RSSAlle Einträge in der "Ikhwan & West" Kategorie

Islamischen Reformation

Adnan Khan

Der italienische Premierminister, Silvio Berlusconi rühmte sich nach den Ereignissen von 9/11:
„... müssen wir uns bewusst von der Überlegenheit unserer Zivilisation, ein System, das garantiert hat

Wohlbefinden, Achtung der Menschenrechte und – im Gegensatz zu den islamischen Ländern – Respekt

für religiöse und politische Rechte, ein System, das sein Wert Verständnis von Vielfalt hat

und Toleranz ... Der Westen wird Völker erobern, wie es erobert Kommunismus, Selbst wenn es

bedeutet eine Konfrontation mit einer anderen Zivilisation, die islamische, stecken, wo es war

1,400 Jahren ...“1

Und in einem 2007 Bericht der RAND-Institut erklärt:
„Der Kampf im Gang in weiten Teilen der muslimischen Welt ist im Wesentlichen ein Krieg

Ideen. Sein Ergebnis wird die zukünftige Richtung der muslimischen Welt bestimmen.“

Der Aufbau moderater Muslim Networks, RAND-Institut

Der Begriff des ‚Islah‘ (Reform) ist ein Konzept, unbekannt zu Muslimen. Es gab nie im ganzen

Geschichte der islamischen Zivilisation; es wurde nie in Betracht gezogen diskutiert oder sogar. Ein flüchtiger Blick auf klassische

Islamische Literatur zeigt uns, dass, wenn die Altphilologen legte den Grundstein der usul, und kodifiziert

ihre islamische Urteile (Fiqh) sie waren auf der Suche nur auf das Verständnis der islamischen Regeln, um

gelten sie. Eine ähnliche Situation ereignete sich, als die Regeln wurden für den Hadithen festgelegt, Tafsir und die

arabische Sprache. Wissenschaftler, Denker und Intellektuelle im gesamten islamischen Geschichte viel Zeit damit verbracht

Allahs Offenbarung verstehen - der Koran und die Anwendung des Ayaat auf die Realitäten und geprägt

Prinzipien und Disziplinen, um das Verständnis zu erleichtern. Daher blieb der Koran die Basis

Studie und alle Disziplinen, die auf dem Koran basiert immer weiterentwickelt wurden. Diejenigen, die sich

von der griechischen Philosophie wie die muslimischen Philosophen und einige aus den Reihen der Mut'azilah geschlagen

die Falte des Islam verlassen zu haben, wurden als der Koran nicht mehr ihre Grundlage Studie sein. So für

jeder Muslim versuchen, Regeln abzuleiten oder zu verstehen, was Haltung auf einem bestimmten ergriffen werden sollten,

Ausgabe der Koran ist die Grundlage dieser Studie.

Der erste Versuch, den Islam reformieren fand an der Wende des 19. Jahrhunderts. Um die Wende des

Jahrhundert der Ummah hatte in einer langen Zeit des Verfalls, in denen das globale Machtgleichgewicht verschoben

vom Khilafah nach Großbritannien. Montageprobleme verschlungen die Khilafah während Westeuropa war in

inmitten der industriellen Revolution. Die Ummah kam ihr pristine Verständnis des Islam zu verlieren, und

in einem Versuch, den Rückgang engulfing die Uthmani der umkehren (Osmanen) einige Muslime wurden die geschickt

West, und als Ergebnis wurde geschlagen von dem, was sie sehen,. Rifa'a Rafi‘al-Tahtawi von Ägypten (1801-1873),

bei seiner Rückkehr aus Paris, ein biographisches Buch geschrieben namens Takhlis al-ibriz ila talkhis bariz (Der

Gewinnung von Gold, oder eine Übersicht über Paris, 1834), loben ihre Sauberkeit, Liebe zur Arbeit, und darüber

alle gesellschaftliche Moral. Er erklärte, dass müssen wir nachahmen, was in Paris getan wird,, befürworten Änderungen an

die islamische Gesellschaft von Frauen zu den Systemen der Liberalisierung der herrschenden. Dieser Gedanke, und andere wie es,

Der Beginn des neu zu erfinden Trend markiert im Islam.

Islam im Westen

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.

