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Rethinking Political Islam

Rethinking Political Islam Author Shadi Hamid
ISBN-10 9780190649203
Release 2017
Pages 360
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The "twin shocks" of the Egyptian coup and the rise of ISIS have challenged conventional wisdom on political Islam, forcing scholars and Muslim activists to reconsider some of the basic assumptions about Sunni Islamist movements. While ISIS and other jihadist groups garner the most media attention, the vast majority of Islamists are of the mainstream variety, seeking gradual change and participating in parliamentary politics when they're allowed to. It is these groups that are the focus of this book. They not only represent the future of what we call "political Islam," but they also - in their own struggles adapting to the changes of recent years - provide a fascinating window into a rapidly changing Middle East. The breadth of the book is expansive, covering the experience of Islamist groups in twelve countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Pakistan, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia. In each of these cases, contributors consider how Muslim Brotherhood and Brotherhood-inspired Islamist movements have grappled with fundamental questions, including gradual versus revolutionary approaches to change, the use of tactical or situational violence, attitudes toward the nation-state, and how ideology and political variables interact. The case studies include authoritarian and democratic states and are not solely focused on the Arab world, allowing readers to consider a greater diversity of Islamist experiences.



Rethinking Political Islam

Rethinking Political Islam Author Shadi Hamid
ISBN-10 9780190649227
Release 2017-07-17
Pages 320
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For years, scholars hypothesized about what Islamists might do if they ever came to power. Now, they have answers: confusing ones. In the Levant, ISIS established a government by brute force, implementing an extreme interpretation of Islamic law. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Tunisia's Ennahda Party governed in coalition with two secular parties, ratified a liberal constitution, and voluntarily stepped down from power. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, the world's oldest Islamist movement, won power through free elections only to be ousted by a military coup. The strikingly disparate results of Islamist movements have challenged conventional wisdom on political Islam, forcing experts and Islamists to rethink some of their most basic assumptions. In Rethinking Political Islam, two of the leading scholars on Islamism, Shadi Hamid and William McCants, have gathered a group of leading specialists in the field to explain how an array of Islamist movements across the Middle East and Asia have responded. Unlike ISIS and other jihadist groups that garner the most media attention, these movements have largely opted for gradual change. Their choices, however, have been reshaped by the revolutionary politics of the region. The groups depicted in the volume capture the contradictions, successes, and failures of Islamism, providing a fascinating window into a rapidly changing Middle East. It is the first book to systematically assess the evolution of mainstream Islamist groups since the Arab uprisings and the rise of ISIS, covering 12 country cases. In each instance, contributors address key questions, including: gradual versus revolutionary approaches to change; the use of tactical or situational violence; attitudes toward the nation-state; and how ideology, religion, and political variables interact. For the first time in book form, readers will also hear directly from Islamist activists and leaders themselves, as they offer their own perspectives on the future of their movements. Islamists will have the opportunity to challenge the assumptions and arguments of some of the leading scholars of Islamism, in the spirit of constructive dialogue. Rethinking Political Islam includes three of the most important country cases outside the Middle East-Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan-allowing readers to consider a greater diversity of Islamist experiences. The book's contributors have immersed themselves in the world of political Islam and conducted original research in the field, resulting in rich accounts of what animates Islamist behavior.



Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy

Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy Author Yesim Arat
ISBN-10 0791483169
Release 2012-02-01
Pages 160
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Examines the experiences of women activists of the Islamist Refah (Welfare) party in Turkey.



Global Political Islam

Global Political Islam Author Peter Mandaville
ISBN-10 9781134341351
Release 2010-07-02
Pages 408
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An accessible and comprehensive account of the global dimensions of political Islam in the twenty-first century, explaining political Islam, nationalism and globalization and providing a detailed account of Al Qaeda.



Young Islam

Young Islam Author Avi Max Spiegel
ISBN-10 9781400866434
Release 2015-05-26
Pages 264
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Today, two-thirds of all Arab Muslims are under the age of thirty. Young Islam takes readers inside the evolving competition for their support—a competition not simply between Islamism and the secular world, but between different and often conflicting visions of Islam itself. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research among rank-and-file activists in Morocco, Avi Spiegel shows how Islamist movements are encountering opposition from an unexpected source—each other. In vivid and compelling detail, he describes the conflicts that arise as Islamist groups vie with one another for new recruits, and the unprecedented fragmentation that occurs as members wrangle over a shared urbanized base. Looking carefully at how political Islam is lived, expressed, and understood by young people, Spiegel moves beyond the top-down focus of current research. Instead, he makes the compelling case that Islamist actors are shaped more by their relationships to each other than by their relationships to the state or even to religious ideology. By focusing not only on the texts of aging elites but also on the voices of diverse and sophisticated Muslim youths, Spiegel exposes the shifting and contested nature of Islamist movements today—movements that are being reimagined from the bottom up by young Islam. The first book to shed light on this new and uncharted era of Islamist pluralism in the Middle East and North Africa, Young Islam uncovers the rivalries that are redefining the next generation of political Islam.



