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The Arab Tomorrow

DAVID B. OTTAWAY

October 6, 1981, was meant to be a day of celebration in Egypt. It marked the anniversary of Egypt’s grandest moment of victory in three Arab-Israeli conflicts, when the country’s underdog army thrust across the Suez Canal in the opening days ofthe 1973 Yom Kippur War and sent Israeli troops reeling in retreat. On a cool, cloudless morning, the Cairo stadium was packed with Egyptian families that had come to see the military strut its hardware.On the reviewing stand, President Anwar el-Sadat,the war’s architect, watched with satisfaction as men and machines paraded before him. I was nearby, a newly arrived foreign correspondent.Suddenly, en av arméns lastbilar stannade direkt framför granskningsläktaren precis när sex Mirage-jetplan vrålade ovanför i en akrobatisk föreställning, måla himlen med långa spår av rött, gul, lila,och grön rök. Sadat reste sig, uppenbarligen förbereder sig för att utbyta hälsningar med ännu en kontingent av egyptiska trupper. Han gjorde sig själv till ett perfekt mål för fyra islamistiska mördare som hoppade från lastbilen, stormade pallen, och fyllde sin kropp med kulor. När mördarna fortsatte under vad som verkade vara en evighet att spraya stativet med sin dödliga eld, Jag funderade ett ögonblick på om jag skulle slå i marken och riskera att bli trampad ihjäl av panikslagna åskådare eller stanna kvar och riskera att ta en lös kula. Instinkten sa åt mig att hålla mig på benen, och min känsla av journalistisk plikt fick mig att gå och ta reda på om Sadat levde eller var död.

smearcasting: How Islamophobes spread fear, bigotry and misinformation

FAIR

Julie Hollar

Jim Naureckas

Making Islamophobia Mainstream:
How Muslim-bashers broadcast their bigotry
A remarkable thing happened at the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) nominations in February 2007: The normally highbrow and tolerant group nominated for best book in the field of criticism a book widely viewed as denigrating an entire religious group.
The nomination of Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam Is Destroying the West From Within didn’t pass without controversy. Past nominee Eliot Weinberger denounced the book at the NBCC’s annual gathering, calling it ‘‘racism as criticism’’ (New York Times, 2/8/07). NBCC board president John Freeman wrote on the group’s blog (Critical Mass, 2/4/07): ‘‘I have never been
more embarrassed by a choice than I have been with Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept…. Its hyperventilated rhetoric tips from actual critique into Islamophobia.’’
Though it didn’t ultimately win the award, While Europe Slept’s recognition in the highest literary circles was emblematic of a mainstreaming of Islamophobia, not just in American publishing but in the broader media. Denna rapport tar en ny titt på islamofobi i dagens media och dess förövare, beskriver några av kopplingarna bakom kulisserna som sällan utforskas i media. Rapporten innehåller också fyra ögonblicksbilder, eller ”fallstudier,” som beskriver hur islamofober fortsätter att manipulera media för att måla upp muslimer med en bred, hatisk borste. Vårt mål är att dokumentera smutskastning: offentliga skrifter och framträdanden av islamofobiska aktivister och förståsigpåare som avsiktligt och regelbundet sprider rädsla, bigotry and misinformation. Termen "islamofobi" syftar på fientlighet mot islam och muslimer som tenderar att avhumanisera en hel tro, framställer det som i grunden främmande och tillskriver det en inneboende, väsentlig uppsättning negativa egenskaper som irrationalitet, intolerans och våld. Och inte olikt anklagelserna i det klassiska dokumentet om antisemitism, Sions äldstes protokoll, några av islamofobins mer våldsamma uttryck–som medan Europa sov–inkluderar antydan om islamiska mönster för att dominera väst.
Islamiska institutioner och muslimer, självklart, bör utsättas för samma typ av granskning och kritik som alla andra. Till exempel, när ett norskt islamiskt råd diskuterar om homosexuella män och lesbiska ska avrättas, man kan med kraft fördöma individer eller grupper som delar den åsikten utan att dra in alla europeiska muslimer i det, liksom Bawers Pyjamas Media-inlägg (8/7/08),
"Debatt om europeiska muslimer: Bör homosexuella avrättas?”
Liknande, extremists who justify their violent actions by invoking some particular interpretation of Islam can be criticized without implicating the enormously diverse population of Muslims around the world. Trots allt, reporters managed to cover the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeighan adherent of the racist Christian Identity sectwithout resorting to generalized statements about “Christian terrorism.” Likewise, media have covered acts of terrorism by fanatics who are Jewishfor instance the Hebron massacre carried out by Baruch Goldstein (Extra!, 5/6/94)–without implicating the entirety of Judaism.

