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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 has truly cemented the misgivings further through America’s position on political Islam. It has created a wall of negativity as found by, according to which 67% of Egyptians believe that globally America is playing a “mainly negative” role.
America’s response has thus been apt. By electing Obama, many around the world are pinning their hopes for developing a less belligerent, but fairer foreign policy towards the Muslim world. Th e test for Obama, as we discuss, is how America and her allies promote democracy. Will it be facilitating or imposing?
navíc, can it importantly be an honest broker in prolonged zones of confl icts? Enlisting the expertise and insight of prolifi
c scholars, academics, seasoned journalists and politicians, 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, namely, in Indonesia and Malaysia.
We also have Dr Shireen Hunter, of Georgetown University, USA, 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
a Sinn Féin member who endured four years in prison for Irish Republican activities and a campaigner for the Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6, refl ects on his recent trip to Gaza where he witnessed the impact of the brutality and injustice meted out against Palestinians; Dr Marie Breen-Smyth, Director of the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence discusses the challenges of critically researching political terror; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, writer and playwright, discusses prospects of peace in Darfur; and fi nally journalist and human rights activist Ashur Shamis looks critically at the democratisation and politicisation of Muslims today.
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

Islámská politická kultura, Demokracie, a lidská práva

Daniel E. Cena

Tvrdilo se, že islám usnadňuje autoritářství, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. tudíž, učenci, komentátoři, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. Tento pohled, nicméně, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Islámská politická teorie, and ad hoc studies of individual countries, které neberou v úvahu další faktory. It is my contention that the texts and traditions of Islam, jako u jiných náboženství, lze použít k podpoře různých politických systémů a politik. 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. Proto, nový přístup ke studiu
Požaduje se spojení mezi islámem a politikou.
navrhuji, přes přísné hodnocení vztahu mezi islámem, demokracie, a lidská práva na mezinárodní úrovni, that too much emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay between Islamic groups and regimes, ekonomické vlivy, etnické štěpení, a společenského rozvoje, to explain the variance in the influence of Islam on politics across eight nations. I argue that much of the power
attributed to Islam as the driving force behind policies and political systems in Muslim nations can be better explained by the previously mentioned factors. I also find, contrary to common belief, that the increasing strength of Islamic political groups has often been associated with modest pluralization of political systems.
I have constructed an index of Islamic political culture, based on the extent to which Islamic law is utilized and whether and, if so, how,Western ideas, institutions, and technologies are implemented, 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 (GWOT)? 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; a (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.

Islamistické opoziční strany a potenciál pro angažmá v EU

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

Ve světle rostoucího významu islamistických hnutí v muslimském světě a

způsob, jakým radikalizace ovlivňovala globální události od přelomu století, to

je důležité, aby EU vyhodnotila své politiky vůči aktérům v rámci toho, co může být volně

nazvaný „islámský svět“. Zvláště důležité je ptát se, zda a jak se zapojit

s různými islamistickými skupinami.

To zůstává kontroverzní i v rámci EU. Někteří mají pocit, že to islám oceňuje

leží za islamistickými stranami jsou prostě neslučitelné se západními ideály demokracie a

lidská práva, zatímco jiní vidí zapojení jako realistickou nutnost kvůli rostoucímu

domácí význam islamistických stran a jejich rostoucí zapojení do mezinár

záležitosti. Další perspektivou je, že by se demokratizace v muslimském světě zvýšila

evropská bezpečnost. Platnost těchto a dalších argumentů o tom, zda a jak

EU by se měla zapojit lze otestovat pouze studiem různých islamistických hnutí a

jejich politické poměry, zemi po zemi.

Demokratizace je ústředním tématem akcí společné zahraniční politiky EU, jako položený

v článku 11 Smlouvy o Evropské unii. Mnoho států v tomto ohledu

zprávy nejsou demokratické, nebo ne zcela demokratické. Ve většině těchto zemí, islamista

strany a hnutí tvoří významnou opozici vůči převládajícím režimům, a

v některých tvoří největší opoziční blok. Evropské demokracie už dlouho musely

jednat s vládnoucími režimy, které jsou autoritářské, ale je to nový fenomén tisku

pro demokratickou reformu ve státech, kde by to nejpravděpodobnější příjemci mohli mít, z

pohled EU, různé a někdy problematické přístupy k demokracii a jejím

související hodnoty, jako jsou práva menšin a žen a právní stát. Tyto poplatky jsou

často kladeny proti islamistickým hnutím, takže je důležité, aby to tvůrci evropské politiky měli

mít přesný obrázek o politice a filozofii potenciálních partnerů.

