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Islam and the Making of State Power

Seyyed βαλής Reza nasr

In 1979 General Muhammad Zia ul-Haq, the military ruler of Pakistan, declared that Pakistan would become an Islamic state. Islamic values and norms would serve as the foundation of national identity, law, economy, and social relations, and would inspire all policy making. In 1980 Mahathir Muhammad, the new prime minister of Malaysia, introduced a similar broad-based plan to anchor state policy making in Islamic values, and to bring his country’s laws and economic practices in line with the teachings of Islam. Why did these rulers choose the path of “Islamization” for their countries? And how did one-time secular postcolonial states become the agents of Islamization and the harbinger of the “true” Islamic state?
Malaysia and Pakistan have since the late 1970s–early 1980s followed a unique path to development that diverges from the experiences of other Third World states. In these two countries religious identity was integrated into state ideology to inform the goal and process of development with Islamic values.
This undertaking has also presented a very different picture of the relation between Islam and politics in Muslim societies. In Malaysia and Pakistan, it has been state institutions rather than Islamist activists (those who advocate a political reading of Islam; also known as revivalists or fundamentalists) that have been the guardians of Islam and the defenders of its interests. This suggests a
very different dynamic in the ebbs and flow of Islamic politics—in the least pointing to the importance of the state in the vicissitudes of this phenomenon.
What to make of secular states that turn Islamic? What does such a transformation mean for the state as well as for Islamic politics?
This book grapples with these questions. This is not a comprehensive account of Malaysia’s or Pakistan’s politics, nor does it cover all aspects of Islam’s role in their societies and politics, although the analytical narrative dwells on these issues considerably. This book is rather a social scientific inquiry into the phenomenon of secular postcolonial states becoming agents of Islamization, and more broadly how culture and religion serve the needs of state power and development. The analysis here relies on theoretical discussions
in the social sciences of state behavior and the role of culture and religion therein. More important, it draws inferences from the cases under examination to make broader conclusions of interest to the disciplines.

ISLAM, DEMOCRACY & THE USA:

Cordoba Foundation

Αμπντουλάχ Faliq

Intro ,


In spite of it being both a perennial and a complex debate, Arches Quarterly reexamines from theological and practical grounds, the important debate about the relationship and compatibility between Islam and Democracy, as echoed in Barack Obama’s agenda of hope and change. Whilst many celebrate Obama’s ascendancy to the Oval Office as a national catharsis for the US, others remain less optimistic of a shift in ideology and approach in the international arena. While much of the tension and distrust between the Muslim world and the USA can be attributed to the approach of promoting democracy, typically favoring dictatorships and puppet regimes that pay lip-service to democratic values and human rights, the aftershock of 9/11 has truly cemented the misgivings further through America’s position on political Islam. It has created a wall of negativity as found by worldpublicopinion.org, according to which 67% of Egyptians believe that globally America is playing a “mainly negative” role.
America’s response has thus been apt. By electing Obama, many around the world are pinning their hopes for developing a less belligerent, but fairer foreign policy towards the Muslim world. Th e test for Obama, as we discuss, is how America and her allies promote democracy. Will it be facilitating or imposing?
Moreover, can it importantly be an honest broker in prolonged zones of confl icts? Enlisting the expertise and insight of prolifi
c scholars, academics, seasoned journalists and politicians, Arches Quarterly brings to light the relationship between Islam and Democracy and the role of America – as well as the changes brought about by Obama, in seeking the common ground. Anas Altikriti, the CEO of Th e Cordoba Foundation provides the opening gambit to this discussion, where he refl ects on the hopes and challenges that rests on Obama’s path. Following Altikriti, the former advisor to President Nixon, Dr Robert Crane off ers a thorough analysis of the Islamic principle of the right to freedom. Anwar Ibrahim, former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, enriches the discussion with the practical realities of implementing democracy in Muslim dominant societies, namely, in Indonesia and Malaysia.
We also have Dr Shireen Hunter, of Georgetown University, ΗΠΑ, who explores Muslim countries lagging in democratisation and modernisation. Th is is complemented by terrorism writer, Dr Nafeez Ahmed’s explanation of the crisis of post-modernity and the
demise of democracy. Dr Daud Abdullah (Director of Middle East Media Monitor), Alan Hart (former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent; author of Zionism: Th e Real Enemy of the Jews) and Asem Sondos (Editor of Egypt’s Sawt Al Omma weekly) concentrate on Obama and his role vis-à-vis democracy-promotion in the Muslim world, as well as US relations with Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Minister of Foreign Aff airs, Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed speculates on the future of Islam and Democracy; Cllr. Gerry Maclochlainn
a Sinn Féin member who endured four years in prison for Irish Republican activities and a campaigner for the Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6, refl ects on his recent trip to Gaza where he witnessed the impact of the brutality and injustice meted out against Palestinians; Dr Marie Breen-Smyth, Director of the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence discusses the challenges of critically researching political terror; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, writer and playwright, discusses prospects of peace in Darfur; and fi nally journalist and human rights activist Ashur Shamis looks critically at the democratisation and politicisation of Muslims today.
We hope all this makes for a comprehensive reading and a source for refl ection on issues that aff ect us all in a new dawn of hope.
Thank you