The Totalitarianism of Jihadist Islamism and its Challenge to Europe and to Islam

Basso tibi

When reading the majority of texts that comprise the vast literature that has been published by self-proclaimed pundits on political Islam, it is easy to miss the fact that a new movement has arisen. Further, this literature fails to explain in a satisfactory manner the fact that the ideology which drives it is based on a particular interpretation of Islam, and that it is thus a politicised religious faith,
not a secular one. The only book in which political Islam is addressed as a form of totalitarianism is the one by Paul Berman, Terror and Liberalism (2003). The author is, dock, not an expert, cannot read Islamic sources, and therefore relies on the selective use of one or two secondary sources, thus failing to grasp the phenomenon.
One of the reasons for such shortcomings is the fact that most of those who seek to inform us about the ‘jihadist threat’ – and Berman is typical of this scholarship – not only lack the language skills to read the sources produced by the ideologues of political Islam, but also lack knowledge about the cultural dimension of the movement. This new totalitarian movement is in many ways a novelty
in the history of politics since it has its roots in two parallel and related phenomena: first, the culturalisation of politics which leads to politics being conceptualised as a cultural system (a view pioneered by Clifford Geertz); and second the return of the sacred, or ‘re-enchantment’ of the world, as a reaction to its intensive secularisation resulting from globalisation.
The analysis of political ideologies that are based on religions, and that can exert appeal as a political religion as a consequence of this, involves a social science understanding of the role of religion played by world politics, especially after the bi-polar system of the Cold War has given way to a multi-polar world. In a project conducted at the Hannah Arendt Institute for the application of totalitarianism to the study of political religions, I proposed the distinction between secular ideologies that act as a substitute for religion, and religious ideologies based on genuine religious faith, which is the case in religious fundamentalism (see note
24). Another project on ‘Political Religion’, genomfördes vid universitetet i Basel, har klargjort poängen att nya synsätt på politik blir nödvändiga när en religiös tro väl klätts i en politisk klädsel. Utifrån de auktoritativa källorna till politisk islam, denna artikel föreslår att den stora variationen av organisationer inspirerade av islamistisk ideologi ska begreppsliggöras både som politiska religioner och som politiska rörelser. Den unika egenskapen hos politisk islams lögner är det faktum att den är baserad på en transnationell religion (see note 26).

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.