Ein Post-Wahl Re-Lektüre des islamistischen politischen Denkens

Roxanne L. Euben

Barack Obama’s post-election rhetoric regarding the “Muslim world” has signaled a critical paradigm shift from his predecessor. The new president’s characterization of the United States in his inaugural address as a “nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers”; his formulation, invoked in several different contexts, that America will offer a hand of friendship to a Muslim world willing to “unclench [its] fist”; the emphasis on his own mixed lineage and experience living in Muslim countries; his pledge to close the Guantánamo Bay prison camp; his interview with Al Arabiya; and the promise to address the Muslim world from a Muslim capital during his first 100 days in office, all suggest a deliberate attempt to shift away from the hardening rhetoric of a new Cold War between the West and Islam and reframe American foreign policy toward Muslim societies.1 Obama’s rhetoric has enormous symbolic importance even if it has yet to issue in dramatic departures from previous U.S. foreign policies regarding, zum Beispiel, Hamas or Iran’s nuclear program. At this particular juncture, its significance lies less in the specific policies it may presage or the greater sensitivity to Muslim sensibilities it reveals than in its underlying logic: implicit in these rhetorical gestures is the understanding that, as Obama put it in his interview with Al Arabiya, “the language we use matters,” that words and categories do not simply reflect but also create the world in which we live.

Islam and the West

Preface

John J. DeGioia

The remarkable feeling of proximity between people and nations is the unmistakable reality of our globalized world. Encounters with other peoples’ ways oflife, current affairs, politics, welfare and faithsare more frequent than ever. We are not onlyable to see other cultures more clearly, butalso to see our differences more sharply. The information intensity of modern life has madethis diversity of nations part of our every dayconsciousness and has led to the centrality ofculture in discerning our individual and collectiveviews of the world.Our challenges have also become global.The destinies of nations have become deeply interconnected. No matter where in the world we live, we are touched by the successes and failures of today’s global order. Yet our responses to global problems remain vastly different, not only as a result of rivalry and competing interests,but largely because our cultural difference is the lens through which we see these global challenges.Cultural diversity is not necessarily a source of clashes and conflict. Tatsächlich, the proximity and cross-cultural encounters very often bring about creative change – a change that is made possible by well-organized social collaboration.Collaboration across borders is growing primarily in the area of business and economic activity. Collaborative networks for innovation,production and distribution are emerging as the single most powerful shaper of the global economy.

Demokratie, Terrorism and American Policy in the Arab World

F. Gregory Gause

The United States has embarked upon what President Bush and Secretary of State Rice has called a “generational challenge” to encourage political reform and democracy in the Arab world. The Bush Administration and other defenders of the democracy campaign contend that the push for Arab democracy is not only about spreading American values, but also about insuring American security. They hypothesize that as democracy grows in the Arab world, anti-American terrorism from the Arab world will decline. Deshalb, the promotion of democracy inthe Arab world is not only consistent with American security goals in the area, but necessary to achieve those goals.
Two questions present themselves in considering this element of the “Bush Doctrine” in the Arab world: 1) Is there a relationship between terrorism and democracy such that the more democratic a country becomes, the less likely it is to produce terrorists and terrorist groups? Mit anderen Worten, is the security rationale for democracy promotion in the Arab world based on a sound premise?; und 2) What kind of governments would likely be generated by democratic elections in Arab countries? Would they be willing to cooperate with the United States on important policy objectives in the Middle East, not only in maintaining democracy but also on
Arab-Israeli, Gulf security and oil issues?
This paper will consider these two questions. It finds that there is little empirical evidence linking democracy with an absence of or reduction in terrorism. It questions whether democracy would reduce the motives and opportunities of groups like al-Qa’ida, which oppose democracy on both religious and practical grounds. It examines recent trends in Arab public opinion and elections, concluding that while Arab publics are very supportive of democracy, democratic elections in Arab states are likely to produce Islamist governments which would be much less likely to cooperate with the United States than their authoritarian predecessors.

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, Afghanistan), 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, Türkei, Iran, Libanon, Kuwait, Yemen, Jordan, Pakistan, Bangladesch, Malaysia, Indonesien, 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.

Es ist die Politik, Dumm

John L. Edwards

US-Außenpolitik und dem politischen Islam sind heute eng miteinander verwoben. Jeder US-Präsident Jimmy Carter, da musste mit dem politischen Islam befassen; none wurde so George W angefochten. Busch. Die politischen Entscheidungsträger, zumal 9/11, haben gezeigt, Unfähigkeit und / oder Unwilligkeit, zwischen radikalen und gemäßigten Islamisten zu unterscheiden. Sie haben weitgehend den politischen Islam als globale Bedrohung ähnliche Weise, dass der Kommunismus wahrgenommen wurde behandelt. Aber, auch im Fall des Kommunismus, Außenpolitiker schließlich aus zog ein schlecht informiert, breiten Pinsel, und paranoide Ansatz von Senator Joseph McCarthy in den 1950er Jahren personifiziert nuancierter, pragmatisch, und angemessenen Maßnahmen, die zur Feststellung der Beziehungen mit China in den 1970er Jahren führte, sogar als Spannungen blieben zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und der Sowjetunion.

