RSSTotes les entrades al "Turkey’s AKP" Categoria


Cordoba Foundation

Abdullah Faliq

Intro ,

In spite of it being both a perennial and a complex debate, Arches Quarterly reexamines from theological and practical grounds, the important debate about the relationship and compatibility between Islam and Democracy, as echoed in Barack Obama’s agenda of hope and change. Whilst many celebrate Obama’s ascendancy to the Oval Office as a national catharsis for the US, others remain less optimistic of a shift in ideology and approach in the international arena. While much of the tension and distrust between the Muslim world and the USA can be attributed to the approach of promoting democracy, typically favoring dictatorships and puppet regimes that pay lip-service to democratic values and human rights, the aftershock of 9/11 ha consolidat realment els recels a través de la posició dels Estats Units sobre l'islam polític. Ha creat un mur de negativitat tal com ha trobat, segons el qual 67% dels egipcis creuen que a nivell mundial Amèrica està jugant un paper "principalment negatiu"..
Per tant, la resposta dels Estats Units ha estat encertada. Amb l'elecció d'Obama, molts d'arreu del món estan tenint les seves esperances per desenvolupar un país menys bel·ligerant, però una política exterior més justa envers el món musulmà. La prova per a Obama, mentre comentem, és com Amèrica i els seus aliats promouen la democràcia. Serà facilitador o imposant?
A més, Pot ser important ser un corredor honest en zones prolongades de confl ictes? Reclutar l'experiència i la visió de prolifi
c estudiosos, acadèmics, periodistes i polítics experimentats, Arches Quarterly brings to light the relationship between Islam and Democracy and the role of America – as well as the changes brought about by Obama, in seeking the common ground. Anas Altikriti, the CEO of Th e Cordoba Foundation provides the opening gambit to this discussion, where he refl ects on the hopes and challenges that rests on Obama’s path. Following Altikriti, the former advisor to President Nixon, Dr Robert Crane off ers a thorough analysis of the Islamic principle of the right to freedom. Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, enriches the discussion with the practical realities of implementing democracy in Muslim dominant societies, és a dir, in Indonesia and Malaysia.
We also have Dr Shireen Hunter, of Georgetown University, EUA, who explores Muslim countries lagging in democratisation and modernisation. Th is is complemented by terrorism writer, Dr Nafeez Ahmed’s explanation of the crisis of post-modernity and the
demise of democracy. Dr Daud Abdullah (Director of Middle East Media Monitor), Alan Hart (former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent; author of Zionism: Th e Real Enemy of the Jews) and Asem Sondos (Editor of Egypt’s Sawt Al Omma weekly) concentrate on Obama and his role vis-à-vis democracy-promotion in the Muslim world, as well as US relations with Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Minister of Foreign Aff airs, Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed speculates on the future of Islam and Democracy; Cllr. Gerry Maclochlainn
– membre del Sinn Féin que va suportar quatre anys de presó per activitats republicanes irlandeses i activista de Guildford 4 i Birmingham 6, reflexiona sobre el seu recent viatge a Gaza, on va presenciar l'impacte de la brutalitat i la injustícia contra els palestins.; Dr. Marie Breen-Smyth, El director del Centre per a l'Estudi de la Radicalització i la Violència Política Contemporània parla dels reptes de la investigació crítica del terror polític; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, escriptor i dramaturg, discuteix les perspectives de pau a Darfur; i, finalment, el periodista i activista dels drets humans Ashur Shamis mira de manera crítica la democratització i la politització dels musulmans d'avui.
We hope all this makes for a comprehensive reading and a source for refl ection on issues that aff ect us all in a new dawn of hope.
Thank you