Islam och det nya politiska landskapet

Back, Michael Keith, Azra Khan,
Kalbir Shukra och John Solomos

I KÄLLAN efter attacken mot World Trade Center den 11 september 2001, och bombningarna av Madrid och London av 2004 och 2005, a literature that addresses the forms and modalities of religious expression – particularly Islamic religious expression – has flourished in the penumbral regions that link mainstream social science to social policy design, think tanks and journalism. Much of the work has attempted to define attitudes or predispositions of a Muslim population in a particular site of tension such as London or the UK (Barnes, 2006; Ethnos Consultancy, 2005; GFK, 2006; GLA, 2006; Populus, 2006), or critiqued particular forms of social policy intervention (Bright, 2006a; Mirza et al., 2007). Studies of Islamism and Jihadism have created a particular focus on the syncretic and complex links between Islamic religious faith and forms of social movement and political mobilization (Husain, 2007; Kepel, 2004, 2006; McRoy, 2006; Neville-Jones et al., 2006, 2007; Phillips, 2006; Roy, 2004, 2006). Conventionally, the analytical focus has spotlighted the culture of Islam, the belief systems of the faithful, and the historical and geographical trajectories of Muslim populations across the world in general and in ‘the West’ in particular (Abbas, 2005; Ansari, 2002; Eade and Garbin, 2002; Hussein, 2006; Modood, 2005; Ramadan, 1999, 2005). In this article the emphasis is different. We argue that studies of Islamic political participation need to be contextualized carefully without recourse to grand generalities about culture and faith. This is because both culture and faith are structured by and in turn structure the cultural, institutional and deliberative landscapes through which they are articulated. In the case of the British experience, the hidden traces of Christianity in the formation of the welfare state in the last century, the rapidly changing cartography of spaces of the political and the role of ‘faith organizations’ in the restructuring of welfare provision generate the material social context determining the opportunities and the outlines of new forms of political participation.

Islamic Reformation

Adnan Khan

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi boasted after the events of 9/11:
“…we must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed

well being, respect for human rights andin contrast with Islamic countriesrespect

for religious and political rights, a system that has its values understanding of diversity

and tolerance…The West will conquer peoples, like it conquered communism, even if it

means a confrontation with another civilisation, the Islamic one, stuck where it was

1,400 years ago…”1

And in a 2007 report the RAND institute declared:
“The struggle underway throughout much of the Muslim world is essentially a war of

ideas. Its outcome will determine the future direction of the Muslim world.”

Building moderate Muslim Networks, RAND Institute

The concept of ‘islah’ (reform) is a concept unknown to Muslims. It never existed throughout the

history of the Islamic civilisation; it was never debated or even considered. A cursory glance at classical

Islamic literature shows us that when the classical scholars laid the foundations of usul, and codified

their Islamic rulings (fiqh) de tittade bara på förståelsen av de islamiska reglerna för att kunna

tillämpa dem. En liknande situation inträffade när reglerna fastställdes för hadith, tafseer och den

arabiskt språk. Lärda, tänkare och intellektuella genom islams historia tillbringade mycket tid

förstå Allahs uppenbarelse – Koranen och tillämpa ayaat på verkligheten och myntade

principer och discipliner för att underlätta förståelsen. Därför förblev Koranen grunden för

studier och alla discipliner som utvecklades var alltid baserade på Koranen. De som blev

slagen av grekisk filosofi som de muslimska filosoferna och några från Mut'azilah

ansågs ha lämnat islams fålla när Koranen upphörde att vara deras studiegrund. Alltså för

alla muslimer som försöker härleda regler eller förstå vilken hållning som bör intas till en viss

fråga Koranen är grunden för denna studie.

Det första försöket att reformera islam ägde rum i början av 1800-talet. Vid tur av

talet hade Ummah befunnit sig i en lång period av nedgång där den globala maktbalansen förändrades

från Khilafah till Storbritannien. Monteringsproblem uppslukade Khilafah medan Västeuropa var inne

mitt under den industriella revolutionen. Ummah kom att förlora sin orörda förståelse av islam, och

i ett försök att vända nedgången som uppslukade Uthmanernas (ottomaner) några muslimer skickades till

väst, och som ett resultat blev de slagen av vad de såg. Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi från Egypten (1801-1873),

vid hemkomsten från Paris, wrote a biographical book called Takhlis al-ibriz ila talkhis Bariz (The

Extraction of Gold, or an Overview of Paris, 1834), praising their cleanliness, love of work, and above

all social morality. He declared that we must mimic what is being done in Paris, advocating changes to

the Islamic society from liberalising women to the systems of ruling. This thought, and others like it,

marked the beginning of the reinventing trend in Islam.

