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Ang Political Islam ay ang nag-iisang pinakaaktibo ng puwersang pampulitika sa Gitnang Silangan ngayon. Ang kinabukasan nito ay malapit na maiugnay sa rehiyon. Kung ang Estados Unidos at ang European Union ay nakatuon sa pagsuporta sa repormang pampulitika sa rehiyon, kakailanganin nilang mag-isip ng kongkreto, magkakaugnay na mga diskarte para sa paglahok ng mga Islamist na pangkat. Pa, ang Estados Unidos. sa pangkalahatan ay hindi nais na buksan ang isang dayalogo sa mga paggalaw na ito. Ganun din, Ang pakikipag-ugnayan ng EU sa mga Islamista ay naging kataliwasan, hindi ang panuntunan. Kung saan may mga contact na nasa mababang antas, they mainly serve information-gathering purposes, not strategic objectives. The U.S. and EU have a number of programs that address economic and political development in the region – among them the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Union for the Mediterranean, and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) – yet they have little to say about how the challenge of Islamist political opposition fits within broader regional objectives. U.S. and EU democracy assistance and programming are directed almost entirely to either authoritarian governments themselves or secular civil society groups with minimal support in their own societies.
The time is ripe for a reassessment of current policies. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, supporting Middle East democracy has assumed a greater importance for Western policymakers, who see a link between lack of democracy and political violence. Greater attention has been devoted to understanding the variations within political Islam. The new American administration is more open to broadening communication with the Muslim world. Meanwhile, the vast majority of mainstream Islamist organizations – including the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Jordan’s Islamic Action Front (IAF), Morocco’s Justice and Development Party (PJD), the Islamic Constitutional Movement of Kuwait, and the Yemeni Islah Party – have increasingly made support for political reform and democracy a central component in their political platforms. In addition, many have signaled strong interest in opening dialogue with U.S. and EU governments.
The future of relations between Western nations and the Middle East may be largely determined by the degree to which the former engage nonviolent Islamist parties in a broad dialogue about shared interests and objectives. There has been a recent proliferation of studies on engagement with Islamists, but few clearly address what it might entail in practice. As Zoé Nautré, visiting fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, puts it, “the EU is thinking about engagement but doesn’t really know how.”1 In the hope of clarifying the discussion, we distinguish between three levels of “engagement,” each with varying means and ends: low-level contacts, strategic dialogue, and partnership.

Islamist parties : Three kinds of movements

Tamara Cofman

Sa pagitan ng 1991 at 2001, the world of political Islam became significantly more diverse. Today, the term “Islamist”—used to describe a political perspective centrally informed by a set of religious interpretations and commitments—can be applied to such a wide array of groups as to be almost meaningless. It encompasses everyone from the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center to peacefully elected legislators in Kuwait who have voted in favor of women’s suffrage.
Nonetheless, the prominence of Islamist movements—legal and illegal, violent and peaceful—in the ranks of political oppositions across the Arab world makes the necessity of drawing relevant distinctions obvious. Ang diskurso ng relihiyon ng mga Islamista ay hindi maiiwasang sentro ng politika sa Arab. Ang mga maginoo na talakayan sa patakaran ay tatak sa mga Islamista alinman sa "katamtaman" o "radikal,"Sa pangkalahatan ay ikinategorya ang mga ito ayon sa dalawang medyo maluwag at hindi nakakatulong na pamantayan. Ang una ay karahasan: Ginagamit ito ng mga radical at hindi ginagamit ng mga moderate. Nagtatanong ito kung paano uuriin ang mga pangkat na hindi sa kanilang sarili nagsasagawa ng karahasan ngunit kinukunsinti, bigyan ng katwiran, o kahit na aktibong sumusuporta sa karahasan ng iba. Isang segundo, medyo mas mahigpit na pamantayan lamang kung ang mga pangkat o indibidwal na pinag-uusapan
tanggapin ang mga patakaran ng demokratikong larong elektoral. Ang popular na soberanya ay hindi maliit na konsesyon para sa tradisyunal na Islamists, marami sa kanino ang tumatanggi sa mga gobyernong nahalal sa demokratikong bilang usurpers ng soberanya ng Diyos.
Gayunpaman ang paninindigan sa mga panuntunang pamaraan ng demokratikong halalan ay hindi katulad ng pangako sa demokratikong politika o pamamahala.