Islamic Political Culture, democràcia, and Human Rights

Daniel I. preu

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. conseqüentment, scholars, commentators, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, malgrat això, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions, can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. Country specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the countries of the Muslim world. Hence, a new approach to the study of the
connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam, democràcia, and human rights at the cross-national level, that too much emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first use comparative case studies, que se centren en factors relacionats amb la interacció entre grups i règims islàmics, influències econòmiques, clivages ètnics, i desenvolupament de la societat, per explicar la variació de la influència de l'Islam en la política a vuit nacions. Defenso que gran part del poder
atribuït a l'islam com a força impulsora de les polítiques i sistemes polítics a les nacions musulmanes es pot explicar millor pels factors esmentats anteriorment.. Jo també trobo, contràriament a la creença comuna, que la força creixent dels grups polítics islàmics s'ha associat sovint amb una modesta pluralització dels sistemes polítics.
He construït un índex de la cultura política islàmica, en funció de la mesura en què s'utilitza la llei islàmica i si i, si és així, com,Idees occidentals, institucions, i les tecnologies estan implementades, to test the nature of the relationship between Islam and democracy and Islam and human rights. This indicator is used in statistical analysis, which includes a sample of twenty-three predominantly Muslim countries and a control group of twenty-three non-Muslim developing nations. In addition to comparing
Islamic nations to non-Islamic developing nations, statistical analysis allows me to control for the influence of other variables that have been found to affect levels of democracy and the protection of individual rights. The result should be a more realistic and accurate picture of the influence of Islam on politics and policies.


sherifa Zuhur

Seven years after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, many experts believe al-Qa’ida has regained strength and that its copycats or affiliates are more lethal than before. The National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 asserted that al-Qa’ida is more dangerous now than before 9/11.1 Al-Qa’ida’s emulators continue to threaten Western, Middle Eastern, and European nations, as in the plot foiled in September 2007 in Germany. Bruce Riedel states: Thanks largely to Washington’s eagerness to go into Iraq rather than hunting down al Qaeda’s leaders, the organization now has a solid base of operations in the badlands of Pakistan and an effective franchise in western Iraq. Its reach has spread throughout the Muslim world and in Europe . . . Osama bin Laden has mounted a successful propaganda campaign. . . . His ideas now attract more followers than ever.
It is true that various salafi-jihadist organizations are still emerging throughout the Islamic world. Why have heavily resourced responses to the Islamist terrorism that we are calling global jihad not proven extremely effective?
Moving to the tools of “soft power,” what about the efficacy of Western efforts to bolster Muslims in the Global War on Terror (quota)? Why has the United States won so few “hearts and minds” in the broader Islamic world? Why do American strategic messages on this issue play so badly in the region? Why, despite broad Muslim disapproval of extremism as shown in surveys and official utterances by key Muslim leaders, has support for bin Ladin actually increased in Jordan and in Pakistan?
This monograph will not revisit the origins of Islamist violence. It is instead concerned with a type of conceptual failure that wrongly constructs the GWOT and which discourages Muslims from supporting it. They are unable to identify with the proposed transformative countermeasures because they discern some of their core beliefs and institutions as targets in
this endeavor.
Several deeply problematic trends confound the American conceptualizations of the GWOT and the strategic messages crafted to fight that War. These evolve from (1) post-colonial political approaches to Muslims and Muslim majority nations that vary greatly and therefore produce conflicting and confusing impressions and effects; i (2) residual generalized ignorance of and prejudice toward Islam and subregional cultures. Add to this American anger, fear, and anxiety about the deadly events of 9/11, and certain elements that, despite the urgings of cooler heads, hold Muslims and their religion accountable for the misdeeds of their coreligionists, or who find it useful to do so for political reasons.

Islamist Opposition Parties and the Potential for EU Engagement

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

In light of the increasing importance of Islamist movements in the Muslim world and

the way that radicalisation has influenced global events since the turn of the century, it

is important for the EU to evaluate its policies towards actors within what can be loosely

termed the ‘Islamic world’. It is particularly important to ask whether and how to engage

with the various Islamist groups.

This remains controversial even within the EU. Some feel that the Islamic values that

lie behind Islamist parties are simply incompatible with western ideals of democracy and

drets humans, while others see engagement as a realistic necessity due to the growing

domestic importance of Islamist parties and their increasing involvement in international

affairs. Another perspective is that democratisation in the Muslim world would increase

European security. The validity of these and other arguments over whether and how the

EU should engage can only be tested by studying the different Islamist movements and

their political circumstances, country by country.