A Muslim Archipelago

max L. Ακαθάριστο

This book has been many years in the making, as the author explains in his Preface, though he wrote most of the actual text during his year as senior Research Fellow with the Center for Strategic Intelligence Research. The author was for many years Dean of the School of Intelligence Studies at the Joint Military Intelligence College. Even though it may appear that the book could have been written by any good historian or Southeast Asia regional specialist, this work is illuminated by the author’s more than three decades of service within the national Intelligence Community. His regional expertise often has been applied to special assessments for the Community. With a knowledge of Islam unparalleled among his peers and an unquenchable thirst for determining how the goals of this religion might play out in areas far from the focus of most policymakers’ current attention, the author has made the most of this opportunity to acquaint the Intelligence Community and a broader readership with a strategic appreciation of a region in the throes of reconciling secular and religious forces.
This publication has been approved for unrestricted distribution by the Office of Security Review, Department of Defense.

Islamist Opposition Parties and the Potential for EU Engagement

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

In light of the increasing importance of Islamist movements in the Muslim world and

the way that radicalisation has influenced global events since the turn of the century, it

is important for the EU to evaluate its policies towards actors within what can be loosely

termed the ‘Islamic world’. It is particularly important to ask whether and how to engage

with the various Islamist groups.

This remains controversial even within the EU. Some feel that the Islamic values that

lie behind Islamist parties are simply incompatible with western ideals of democracy and

ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, while others see engagement as a realistic necessity due to the growing

domestic importance of Islamist parties and their increasing involvement in international

affairs. Another perspective is that democratisation in the Muslim world would increase

European security. The validity of these and other arguments over whether and how the

EU should engage can only be tested by studying the different Islamist movements and

their political circumstances, country by country.

Democratisation is a central theme of the EU’s common foreign policy actions, as laid

out in Article 11 of the Treaty on European Union. Many of the states considered in this

report are not democratic, or not fully democratic. In most of these countries, Islamist

parties and movements constitute a significant opposition to the prevailing regimes, and

in some they form the largest opposition bloc. European democracies have long had to

deal with governing regimes that are authoritarian, but it is a new phenomenon to press

for democratic reform in states where the most likely beneficiaries might have, from the

EU’s point of view, different and sometimes problematic approaches to democracy and its

related values, such as minority and women’s rights and the rule of law. These charges are

often laid against Islamist movements, so it is important for European policy-makers to

have an accurate picture of the policies and philosophies of potential partners.

Experiences from different countries tends to suggest that the more freedom Islamist

parties are allowed, the more moderate they are in their actions and ideas. In many

cases Islamist parties and groups have long since shifted away from their original aim

of establishing an Islamic state governed by Islamic law, and have come to accept basic

democratic principles of electoral competition for power, the existence of other political

competitors, and political pluralism.

Resolving America’s Islamist Dilemma: Lessons from South and Southeast Asia

Shadi Χαμίντ
ΜΑΣ. 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 and 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. However, 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, and, 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. The situation in Jordan is similar. The Bush administration and the Democratic congress have hailed the country as a “model” of Arab reform at precisely the same time that it has been devising new ways to manipulate the electoral process to limit Islamist representation, and just as it held elections plagued by widespread allegations of outright fraud
and rigging.1 This is not a coincidence. Egypt and Jordan are the only two Arab countries that have signed peace treaties with Israel. Moreover, they are seen as crucial to U.S. efforts to counter Iran, stabilize Iraq, and combat terrorism.

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 : ισλαμισμός, 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.