Mga Partido ng Islamista : Isang boon o bane para sa demokrasya?

Amr Hamzawy

Si Nathan J. Kayumanggi

Ano ang papel na ginagampanan ng mga kilusang Islamista sa politika ng Arab? Sa kanilang mga tanyag na mensahe at malawak na pagsunod sa loob ng mga lipunan ng Arab, ang kanilang pagsasama bilang normal na mga pampulitika na artista ay magiging isang tulong para sa demokratisasyon o bane ng demokrasya? Sa sobrang haba, sinubukan naming sagutin ang mga nasabing katanungan sa pamamagitan lamang ng pag-iisip tungkol sa totoong hangarin ng mga paggalaw na ito at ng kanilang mga pinuno. Ang mga kilusang pampulitika ng Islamista sa mundo ng Arab ay lalong tinanong — kapwa ng mga tagamasid sa labas at ng mga miyembro ng kanilang sariling mga lipunan — tungkol sa kanilang totoong hangarin.
Ngunit upang pakinggan ang kanilang sinabi, leaders of mainstream Arab Islamist movements are not the problem. They see themselves as democrats in nondemocratic lands, firmly committed to clean and fair electoral processes, whatever outcomes these may bring. It is rulers and regimes that should be pressed to commit to democracy, say the Islamists, not their oppositions. We need not take such Islamist leaders at their word. Sa totoo lang, we should realize that there is only so much that any of their words can do to answer the question of the relationship between these movements and the prospects for democracy.
While their words are increasingly numerous (Islamist movements tend to be quite loquacious) and their answers about democracy increasingly specific, their ability to resolve all ambiguities is limited. First, as long as they are out of power—as most of them are, and are likely to remain for some time—they will never fully prove themselves. Many Islamist leaders themselves probably do not know how they would act were they to come to power.

The Mismeasure of Political Islam

Martin Kramer

Perhaps no development of the last decade of the twentieth century has caused as much confusion in the West as the emergence of political Islam. Just what does it portend? Is it against modernity, or is it an effect of modernity? Is it against nationalism, or is it a
form of nationalism? Is it a striving for freedom, or a revolt against freedom?
One would think that these are difficult questions to answer, and that they would inspire deep debates. Yet over the past few years, a surprisingly broad consensus has emerged within academe about the way political Islam should be measured. This consensus has
begun to spread into parts of government as well, especially in the U.S. and Europe. A paradigm has been built, and its builders claim that its reliability and validity are beyond question.
This now-dominant paradigm runs as follows. The Arab Middle East and North Africa are stirring. The peoples in these lands are still under varieties of authoritarian or despotic rule. But they are moved by the same universal yearning for democracy that transformed Eastern Europe and Latin America. True, there are no movements we would easily recognize as democracy movements. But for historical and cultural reasons, this universal yearning has taken the form of Islamist protest movements. If these do not look
like democracy movements, it is only a consequence of our own age-old bias against Islam. When the veil of prejudice is lifted, one will see Islamist movements for what they are: the functional equivalents of democratic reform movements. True, on the edges of these movements are groups that are atavistic and authoritarian. Some of their members are prone to violence. These are theextremists.” But the mainstream movements are essentially open, pluralistic, and nonviolent, led bymoderatesorreformists.” Thesemoderatescan be strengthened if they are made partners in the political process, and an initial step must be dialogue. But ultimately, the most effective way to domesticate the Islamists is to permit them to share or possess power. There is no threat here unless the West creates it, by supporting acts of state repression that would deny Islamists access to participation or power.