ROOTS OF MISCONCEPTION

IBRAHIM KALIN

In the aftermath of September 11, the long and checkered relationship between Islam and the West entered a new phase. The attacks were interpreted as the fulfillment of a prophecy that had been in the consciousness of the West for a long time, i.e., the coming of Islam as a menacing power with a clear intent to destroy Western civilization. Representations of Islam as a violent, militant, and oppressive religious ideology extended from television programs and state offices to schools and the internet. It was even suggested that Makka, the holiest city of Islam, be “nuked” to give a lasting lesson to all Muslims. Although one can look at the widespread sense of anger, hostility, and revenge as a normal human reaction to the abominable loss of innocent lives, the demonization of Muslims is the result of deeper philosophical and historical issues.
In many subtle ways, the long history of Islam and the West, from the theological polemics of Baghdad in the eighth and ninth centuries to the experience of convivencia in Andalusia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, informs the current perceptions and qualms of each civilization vis-à-vis the other. This paper will examine some of the salient features of this history and argue that the monolithic representations of Islam, created and sustained by a highly complex set of image-producers, think-tanks, akademiker, lobbyists, policy makers, and media, dominating the present Western conscience, have their roots in the West’s long history with the Islamic world. It will also be argued that the deep-rooted misgivings about Islam and Muslims have led and continue to lead to fundamentally flawed and erroneous policy decisions that have a direct impact on the current relations of Islam and the West. The almost unequivocal identification of Islam with terrorism and extremism in the minds of many Americans after September 11 is an outcome generated by both historical misperceptions, which will be analyzed in some detail below, and the political agenda of certain interest groups that see confrontation as the only way to deal with the Islamic world. It is hoped that the following analysis will provide a historical context in which we can make sense of these tendencies and their repercussions for both worlds.

Islam in the West

Jocelyne Cesari

The immigration of Muslims to Europe, North America, and Australia and the complex socioreligious dynamics that have subsequently developed have made Islam in the West a compelling new ªeld of research. The Salman Rushdie affair, hijab controversies, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the furor over the Danish cartoons are all examples of international crises that have brought to light the connections between Muslims in the West and the global Muslim world. These new situations entail theoretical and methodological challenges for the study of contemporary Islam, and it has become crucial that we avoid essentializing either Islam or Muslims and resist the rhetorical structures of discourses that are preoccupied with security and terrorism.
In this article, I argue that Islam as a religious tradition is a terra incognita. A preliminary reason for this situation is that there is no consensus on religion as an object of research. Religion, as an academic discipline, has become torn between historical, sociological, and hermeneutical methodologies. With Islam, the situation is even more intricate. In the West, the study of Islam began as a branch of Orientalist studies and therefore followed a separate and distinctive path from the study of religions. Even though the critique of Orientalism has been central to the emergence of the study of Islam in the ªeld of social sciences, tensions remain strong between Islamicists and both anthropologists and sociologists. The topic of Islam and Muslims in the West is embedded in this struggle. One implication of this methodological tension is that students of Islam who began their academic career studying Islam in France, Germany, or America ªnd it challenging to establish credibility as scholars of Islam, particularly in the North American academic
context.

ISLAM, DEMOKRATI & USA:

