Chapter 10: The Islamic state
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For most religions the notion of utopia would be the life beyond this worldly and material life, be it heaven, paradise, Nirvana, or any other elevated state of being. In the case of Islam, however, the 20th century has also introduced the new concept of a worldly utopia: the Islamic state. This chapter describes the evolution of this term from a practical idea to a notion that acquired utopian properties. While the idea of an Islamic state appears to be quite popular among Muslims worldwide, it has always been depicted in idealist terms – justice, equality, benevolent leadership – or as the photo negative of the present world: the Islamic state is not how we live now. The result is the emergence of a utopian vision of 'Islamic state' which has acquired great appeal among Muslims worldwide.