Si Nathan J. Kayumanggi, Amr Hamzawy,

Marina Ottaway

During the last decade, Islamist movements have established themselves as major political players in the Middle East. Together with the governments, Islamist movements, moderate as well as radical, will determine how the politics of the region unfold in the foreseeable future. Th ey have shown the ability not only to craft messages with widespread popular appeal but also, and most importantly, to create organizations with genuine social bases and develop coherent political strategies. Other parties,
by and large, have failed on all accounts.
Th e public in the West and, in particular, the United States, has only become aware of the importance of Islamist movements after dramatic events, such as the revolution in Iran and the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat in Egypt. Attention has been far more sustained since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As a result, Islamist movements are widely regarded as dangerous and hostile. While such a characterization is accurate regarding organizations at the radical end of the Islamist spectrum, which are dangerous because of their willingness to resort to indiscriminate violence in pursuing their goals, it is not an accurate characterization of the many groups that have renounced or avoided violence. Because terrorist organizations pose an immediate
threat, gayunpaman, policy makers in all countries have paid disproportionate attention to the violent organizations.
It is the mainstream Islamist organizations, not the radical ones, that will have the greatest impact on the future political evolution of the Middle East. Th e radicals’ grandiose goals of re-establishing a caliphate uniting the entire Arab world, or even of imposing on individual Arab countries laws and social customs inspired by a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are simply too far removed from today’s reality to be realized. Th is does not mean that terrorist groups are not dangerous—they could cause great loss of life even in the pursuit of impossible goals—but that they are unlikely to change the face of the Middle East. Mainstream Islamist organizations are generally a diff erent matter. Th ey already have had a powerful impact on social customs in many countries, halting and reversing secularist trends and changing the way many Arabs dress and behave. And their immediate political goal, to become a powerful force by participating in the normal politics of their country, is not an impossible one. It is already being realized in countries such as Morocco, Jordan, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Pulitika, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.


James Piscatori

Para sa isang ideya na ang oras ay dapat nang dumating, Ang ÒdemokrasyaÓ ay nagtatakip ng kamangha-mangha

bilang ng mga hindi nasagot na katanungan at, sa mundong muslim, ay nakabuo

isang kapansin-pansin na halaga ng init. Ito ba ay isang term na tukoy sa kultura, sumasalamin sa Kanluranin

Ang mga karanasan sa Europa sa loob ng maraming siglo? Nagmamay-ari ba ng mga lipunan na hindi Kanluranin

kanilang sariling mga pamantayan ng pakikilahok at pananagutanÑat tunay na kanilang sarili

ritmo ng kaunlaranÑna nag-uutos ng pansin, kung hindi respeto? Ang Islam ba,

na binibigyang diin ang awtoridad sa banal na kasulatan at ang sentro ng sagradong batas, payagan

para sa kakayahang umangkop na politika at nakikilahok na pamahalaan?

Ang mga sagot sa mga katanungang ito ay bahagi ng isang salaysay at kontra-salaysay

na ang kanilang mga sarili ay isang mahalagang bahagi ng isang pinagtatalunang diskurso. Ang mas malaking kwento

alalahanin kung ang ÒIslamÓ ay bumubuo ng isang banta sa Kanluran, at ang pandagdag

Ang kwento ay nagsasangkot ng pagiging tugma ng Islam sa demokrasya. Ang intelektuwal

bagahe, upang baguhin ang talinghaga, ay bahagyang walang kinikilingan. Ang talakayan mismo ay mayroon

maging matalas na namulitika, nahuli sa mga kaugnay na kontrobersya tungkol sa orientalismo,

ang bukod-tangi sa Gitnang Silangan lalo na at ang mundong Muslim sa pangkalahatan,

at ang modernismo ng mga kilusang relihiyosong undfundamentalistÓ.

