ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM: A BRIEF SURVEY
By Bruce Gourley
Early Baptists struggled to eradicate long-established theocracies in the Western world, their demands for freedom of conscience, religious liberty for all (including Muslims) and church state separation absorbed by Enlightenment thinkers. Baptists obtained their long-sought goal in the founding of the secular American nation and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of conscience, religious liberty for all and church state separation.
In much of the Islamic world apart from the West, however, theocracy remains entrenched, Baptist principles of freedom and Enlightenment values unknown. Within this void has arisen Islamic terrorism.
In order to understand Islamic terrorism, one must first understand the context from within which the movement evolved: Islamic fundamentalism.
The following essay originally was written in 2003 in order to partially fulfill the requirements for my PhD in History from Auburn University (Islamic History was my minor doctoral emphasis). The current document was revised and updated in December 2015.