RSSArchive for July, 2010

Engager l'islam politique pour promouvoir la démocratie

Shadi Hamid

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, Americans have struggled toarticulate an overarching, long-term strategy for fighting religious extremism and terror in the Middle East. Most experts on both the left and right agree that promoting democracy will help address the root causes of terrorism in theregion, though they differ on to what degree. The reasoning is simple: If Arabs and Muslims lack legitimate, peaceful outlets with which to express their grievances, they are more likely to resort to violence. In one important 2003study, Princeton University’s Alan Krueger and Czech scholar Jitka Maleckova analyzed extensive data on terrorist attacks and concluded that “the only variable that was consistently associated with the number of terrorists was the Freedom House index of political rights and civil liberties. Countries with more freedom were less likely to be the birthplace of international terrorists.


Bernhard Platzdasch

AS INDONESIA gears up for its elections next April, making sense of developments can be a challenge.
Take, par exemple, the latest election forecasts. In a recent opinion poll, the Indonesian Survey Institute named President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s DemocratsParty (PD) as the leading contender with an approval rating of 16.8 per cent. The party was followed by Vice-President Jusuf Kalla’s Golkar Party with 15.9 per cent and Ms Megawati Sukarnoputri’s Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P) avec 14.2 per cent. But several surveys had earlier this year put PDI-P and
Golkar first and second, with PD taking third or fourth place. Another noteworthy difference in the latest survey is the meagre 4.9 per cent for the Islamist Justice and Welfare Party (MCC). Earlier surveys put the PKSshare a few points higher and the party has even claimed that it can achieve some 20 per cent of the total vote.
Without forgetting that the forecasts have limited credibility due to the large number of undecided voters, what conclusions can be drawn from the varying results of these surveys?
Première, it is almost certain that no party will secure an outright victory, thus paving the way for yet anotherand again potentially brittlecoalition government. With no party gaining an absolute majority, contenders for the presidential elections in July
will need the endorsement of other parties. As for Dr Yudhoyono, he and Golkar will probably continue their partnership. But Ms Megawati has already made it clear that she is not willing to serve as vice-president. This means a coalition made up of Golkar
and the PDI-P is unlikely.

Islam et Démocratie

Dalia Mogahed

Islam in politics has been asserted in many countries in the Muslim world through democratic elections. Islamist parties have gained varying degreesof political power in Turkey, Egypte, Liban, and the occupied Palestinian territories, and have widespread influence in Morocco and Jordan. À présent, plus que jamais, Gouvernements occidentaux, alarmed by this outcome, have raised the perennial question: Is Islam compatible with democracy?A recent in-depth Gallup survey in 10 predominantly Muslim countries,representing more than 80% of the global Muslim population, shows that whenasked what they admire most about the West, Muslims frequently mention political freedom, liberty, fair judicial systems, and freedom of speech. When asked to critique their own societies, extremism and inadequate adherence to Islamic teachings were their top grievances.However, while Muslims say they admire freedom and an open political system,Gallup surveys suggest that they do not believe they must choose between Islam and democracy, but rather, that the two can co-exist inside one functional government.

Politique égyptienne 2006

Ben Nefissa Sarah

L'année 2006 in Egyptian politics was preceded by aperiod of an unprecedentedly broad-based movement for democracy, political and institutional reforms, the first‘pluralist’ presidential elections, which confirmed Hosni Mubarak in his post and finally, legislative elections, withthe significant entry of the Muslim Brotherhood into thePeople’s Assembly, which won 88 out of a total of 444seats. L'année 2006 itself, on the other hand, was characterised by an ebb of democratic activism, the regime’s return to authoritarian methods and above all,the consolidation of the ‘hereditary political succession’scenario, with Gamal Mubarak succeeding his father. Inany case, the regional situation, inparticularwith the victory of Hamas in Palestine, the war waged by Hezbollah against the Israeli military forces in Lebanon and the rise of Iran as a possible future regional power,contributed significantly to diminishing international and particularly US pressure for democratisation of the Egyptian regime. The latter thus consolidated its continuity. Egypte 2006 was likewise the stage for important social movements, as if the changeof political climate in 2005 had had delayed effects onother spheres, in this case, the social and labourmilieus.The democratic movement instigated and developed among the ranks of the political and intellectual elitesubsided in 2006 due to a series of factors: thedisillusionment generated by the poor political and institutional results of 2005; the demobilisation of part of the actors; the repressive stance taken against them;and finally, increasing internal division. This was preciselythe case with the EgyptianMovement forChange, better known by its slogan, ‘Kifaya,’ or ‘Enough,’ which wassingular because it united all branches of politicalopposition in the country, including the Islamist political tendency.