Als islamistischen Parteien weiterhin im Vordergrund der ganzen Welt steigen, ist es notwendig, dass Politiker, Unterscheidungen zu treffen und zu verabschieden differenzierte Ansätze lernen. Dies erfordert ein tieferes Verständnis von dem, was motiviert und informiert islamistischen Parteien und die Unterstützung, die sie erhalten, einschließlich der Möglichkeiten, in dem einige US-Politik Feed desto radikaler und extremer islamistischer Bewegungen, während die Schwächung der Attraktivität der gemäßigten Organisationen der muslimischen Bevölkerung. Es erfordert auch den politischen Willen zu verabschieden Ansätze für Engagement und Dialog. Dies ist besonders wichtig, wo die Wurzeln des politischen Islam tiefer gehen als die einfache Anti-Amerikanismus und wo ist der politische Islam in gewaltfreie und demokratische Weise zum Ausdruck. Die überwältigende Wahlsiege der Hamas in Palästina und die Schiiten im Irak, der Muslimbruderschaft Aufkommen als führender parlamentarischen Opposition in Ägypten, und Israels Krieg gegen die Hamas und der Hisbollah gehen zum Herzen der Fragen der Demokratie, Terrorismus, und Frieden im Nahen Osten.

Der globale Terrorismus hat auch die Entschuldigung für die vielen muslimischen autokratische Herrscher und die westliche Politik zum Rückfall oder Rückzug aus der Demokratisierung geworden. Sie warnen, dass die Förderung eines demokratischen Prozesses die Gefahr der Förderung der islamistischen Einzug in Zentren der Macht läuft und ist kontraproduktiv für westliche Interessen, Förderung eines virulenten antiwestlicher und erhöhter Instabilität. So, zum Beispiel, Trotz den Sieg der Hamas in freien und demokratischen Wahlen, den Vereinigten Staaten und Europa nicht an die Partei zu geben volle Anerkennung und Unterstützung.

In den Beziehungen zwischen dem Westen und der muslimischen Welt, Phrasen wie ein Kampf der Kulturen oder ein Zusammenprall der Kulturen wiederkehren wie der Vorwurf, dass der Islam mit Demokratie unvereinbar ist oder dass es eine besonders militante Religion ist. Aber ist das primäre Problem Religion und Kultur, oder ist es der Politik? Ist die primäre Ursache von Radikalismus und antiwestlicher, vor allem Anti-Amerikanismus, extremistischer Theologie oder einfach nur die Politik der viele muslimische und westliche Regierungen?


Beheben von America's islamistischen Dilemma

Shadi Hamid

US-. efforts to promote democracy in the Middle East have long been paralyzed by the “Islamist dilemma”: in theory, we want democracy, but, in practice, fear that Islamist parties will be the prime beneficiaries of any political opening. The most tragic manifestation of this was the Algerian debacle of 1991 und 1992, when the United States stood silently while the staunchly secular military canceled elections after an Islamist party won a parliamentary majority. More recently, the Bush administration backed away from its “freedom agenda” after Islamists did surprisingly well in elections throughout region, including in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian territories.
But even our fear of Islamist parties—and the resulting refusal to engage with them—has itself been inconsistent, holding true for some countries but not others. The more that a country is seen as vital to American national security interests, the less willing the United States has been to accept Islamist groups having a prominent political role there. Aber, in countries seen as less strategically relevant, and where less is at stake, the United States has occasionally taken a more nuanced approach. But it is precisely where more is at stake that recognizing a role for nonviolent Islamists is most important, und, here, American policy continues to fall short.
Throughout the region, the United States has actively supported autocratic regimes and given the green light for campaigns of repression against groups such as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest and most influential political movement in the region. In March 2008, during what many observers consider to be the worst period of anti-Brotherhood repression since the 1960s, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice waived a $100 million congressionally mandated reduction of military aid to Egypt.

