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Islam, Politisk islam och Amerika

Arab Insight

Är "Broderskap" med Amerika möjligt?

khalil al-anani

"det finns ingen chans att kommunicera med någon U.S. administration så länge som USA behåller sin långvariga syn på islam som en verklig fara, en syn som sätter USA i samma båt som den sionistiska fienden. Vi har inga förutfattade meningar om det amerikanska folket eller USA. samhället och dess medborgerliga organisationer och tankesmedjor. Vi har inga problem med att kommunicera med det amerikanska folket men inga tillräckliga ansträngningar görs för att föra oss närmare," sa Dr. Issam al-Iryan, chef för Muslimska brödraskapets politiska avdelning i en telefonintervju.
Al-Iryans ord sammanfattar Muslimska brödraskapets syn på det amerikanska folket och USA. regering. Andra medlemmar av Muslimska brödraskapet skulle hålla med, liksom den bortgångne Hassan al-Banna, som grundade gruppen i 1928. Al- Banna såg västvärlden mest som en symbol för moraliskt förfall. Andra salafister – en islamisk tankeskola som förlitar sig på förfäder som exemplariska modeller – har antagit samma syn på USA, men saknar den ideologiska flexibilitet som det Muslimska brödraskapet förespråkar. Medan Muslimska brödraskapet tror på att engagera amerikanerna i civil dialog, andra extremistgrupper ser ingen mening med dialog och hävdar att våld är det enda sättet att hantera USA.

Islamismen återupptogs

MAHA Azzam

Det råder en politisk och säkerhetsmässig kris kring det som kallas islamism, en kris vars föregångare länge föregår 9/11. Under de senaste 25 år, det har funnits olika betoningar på hur man förklarar och bekämpar islamism. Analytiker och beslutsfattare
på 1980- och 1990-talen talade om grundorsakerna till islamisk militans som ekonomisk sjukdomskänsla och marginalisering. På senare tid har det varit fokus på politiska reformer som ett sätt att undergräva radikalismens dragningskraft. Alltmer idag, the ideological and religious aspects of Islamism need to be addressed because they have become features of a wider political and security debate. Whether in connection with Al-Qaeda terrorism, political reform in the Muslim world, the nuclear issue in Iran or areas of crisis such as Palestine or Lebanon, it has become commonplace to fi nd that ideology and religion are used by opposing parties as sources of legitimization, inspiration and enmity.
The situation is further complicated today by the growing antagonism towards and fear of Islam in the West because of terrorist attacks which in turn impinge on attitudes towards immigration, religion and culture. The boundaries of the umma or community of the faithful have stretched beyond Muslim states to European cities. Umman existerar potentiellt varhelst det finns muslimska samhällen. Den gemensamma känslan av att tillhöra en gemensam tro ökar i en miljö där känslan av integration i det omgivande samhället är oklar och där diskriminering kan vara uppenbar. Desto större förkastande av samhällets värderingar,
oavsett om det är i väst eller till och med i en muslimsk stat, desto större konsolidering av islams moraliska kraft som kulturell identitet och värdesystem.
Efter bombningarna i London på 7 juli 2005 det blev mer uppenbart att vissa ungdomar hävdade religiöst engagemang som ett sätt att uttrycka etnicitet. The links between Muslims across the globe and their perception that Muslims are vulnerable have led many in very diff erent parts of the world to merge their own local predicaments into the wider Muslim one, having identifi ed culturally, either primarily or partially, with a broadly defi ned Islam.