ISLAMIC MODERNITIES: FETHULLAH GULEN and CONTEMPORARY ISLAM

Φέργκιουσον Caki

The Nurju movement1, being the oldest moderate Islamist movement which is probably peculiar to Modern Turkey, was broken into several groups since Said Nursi, the founder of the movement, passed away in 1960. At the present time, there are more than ten nurcu groups with different agendas and strategies. Despite all their differences, today the Nurju groups seem to acknowledge each other’s identity and try to keep a certain level of solidarity. Theplace of the Fethullah Gulen group within the Nurju movement, however, seems to be a bit shaky.Fethullah Gulen (b.1938) split himself, at least in appearance, from the overall Nurju movement in 1972 and succeeded in establishing his own group with a strong organizational structure in the 1980’s and the 90’s. Due to the development of its broad school network both in Turkey and abroad2, his group attracted attention. Those schools fascinated not only Islamist businessmen and middle classes but also a large number of secularist intellectuals and politicians. Although it originally emerged out of the overall Nurju movement, some believe that the number of the followers of the Fethullah Gulen group is much larger than that of the total of the rest of the nurju groups. Yet, there seems to be enough reason to think that there was a price to pay for this success: alienation from other Islamist groups as well as from the overall Nurju movement of which the Fethullah Gulen group3 itself is supposed to be a part.

Προοδευτική ισλαμικής σκέψης, της κοινωνίας των πολιτών και το κίνημα Gulen σε εθνικό επίπεδο

Greg Barton

Φετουλάχ Γκιουλέν (born 1941), or Hodjaeffendi as he is known affectionately by hundreds of thousands of people in his native Turkey and abroad, is one of the most significant Islamic thinkers and activists to have emerged in the twentieth century. His optimistic and forward-looking thought, with its emphasis on self development of both heart and mind through education, of engaging proactively and positively with the modern world and of reaching out in dialogue and a spirit of cooperation between religious communities, social strata and nations can be read as a contemporary reformulation of the teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi, Yunus Emre, and other classic Sufi teachers (Michel, 2005a, 2005b; Saritoprak, 2003; 2005a; 2005b; Unal and Williams, 2005). More specifically, Gulen can be seen to be carrying on where Said Nursi (1876-1960), another great Anatolian Islamic intellectual, left off: chartinga way for Muslim activists in Turkey and beyond to effectively contribute to the development of modern society that avoids the pitfalls and compromises of party-political activism and replaces the narrowness of Islamist thought with a genuinely inclusive and humanitarian understanding of religion’s role in the modern world (Abu-Rabi, 1995; Markham and Ozdemir, 2005; Vahide, 2005, Yavuz, 2005a).

The United States and Egypt

A Conference Report

The study of bilateral relations has fallen deeply out of favor in the academiccommunity. Political science has turned to the study of international state systemsrather than relations between individual states; anthropologists and sociologists arefar more interested in non-state actors; and historians have largely abandonedstates altogether. It is a shame, because there is much to be learned from bilateralrelationships, and some such relationships are vital—not only to the countriesinvolved, but also to a broader array of countries.One such vital relationship is that between the United States and Egypt. Forgedduring the Cold War almost entirely on the issue of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, theU.S.-Egyptian bilateral relationship has deepened and broadened over the lastquarter century. Egypt remains one of the United States’ most important Arab allies,and the bilateral relationship with Washington remains the keystone of Egypt’sforeign policy. Strong U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relations are also an important anchorfor states throughout the Middle East and for Western policy in the region. Therelationship is valuable for policymakers in both countries; doing without it isunthinkable.To explore this relationship, the CSIS Middle East Program, in cooperation with theAl-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, convened a one-dayconference on June 26, 2003, entitled, “The United States and Egypt: Building thePartnership.” The goal of the meeting was to brainstorm how that partnership mightbe strengthened.Participants agreed that much needs to be done on the diplomatic, political, Στρατός,and economic levels. Although all did not agree on a single course forward, theparticipants unanimously concurred that a stronger U.S.-Egyptian relationship is verymuch in the interests of both countries, and although it will require a great deal ofwork to achieve, the benefits are worth the effort.

Will Turkey Have An Islamist President?

Michael Rubin


While the campaigns have not officially begun, election season in Turkey is heating up. This spring, the

Turkish parliament will select a president to replace current president Ahmet Necdet Sezer, whose seven-year

term ends on May 16, 2007. On or before November 4, 2007, Turks will head to the polls to choose a new

parliament. Not only does this year mark the first since 1973—and 1950 before that—in which Turks will

inaugurate a new president and parliament in the same year, but this year’s polls will also impact the future

of Turkey more than perhaps any election in the past half century. If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo˘gan

wins the presidency and his Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, also known as

AKP) retains its parliamentary majority, Islamists would control all Turkish offices and be positioned to

erode secularism and redefine state and society.If Erdo˘gan ascends to Çankaya Palace—the

Turkish White House—Turks face the prospect if an Islamist president and a first lady who wears

a Saudi-style headscarf. Such a prospect has fueled speculation about intervention by the Turkish military,

which traditionally serves as the guardian of secularism and the Turkish constitution. In December

2006, for example, Newsweek published an essay entitled “The Coming Coup d’Etat?” predicting

a 50 percent chance of the military seizing control in Turkey this year.1

While concern about the future of Turkish secularism is warranted, alarmism about military
intervention is not. There will be no more military coups in Turkey. Erdog˘ an may be prepared to
spark a constitutional crisis in pursuit of personal ambition and ideological agenda, but Turkey’s
civilian institutions are strong enough to confront the challenge. The greatest danger to Turkish
democracy will not be Turkish military intervention,but rather well-meaning but naïve interference
by U.S. diplomats seeking stability and downplaying the Islamist threat.

