Westernization as Cultural Trauma: Egyptian Radical Islamist Discourse on Religious Education

Mehmet Ozan Asik, Aykan Erdemir


In this article, the relation between the Westernization experience and the radical Islamists reaction in Egypt is examined. It is argued that it is necessary to focus on the historical imagination of Westernization to understand the Egyptian reaction as manifested in Islamist religious educational discourse. The historical imagination appears to be based on a traumatic experience which was triggered by a traumatic event, namely British colonialism. The religious educational discourse in Egypt, an opportune case to observe radical Islamist response to the trauma experience, is found to be a mediating structure between the historical experience and the Islamist reaction. The study indicates that emic categories and societal emotions play a significant role in this mediation.


Cultural Trauma; Radical Islamism; Religious Education; Westernization; Colonialism; Egypt

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