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Following the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-90 the media had used the term Islamic Fundamentalism as a way of explaining the radical ideology of Ayatollah Khomeini and the events of the Iranian Revolution Religious Fundamentalism is a word that has been in development for centuries Its meaning complexities and understanding however becomes even more ambiguous and debatable once the label of a particular religion is added to it Amaney Jamal in her book Barriers to Democracy The Other Side of Social Capital in Palestine and the Arab World describes Islamic Fundamentalism as being largely based on the Iranian context that is anideology that is influenced by a radical version of Islam and has political motivations She argues that while the West is largely fearful of the rise and establishment of Islamic Fundamentalism it has misguidedly used billions of its own dollars to repress the growth of democracy as well asencourage and legitimize the formation of Islamic Fundamentalist groups like Hamas Specifically this has been through the Wests incorrect belief that funding the enhancement of civil society in authoritarian states like Palestine has a positive correlation with producing a strong democracy when in reality such a policy undermines democracy and legitimizes oppositional groups like the Islamic Fundamentalist who promote their own system of governance In six chapters and several surveys Jamal provides a first hand political analysis of her fieldwork in Palestine Her findings are based on interviews surveys and logistical data-analysis in the West Bank from 1998 to 1999 Although largely focused on Palestine with occasional references made to Arab countries her theory can be applied more generally to other countries as well She suggests that the reason why the profuse existence of civil associations in authoritarian countries has not advanced democracy is because of the way thatthose governments structure relations For instancethe Palestinian National Authority PNA fabricatesaffairsin such a way that it is based on patron-client relationships so that the clients in this
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