Democratisation is a central theme of the EU’s common foreign policy actions, as laid

out in Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union. Many of the states considered in this

report are not democratic, or not fully democratic. In most of these countries, Islamist

parties and movements constitute a significant opposition to the prevailing regimes, i

in some they form the largest opposition bloc. European democracies have long had to

tractar amb règims de govern que són autoritaris, però és un fenomen nou de premsa

per a la reforma democràtica als estats on els beneficiaris més probables podrien tenir, des del

punt de vista de la UE, enfocaments diferents i de vegades problemàtics de la democràcia i la seva

valors relacionats, com ara els drets de les minories i de les dones i l'estat de dret. Aquests càrrecs són

sovint contra els moviments islamistes, per tant, és important que els responsables polítics europeus ho facin

tenir una imatge precisa de les polítiques i les filosofies dels possibles socis.

Les experiències de diferents països tendeixen a suggerir que més llibertat és islamista

es permeten festes, més moderats són en les seves accions i idees. En molts

casos, els partits i grups islamistes fa temps que s'han allunyat del seu objectiu original

of establishing an Islamic state governed by Islamic law, and have come to accept basic

democratic principles of electoral competition for power, the existence of other political

competitors, and political pluralism.

Political Islam in the Middle East

són Knudsen

This report provides an introduction to selected aspects of the phenomenon commonly

referred to as “political Islam”. The report gives special emphasis to the Middle East, en

particular the Levantine countries, and outlines two aspects of the Islamist movement that may

be considered polar opposites: democracy and political violence. In the third section the report

reviews some of the main theories used to explain the Islamic resurgence in the Middle East

(Figure 1). In brief, the report shows that Islam need not be incompatible with democracy and

that there is a tendency to neglect the fact that many Middle Eastern countries have been

engaged in a brutal suppression of Islamist movements, causing them, some argue, to take up

arms against the state, and more rarely, foreign countries. The use of political violence is

widespread in the Middle East, but is neither illogical nor irrational. In many cases even

Islamist groups known for their use of violence have been transformed into peaceful political

parties successfully contesting municipal and national elections. No obstant això, the Islamist

revival in the Middle East remains in part unexplained despite a number of theories seeking to

account for its growth and popular appeal. In general, most theories hold that Islamism is a

reaction to relative deprivation, especially social inequality and political oppression. Alternative

theories seek the answer to the Islamist revival within the confines of religion itself and the

powerful, evocative potential of religious symbolism.

The conclusion argues in favour of moving beyond the “gloom and doom” approach that

portrays Islamism as an illegitimate political expression and a potential threat to the West (“Old

Islamism”), and of a more nuanced understanding of the current democratisation of the Islamist

movement that is now taking place throughout the Middle East (“New Islamism”). This

importance of understanding the ideological roots of the “New Islamism” is foregrounded

along with the need for thorough first-hand knowledge of Islamist movements and their

adherents. As social movements, its is argued that more emphasis needs to be placed on

understanding the ways in which they have been capable of harnessing the aspirations not only

of the poorer sections of society but also of the middle class.