The New Voices of Islam

The New Voices of Islam Author Mehran Kamrava
ISBN-10 0520250990
Release 2006
Pages 291
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"Mehran Kamrava has compiled a selection from some of the leading Muslim reformist thinkers whose voices have often been muted and marginalized. These essays introduce the reader to the nuances of the unfolding drama surrounding the issues of religion, politics and the public space across the Muslim World, revealing the richness as well as the limitations of these new attempts to synthesize Islam and modernity. This is a must-read for all those interested in hearing the new voices and seeing the other face of Islam."--Manochehr Dorraj, Professor of Political Science, Texas Christian University "The New Voices of Islam is a fine collection that effectively answers the question: where are the reformist voices in Islam? Mehran Kamrava has done an excellent job of presenting the global diversity of Muslim thinking from North Africa to Southeast Asia, Europe to America."--John L. Esposito, University Professor and Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University "Western public concern about Islamic extremism is almost wholly uninformed by the views of the reforming intellectuals gathered together in Mehran Kamrava's very important book The New Voices of Islam. These men and women, living both within the Islamic world and in Europe and America, have been struggling for a modern, pluralist, tolerant and democratic transformation of the Muslim world years before the crises of 9/11 and 7/7. Their collective message deserves the widest exposure, particularly within western political circles where it has, sadly, gone unheeded."--David Waines, Emeritus Professor of Islamic Studies, Lancaster University "This volume contains not the voices of Muslim governments and Islamist oppositions but the work of Muslim mavericks--refreshing in their originality, searing in their critiques, reassuring in their rationality. These voices deserve a wider audience in the West, and this book responds to that need. But also, and most especially, they deserve the attention of Muslims everywhere. Government repression and Islamist pressures unfortunately obstruct general access to such unconventional ideas in many Muslim states."--Robert D Lee, Professor of Political Science, Colorado College



Moroccan Monarchy and the Islamist Challenge

Moroccan Monarchy and the Islamist Challenge Author M. Daadaoui
ISBN-10 9780230120068
Release 2011-08-15
Pages 205
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This book examines the factors behind the survival and persistence of monarchical authoritarianism in Morocco and argues that state rituals of power affect the opposition forces ability to challenge the monarchy.



What the Qur an Meant

What the Qur an Meant Author Garry Wills
ISBN-10 9781101981030
Release 2017-10-03
Pages 208
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America’s leading religious scholar and public intellectual introduces lay readers to the Qur’an with a measured, powerful reading of the ancient text Garry Wills has spent a lifetime thinking and writing about Christianity. In What the Qur’an Meant, Wills invites readers to join him as he embarks on a timely and necessary reconsideration of the Qur’an, leading us through perplexing passages with insight and erudition. What does the Qur’an actually say about veiling women? Does it justify religious war? There was a time when ordinary Americans did not have to know much about Islam. That is no longer the case. We blundered into the longest war in our history without knowing basic facts about the Islamic civilization with which we were dealing. We are constantly fed false information about Islam—claims that it is essentially a religion of violence, that its sacred book is a handbook for terrorists. There is no way to assess these claims unless we have at least some knowledge of the Qur’an. In this book Wills, as a non-Muslim with an open mind, reads the Qur’an with sympathy but with rigor, trying to discover why other non-Muslims—such as Pope Francis—find it an inspiring book, worthy to guide people down through the centuries. There are many traditions that add to and distort and blunt the actual words of the text. What Wills does resembles the work of art restorers who clean away accumulated layers of dust to find the original meaning. He compares the Qur’an with other sacred books, the Old Testament and the New Testament, to show many parallels between them. There are also parallel difficulties of interpretation, which call for patient exploration—and which offer some thrills of discovery. What the Qur’an Meant is the opening of a conversation on one of the world’s most practiced religions.