Islam and Democracy

ITAC

If one reads the press or listens to commentators on international affairs, it is often said – and even more often implied but not said – that Islam is not compatible with democracy. In the nineties, Samuel Huntington set off an intellectual firestorm when he published The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, in which he presents his forecasts for the world – writ large. In the political realm, he notes that while Turkey and Pakistan might have some small claim to “democratic legitimacy” all other “… Muslim countries were overwhelmingly non-democratic: monarchies, one-party systems, military regimes, personal dictatorships or some combination of these, usually resting on a limited family, clan, or tribal base”. The premise on which his argument is founded is that they are not only ‘not like us’, they are actually opposed to our essential democratic values. He believes, as do others, that while the idea of Western democratization is being resisted in other parts of the world, the confrontation is most notable in those regions where Islam is the dominant faith.
The argument has also been made from the other side as well. An Iranian religious scholar, reflecting on an early twentieth-century constitutional crisis in his country, declared that Islam and democracy are not compatible because people are not equal and a legislative body is unnecessary because of the inclusive nature of Islamic religious law. A similar position was taken more recently by Ali Belhadj, an Algerian high school teacher, preacher and (in this context) leader of the FIS, when he declared “democracy was not an Islamic concept”. Perhaps the most dramatic statement to this effect was that of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of the Sunni insurgents in Iraq who, when faced with the prospect of an election, denounced democracy as “an evil principle”.
But according to some Muslim scholars, democracy remains an important ideal in Islam, with the caveat that it is always subject to the religious law. The emphasis on the paramount place of the shari’a is an element of almost every Islamic comment on governance, moderate or extremist. Only if the ruler, who receives his authority from God, limits his actions to the “supervision of the administration of the shari’a” is he to be obeyed. If he does other than this, he is a non-believer and committed Muslims are to rebel against him. Herein lies the justification for much of the violence that has plagued the Muslim world in such struggles as that prevailing in Algeria during the 90s

Islamic Political Culture, Demokrati, and Human Rights

Daniel E. Pris

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes

in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government

tjänstemän pekar ofta på "islamisk fundamentalism" som nästa

ideologiskt hot mot liberala demokratier. This view, dock, baseras i första hand

om analys av texter, Islamic political theory, och ad hoc-studier

enskilda länder, som inte tar hänsyn till andra faktorer. Det är mitt påstående

att islams texter och traditioner, som andra religioner,

kan användas för att stödja en mängd olika politiska system och politik. Land

specifika och beskrivande studier hjälper oss inte att hitta mönster som hjälper

vi förklarar de olika relationerna mellan islam och politik över hela världen

länder i den muslimska världen. Därmed, ett nytt tillvägagångssätt för att studera

koppling mellan islam och politik efterfrågas.
jag föreslår, genom en rigorös utvärdering av relationen mellan islam,

demokrati, och mänskliga rättigheter på gränsöverskridande nivå, det för mycket

betoning läggs på islams makt som politisk kraft. jag först

använda jämförande fallstudier, som fokuserar på faktorer relaterade till samspelet

mellan islamiska grupper och regimer, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, att förklara variansen i påverkan av

Islam om politik i åtta nationer.

Islamic Political Culture, Demokrati, and Human Rights

Daniel E. Pris

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes
in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government
tjänstemän pekar ofta på "islamisk fundamentalism" som nästa
ideologiskt hot mot liberala demokratier. This view, dock, baseras i första hand
om analys av texter, Islamic political theory, och ad hoc-studier
enskilda länder, som inte tar hänsyn till andra faktorer. Det är mitt påstående
att islams texter och traditioner, som andra religioner,
kan användas för att stödja en mängd olika politiska system och politik. Land
specifika och beskrivande studier hjälper oss inte att hitta mönster som hjälper
vi förklarar de olika relationerna mellan islam och politik över hela världen
länder i den muslimska världen. Därmed, ett nytt tillvägagångssätt för att studera
koppling mellan islam och politik efterfrågas.
jag föreslår, genom en rigorös utvärdering av relationen mellan islam,
demokrati, och mänskliga rättigheter på gränsöverskridande nivå, det för mycket
betoning läggs på islams makt som politisk kraft. jag först
använda jämförande fallstudier, som fokuserar på faktorer relaterade till samspelet
mellan islamiska grupper och regimer, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, att förklara variansen i påverkan av

Islam om politik i åtta nationer.

Political Islam in the Middle East

är 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, in

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. Nonetheless, 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.

STRATEGIES FOR ENGAGING POLITICAL ISLAM

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. Yet, USA. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Liknande, 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. US. 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, Att stödja demokrati i Mellanöstern har fått en större betydelse för västerländska beslutsfattare, som ser ett samband mellan brist på demokrati och politiskt våld. Större uppmärksamhet har ägnats åt att förstå variationerna inom politisk islam. Den nya amerikanska administrationen är mer öppen för att bredda kommunikationen med den muslimska världen. Under tiden, den stora majoriteten av mainstream islamistiska organisationer – inklusive Muslimska brödraskapet i Egypten, Jordans islamiska aktionsfront (IAF), Marockos parti för rättvisa och utveckling (PJD), den islamiska konstitutionella rörelsen i Kuwait, och Yemeni Islah Party – har alltmer gjort stöd för politiska reformer och demokrati till en central komponent i sina politiska plattformar. För övrigt, många har signalerat ett starkt intresse för att inleda en dialog med U.S. och EU:s regeringar.
Framtiden för förbindelserna mellan västerländska nationer och Mellanöstern kan till stor del bestämmas av i vilken grad de tidigare engagerar ickevåldsliga islamistiska partier i en bred dialog om gemensamma intressen och mål. Det har nyligen skett en ökning av studier om engagemang med islamister, men få tar tydligt upp vad det kan innebära i praktiken. Som Zoe Nautre, gäststipendiat vid German Council on Foreign Relations, sätter det, "EU funderar på engagemang men vet inte riktigt hur."1 I hopp om att förtydliga diskussionen, vi skiljer mellan tre nivåer av ”engagemang,” var och en med olika medel och mål: lågnivåkontakter, strategisk dialog, och partnerskap.