Politikal na Islam at Patakarang Panlabas ng Europa




Mula noon 2001 at ang mga pang-internasyonal na kaganapan na sumunod sa likas na katangian ng ugnayan sa pagitan ng Kanluran at pampulitika na Islam ay naging isang definingissue para sa patakarang panlabas. Sa mga nagdaang taon isang malaking halaga ng pagsasaliksik at pagtatasa ang isinagawa sa isyu ng pampulitika Islam. Nakatulong ito upang maitama ang ilan sa mga simplistic at alarma na pagpapalagay na dating gaganapin sa Kanluran tungkol sa likas na katangian ng mga halaga at hangarin ng Islamista. Katulad nito, ang European Union (AKO) ay nakabuo ng isang bilang ng mga pagkukusa sa patakaran lalo na ang Patakaran sa Neighborhood ng Europa(ENP) na sa prinsipyo mangako sa diyalogo at mas malalim na pakikipag-ugnayan sa lahat(hindi marahas) mga artista sa politika at mga samahang lipunan sa loob ng mga bansang Arab. Gayunpaman maraming mga analista at gumagawa ng patakaran ngayon ang nagreklamo ng isang tiyak na isang tropeo sa parehong haka-haka na debate at pagpapaunlad ng patakaran. Naitaguyod na ang pampulitika Islam ay isang nagbabago na tanawin, lubhang apektado bya saklaw ng mga pangyayari, ngunit ang debate ay madalas na natigil sa pinapasimple na tanong ng ‘demokratiko ba ang mga Islamista?’Maraming mga independiyenteng analista ang nagpataguyod ng pakikipag-ugnayan sa mga Islamista, ngunit ang aktuwal na pakikipagtagpo sa pagitan ng mga pamahalaang Kanluranin at mga organisasyong Islamista ay nananatiling limitado .

Ano ang Humantong sa Mga Botante na Suportahan ang Oposisyon sa ilalim ng Awtoritaryanismo ?

Michael D.H. Robbins

Ang halalan ay naging pangkaraniwan sa karamihan ng mga estado ng awtoridad. Habang ito ay maaaring mukhang isang kontradiksyon sa mga termino, sa katotohanan ang halalan ay may mahalagang papel sa mga rehimeng ito. Habang ang halalan para sa mga posisyon ng tunay na kapangyarihan ay may posibilidad na maging hindi mapagkumpitensya, marami
ang halalan — kasama na ang para sa mga tila walang parliyamentong parliyamento — ay maaaring lubos na maipaglaban.
Ang umiiral na panitikan ay nakatuon sa papel na ginagampanan ng halalan sa pagsuporta sa rehimen. Halimbawa, makakatulong silang makawala ang singaw, tulungan ang rehimen na kunin ang temperatura ng lipunan, o maaaring magamit upang matulungan ang isang nangingibabaw na partido na malaman kung aling mga indibidwal ang dapat nitong itaguyod (Tagapag-iskedyul 2002; Blaydes 2006). Pa, habang ang panitikan ay nakatuon sa supply-side ng halalan sa mga awtoridad na estado, may kaunting sistematikong pag-aaral ng pag-uugali ng botante sa mga halalang ito (tingnan ang Lust-Okar 2006 para sa isang pagbubukod). Sa halip, karamihan sa mga pinag-aaralan ay nagtalo na ang pulitika ng patronage ay pamantayan sa mga lipunang ito at ang mga ordinaryong mamamayan ay may posibilidad na maging masyadong mapang-uyam tungkol sa mga pagsasanay na ito na ibinigay na hindi sila maaaring magdala ng anumang totoong pagbabago (Kassem 2004; Betrothal 2001; Zaki 1995). Habang ang karamihan ng mga botante sa mga awtoridad na sistema ay maaaring kumilos sa ganitong pamamaraan, hindi lahat gawin. Sa totoo lang, paminsan-minsan, maging ang boto ng nakararami laban sa rehimeng humahantong sa
mga makabuluhang pagbabago tulad ng naganap kamakailan sa Kenya, ang Ukraine at Zimbabwe. Pa, kahit na sa mga kaso kung saan bumubuo ang mga botante ng oposisyon ng isang mas maliit na porsyento ng mga botante, mahalagang maunawaan kung sino ang mga botanteng ito at kung ano ang humantong sa kanila na bumoto laban sa

why are there no arab democracies ?