Rethinking Islamist Politics

Rethinking Islamist Politics Author Salwa Ismail
ISBN-10 9780857731326
Release 2006-05-26
Pages 256
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In an atmosphere of growing concern over the threat posed by Islamist violence, political Islamism has become the most important of geopolitical issues. In the process, it has been misrepresented. Contrary to what many believe, Islamist movements are characterised by their diversity. Revisiting the main arguments and explanations that have been used over the past twenty years to understand Islamist activism, moderate as well as militant, Salwa Ismail here proposes a rethinking of Islamist politics. The phenomenon of political Islam is determined by macro and micro-level changes in the Muslim world, such as the retreat of the welfare state across the Middle East, and the subsequent expansion in the role of informal political activists in the popular neighbourhoods of such cities as Algiers or Cairo. Ismail examines both levels to explain the socio-economic and political settings out of which Islamism has developed. Her focus is both the economic and political environments that fomented Islamism, and the structures of Islamist movements themselves (from their ideologies to their modes of action). Looking at Islamism as a form of contestation politics, Ismail offers a reassessment of its failures and successes – limited, as it is, by its use of violence, but capable of real mobilisation at a popular level. Rethinking Islamist Politics will be vital reading for anyone seeking to understand such spectacular expressions of Islamism as the September 11th attacks, but also the everyday struggles of ordinary people which Islamism embodies.



Islamic Exceptionalism

Islamic Exceptionalism Author Shadi Hamid
ISBN-10 9781466866720
Release 2016-06-07
Pages 256
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In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS. With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don't have to like it, but we have to understand it—because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.



Following Muhammad

Following Muhammad Author Carl W. Ernst
ISBN-10 9781442994089
Release 2009-08-31
Pages 408
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Avoiding the traps of sensational political expos and specialized scholarly Orientalism, Carl W. Ernst introduces readers to the profound spiritual resources of Islam while clarifying diversity and debate within the tradition. Framing his argument in terms of religious studies, Ernst describes how Protestant definitions of religion and anti-Muslim prejudice have affected views of Islam in Europe and America. He also covers the contemporary importance of Islam in both its traditional settings and its new locations and provides a context for understanding extremist movements like fundamentalism. He concludes with an overview of critical debates on important contemporary issues such as gender and veiling, state politics, and science and religion.



The Second Arab Awakening

The Second Arab Awakening Author Marwan Muasher
ISBN-10 9780300186390
Release 2014-01-28
Pages 210
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A knowledgeable insider provides the first clear view of what has happened in the Arab world and why



Rethinking Islamism

Rethinking Islamism Author Meghnad Desai
ISBN-10 9780857716330
Release 2006-10-27
Pages 204
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The global struggle against 'terror' looks set to become one of the defining characteristics of geopolitics in the new century. Despite increasingly frantic calls - especially after the London bombings of July 7 2005 - for western leaders to 'understand Islam better', there is a still a critical distinction that needs to be made between 'Islam' as religion and 'Islamism' in the sense of militant mindset. _x000D_ _x000D_ In this provocative new book Meghnad Desai argues that it is quite wrong to treat the followers of Osama bin-Laden and other jihadists, whether home-grown or not, as qualitatively different in their thinking from extreme ideologies such as Leninism, Trotskyism or Maoism ; or from the Baader-Meinhof Gang and the Red Brigades, who were also prepared to unleash savage violence against their own countrymen. As the author sees it, it is not - as George Bush and Tony Blair have claimed - a more nuanced understanding of Islam that will help the western powers defeat terror, but rather a proper understanding of Islamism: a political ideology quite distinct from religion (just as in the same way the IRA could not reasonably be equated with Roman Catholicism). While Islamism may be draped in religious imagery and suffused by apocalyptic language, it nevertheless is similar in nature to secular ideologies of terror. And once, the author holds, this is properly appreciated, the ways to defeat it will become much better evident. _x000D_ _x000D_ Historically sophisticated and passionately argued, Rethinking Islamism makes a powerful case by a master theorist of political philosophy. It will be essential reading for students and policy-makers alike in the fields of politics, current affairs, and religion.



Politics of the Islamic Tradition

Politics of the Islamic Tradition Author Mohammed Moussa
ISBN-10 9781317554790
Release 2015-10-05
Pages 186
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Over the last two centuries the Muslim world has undergone dramatic transformations, impacting the Islamic tradition and throwing into question our understanding of tradition. The notion of tradition as an unmoving edifice is contradicted by the very process of its transmission, and the complex role human beings play in creating and sustaining traditions is evident in the indigenous mechanisms of change within the Islamic tradition. Politics of the Islamic Tradition locates the work of Egyptian cleric Muhammad al-Ghazali within the context of this dynamic Islamic tradition, with special focus on his political thought. Al-Ghazali inherited a vast and diverse heritage which he managed to reinterpret in a changing world. An innovative exploration of the change and continuity present within Muslim discourses, this book brings together disparate threads of the Islamic tradition, religious exegesis, the contemporary Arab Middle East, the Islamic state and idea of renewal in al-Ghazali’s thought. As well as being one of the first complete treatments of al-Ghazali’s works, this book provides an original critical approach to tradition and its capability for innovation and change, countering the dichotomy between tradition and modernity that typically informs most scholarly studies on contemporary Islam. Offering highly original insights into Islamic thought and engaging with critical notions of tradition, this book is essential reading for students and scholars of Islamic Politics and History.