Escalade au Moyen-Orient: une atteinte durable à la paix et à la démocratie

Paolo Cotta

The rapid and dangerous escalation of war operations in the Middle East has resulted in a very significant loss of life among Lebanese, Palestinians and Israelis, and serious damage to civilian infrastructures. Major operations began with a low-level conflict around Gaza,that involved the launching of some missiles into Israel, some (more deadly) Israeli retaliation on Gaza, and the attack on an Israeli military post outside Gaza to which Israel reacted swiftly and very strongly. In the chain reaction that followed, admittedly Israel’ sintention was, and is, to inflict on the other side a far heavier punishment than that taken by Israel—which may appear as a militarily sound posture aimed at avoiding incidents andattacks, mais, in fact, it is the civilian population that has been mainly affected. Par conséquent,the suffering of the Lebanese and Palestinian civilian populations (in terms of deaths,wounded and destroyed infrastructures) has to date been largely disproportionate to that of Israel. When, in the case of Palestine, this discrimination already follows about 40 years of discrimination in the same direction, hostility and adversarial relations are bound toincrease. So while Israel’s heavy deterrence through punishment may work temporarily and occasionally in preventing or reducing attacks, the general sentiment of hostility in the region is increased, and creates in the long range a bigger obstacle to peace.

L'histoire des Frères musulmans

Michelle Paison

We in the West !nd it incomprehensible that theological ideas still iname the minds of men, stirring up messianic passions that can leave societies in ruin. We had assumed that this was no longer possible,that human beings had learned to separate religious questions from political ones, that political theology died in 16h-century Europe. We were wrong.1Islam is no longer exclusively a religion, but an ideology that provides a total framework for all aspects of political, social, économiques, and cultural life in the Muslim world. Although Islam has continuously demonstrated the theme of resurgence throughout its history in response to the internal and external forces that challenge Muslim faith and society, the assertion of Islamism has strongly reemerged. Discontent is evident through the gradual movement towards Islamist ideology, whether or not the idea ofIslam strongly resonates among the populous. Individuals, despondentfrom the suppression of alternatives from oppressive regimes, look towards change. Organizations, such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, provide clear examples of the greater trend developing throughout the region ofthe Middle East and North Africa. #e political power and social inuenceheld by the Brotherhood capitalizes on the Arab Republic of Egypt’s failureto support its peoples. Subsequently the dissatis!ed population turns to a movement that has the ability to provide the necessary services for survival;Islamisme. #is increasing development is pushing moderate, mainstream Islam into the realm of radicalism through means of desperation.Part of the emergence of neorevivalism, les Frères musulmans,établi par Hassan al-Banna en 1928, saw the Islamic community at a critical crossroads and insisted that Muslims would !nd strength in the totalself-su$ciency of Islam.

Forcer les choix

Haim Malka

Regardless of what happens in future Palestinian parliamentaryelections, Hamas has already won a historic victory. The organization, whosename is an acronym for “the Islamic Resistance Movement,” enjoyed tremendoussuccess in municipal elections, and its readiness to participate onthe national level constitutes nothing less than an earthquake in Palestinianpolitics, signaling the clear end of one-party rule. For a movement that hasmorphed from a militant organization into a political party in less than a generation,Hamas’s participation on the national level is evidence of theorganization’s adaptability and durability within Palestinian society and politics.Among the United States, Israël, et Europe, as well as Arab governments,speculation and uneasiness has surrounded Hamas’s newfound role.Skeptics argue that electoral politics do not make one democratic, and thatHamas’s electoral ambitions mask the group’s true intention of establishingan Islamic state in all of historic Palestine—a goal that includes Israel’s destruction.1 These critics believe that, once Hamas has secured its positionwithin the Palestinian Authority (PA) and institutions of the Palestine LiberationOrganization (OLP), the movement will resume its campaign of terrorand attempt to control the Palestinian national agenda by force.Despite the inherent risks, proponents of expanding Hamas’s role in Palestiniannational politics argue that political activity will ultimately moderatethe movement. These advocates point to the fact that Hamas’s leadershave long called for transparent and accountable governing institutions andhave demonstrated political pragmatism, suggesting that the group could acceptless than its absolutist demands.