Islamist parties : Three kinds of movements

Tamara Cofman

Between 1991 och 2001, the world of political Islam became significantly more diverse. Today, the term “Islamist”—used to describe a political perspective centrally informed by a set of religious interpretations and commitments—can be applied to such a wide array of groups as to be almost meaningless. It encompasses everyone from the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center to peacefully elected legislators in Kuwait who have voted in favor of women’s suffrage.
Nonetheless, the prominence of Islamist movements—legal and illegal, violent and peaceful—in the ranks of political oppositions across the Arab world makes the necessity of drawing relevant distinctions obvious. The religious discourse of the Islamists is now unavoidably central to Arab politics. Conventional policy discussions label Islamists either “moderate” or “radical,” generally categorizing them according to two rather loose and unhelpful criteria. The first is violence: Radicals use it and moderates do not. This begs the question of how to classify groups that do not themselves engage in violence but who condone, justify, or even actively support the violence of others. A second, only somewhat more restrictive criterion is whether the groups or individuals in question
accept the rules of the democratic electoral game. Popular sovereignty is no small concession for traditional Islamists, many of whom reject democratically elected governments as usurpers of God’s sovereignty.
Yet commitment to the procedural rules of democratic elections is not the same as commitment to democratic politics or governance.

Islamist Parties : A boon or a bane for democracy?

Amr Hamzawy

Nathan J. Brun

What role do Islamist movements play in Arab politics? With their popular messages and broad followings within Arab societies, would their incorporation as normal political actors be a boon for democratization or democracy’s bane? For too long, we have tried to answer such questions solely by speculating about the true intentions of these movements and their leaders. Islamist political movements in the Arab world are increasingly asked—both by outside observers and by members of their own societies—about their true intentions.
But to hear them tell it, leaders of mainstream Arab Islamist movements are not the problem. They see themselves as democrats in nondemocratic lands, firmly committed to clean and fair electoral processes, whatever outcomes these may bring. It is rulers and regimes that should be pressed to commit to democracy, say the Islamists, not their oppositions. We need not take such Islamist leaders at their word. Verkligen, we should realize that there is only so much that any of their words can do to answer the question of the relationship between these movements and the prospects for democracy.
While their words are increasingly numerous (Islamist movements tend to be quite loquacious) and their answers about democracy increasingly specific, their ability to resolve all ambiguities is limited. First, as long as they are out of power—as most of them are, and are likely to remain for some time—they will never fully prove themselves. Many Islamist leaders themselves probably do not know how they would act were they to come to power.

ISLAMISKA RÖRELSER OCH DEN DEMOKRATISKA PROCESSEN I ARABÄRVÄRDEN: Exploring the Gray Zones

Nathan J. Brun, 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, särskilt, the United States, has only become aware of the importance of Islamist movements after dramatic events, som revolutionen i Iran och mordet på president Anwar al-Sadat i Egypten. Uppmärksamheten har varit mycket större sedan terrorattackerna i september 11, 2001. Som ett resultat, Islamistiska rörelser anses allmänt vara farliga och fientliga. Även om en sådan karaktärisering är korrekt när det gäller organisationer i den radikala änden av det islamistiska spektrumet, som är farliga på grund av deras villighet att ta till urskillningslöst våld för att nå sina mål, det är inte en korrekt beskrivning av de många grupper som har avstått från eller undvikit våld. Eftersom terroristorganisationer utgör en omedelbar
hot, dock, beslutsfattare i alla länder har ägnat de våldsamma organisationerna oproportionerlig uppmärksamhet.
Det är de vanliga islamistiska organisationerna, inte de radikala, 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, Jordanien, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Politik, 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.

