Islamic fundamentalism is a hotly debated and contested issue in the global arena and is often depicted as having replaced communism as the predominant threat to the West in the post-Cold War world. This study analyses the ideologies espoused by Islamic fundamentalist groups in Algeria, Sudan and South Africa by means of the dialogic model of interpretation in order to arri ve at a more thorough, less judgment al understanding thereof. The study begins with an in -depth analysis of various definitions of the concept Islamic fundamentalism. This is followed by a critical discussion of rationalist approaches to Islamic fundamentalism as well as reference to the ir shortcomings in order to justify the use of the dialogic model of interpretation. This model aims to critically evaluate Islamic fundamentalist ideas through interaction with the irrespective originators, thereby questioning the validity of a s ingle Western rationalist- inspired version of the truth. Structural factors, the political, cultural and soc io-economic conditions in Algeria, Sudan and South Africa, are also accommodated by the model. Consequently, the rise of Islamic revivalism is discussed within the historical context of the increasing influence of the West in the world of Islam and the introduction (and eventual failure) of secularist ideologies in the post-independence era. The focus is on different strands of Islamic political thought, Islamic fundamentalists, Islamic traditionalists, Islamic modernists and Islamic pragmatists. The country case studies, Algeria, Sudan and South Africa are then approached by means of an indepth analysis of the ideologies of prominent Islamic fundamentalist groups, as well as a consideration of structural (political, economic and social) factors. [n the case of Algeria, a detailed discuss ion of the ideology of the Front Islamique du Salut (F1S - Islamic Salvation Front) is placed in the context of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the dynamics of the current civil war. When it comes to Sudan, the ideology of the ruling National Islamic Front (NIF) is discussed, and is also placed in the context of the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in that country, as well as a discussion of government policies since 1989, with specific reference to the Sudanese civ il war and the current crisis in the Darfur region. In terms of South Africa, the focus is on the ideology of People against Gangsterism and Drugs (PAGAD), which is placed in the context of the urban terrorist attacks that characterised the Western Cape a few years ago. The final chapter looks at what has been learned from using the dialogic model of interpretation (with an additional evaluation of structural factors) as a theoretical approach. Recommendations are made with regard to each of the respective case studies which may be potentially useful for a future resolution of the conflicts in Algeria and Sudan, and, in the case of South Africa, may help ensure continuing stability as far as Islamic fundamentalism is concerned. Copyright
Dissertation (MA (Political Science))--University of Pretoria, 2006.