Larry Diamond

During democratization’s “third wave,” democracy ceased being a mostly Western phenomenon and “went global.” When the third wave began in 1974, the world had only about 40 democracies, and only a few of them lay outside the West. By the time the Journal of Democracy began publishing in 1990, there were 76 electoral democracies (accounting for slightly less than half the world’s independent states). Ni 1995, that number had shot up to 117—three in every five states. By then, a critical mass of democracies existed in every major world region save one—the Middle East.1 Moreover, every one of the world’s major cultural realms had become host to a significant democratic presence, albeit again with a single exception—the Arab world.2 Fifteen years later, this exception still stands.
The continuing absence of even a single democratic regime in the Arab world is a striking anomaly—the principal exception to the globalization of democracy. Why is there no Arab democracy? Sa totoo lang, why is it the case that among the sixteen independent Arab states of the Middle East and coastal North Africa, Lebanon is the only one to have ever been a democracy?
The most common assumption about the Arab democracy deficit is that it must have something to do with religion or culture. Kung tutuusin, the one thing that all Arab countries share is that they are Arab.

Demokrasya, 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. Samakatuwid, 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? In other words, is the security rationale for democracy promotion in the Arab world based on a sound premise?; at 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.

Europe’s Engagement with Moderate Islamists

Kristina Kausch

Direct engagement1 with Islamist political movements has typically been a no-go for European governments. In recent years, gayunpaman, the limits of the European Union’s (AKO) stability-oriented approach towards cooperation with authoritarian rulers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) to defend EU strategic interests in the region have become increasingly obvious. Incumbent MENA rulers’ attempts to portray the European choice of interlocutors in the region as either stabilising governments or de-stabilising Islamists are increasingly perceived as short-sighted and contradictory. Recent debates suggest that the search for viable alternative policy approaches is leading to a shift in European policy makers’ attitude towards moderate2 Islamist actors.
There is no shortage of incentives to redirect the course of EU policies in the region. Preventing the
radicalisation of Islamist movements in the region is an integral part of the EU’s counter-terrorism strategy. It
has become common wisdom that substantial political reform will only happen through effective pressure from
within. Non-violent, non-revolutionary Islamist parties that aspire to take power by means of a democratic
process have therefore often been portrayed as potential reform actors that carry the hopes of a volatile region
for genuine democratic development and long-term stability


Vali Nasr

A specter is haunting the Muslim world. This particular specter is notthe malign and much-discussed spirit of fundamentalist extremism, nor yet the phantom hope known as liberal Islam. Instead, the specter that I have in mind is a third force, a hopeful if still somewhat ambiguoustrend that I call—in a conscious evocation of the political tradition associated with the Christian Democratic parties of Europe—“Muslim Democracy.”The emergence and unfolding of Muslim Democracy as a “fact on the ground” over the last fifteen years has been impressive. This is so even though all its exponents have thus far eschewed that label1 and even though the lion’s share of scholarly and political attention has gone to the question of how to promote religious reform within Islam as a prelude to democratization.2 Since the early 1990s, political openings in anumber of Muslim-majority countries—all, admittedly, outside the Arabworld—have seen Islamic-oriented (but non-Islamist) parties vying successfullyfor votes in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan (beforeits 1999 military coup), and Turkey.Unlike Islamists, with their visions of rule by shari‘a (Islamic law) oreven a restored caliphate, Muslim Democrats view political life with apragmatic eye. They reject or at least discount the classic Islamist claim that Islam commands the pursuit of a shari‘a state, and their main goaltends to be the more mundane one of crafting viable electoral platform sand stable governing coalitions to serve individual and collective interests—Islamic as well as secular—within a democratic arena whosebounds they respect, win or lose. Islamists view democracy not as something deeply legitimate, but at best as a tool or tactic that may be useful in gaining the power to build an Islamic state.