Political Islam is the single most active political force in the Middle East today. Its future is intimately tied to that of the region. If the United States and the European Union are committed to supporting political reform in the region, they will need to devise concrete, coherent strategies for engaging Islamist groups. Yet, Els EUA. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Similarly, EU engagement with Islamists has been the exception, not the rule. Where low-level contacts exist, they mainly serve information-gathering purposes, not strategic objectives. The U.S. i la UE tenen una sèrie de programes que aborden el desenvolupament econòmic i polític a la regió, entre ells la Iniciativa d'Associació per a l'Orient Mitjà. (MEPI), la Corporació del Desafiament del Mil·lenni (MCC), la Unió per la Mediterrània, i la Política Europea de Veïnatge (ENP) No obstant això, tenen poc a dir sobre com el repte de l'oposició política islamista s'ajusta als objectius regionals més amplis. nosaltres. i l'assistència i la programació de la democràcia de la UE es dirigeixen gairebé completament als propis governs autoritaris o a grups laics de la societat civil amb un suport mínim a les seves pròpies societats..
És el moment d'una reavaluació de les polítiques actuals. Des dels atemptats terroristes de setembre 11, 2001, el suport a la democràcia de l'Orient Mitjà ha assumit una importància més gran per als responsables polítics occidentals, who see a link between lack of democracy and political violence. Greater attention has been devoted to understanding the variations within political Islam. The new American administration is more open to broadening communication with the Muslim world. Mentrestant, the vast majority of mainstream Islamist organizations – including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan’s Islamic Action Front (IAF), Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PJD), the Islamic Constitutional Movement of Kuwait, and the Yemeni Islah Party – have increasingly made support for political reform and democracy a central component in their political platforms. A més, many have signaled strong interest in opening dialogue with U.S. and EU governments.
El futur de les relacions entre les nacions occidentals i l'Orient Mitjà pot estar determinat en gran mesura pel grau en què els primers impliquen els partits islamistes noviolents en un ampli diàleg sobre interessos i objectius compartits.. Hi ha hagut una proliferació recent d'estudis sobre el compromís amb els islamistes, però pocs aborden clarament el que pot suposar a la pràctica. Com Zoe Nautre, becari visitant al Consell Alemany de Relacions Exteriors, ho posa, "La UE està pensant en el compromís, però realment no sap com."1 Amb l'esperança d'aclarir la discussió, distingim entre tres nivells de “complicació,” cadascun amb diferents mitjans i finalitats: contactes de baix nivell, diàleg estratègic, i col·laboració.

Partits islamistes : participation without power

Malika Zeghal

Over the last two decades, social and political movements grounding their ideologies in references to Islam have sought to become legal political parties in many countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Some of these Islamist movements have been authorized to take part lawfully in electoral competition. Among the best known is Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which won a parliamentary majority in 2002 and has led the government ever since. Morocco’s own Party of Justice and Development (PJD) has been legal since the mid- 1990s and commands a significant bloc of seats in Parliament. In Egypt, els Germans Musulmans (MB) has never been authorized to form a political party, but in spite of state repression it has successfully run candidates as nominal independents in both national and local elections.
Since the early 1990s, this trend has gone hand-in-hand with official policies of limited political liberalization. Together, the two trends have occasioned a debate about whether these movements are committed to “democracy.” A vast literature has sprung up to underline the paradoxes as well as the possible risks and benefits of including Islamist parties in the electoral process. The main paradigm found in this body of writing focuses on the consequences that might ensue when Islamists use democratic instruments, and seeks to divine the “true” intentions that Islamists will manifest if they come to power.


Nathan J. marró, Amr Hamzawy,

Marina Ottaway

During the last decade, Islamist movements have established themselves as major political players in the Middle East. Together with the governments, Islamist movements, moderate as well as radical, will determine how the politics of the region unfold in the foreseeable future. Th ey have shown the ability not only to craft messages with widespread popular appeal but also, and most importantly, to create organizations with genuine social bases and develop coherent political strategies. Other parties,
by and large, have failed on all accounts.
Th e public in the West and, in particular, the United States, has only become aware of the importance of Islamist movements after dramatic events, such as the revolution in Iran and the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat in Egypt. Attention has been far more sustained since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Com a resultat, Islamist movements are widely regarded as dangerous and hostile. While such a characterization is accurate regarding organizations at the radical end of the Islamist spectrum, which are dangerous because of their willingness to resort to indiscriminate violence in pursuing their goals, it is not an accurate characterization of the many groups that have renounced or avoided violence. Because terrorist organizations pose an immediate
threat, malgrat això, policy makers in all countries have paid disproportionate attention to the violent organizations.
It is the mainstream Islamist organizations, not the radical ones, que tindrà el major impacte en la futura evolució política de l'Orient Mitjà. Els grandiosos objectius dels radicals de restablir un califat que uneixi tot el món àrab, o fins i tot d'imposar als països àrabs individuals lleis i costums socials inspirats en una interpretació fonamentalista de l'islam estan simplement massa allunyats de la realitat actual per ser realitzats.. Això no vol dir que els grups terroristes no siguin perillosos —podrien causar grans pèrdues de vides fins i tot en la recerca d'objectius impossibles—, sinó que és poc probable que canviïn la cara de l'Orient Mitjà.. Les organitzacions islamistes principals són generalment una qüestió diferent. Ja han tingut un impacte poderós en els costums socials de molts països, halting and reversing secularist trends and changing the way many Arabs dress and behave. And their immediate political goal, to become a powerful force by participating in the normal politics of their country, is not an impossible one. It is already being realized in countries such as Morocco, Jordània, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. política, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.