Cordoba Foundation

Abdullah Faliq

Intro ,


Trots att det är både en perenn och en komplex debatt, Arches Quarterly granskar om från teologiska och praktiska grunder, den viktiga debatten om förhållandet och kompatibiliteten mellan islam och demokrati, som ekade i Barack Obamas agenda för hopp och förändring. Medan många firar Obamas uppstigning till Oval Office som en nationell katarsis för USA, andra förblir mindre optimistiska om en förändring i ideologi och synsätt på den internationella arenan. Även om mycket av spänningen och misstron mellan den muslimska världen och USA kan tillskrivas strategin att främja demokrati, gynnar vanligtvis diktaturer och marionettregimer som ger läpparnas bekännelse till demokratiska värderingar och mänskliga rättigheter, efterskalvet av 9/11 har verkligen cementerat farhågorna ytterligare genom USA:s ståndpunkt om politisk islam. Det har skapat en vägg av negativitet som hittats av worldpublicopinion.org, enligt vilken 67% av egyptierna tror att Amerika globalt spelar en "främst negativ" roll.
USA:s svar har alltså varit träffande. Genom att välja Obama, många runt om i världen sätter sitt hopp om att utveckla en mindre krigförande, men rättvisare utrikespolitik gentemot den muslimska världen. Testet för Obama, när vi diskuterar, är hur Amerika och hennes allierade främjar demokrati. Kommer det att vara underlättande eller imponerande?
Dessutom, kan det vara en ärlig mäklare i utdragna konfliktzoner? Anlita prolifis expertis och insikt
c lärda, akademiker, rutinerade journalister och politiker, Arches Quarterly lyfter fram förhållandet mellan islam och demokrati och Amerikas roll – såväl som de förändringar som Obama åstadkom, i att söka den gemensamma grunden. Anas Altikriti, VD:n för Th e Cordoba Foundation ger inledningen till denna diskussion, där han reflekterar över de förhoppningar och utmaningar som vilar på Obamas väg. Följer Altikriti, den tidigare rådgivaren till president Nixon, Dr Robert Crane ger en grundlig analys av den islamiska principen om rätten till frihet. Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysias tidigare vice premiärminister, berikar diskussionen med de praktiska realiteterna i att implementera demokrati i muslimskt dominerande samhällen, nämligen, i Indonesien och Malaysia.
Vi har också Dr Shireen Hunter, från 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
– en Sinn Féin-medlem som fick utstå fyra års fängelse för irländska republikanska aktiviteter och en kämpe för Guildford 4 och Birmingham 6, reflekterar över hans senaste resa till Gaza där han bevittnade effekterna av brutaliteten och orättvisan mot palestinier; Dr Marie Breen-Smyth, Direktör för Centrum för studier av radikalisering och samtida politiskt våld diskuterar utmaningarna med att kritiskt forska om politisk terror; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, författare och dramatiker, diskuterar utsikterna till fred i Darfur; och slutligen journalisten och människorättsaktivisten Ashur Shamis ser kritiskt på demokratisering och politisering av muslimer idag.
Vi hoppas att allt detta ger en omfattande läsning och en källa för reflektion över frågor som berör oss alla i en ny gryning av hopp.
Tack

US Hamas policy blocks Middle East peace

Henry Siegman


Failed bilateral talks over these past 16 years have shown that a Middle East peace accord can never be reached by the parties themselves. Israeli governments believe they can defy international condemnation of their illegal colonial project in the West Bank because they can count on the US to oppose international sanctions. Bilateral talks that are not framed by US-formulated parameters (based on Security Council resolutions, the Oslo accords, the Arab Peace Initiative, the “road map” and other previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements) cannot succeed. Israel’s government believes that the US Congress will not permit an American president to issue such parameters and demand their acceptance. What hope there is for the bilateral talks that resume in Washington DC on September 2 depends entirely on President Obama proving that belief to be wrong, and on whether the “bridging proposals” he has promised, should the talks reach an impasse, are a euphemism for the submission of American parameters. Such a US initiative must offer Israel iron-clad assurances for its security within its pre-1967 borders, but at the same time must make it clear these assurances are not available if Israel insists on denying Palestinians a viable and sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza. This paper focuses on the other major obstacle to a permanent status agreement: the absence of an effective Palestinian interlocutor. Addressing Hamas’ legitimate grievances – and as noted in a recent CENTCOM report, Hamas has legitimate grievances – could lead to its return to a Palestinian coalition government that would provide Israel with a credible peace partner. If that outreach fails because of Hamas’ rejectionism, the organization’s ability to prevent a reasonable accord negotiated by other Palestinian political parties will have been significantly impeded. If the Obama administration will not lead an international initiative to define the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and actively promote Palestinian political reconciliation, Europe must do so, and hope America will follow. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that can guarantee the goal of “two states living side by side in peace and security.”
But President Obama’s present course absolutely precludes it.

