RSSTë gjitha Hyrje në "Turkey’s AKP" Kategori

ISLAM, DEMOKRACIA & USA:

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 worldpublicopinion.org, 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?
Për më tepër, 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, domethënë, in Indonesia and Malaysia.
We also have Dr Shireen Hunter, of Georgetown University, SHBA, 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

Kulturës islame Politike, Demokraci, dhe të Drejtat e Njeriut

Daniel E. Çmimi

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. Si pasojë, scholars, commentators, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, megjithatë, 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. Prandaj, 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, demokraci, 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, which focus on factors relating to the interplay between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages, and societal development, 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.

Saktësi në luftën globale ndaj terrorit:

Sherifa Zuhur

Shtatë vjet pas shtator 11, 2001 (9/11) sulmet, 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, Europa e Mesme, and European nations, si në komplot kapur në shtator 2007 in Germany. Bruce shtetet Riedel: 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?
Kalimi në mjetet e "pushtetit të butë,” 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? Pse, 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
këtë përpjekje.
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; dhe (2) residual generalized ignorance of and prejudice toward Islam and subregional cultures. Shtoni në këtë zemërim amerikan, fear, dhe ankthi në lidhje me ngjarjet vdekjeprurës i 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.

Partitë e opozitës islamiste dhe e mundshme për angazhimin e BE-

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

Në dritën e rritjes së rëndësisë së lëvizjeve islamiste në botën myslimane dhe

mënyra se radikalizmi ka ndikuar ngjarjet globale që nga ana e shekullit, ajo

është e rëndësishme që BE të vlerësojë politikat e saj ndaj aktorëve në atë që mund të jetë i lirshëm

quajtur 'botën islame'. Kjo është veçanërisht e rëndësishme për të pyetur nëse dhe si të angazhohen

me grupe të ndryshme islamiste.

Kjo mbetet e diskutueshme edhe brenda BE-së. Disa mendojnë se vlerat islame që

shtrihen prapa partitë islamike janë thjesht të papajtueshme me idealet perëndimore të demokracisë dhe

të drejtat e njeriut, ndërsa të tjerët shohin angazhimin si një domosdoshmëri reale për shkak të rritje

Rëndësia e brendshme e partive islamike dhe përfshirja e tyre në rritje në ndërkombëtare

punë. Një perspektivë tjetër është se demokratizimi në botën muslimane do të rritet

sigurisë evropiane. Vlefshmëria e këtyre dhe argumente të tjera mbi nëse dhe si

BE-ja duhet të angazhohen mund të testohen vetëm duke studiuar lëvizjet e ndryshme islamike dhe

rrethanat e tyre politike, vendi nga vendi.

Demokratizimi është një temë qendrore e veprimeve të përbashkëta të politikës së jashtme të BE-së, siç përcaktohet

në nenin 11 të Traktatit për Bashkimin Europian. Shumica e shteteve të konsiderohen në këtë

Raporti nuk janë demokratike, ose jo plotësisht demokratike. Në shumicën e këtyre vendeve, islamike

partitë dhe lëvizjet përbëjnë një opozitë të rëndësishëm në regjimeve mbizotëruese, dhe

në disa ata formojnë madh bllokun opozitar. demokracitë europiane kanë pasur kohë për të

merren me regjimet qeverisëse që janë autoritare, por është një fenomen i ri për shtyp

për reforma demokratike në shtetet ku përfituesit më të mundshme mund të ketë, nga

Pika e parë e BE-së, qasje të ndryshme dhe nganjëherë problematike për të demokracisë dhe e saj

vlerat e lidhura, të tilla si minoritet dhe të drejtat e grave dhe të sundimit të ligjit. Këto akuza janë

shpesh hedhur kundër lëvizjeve islamiste, kështu që është e rëndësishme për hartuesit e politikave evropiane në

kanë një pamje të saktë të politikave dhe filozofitë e partnerëve të mundshëm.

Eksperienca nga vende të ndryshme ka tendencë për të sugjeruar se më shumë liri islamike

Partitë janë të lejuara, më të moderuar se ata janë në veprimet dhe idetë e tyre. Ne shume

Rastet partitë islamike dhe grupet kanë zhvendosur kohë që larg qëllimin e tyre origjinale

e krijimit të një shteti islamik i qeverisur nga ligji islamik, dhe kanë ardhur për të pranuar themelore

parimet demokratike të konkurrencës zgjedhore për pushtet, ekzistenca e politike të tjera

konkurrentët, dhe pluralizmi politik.

Islami politik në Lindjen e Mesme

A 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, në

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. Megjithatë, 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.

STRATEGJITË PËR Angazhimi ISLAMI POLITIK

SHADI HAMID

Amanda KADLEC

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. Akoma, the U.S. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Në mënyrë të ngjashme, 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 (PPE) – yet they have little to say about how the challenge of Islamist political opposition fits within broader regional objectives. SHBA. 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. Ndërkohë, the vast majority of mainstream Islamist organizations – including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Fronti i Veprimit Islamik i Jordanisë (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. Veç, 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.