Les qüestions relacionades amb l'islam polític continuen presentant reptes a les polítiques exteriors europees a l'Orient Mitjà i al nord d'Àfrica (MENA). A mesura que la política de la UE ha intentat fer front a aquests reptes durant l'última dècada aproximadament, l'islam polític mateix ha evolucionat. Els experts assenyalen la creixent complexitat i varietat de tendències dins de l'islam polític. Algunes organitzacions islamistes han reforçat el seu compromís amb les normes democràtiques i s'han compromès plenament a la pau, política nacional dominant. Altres continuen casats amb mitjans violents. I encara d'altres han derivat cap a una forma més quietista de l'islam, desvinculat de l'activitat política. L'islam polític a la regió MENA no presenta cap tendència uniforme per als responsables polítics europeus. El debat analític ha crescut al voltant del concepte de "radicalització". Això, al seu torn, ha generat investigacions sobre els factors que impulsen la "desradicalització", i a la inversa, 're-radicalització'. Gran part de la complexitat deriva de la visió generalitzada que aquests tres fenòmens es produeixen al mateix temps.. Fins i tot els termes en si són impugnats. Sovint s'ha assenyalat que la dicotomia moderat-radical no aconsegueix captar completament els matisos de les tendències dins de l'islam polític.. Alguns analistes també es queixen que parlar de "radicalisme" està carregat ideològicament. A nivell de terminologia, entenem que la radicalització s'associa a l'extremisme, però les opinions difereixen sobre la centralitat del seu contingut religiós-fundamentalista versus polític, i sobre si la voluntat de recórrer a la violència està implícita o no.

Such differences are reflected in the views held by the Islamists themselves, as well as in the perceptions of outsiders.

Political Islam and European Foreign Policy




Since 2001 and the international events that ensued the nature of the relationship between the West and political Islam has become a definingissue for foreign policy. In recent years a considerable amount of research and analysis has been undertaken on the issue of political Islam. This has helped to correct some of the simplistic and alarmist assumptions previously held in the West about the nature of Islamist values and intentions. Parallel to this, the European Union (EU) ha desenvolupat una sèrie d'iniciatives polítiques, principalment la Política Europea de Veïnatge(ENP) que en principi es comprometen amb el diàleg i un compromís més profund de tots(no violent) actors polítics i organitzacions de la societat civil dels països àrabs. No obstant això, molts analistes i responsables polítics es queixen ara d'un cert trofeu tant en el debat conceptual com en el desenvolupament de polítiques. S'ha establert que l'islam polític és un panorama canviant, profundament afectat per una sèrie de circumstàncies, però el debat sovint sembla que s'ha quedat en la qüestió simplista de "els islamistes són democràtics".?No obstant això, molts analistes independents han defensat el compromís amb els islamistes, però l'acostament real entre els governs occidentals i les organitzacions islamistes segueix sent limitat .

Partits islamistes , ARE THEY DEMOCRATS? DOES it matter ?