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 THE RULE OF LAW

Birgit Krawietz
Helmut Reifeld

In our modern Western society, state-organised legal sys-tems normally draw a distinctive line that separates religion and the law. Conversely, there are a number of Islamic re-gional societies where religion and the laws are as closely interlinked and intertwined today as they were before the onset of the modern age. At the same time, the proportion in which religious law (shariah in Arabic) and public law (qanun) are blended varies from one country to the next. What is more, the status of Islam and consequently that of Islamic law differs as well. According to information provided by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), there are currently 57 Islamic states worldwide, defined as countries in which Islam is the religion of (1) the state, (2) the majority of the population, eller (3) a large minority. All this affects the development and the form of Islamic law.

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 officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, dock, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, och ad hoc-studier av enskilda länder, som inte tar hänsyn till andra faktorer. Det är min påstående att islams texter och traditioner, som andra religioner, kan användas för att stödja en mängd olika politiska system och politik. Landsspecifika och beskrivande studier hjälper oss inte att hitta mönster som hjälper oss att förklara de olika relationerna mellan islam och politik i länderna 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, att alltför stor vikt läggs på islams makt som politisk kraft. Jag använder först jämförande fallstudier, 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.

PRECISION IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR:

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 (kvot)? 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; och (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.

DEBATING DEMOCRACY IN THE ARAB WORLD

Ibtisam Ibrahim

What is Democracy?
Western scholars define democracy a method for protecting individuals’ civil and political rights. It provides for freedom of speech, press, tro, opinion, ownership, and assembly, as well as the right to vote, nominate and seek public office. Huntington (1984) argues that a political system is democratic to the extent that its most powerful collective decision makers are selected through
periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all adults are eligible to vote. Rothstein (1995) states that democracy is a form of government and a process of governance that changes and adapts in response to circumstances. He also adds that the Western definition of democracyin addition to accountability, competition, some degree of participationcontains a guarantee of important civil and political rights. Anderson (1995) argues that the term democracy means a system in which the most powerful collective decision makers are selected through periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote. Saad Eddin Ibrahim (1995), an Egyptian scholar, sees democracy that might apply to the Arab world as a set of rules and institutions designed to enable governance through the peaceful
management of competing groups and/or conflicting interests. However, Samir Amin (1991) based his definition of democracy on the social Marxist perspective. He divides democracy into two categories: bourgeois democracy which is based on individual rights and freedom for the individual, but without having social equality; and political democracy which entitles all people in society the right to vote and to elect their government and institutional representatives which will help to obtain their equal social rights.
To conclude this section, I would say that there is no one single definition of democracy that indicates precisely what it is or what is not. However, as we noticed, most of the definitions mentioned above have essential similar elementsaccountability, competition, and some degree of participationwhich have become dominant in the Western world and internationally.

Demokrati, Elections and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood

Israel Elad-Altman

The American-led Middle East reform and democratization campaign of the last two years has helped shape a new political reality in Egypt. Opportunities have opened up for dissent. With U.S. and European support, local opposition groups have been able to take initiative, advance their causes and extract concessions from the state. The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood movement (MB), which has been officially outlawed as a political organization, is now among the groups facing both new opportunities
and new risks.
Western governments, including the government of the United States, are considering the MB and other “moderate Islamist” groups as potential partners in helping to advance democracy in their countries, and perhaps also in eradicating Islamist terrorism. Could the Egyptian MB fill that role? Could it follow the track of the Turkish Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Indonesian Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), two Islamist parties that, according to some analysts, are successfully adapting to the rules of liberal democracy and leading their countries toward greater integration with, respectively, Europe and a “pagan” Asia?
This article examines how the MB has responded to the new reality, how it has handled the ideological and practical challenges and dilemmas that have arisen during the past two years. To what extent has the movement accommodated its outlook to new circumstances? What are its objectives and its vision of the political order? How has it reacted to U.S. overtures and to the reform and democratization campaign?
How has it navigated its relations with the Egyptian regime on one hand, and other opposition forces on the other, as the country headed toward two dramatic elections in autumn 2005? To what extent can the MB be considered a force that might lead Egypt
toward liberal democracy?