Temptations of Power

Temptations of Power Author Shadi Hamid
ISBN-10 9780199314072
Release 2014-03-17
Pages 288
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In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy--the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power. In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression "forced" Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream of an Islamic state. Meanwhile, democratic openings in the 1980s--and again during the Arab Spring--pushed Islamists back toward their original conservatism. With the uprisings of 2011, Islamists found themselves in an enviable position, but one for which they were unprepared. Groups like the Brotherhood combine the features of both political parties and religious movements, leading to an inherent tension they have struggled to resolve. However pragmatic they may be, their ultimate goal remains the Islamization of society. When the electorate they represent is conservative as well, they can push their own form of illiberal democracy while insisting they are carrying out the popular will. This can lead to overreach and significant backlash. Yet, while the Egyptian coup and the subsequent crackdown were a devastating blow for the Islamist "project," obituaries of political Islam are premature. As long as the battle over the role of religion in public life continues, Islamist parties in countries as diverse as Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan will remain an important force whether in the ranks of opposition or the halls of power. But what are the key factors driving their evolution? A timely and provocative reassessment, Hamid's account serves as an essential compass for those trying to understand where the region's varied Islamist groups have come from and where they might be headed.



The Politics of Islam in the Sahel

The Politics of Islam in the Sahel Author Rahmane Idrissa
ISBN-10 9781351981965
Release 2017-06-14
Pages 290
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‘Ideologies need enemies to thrive, religion does not’. Using the Sahel as a source of five comparative case studies, this volume aims to engage in the painstaking task of disentangling Islam from the political ideologies that have issued from its theologies to fight for governmental power and the transformation of society. While these ideologies tap into sources of religious legitimacy, the author shows that they are fundamentally secular or temporal enterprises, defined by confrontation with other political ideologies–both progressive and liberal–within the arena of nation states. Their objectives are the same as these other ideologies, i.e., to harness political power for changing national societies, and they resort to various methods of persuasion, until they break down into violence. The two driving questions of the book are, whence come these ideologies, and why do they–sometimes–result in violence? Ideologies of Salafi radicalism are at work in the five countries of the Sahel region, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, (Northern) Nigeria and Senegal, but violence has broken out only in Mali and Northern Nigeria. Using a theoretical framework of ideological development and methods of historical analysis, Idrissa traces the emergence of Salafi radicalism in each of these countries as a spark ignited by the shock between concurrent processes of Islamization and colonization in the 1940s. However, while the spark eventually ignited a blaze in Mali and Nigeria, it has only led to milder political heat in Niger and Senegal and has had no burning effect at all in Burkina Faso. By meticulously examining the development of Salafi radicalism ideologies over time in connection with developments in national politics in each of the countries, Idrissa arrives at compelling conclusions about these divergent outcomes. Given the many similarities between the countries studied, these divergences show, in particular, that history, the behaviour of state leaders and national sociologies matter–against assumptions of ‘natural’ contradictions between religion (Islam) and secularism or democracy. This volume offers a new perspective in discussions on ideology, which remains–as is shown here–the independent variable of many key contemporary political processes, either hidden in plain sight or disguised in a religious garb.



Rethinking Islamic Studies

Rethinking Islamic Studies Author Carl W. Ernst
ISBN-10 9781611172317
Release 2012-11-27
Pages 344
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Rethinking Islamic Studies upends scholarly roadblocks in post-Orientalist discourse within contemporary Islamic studies and carves fresh inroads toward a robust new understanding of the discipline, one that includes religious studies and other politically infused fields of inquiry. Editors Carl W. Ernst and Richard C. Martin, along with a distinguished group of scholars, map the trajectory of the study of Islam and offer innovative approaches to the theoretical and methodological frameworks that have traditionally dominated the field. In the volume's first section the contributors reexamine the underlying notions of modernity in the East and West and allow for the possibility of multiple and incongruent modernities. This opens a discussion of fundamentalism as a manifestation of the tensions of modernity in Muslim cultures. The second section addresses the volatile character of Islamic religious identity as expressed in religious and political movements at national and local levels. In the third section, contributors focus on Muslim communities in Asia and examine the formation of religious models and concepts as they appear in this region. This study concludes with an afterword by accomplished Islamic studies scholar Bruce B. Lawrence reflecting on the evolution of this post-Orientalist approach to Islam and placing the volume within existing and emerging scholarship. Rethinking Islamic Studies offers original perspectives for the discipline, each utilizing the tools of modern academic inquiry, to help illuminate contemporary incarnations of Islam for a growing audience of those invested in a sharper understanding of the Muslim world.