While the campaigns have not officially begun, election season in Turkey is heating up. This spring, theTurkish parliament will select a president to replace current president Ahmet Necdet Sezer, whose seven-yearterm ends on May 16, 2007. On or before November 4, 2007, Turks will head to the polls to choose a newparliament. Not only does this year mark the first since 1973—and 1950 before that—in which Turks willinaugurate a new president and parliament in the same year, but this year’s polls will also impact the futureof Turkey more than perhaps any election in the past half century. If Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo˘gan wins the presidency and his Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi, also known asAKP) retains its parliamentary majority, Islamists would control all Turkish offices and be positioned toerode secularism and redefine state and society.If Erdo˘gan ascends to Çankaya Palace—theTurkish White House—Turks face the prospect if an Islamist president and a first lady who wearsa Saudi-style headscarf. Such a prospect has fueled speculation about intervention by the Turkish military,which traditionally serves as the guardian of secularism and the Turkish constitution. In December2006, for example, Newsweek published an essay entitled “The Coming Coup d’Etat?” predictinga 50 percent chance of the military seizing control in Turkey this year.1While concern about the future of Turkish secularism is warranted, alarmism about militaryintervention is not. There will be no more military coups in Turkey. Erdog˘ an may be prepared tospark a constitutional crisis in pursuit of personal ambition and ideological agenda, but Turkey’scivilian institutions are strong enough to confront the challenge. The greatest danger to Turkishdemocracy will not be Turkish military intervention,but rather well-meaning but naïve interferenceby U.S. diplomats seeking stability and downplaying the Islamist threat.

Islamic Movements and the Use of Violence:

Esen Kirdis

.


Despite recent academic and popular focus on violent transnational Islamic terrorist networks,there is a multiplicity of Islamic movements. This multiplicity presents scholars with two puzzles. The first puzzle is understanding why domestic-oriented Islamic movements that were formed as a reaction to the establishment of secular nation-states shifted their activities and targets onto a multi-layered transnational space. The second puzzle is understanding why groups with similar aims and targets adopt different strategies of using violence or nonviolence when they “go transnational.” The two main questions that this paper will address are: Why do Islamic movements go transnational? And, why do they take on different forms when they transnationalize? First, I argue that the transnational level presents a new political venue for Islamic movements which are limited in their claim making at the domestic level. Second, I argue that transnationalization creates uncertainty for groups about their identity and claims at the transnational level. The medium adopted, i.e. use of violence versus non-violence, is dependent on type of transnationalization, the actors encounter at the transnational level, and leadership’s interpretations on where the movement should go next. To answer my questions, I will look at four cases: (1) Turkish Islam, (2) the Muslim Brotherhood, (3) Jemaah Islamiyah, and (4) Tablighi Jamaat

Assessing the Islamist mainstream in Egypt and Malaysia

Beyond ‘Terrorism’ and ‘StateHegemony’: assessing the Islamistmainstream in Egypt and Malaysia

Ιανουάριος STRONGMalaysia-Islamists

International networks of Islamic ‘terrorism’ have served as themost popular explanation to describe the phenomenon of political Islam sincethe 11 September attacks.

This paper argues that both the self-proclaimeddoctrinal Islam of the militants and Western perceptions of a homogeneousIslamist threat need to be deconstructed in order to discover the oftenambiguous manifestations of ‘official’ and ‘opposition’ Islam, of modernity andconservatism.

As a comparison of two Islamic countries, Egypt and Malaysia,which both claim a leading role in their respective regions, shows, moderateIslamic groups have had a considerable impact on processes of democratisationand the emergence of civil society during the quarter century since the ‘Islamicresurgence’.

Shared experiences like coalition building and active participationwithin the political system demonstrate the influence and importance of groupssuch as the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) or the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS).

These groups haveshaped the political landscape to a much larger extent than the current pre-occupation with the ‘terrorist threat’ suggests. The gradual development of a‘culture of dialogue’ has rather revealed new approaches towards politicalparticipation and democracy at the grassroots level.