ISLAM, ISLAMISTS, AND THE ELECTORAL PRINCIPLE I N THE MIDDLE EAST

James Piscatori

For an idea whose time has supposedly come, ÒdemocracyÓ masks an astonishing

number of unanswered questions and, in the Muslim world, has generated

a remarkable amount of heat. Is it a culturally specific term, reflecting Western

European experiences over several centuries? Do non-Western societies possess

their own standards of participation and accountabilityÑand indeed their own

rhythms of developmentÑwhich command attention, if not respect? Does Islam,

with its emphasis on scriptural authority and the centrality of sacred law, allow

for flexible politics and participatory government?

The answers to these questions form part of a narrative and counter-narrative

that themselves are an integral part of a contested discourse. The larger story

concerns whether or not ÒIslamÓ constitutes a threat to the West, and the supplementary

story involves IslamÕs compatibility with democracy. The intellectual

baggage, to change the metaphor, is scarcely neutral. The discussion itself has

become acutely politicised, caught in the related controversies over Orientalism,

the exceptionalism of the Middle East in particular and the Muslim world in general,

and the modernism of religious ÒfundamentalistÓ movements.

Political Islam and European Foreign Policy

POLITICAL ISLAM AND THE EUROPEAN NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICY

MICHAEL EMERSON

RICHARD YOUNGS

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 (USA) 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 .

The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood

Robert S. aspekt

Steven Brooke

The Muslim Brotherhood is the world’s oldest, largest, and most influential Islamist organization. It is also the most controversial,
condemned by both conventional opinion in the West and radical opinion in the Middle East. American commentators have called the Muslim Brothers “radical Islamists” and “a vital component of the enemy’s assault forcedeeply hostile to the United States.” Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri sneers at them for “lur[ing] thousands of young Muslim men into lines for electionsinstead of into the lines of jihad.” Jihadists loathe the Muslim Brotherhood (known in Arabic as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) for rejecting global jihad and embracing democracy. These positions seem to make them moderates, the very thing the United States, short on allies in the Muslim world, seeks.
But the Ikhwan also assails U.S. utrikespolitik, especially Washington’s support for Israel, and questions linger about its actual commitment to the democratic process. Over the past year, we have met with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and activists from Egypt, Frankrike, Jordanien, Spanien, syrien,tunisien, and the United Kingdom.

The Management of Islamic Activism: Salafis, The Muslim Brotherhood, and State Power in Jordan

Faisal Ghori

In his first book, The Management of Islamic Activism, Quintan Wiktorowicz examines the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis through the lens of social movement theory. Unlike some political scientists who dismiss Islamic movements because of their informal networks, Wiktorowicz contends that social movement theory is an apt framework through which Islamic movements can be examined and studied. In this regard, his work leads the field. Yet for all its promise, this book largely fails to deliver.
The book is divided into four primary sections, through which he tries to construct his conclusion: Jordanian political liberalization has occurred because of structural necessities, not because of its commitment to democratization. För övrigt, the state has been masterful in what he dubs the “management of collective action,” (p. 3) which has, for all practical purposes, stifled any real opposition. While his conclusion is certainly tenable, given his extensive fieldwork, the book is poorly organized and much of the evidence examined earlier in the work leaves many questions unanswered.

What Leads Voters to Support the Opposition under Authoritarianism ?

Michael D.H. robbins

Elections have become commonplace in most authoritarian states. While this may seem to be a contradiction in terms, in reality elections play an important role in these regimes. While elections for positions of real power tend to be non-competitive, many
elections—including those for seemingly toothless parliaments—can be strongly contested.
The existing literature has focused on the role that elections play in supporting the regime. Till exempel, they can help let off steam, help the regime take the temperature of society, or can be used to help a dominant party know which individuals it should promote (Schedler 2002; Blaydes 2006). Yet, while the literature has focused on the supply-side of elections in authoritarian states, there are relatively few systematic studies of voter behavior in these elections (see Lust-Okar 2006 for an exception). Rather, most analyses have argued that patronage politics are the norm in these societies and that ordinary citizens tend to be very cynical about these exercises given that they cannot bring any real change (Kassem 2004; Desposato 2001; Zaki 1995). While the majority of voters in authoritarian systems may behave in this manner, not all do. In fact, at times, even the majority vote against the regime leading to
significant changes as has occurred recently in Kenya, the Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Yet, even in cases where opposition voters make up a much smaller percentage of voters, it is important to understand who these voters are and what leads them to vote against the
regimen.