle East and Central Asia (Stearns 2001). Thus the question arises of how the Muslims ruled over India for over a thousand years? Today, Islam is only a minority religion in India with only fourteen percent of the population made up of Muslims (Esposito 2003). But how did Islam spread to India to begin with when Hinduism was the dominant religion? I am going to discuss the different theories of how Islam spread to India, including the idea that it was spread by the sword.

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Is Islam a violent and intolerant faith?

“It should be no surprise that the deepest rift to have opened up since September 11th is that between America and the world’s Muslims.”

(The Economist[1])

It is difficult to define Islam, it is obviously a religious faith but it can also be described as a political ideology and in other contexts, it can be described as a mark of personal and group identity (Ruthven 1997: p. 2). Due to horrific actions from a minority of Muslims, the Islamic faith has created numerous discussions over the years. There has always been Islamic fundamentalists, just like any other religion such as Christianity and the Ku Klux Klan. However, since the events on September 11th 2001, Islam seemed to have resurfaced. The Islamic faith seemed to be screaming, but why with such violence? Due to attacks on innocent civilians from Islamic extremists over recent years such as 9/11, 7/7 and most recently the Brussels attacks, many people have understandably asked the question of whether Islam is a violent and intolerant faith?

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