Internationale Konsultation muslimischer Intellektueller über den Islam & Politik

Stimson Center & Institute of Policy Studies

Dieser zweitägige Diskussion brachte Experten und Wissenschaftler aus Bangladesch, Ägypten, Indien,Indonesien, Kenia, Malaysia, Pakistan, auf den Philippinen, Sudan und Sri Lanka vertreten Hochschulen,Nichtregierungsorganisationen und Think-Tanks. Unter den Teilnehmern waren eine Reihe von ehemaligen Regierungsbeamten und einem sitzenden Gesetzgeber. The participants were also chosen to comprise abroad spectrum of ideologies, including the religious and the secular, cultural, political andeconomic conservatives, liberals and radicals.The following themes characterized the discussion:1. Western and US (Mis)Understanding There is a fundamental failure by the West to understand the rich variety of intellectual currents andcross-currents in the Muslim world and in Islamic thought. What is underway in the Muslim worldis not a simple opposition to the West based on grievance (though grievances there also are), but are newal of thought and culture and an aspiration to seek development and to modernize withoutlosing their identity. This takes diverse forms, and cannot be understood in simple terms. There is particular resentment towards Western attempts to define the parameters of legitimate Islamicdiscourse. There is a sense that Islam suffers from gross over generalization, from its champions asmuch as from its detractors. It is strongly urged that in order to understand the nature of the Muslim renaissance, the West should study all intellectual elements within Muslim societies, and not only professedly Islamic discourse.US policy in the aftermath of 9/11 has had several effects. It has led to a hardening andradicalization on both sides of the Western-Muslim encounter. It has led to mutual broad brush(mis)characterization of the other and its intentions. It has contributed to a sense of pan-Islamicsolidarity unprecedented since the end of the Khilafat after World War I. It has also produced adegeneration of US policy, and a diminution of US power, influence and credibility. Schließlich, theUS’ dualistic opposition of terror and its national interests has made the former an appealing instrument for those intent on resistance to the West.

Ägypten: Hintergrund und den USA. Beziehung

Jeremy M. Scharf

Im letzten Jahr, Ägyptische Außenpolitik, insbesondere ihre Beziehung mit den Vereinigten Staaten, hasbenefitted substantially from both a change in U.S. policy and from events on the ground. TheObama Administration, as evident in the President’s June 2009 speech in Cairo, has elevatedEgypt’s importance to U.S. foreign policy in the region, as U.S. policymakers work to revive theArab-Israeli peace process. In choosing Cairo as a venue for the President’s signature address tothe Muslim world, Egyptians feel that the United States has shown their country respectcommensurate with its perceived stature in the Arab world.At the same time, continuing tensions with Iran and Hamas have bolstered Egypt’s position as amoderating force in the region and demonstrated the country’s diplomatic utility to U.S. foreignpolicy. Based on its own interests, Egypt has opposed Iranian meddling in the Levant and in Gazaand has recently expanded military cooperation with Israel in order to demonstrate resolve againstfurther Iranian provocations, such as arming Hamas or allowing Hezbollah to operate on Egyptiansoil. Furthermore, Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (Dezember 2008 to January 2009) highlighted theneed to moderate Hamas’s behavior, attain Palestinian unity, and reach a long-term Israel-Hamascease-fire/prisoner exchange, goals which Egypt has been working toward, albeit with limitedsuccess so far.Indications of an improved bilateral relationship have been clearly evident. Over the last sixmonths, there has been a flurry of diplomatic exchanges, culminating in President Obama’s June2009 visit to Egypt and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s trip to Washington in August 2009,his first visit to the United States in over five years. Following President Obama’s June visit, thetwo governments held their annual strategic dialogue. Several months earlier, the United Statespledged to expand trade and investment in Egypt.Despite the appearance of a more positive atmosphere, inherent tensions and contradictions inU.S.-Egyptian relations remain. For U.S. policymakers and Members of Congress, the question ofhow to simultaneously maintain the U.S.-Egyptian strategic relationship born out of the CampDavid Accords and the 1979 peace treaty while promoting human rights and democracy in Egyptis a major challenge with no clear path. As Egyptian opposition figures have grown more vocal inrecent years over issues such as leadership succession, corruption, and economic inequality, andthe regime has subsequently grown more repressive in its response to increased calls for reform,activists have demanded that the United States pressure Egypt to create more breathing space fordissent. The Egyptian government has resisted any U.S. attempts to interfere in its domesticpolitics and has responded harshly to overt U.S. calls for political reform. At the same time, as theIsraeli-Palestinian situation has further deteriorated, Egypt’s role as a mediator has provedinvaluable to U.S. foreign policy in the region. Egypt has secured cease-fire agreements andmediated negotiations with Hamas over prisoner releases, cease-fire arrangements, and otherissues. Since Hamas is a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and calls forIsrael’s destruction, neither Israel nor the United States government directly negotiates with itsofficials, using Egypt instead as a go-between. With the Obama Administration committed topursuing Middle East peace, there is concern that U.S. officials may give a higher priority toEgypt’s regional role at the expense of human rights and democratic reforms.

