Academic, theological and cultural discussions on fundamentalism are overwhelmingly dominated by a discourse on the need for ‘modernization and development’ in the Muslim world. Yet, the crude distinction between East and West, religious and non-religious, Muslim and modern frequently fails to understand the under currents of psychological thought patterns in modern forms of fundamentalism. If we genuinely want to have a deeper understanding of contemporary tensions, Muslims as well as non-Muslims need to look beyond geo-politcal explanations and recognize how key dimensions of Islamism are deeply linked to the modern, masculine ‘mind’.
This psychological and feminist exploration identifies some of the intricate links between modernity, Islam, gender, sexuality, violence and fundamentalisms. Mediated by certain psycho-theological ‘penetrations and (s)permutations’, they form the psychology of a growing global paranoia about ‘the other’, East and West.