Zkušenosti z různých zemí spíše naznačují, že větší svobodu mají islamisté

večírky jsou povoleny, tím jsou umírněnější ve svém jednání a představách. V mnoha

případy islamistické strany a skupiny se již dávno odklonily od svého původního cíle

o zřízení islámského státu řízeného islámským právem, a přijali základní

demokratické principy volební soutěže o moc, existence jiných politických

konkurentů, a politický pluralismus.

Political Islam in the Middle East

Jsou 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, v

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. Nicméně, 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.

STRATEGIE PRO Zapojení politického islámu



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. Dosud, Spojené státy. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Podobně, 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. and EU have a number of programs that address economic and political development in the region – among them the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Union for the Mediterranean, and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) – yet they have little to say about how the challenge of Islamist political opposition fits within broader regional objectives. U.S. and EU democracy assistance and programming are directed almost entirely to either authoritarian governments themselves or secular civil society groups with minimal support in their own societies.
The time is ripe for a reassessment of current policies. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, supporting Middle East democracy has assumed a greater importance for Western policymakers, 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. Meanwhile, 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. Navíc, many have signaled strong interest in opening dialogue with U.S. and EU governments.
The future of relations between Western nations and the Middle East may be largely determined by the degree to which the former engage nonviolent Islamist parties in a broad dialogue about shared interests and objectives. There has been a recent proliferation of studies on engagement with Islamists, but few clearly address what it might entail in practice. As Zoé Nautré, visiting fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, puts it, “the EU is thinking about engagement but doesn’t really know how.”1 In the hope of clarifying the discussion, we distinguish between three levels of “engagement,” each with varying means and ends: low-level contacts, strategic dialogue, and partnership.

Islamist Parties : 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. V Egyptě, Muslimské bratrstvo (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.

Islamistických hnutí a demokratický proces V arabském světě: Putování šedé zóny

Nathan J. Hnědý, Amr Hamzawy,

Marina Ottaway

Během poslední dekády, Islamistická hnutí se etablovala jako hlavní političtí hráči na Blízkém východě. Společně s vládami, islamistická hnutí, umírněné i radikální, určí, jak se bude v dohledné době vyvíjet politika regionu. Prokázali schopnost nejen vytvářet zprávy s rozšířenou populární přitažlivostí, ale také, a nejdůležitějsí, vytvářet organizace se skutečnými sociálními základy a rozvíjet koherentní politické strategie. Jiné strany,
celkově, selhaly na všech účtech.
Veřejnost na Západě a, zejména, Spojené státy, si význam islamistických hnutí uvědomil až po dramatických událostech, jako je revoluce v Íránu a atentát na prezidenta Anwara al-Sadata v Egyptě. Pozornost je od zářijových teroristických útoků mnohem udržitelnější 11, 2001. Jako výsledek, Islamistická hnutí jsou široce považována za nebezpečná a nepřátelská. Zatímco taková charakteristika je přesná, pokud jde o organizace na radikálním konci islamistického spektra, které jsou nebezpečné kvůli své ochotě uchýlit se k nevybíravému násilí při prosazování svých cílů, není to přesná charakteristika mnoha skupin, které se zřekly násilí nebo se mu vyhýbaly. Protože teroristické organizace představují bezprostřední
ohrožení, nicméně, tvůrci politik ve všech zemích věnovali násilným organizacím nepřiměřenou pozornost.
Jsou to hlavní islamistické organizace, ne ty radikální, to bude mít největší dopad na budoucí politický vývoj na Blízkém východě. Velkolepé cíle radikálů znovu ustavit chalífát sjednocující celý arabský svět, nebo dokonce vnucování zákonů a společenských zvyklostí inspirovaných fundamentalistickým výkladem islámu jednotlivým arabským zemím jsou prostě příliš vzdálené dnešní realitě, než aby je bylo možné realizovat.. To neznamená, že teroristické skupiny nejsou nebezpečné – mohou způsobit velké ztráty na životech i při honbě za nemožnými cíli – ale že je nepravděpodobné, že by změnily tvář Blízkého východu.. Mainstreamové islamistické organizace jsou obecně jiná záležitost. Již měly silný dopad na společenské zvyky v mnoha zemích, zastavení a zvrácení sekularistických trendů a změna způsobu oblékání a chování mnoha Arabů. A jejich bezprostřední politický cíl, stát se mocnou silou účastí na normální politice své země, není nemožné. Realizuje se již v zemích, jako je Maroko, Jordán, a dokonce i Egypt, která stále zakazuje všechny islamistické politické organizace, ale nyní má v parlamentu 88 muslimských bratrů. Politika, ne násilí, je to, co dává mainstreamovým islamistům jejich vliv.



