It is important not to confuse my discussion of religious identity with “fundamentalism,” “extremism,” or “militant Islam,” which has been the center of attention of many studies (Dessouki 1982; Ibrahim 1982; Kepel 1993). “Fundamentalism” especially has been the focus of studies that aim to examine the relationship between globalization and religion (see, for
Central to the growing globalization of Cairo is the proliferation of discourses and images of modernity circulated mainly in the state-controlled media. Religious identity, I stress in this section, is closely linked to people's daily struggle to appropriate what they perceive as positive aspects of modernity and avoid what is considered negative. This entails a struggle on at least two fronts. First, people struggle against the state's attempts to copy Western modernity. Second, people also struggle against attempts by religious extremists who try to reject various aspects of modern objects and discourses and seek to live according to the time of the Prophet.