TRAVELS AMONG EUROPE’S MUSLIM NEIGHBOURS

Joost Lagendijk

Jan Marinus Wiersma

“A ring of friends surrounding the Union [], from Morocco to Russia”.This is how, in late 2002, the then President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, described the key challenge facing Europe following the planned enlargement of 2004. The accession process had built up momentum, and the former communist countries of Central Europe had been stabilised and were transforming themselves into democracies. EU membership was not directly on the agenda for countries beyond the enlargement horizon, jedoch. How could Europe prevent new dividing lines forming at its borders? How could the European Union guarantee stability, security and peace along its perimeter? Those questions were perhaps most pertinent to the EU’s southern neighbours. Since 11 September 2001, in particular, our relations with the Islamic world have been imbued with a sense of urgency. Political developments in our Islamic neighbour countries bordering the Mediterranean could have a tremendous impact on European security. Although the area is nearby, the political distance is great. Amid threatening language about a ‘clash of civilisations’, the EU quickly drew the conclusion that conciliation and cooperation, rather than confrontation, constituted the best strategy for dealing with its southern neighbours.

BETWEEN THE GLOBAL AND THE LOCAL

ANTHONY Bubalo

GREG FEALY

Against the background of the ‘war on terror’,many people have come to view Islamism as amonolithic ideological movement spreading from thecenter of the Muslim world, the Middle East, toMuslim countries around the globe. To borrow aphrase from Abdullah Azzam, the legendary jihadistwho fought to expel the Soviet Union fromAfghanistan in the 1980s, many today see all Islamistsas fellow travellers in a global fundamentalist caravan.This paper evaluates the truth of that perception. Itdoes so by examining the spread of two broad categoriesof Islamic thinking and activism — the morepolitically focused Islamism and more religiouslyfocused ‘neo-fundamentalism’ — from the MiddleEast to Indonesia, a country often cited as an exampleof a formerly peaceful Muslim community radicalizedby external influences.Islamism is a term familiar to many.Most commonly itis used to categorize ideas and forms of activism thatconceive of Islam as a political ideology. Today, a widerange of groups are classified as Islamist, from theEgyptian Muslim Brotherhood to al-qa‘ida.While sucha categorization remains appropriate in many cases,Islamism seems less useful as a label for those groupsthat do not see Islam as a political ideology and largelyeschew political activism — even if their activism sometimeshas political implications. Included in this categoryare groups concerned primarily with Islamic mission-IV Be t w e e n t h e G l o b a l a n d t h e L o c a l : Islamismus, the Mi d d l e E a s t , a n d Indonesiaary activity, but it would also include a group such asal-qa‘ida whose acts of terrorism are arguably drivenless by concrete political objectives than religious inspiration,albeit of a misguided form. This paper thereforeuses the term ‘neo-fundamentalist’, developed by theFrench scholar Olivier Roy, to describe these groups andwill study the transmission of both Islamist and neofundamentalistideas to Indonesia.

Reform in the Muslim World: The Role of Islamists and Outside Powers

Shibley Telhami


The Bush Administration’s focus on spreading democracyin the Middle East has been much discussed over the past several years, not only in the United Statesand Arab and Muslim countries but also around theworld. In truth, neither the regional discourse about theneed for political and economic reform nor the Americantalk of spreading democracy is new. Over the pasttwo decades, particularly beginning with the end of theCold War, intellectuals and governments in the MiddleEast have spoken about reform. The American policyprior to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990 also aimedto spread democracy in the Arab world. But in that case,the first Gulf War and the need to forge alliances withautocratic regimes were one reason talk of democracydeclined. The other reason was the discovery that politicalreform provided openings to Islamist political groupsthat seemed very much at odd with American objectives.The fear that Islamist groups supported democracy onlybased on the principle of “one man, one vote, one time,”as former Assistant Secretary of State Edward Djerejianonce put it, led the United States to backtrack. Evenearly in the Clinton Administration, Secretary of StateWarren Christopher initially focused on democracy inhis Middle East policy but quickly sidelined the issueas the administration moved to broker Palestinian-Israelinegotiation in the shadow of militant Islamist groups,especially Hamas.