Tarek Masoud

Driven by a sense that “the Islamists are coming,” journalists and policy makers have been engaged of late in fevered speculation over whether Islamist parties such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or Palestine’s Hamas really believe in democracy. While I attempt to outline the boundaries of the Islamist democratic commitment, I think that peering into the Islamist soul is a misuse of energies. The Islamists are not coming. A més, as Adam Przeworski and others have argued, commitments to democracy are more often born of environmental constraints than of true belief. Instead of worrying whether Islamists are real democrats,
our goal should be to help fortify democratic and liberal institutions and actors so that no group—Islamist or otherwise—can subvert them.
But what is this movement over whose democratic bona fides we worry? Islamism is a slippery concept. Per exemple, if we label as Islamist those parties that call for the application of shari‘a, we must exclude Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (which is widely considered Islamist) and include Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party (which actively represses Islamists). Instead of becoming mired in definitional issues, we would do better to focus on a set of political parties that have grown from the same historical roots, derive many of their goals and positions from the same body of ideas, i mantenir llaços organitzatius entre ells, és a dir, aquells partits que sorgeixen del MB internacional. Aquests inclouen l'organització mare egípcia (fundada a 1928), però també Hamàs, Jordan’s Islamic Action Front, Moviment d'Algèria per una societat pacífica, el Partit Islàmic iraquià, Grup Islàmic del Líban, i altres.

Counter Transformations in the Center and Periphery of Turkish Society and the Rise of the Justice and Development Party

Ramin Ahmadov

The election results on November 3, 2002, which brought the Justice and Development Party into power, shocked many, but for varying reasons. Afterwards, some became more hopeful about future of their country, while others became even more doubtful and anxious, since for them the “republican regime” came under threat. These opposing responses, along with the perceptions that fueled them, neatly describe the two very different worlds that currently exist within Turkish society, and so it is important to think through many of the contested issues that have arisen as a result of these shifting political winds.
The winning Justice and Development Party (JDP) was established in 2001 by a group of politicians under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, many of whom split from the religio-political movement of Necmetiin Erbakan, the National Outlook Movement, and the Welfare Party. Interestingly, in less than two years after its establishment, and at the first general election it participated in, the JDP received 34.29 % of the vote when all other established parties fell under the 10 % threshold. The only exception to this was the Republican People’s Party (19.38 %). The JDP captured 365 out of 550 seats in the parliament and therefore was given the opportunity of establishing the government alone, which is exactly what happened. Two years later, in the 2004 local elections, the JDP increased its votes to 41.46 %, while the RPP slightly decreased to 18.27 %, and the Nationalist Action Party increased to 10.10 % (de 8.35 % en 2002). Finalment, in the most recent general elections in Turkey in 2007, which was marked by intense debate over presidential elections and an online military note, the JDP won nearly half of all votes, 46.58 %, and began its second term in power.

Turkey and the EU: A Survey on Turkish MPs’ EU Vision

kudret Bulbul

Even though Turkey’s dream for being a member of European Union (EU) dates back to late 1950s, it can be said that this process has gained its momentum since the governing period of Justice and Development Party, which is shortly called AK party or AKP in Turkish. When compared with earlier periods, the enormous accomplishments during the AK party’s rule are recognized by domestic and European authorities alike. In the parallel of gigantic steps towardsthe European membership, which is now a real possibility for Turkey, there have been increasingdebates about this process. While some European authorities generate policies over Cyprus issueagainst Turkey’s membership, some others mainly lead by German Christian Democrats proposea privileged status rather than full membership. Turkish authorities do not stay silent over thesearguments, and probably first time the Turkish foreign minister can articulate that “should they(the EU) propose anything short of full membership, or any new conditions, we will walk away.And this time it will be for good” (The Economist 2005 30-31) After October third, Even though Mr. Abdullah Gül, who is the foreign minister of the AK party govenrment, persistentlyemphasizes that there is no such a concept so-called “privileged partnership” in the framework document, (Milliyet, 2005) the prime minister of France puts forward that this option is actually one of the possible alternatives.


