Advocates of Islamic reform who hold that a proper reformulation of Islamic beliefs and law can provide a comprehensive basis for science, government, and all aspects of life. Such an Islamic society would be the antithesis of materialistic and idolatrous modern Western culture and institutions. Islam provides an alternative to the materialist presuppositions of modern science, though it does not necessarily contradict its conclusions.

Like modernists, islamists hold that the necessary reformulation of Islam is to be achieved through a critique of traditional Islam, a return to the sources to rediscover the original message of Islam, and an ongoing adaptation to new circumstances through ijtihad. They differ from modernists in that they regard the result of such reform as antithetical to modern Western values.

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