Issues relating to political Islam continue to present challenges to European foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As EU policy has sought to come to terms with such challenges during the last decade or so political Islam itself has evolved. Experts point to the growing complexity and variety of trends within political Islam. Some Islamist organisations have strengthened their commitment to democratic norms and engaged fully in peaceable, mainstream national politics. Others remain wedded to violent means. And still others have drifted towards a more quietist form of Islam, disengaged from political activity. Political Islam in the MENA region presents no uniform trend to European policymakers. Analytical debate has grown around the concept of ‘radicalisation’. This in turn has spawned research on the factors driving ‘de-radicalisation’, and conversely, ‘re-radicalisation’. Much of the complexity derives from the widely held view that all three of these phenomena are occurring at the same time. Even the terms themselves are contested. It has often been pointed out that the moderate–radical dichotomy fails fully to capture the nuances of trends within political Islam. Some analysts also complain that talk of ‘radicalism’ is ideologically loaded. At the level of terminology, we understand radicalisation to be associated with extremism, but views differ over the centrality of its religious–fundamentalist versus political content, and over whether the willingness to resort to violence is implied or not.

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) has developed a number of policy initiatives primarily the European Neighbourhood Policy(ENP) that in principle commit to dialogue and deeper engagement all(non-violent) political actors and civil society organisations within Arab countries. Yet many analysts and policy-makers now complain of a certain a trophy in both conceptual debate and policy development. It has been established that political Islam is a changing landscape, deeply affected bya range of circumstances, but debate often seems to have stuck on the simplistic question of ‘are Islamists democratic?’ Many independent analysts have nevertheless advocated engagement with Islamists, but theactual rapprochement between Western governments and Islamist organisations remains limited .

Islamist Parties , 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. navíc, 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. Například, 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, and maintain organizational ties to one another—that is, those parties that spring from the international MB. These include the Egyptian mother organization (founded in 1928), but also Hamas, Jordan’s Islamic Action Front, Algeria’s Movement for a Peaceful Society, the Iraqi Islamic Party, Lebanon’s Islamic Group, and others.

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 % (from 8.35 % v 2002). Konečně, 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

Moc bulbulčík

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
Svatodušní 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. Ve stejnou dobu, the commitment of Islamists to democracy is often questioned. Vskutku, 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 the “islamista” routing 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. Ve skutečnosti, 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, the “Západ”, 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.

Nárokování Centra: Politický islám v přechodu

John L. Edwards

V devadesátých letech politický islám, jak někteří říkají “islámský fundamentalismus,” zůstává významnou přítomností ve vládě a v opoziční politice od severní Afriky po jihovýchodní Asii. Politický islám u moci a v politice vyvolal mnoho problémů a otázek: “Je islám v rozporu s modernizací?,” “Jsou islám a demokracie neslučitelné?,” “Jaké jsou důsledky islámské vlády pro pluralismus?, práva menšin a žen,” “Jak reprezentativní jsou islamisté,” “Existují islámští umírnění?,” “Kdyby se Západ obával nadnárodní islámské hrozby nebo střetu civilizací?” Současné islámské obrození Krajina muslimského světa dnes odhaluje vznik nových islámských republik (Írán, Súdán, Afghánistán), šíření islámských hnutí, která fungují jako hlavní političtí a sociální aktéři v rámci stávajících systémů, a konfrontační politika radikálních násilných extremistů._ Na rozdíl od 80. let, kdy byl politický islám jednoduše ztotožňován s revolučním Íránem nebo tajnými skupinami s názvy jako islámský džihád nebo armáda Boží, Muslimský svět v 90. letech je světem, ve kterém se islamisté účastnili volebního procesu a jsou viditelní jako premiéři, kabinetní úředníci, řečníci národních shromáždění, poslanci, a starostové v zemích tak různorodých, jako je Egypt, Súdán, Turecko, Írán, Libanon, Kuvajt, Jemen, Jordán, Pákistán, Bangladéš, Malajsie, Indonésie, a Izrael/Palestina. Na úsvitu jednadvacátého století, politický islám je i nadále hlavní silou pro pořádek a nepořádek v globální politice, který se účastní politického procesu, ale také teroristických činů, výzvou pro muslimský svět a pro Západ. Pochopení podstaty politického islámu dnes, a zejména problémy a otázky, které vyplynuly ze zkušeností z nedávné minulosti, zůstává pro vlády rozhodující, tvůrci pravidel, i studenti mezinárodní politiky.