Anthony Bubalo
Greg Fealy
Whit Mason

The fear of Islamists coming to power through elections has long been an obstacle to democratisation in authoritarian states of the Muslim world. Islamists have been, and continue to be, the best organised and most credible opposition movements in many of these countries.

They are also commonly, if not always correctly, assumed to be in the best position to capitalise on any democratic opening of their political systems. Al mateix temps, the commitment of Islamists to democracy is often questioned. Indeed, when it comes to democracy, Islamism’s intellectual heritage and historical record (in terms of the few examples of Islamist-led states, such as Sudan and Iran) have not been reassuring. The apparent strength of Islamist movements, combined with suspicions about Islamism’s democratic compatibility, has been used by authoritarian governments as an argument to defl ect both domestic and international calls for political reform and democratisation.

Domestically, secular liberals have preferred to settle for nominally secular dictatorships over potentially religious ones. Internationally, Western governments have preferred friendly autocrats to democratically elected, but potentially hostile, Islamist-led governments.

The goal of this paper is to re-examine some of the assumptions about the risks of democratisation in authoritarian countries of the Muslim world (and not just in the Middle East) where strong Islamist movements or parties exist.

Success of Turkey’s AK Party must not dilute worries over Arab Islamists

Mona Eltahawy

It has been unsurprising that since Abdullah Gul became president of Turkey on 27 August that much misguided analyses has been wasted on howIslamistscan pass the democracy test. His victory was bound to be described as theIslamistrouting of Turkish politics. And Arab Islamistsin the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, their supporters and defenderswere always going to point to Turkey and tell us that we’ve been wrong all along to worry about the Arab Islamistalleged flirtation with democracy. “It worked in Turkey, it can work in the Arab world,” they would try to assure us.Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.Firstly, Gul is not an Islamist. His wife’s headscarf might be the red cloth to the bull of the secular nationalists in Turkey, but neither Gul nor the AK Party which swept parliamentary elections in Turkey in June, can be called Islamists. De fet, so little does the AK Party share with the Muslim Brotherhoodaside from the common faith of its membersthat it’s absurd to use its success in Turkish politics as a reason to reduce fears over the Mus-lim Brotherhood’s role in Arab politics.The three litmus tests of Islamism will prove my point: women and sex, la “oest”, and Israel.As a secular Muslim who has vowed never to live in Egypt should Islamists ever take power, I never take lightly any attempt to blend religion with politics. So it has been with a more than skeptical eye that I’ve followed Turkish politics over the past few years.

Claiming the Center: Political Islam in Transition

John L. Esposito

In the 1990s political Islam, what some callIslamic fundamentalism,” remains a major presence in government and in oppositional politics from North Africa to Southeast Asia. Political Islam in power and in politics has raised many issues and questions: “Is Islam antithetical to modernization?,” “Are Islam and democracy incompatible?,” “What are the implications of an Islamic government for pluralism, minority and women’s rights,” “How representative are Islamists,” “Are there Islamic moderates?,” “Should the West fear a transnational Islamic threat or clash of civilizations?” Contemporary Islamic Revivalism The landscape of the Muslim world today reveals the emergence of new Islamic republics (Iran, Sudan, Afganistan), the proliferation of Islamic movements that function as major political and social actors within existing systems, and the confrontational politics of radical violent extremists._ In contrast to the 1980s when political Islam was simply equated with revolutionary Iran or clandestine groups with names like Islamic jihad or the Army of God, the Muslim world in the 1990s is one in which Islamists have participated in the electoral process and are visible as prime ministers, cabinet officers, speakers of national assemblies, parliamentarians, and mayors in countries as diverse as Egypt, Sudan, Turquia, Iran, Líban, Kuwait, Iemen, Jordània, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malàisia, Indonèsia, and Israel/Palestine. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, political Islam continues to be a major force for order and disorder in global politics, one that participates in the political process but also in acts of terrorism, a challenge to the Muslim world and to the West. Understanding the nature of political Islam today, i en particular les qüestions i preguntes sorgides de l'experiència del passat recent, segueix sent fonamental per als governs, responsables polítics, i estudiants de política internacional per igual.