Secularism has often been regarded as a positive achievement of Western civilization. The separation of church and state, the rule of law, enhanced state power and authority, toleration of religious sects within an independent civil society, the citizen's freedom from organized religion, the relegation of religious belief to the private sphere - all such "secularizing trends" are perceived as benefits. However in the Arab Middle East, Western-inspired secularism is increasingly cited as the source of the region's social dislocation and political instability. This text is a contribution to such a debate. It examines the origins and growth of the movement to abolish the secularizing reforms of the past century by creating a political order guided by Shariah law.