POLITICAL ISLAM and the West

JOHN L.ESPOSITO


At the dawn of the 21st centurypolitical Islam, ormore commonly Islamicfundamentalism, remainsa major presence in governments andoppositional politics from North Africato Southeast Asia. New Islamic republicshave emerged in Afghanistan,Iran, and Sudan. Islamists have beenelected to parliaments, served in cabinets,and been presidents, prime ministers,and deputy prime ministers innations as diverse as Algeria, Ägypten, Indonesien,Jordan, Kuwait, Libanon,Malaysia, Pakistan, and Yemen. At thesame time opposition movements andradical extremist groups have sought todestabilize regimes in Muslim countriesand the West. Americans have witnessedattacks on their embassies fromKenya to Pakistan. Terrorism abroadhas been accompanied by strikes ondomestic targets such as the WorldTrade Center in New York. In recentyears, Saudi millionaire Osama binLaden has become emblematic of effortsto spread international violence

Brücken bauen, keine Mauern

Alex Glennie

Since the terror attacks of 11 September 2001 there has been an explosion of interest inpolitical Islamism in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Until fairly recently,analysts have understandably focused on those actors that operate at the violent end of theIslamist spectrum, including Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, some of the sectarian parties in Iraq andpolitical groups with armed wings like Hamas in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT)and Hezbollah in Lebanon.However, this has obscured the fact that across the MENA region contemporary politics arebeing driven and shaped by a much more diverse collection of ‘mainstream’ Islamistmovements. We define these asgroups that engage or seek to engage in the legal political processes oftheir countries and that have publicly eschewed the use of violence tohelp realise their objectives at the national level, even where they arediscriminated against or repressed.This definition would encompass groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Party ofJustice and Development (PJD) in Morocco and the Islamic Action Front (IAF) in Jordan.These non-violent Islamist movements or parties often represent the best organised andmost popular element of the opposition to the existing regimes in each country, and as suchthere has been increasing interest on the part of western policymakers in the role that theymight play in democracy promotion in the region. Yet discussions on this issue appear tohave stalled on the question of whether it would be appropriate to engage with these groupson a more systematic and formal basis, rather than on the practicalities of actually doing so.This attitude is partly linked to a justifiable unwillingness to legitimise groups that mighthold anti-democratic views on women’s rights, political pluralism and a range of other issues.It also reflects pragmatic considerations about the strategic interests of western powers inthe MENA region that are perceived to be threatened by the rising popularity and influenceof Islamists. For their part, Islamist parties and movements have shown a clear reluctance toforge closer ties with those western powers whose policies in the region they stronglyoppose, not least for fear of how the repressive regimes they operate within might react.This project’s focus on non-violent political Islamist movements should not be misinterpretedas implicit support for their political agendas. Committing to a strategy of more deliberateengagement with mainstream Islamist parties would involve significant risks and tradeoffs forNorth American and European policymakers. Aber, we do take the position that thetendency of both sides to view engagement as a zero sum ‘all or nothing’ game has beenunhelpful, and needs to change if a more constructive dialogue around reform in the MiddleEast and North Africa is to emerge.

ISLAM, DEMOCRACY & THE USA

cordoba-Stiftung


In spite of it being both a perennial anda complex debate, Arches Quarterly reexamines from theological and practicalgrounds, 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, othersremain less optimistic of a shift in ideologyand approach in the international arena.While much of the tension and distrust between the Muslim world and the USA canbe attributed to the approach of promotingdemocracy, typically favoring dictatorshipsand puppet regimes that pay lip-service todemocratic values and human rights, the aftershockof 9/11 has truly cemented the misgivingsfurther through America’s position onpolitical Islam. It has created a wall of negativityas found by worldpublicopinion.org,according to which 67% of Egyptians believethat globally America is playing a “mainlynegative” role.America’s response has thus been apt. Byelecting Obama, many around the world arepinning their hopes for developing a less belligerent,but fairer foreign policy towards theMuslim world. Th e test for Obama, as we discuss,is how America and her allies promote democracy. Will it be facilitating or imposing?Außerdem, can it importantly be an honestbroker in prolonged zones of conflicts?