Être musulman

Fathi Yakan

Toutes les louanges à Allah, et bénédictions et paix à Son Messager. Ce livre est divisé en deux parties. La première partie se concentre sur les caractéristiques que chaque musulman devrait présenter afin de remplir les conditions d'être musulman à la fois dans la croyance et la pratique. Beaucoup de gens sont musulmans par identité,parce qu'ils sont "nés musulmans" de parents musulmans. Ils ne savent peut-être pas ce que l'islam signifie vraiment ou ses exigences, un dso peut mener une vie très laïque. Le but de cette première partie est d'expliquer la responsabilité de chaque musulman de devenir un vrai croyant en l'islam. La deuxième partie de ce livre traite de la responsabilité de devenir un militant pour l'islam et de participer au mouvement islamique.. Il explique la nature de ce mouvement et ses objectifs, philosophie, stratégie, et tactique, ainsi que les caractéristiques souhaitables de ses membres. L'échec de divers mouvements dans le monde islamique, et surtout dans les pays arabes, résultent d'un vide spirituel dans ces mouvements ainsi que dans la société en général. Dans une telle situation, les principes et les institutions de l'islam sont oubliés. Les dirigeants et les mouvements occidentalisés s'effondrent lorsqu'ils rencontrent de sérieux défis.. Ces dirigeants et mouvements et les systèmes de gouvernement et d'économie qu'ils tentent d'imposer sont tombés parce qu'ils manquaient d'une base solide. Ils sont tombés parce qu'ils étaient des constructions artificielles copiées de cultures étrangères et ne représentaient pas la communauté musulmane. Par conséquent, ils ont été rejetés par elle. Cette situation est comparable à une greffe de rein dans un corps humain. Bien que le corps soit capable de le tolérer douloureusement pendant une courte période de temps, finalement, le rein sera rejeté et mourra. Lorsque la maladie de la Oummah musulmane est devenue aiguë, peu de musulmans ont pensé à construire une nouvelle société sur les principes islamiques., qui avaient l'air bien mais étaient vraiment grossièrement défectueux et pouvaient donc être facilement renversés et écrasés.

La Fraternité's Dilemma

Prof. Marc Lynch

The question of the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) real attitudes toward democracy has rarely been of more
intense interest to American foreign policy. Despite recent electoral setbacks for the Islamic Action Front
in Jordan and the Moroccan Party of Justice and Democracy, Islamist electoral success (la fraternité
en Egypte, Hamas in Palestine, the AKP in Turkey) has thrown into sharp relief the dilemma posed for the
United States by promoting democracy: Free elections in today’s Arab world are likely to produce Islamist
The Egyptian government and many Egyptian skeptics alike accuse the MB of lying about its democratic commitments and working within the system in order to overthrow it. Inevitably, the specter is raised of an organization that
would, in effect, subscribe to the position “One man, one vote, one time”—and which, if given the opportunity, would impose a despotic religious law over an unwilling population. If this alarming picture were shown to be accurate, alors
many Americans would back away from promoting democracy—as the United States has, indeed, done over the last year and a half.
En réponse, the MB paints itself as a peaceful, moderate organization committed to working within a democratic system—repressed because of its popularity rather than its extremism. It argues that the Egyptian regime, not the opposition, shows contempt for democracy and systematically undermines moderation and human rights. In its defense, it points both to its own public
rhetoric and behavior over the last few years, and to the regime’s repressive performance. If Islamist parties could demonstrate a genuine commitment to the rules of democratic politics and a genuine opposition to violent extremism, then many in the West might be more willing to accept their electoral success.