Islamic fundamentalism

A movement that has gained momentum in recent decades within several Muslim nations. Islamic fundamentalists oppose the infiltration of secular and Westernizing influences and seek to institute Islamic law, including strict codes of behavior. They also target political corruption in Muslim nations. Severely repressed by the governments of their own nations, such as Algeria, Egypt (see also Egypt), and Saudi Arabia, they nevertheless target the United States as the “Great Satan,” chant “Death to America,” and provide ready recruits for terrorist networks such as Al Qaeda. (See terrorism.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.