Partive islamike : Pjesëmarrja pa energji

Malika Zeghal

Gjatë dy dekadave të fundit, lëvizjet sociale dhe politike argumentim ideologjitë e tyre në referenca në Islam janë kërkuar për t'u bërë palë juridike politike në shumë vende të Lindjes së Mesme dhe Afrikën e Veriut. Disa prej këtyre lëvizjeve islamiste kanë qenë të autorizuar për të marrë pjesë në mënyrë të ligjshme në konkurrencë elektorale. Në mesin e më i njohur është Partia për Drejtësi dhe Zhvillim e Turqisë (AKP), e cila fitoi një shumicë parlamentare në 2002 dhe ka çuar qeveria që ndonjëherë. Partia e Marokut e Drejtësisë dhe Zhvillimit (PJD) ka qenë i ligjshëm që nga mesi- 1990s dhe komandon një bllok të konsiderueshëm të vendeve në Parlament. Ne Egjipt, Vëllazëria Muslimane (MB) ka qenë kurrë i autorizuar për të formuar një parti politike, por në dritën e represionit shtetëror ka drejtuar me sukses kandidatët si të pavarur nominale në të dy zgjedhjet nacionale dhe lokale.
Që nga fillim të viteve 1990, Ky trend ka shkuar dorë më dorë me politikat zyrtare të liberalizimit politik të kufizuar. së bashku, dy tendenca kanë shkaktuar një debat në lidhje me nëse këto lëvizje janë të angazhuar për "demokraci." Një literaturë e gjerë ka çarë deri për të theksuar paradokse si dhe rreziqet e mundshme dhe përfitimet e përfshirë partitë islamike në procesin zgjedhor. Paradigma kryesore gjenden në këtë trupin e shkrimit fokusohet në pasojat që mund të pasojnë, kur islamistët përdorin instrumente demokratike, dhe kërkon të hyjnore të "vërtetë" synimet se islamistët do të shfaqet në qoftë se ata të vijnë në pushtet.

LËVIZJET islamike dhe procesit demokratik në botën arabe: Eksplorimi i Zonat Gray

Nathan J. I nxirë nga dielli, 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, lëvizjet islamike, 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, Shtetet e Bashkuara, 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. As a result, 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, megjithatë, policy makers in all countries have paid disproportionate attention to the violent organizations.
It is the mainstream Islamist organizations, not the radical ones, that will have the greatest impact on the future political evolution of the Middle East. Th e radicals’ grandiose goals of re-establishing a caliphate uniting the entire Arab world, or even of imposing on individual Arab countries laws and social customs inspired by a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are simply too far removed from today’s reality to be realized. Th is does not mean that terrorist groups are not dangerous—they could cause great loss of life even in the pursuit of impossible goals—but that they are unlikely to change the face of the Middle East. Mainstream Islamist organizations are generally a diff erent matter. Th ey already have had a powerful impact on social customs in many countries, 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, Jordan, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Politikë, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.

ISLAMIST RADICALISATION

PREFACE
RICHARD YOUNGS
MICHAEL EMERSON

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.

Islami politik dhe politika e jashtme evropiane

POLITICAL ISLAM AND THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY

MICHAEL EMERSON

RICHARD YOUNGS

që nga 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, Bashkimi Evropian (EU) has developed a number of policy initiatives primarily the European Neighbourhood Policy(PPE) 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 .

Partive islamike , A janë ata të demokratëve? A ka rëndësi ?

Tarek Masoud

I shtyrë nga një ndjenjë se "islamistët po vijnë,"Gazetarët dhe krijuesit e politikave kanë qenë të angazhuar kohët e fundit në spekulime ethe mbi nëse partitë islamike të tilla si Vëllazërinë Myslimane të Egjiptit (MB) ose Hamasi Palestinës me të vërtetë besojnë në demokraci. Ndërsa unë të përpiqet të përshkruajë kufijtë e angazhimit islamik demokratike, Mendoj se duke i hedhur sytë në shpirtin islamik është një keqpërdorim i energjive. Islamikët nuk po vijnë. Për më tepër, si Adam Przeworski dhe të tjerët kanë argumentuar, angazhimet për demokracinë janë të lindur më shpesh i kufizimeve mjedisore sesa e besimit të vërtetë. Në vend të shqetësuese nëse islamistët janë demokratët e vërtetë,
qëllimi ynë duhet të jetë për të ndihmuar pasuroj institucioneve demokratike dhe liberale dhe aktorët në mënyrë që asnjë grup-islamike ose ndryshe, mund të shkatërrojnë ato.
Por çfarë është kjo lëvizje gjatë fides demokratike bona cilit ne merak? Islamizmi është një koncept i rrëshqitshëm. Për shembull, në qoftë se ne etiketë si islamike ato parti që bëjnë thirrje për zbatimin e sheriatit, ne duhet të përjashtojë Partisë për Drejtësi dhe Zhvillim të Turqisë (e cila është konsideruar gjerësisht islamike) dhe përfshijnë Partinë Demokratike Kombëtare në pushtet të Egjiptit (e cila në mënyrë aktive represses islamistët). Në vend të duke u bërë të zhytur në çështje përkufizuese, ne do të bëjmë më mirë të përqëndrohet në një grup të partive politike që janë rritur nga rrënjët njëjta historike, nxjerrin shumë prej qëllimeve dhe qëndrimeve të tyre nga i njëjti organ e ideve, dhe për të ruajtur lidhjet organizative me njëri-tjetrin, që është, ato parti që burojnë nga MB ndërkombëtare. Këto përfshijnë organizimin nënë egjiptian (themeluar në 1928), por edhe Hamasi, Fronti i Veprimit Islamik i Jordanisë, Lëvizja Algjerisë për një shoqëri paqësore, Partia Islamike e Irakut, Grupi islamik Libanit, dhe të tjerët.

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. pastaj, 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 nga 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 % (nga 8.35 % në 2002). Më në fund, 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

Power 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.

zealous democrats : ISLAMISM AND DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT, INDONESIA AND TURKEY

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. At the same time, the commitment of Islamists to democracy is often questioned. Me të vërtetë, 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 “islamike” 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. Në të vërtetë, 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 “Perëndimi”, 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. Edwards

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, Turqi, Iran, Liban, Kuwait, Jemen, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malajzi, Indonezi, 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, and in particular the issues and questions that have emerged from the experience of the recent past, remains critical for governments, policymakers, and students of international politics alike.