Kilusang Islam: Political Freedom & Demokrasya

Dr.Yusuf al-Qaradawi

It is the duty of the (Islamic) Movement in the coming phase tostand firm against totalitarian and dictatorial rule, political despotism and usurpation of people’s rights. The Movement should always stand by political freedom, as represented by true,not false, democracy. It should flatly declare it refusal of tyrantsand steer clear of all dictators, even if some tyrant appears to havegood intentions towards it for some gain and for a time that is usually short, as has been shown by experience.The Prophet (SAWS) said, “ When you see my Nation fall victim to fear and does not say to a wrong –doer, “You are wrong”, thenyou may lose hope in them.” So how about a regime that forces people to say to a conceited wrongdoer, “How just, how great you are. O our hero, our savior and our liberator!”The Quran denounces tyrants such as Numrudh, Pharaoh, Haman and others, but it also dispraises those who follow tyrants andobey their orders. This is why Allah dispraises the people of Noahby saying, “ But they follow (m en) whose wealth and childrengive them no increase but only loss.” [Surat Nuh; 21]Allah also says of Ad, people of Hud, “ And followed thecommand of every powerful, obstinate transgressor”. [Surat Hud:59]See also what the Quran says about the people of Pharaoh, “ Butthey followed the command of Pharaoh, and the command ofPharaoh was not rightly guided.[Surat Hud: 97] “Thus he made fools of his people, and they obeyed him: truly they were a people rebellious (against Allah)." [Surat Az-Zukhruf: 54]A closer look at the history of the Muslim Nation and the IslamicMovement in modern times should show clearly that the Islamicidea, the Islamic Movement and the Islamic Awakening have never flourished or borne fruit unless in an atmosphere ofdemocracy and freedom, and have withered and become barren only at the times of oppression and tyranny that trod over the willof the peoples which clung to Islam. Such oppressive regimesimposed their secularism, socialism or communism on their peoples by force and coercion, using covert torture and publicexecutions, and employing those devilish tools that tore flesh,shed blood, crushed bone and destroyed the soul.We saw these practices in many Muslim countries, including Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, (the former) South Yemen, Somaliaand northern African States for varying periods of time, depending on the age or reign of the dictator in each country.On the other hand, we saw the Islamic Movement and the Islamic Awakening bear fruit and flourish at the times of freedom and democracy, and in the wake of the collapse of imperial regimes that ruled peoples with fear and oppression.Therefore, I would not imagine that the Islamic Movement could support anything other than political freedom and democracy.The tyrants allowed every voice to be raised, except the voice ofIslam, and let every trend express itself in the form of a politicalparty or body of some sort, except the Islamic current which is theonly trend that actually speaks for this Nation and expresses it screed, values, essence and very existence.

the 500 most influential muslims

John Esposito

Ibrahim Kalin

The publication you have in your hands is the first of what we hope will be anannual series that provides a window into the movers and shakers of the Muslimworld. We have strived to highlight people who are influential as Muslims, thatis, people whose influence is derived from their practice of Islam or from the factthat they are Muslim. We think that this gives valuable insight into the differentways that Muslims impact the world, and also shows the diversity of how peopleare living as Muslims today.Influence is a tricky concept. Its meaning derives from the Latin word influensmeaning to flow-in, pointing to an old astrological idea that unseen forces (like themoon) affect humanity. The figures on this list have the ability to affect humanitytoo. In a variety of different ways each person on this list has influence over thelives of a large number of people on the earth. The 50 most influential figuresare profiled. Their influence comes from a variety of sources; however they areunified by the fact that they each affect huge swathes of humanity.We have then broken up the 500 leaders into 15 categories—Scholarly, Political,Administrative, Lineage, Preachers, Mga babae, Youth, Philanthropy, Development,Science and Technology, Arts and Culture, Media, Radicals, International IslamicNetworks, and Issues of the Day—to help you understand the different kinds ofways Islam and Muslims impact the world today.Two composite lists show how influence works in different ways: InternationalIslamic Networks shows people who are at the head of important transnationalnetworks of Muslims, and Issues of the Day highlights individuals whoseimportance is due to current issues affecting humanity.

Algeria: Prospects for an Islamic or a Secular State

Nang Akacem

What are the prospects for an Islamic state in Algeria nowadays? Before wecan answer that question, we must first understand the political, economic,and social developments that have recently taken place in Algeria. !ese eventswill shed some light on the decline of the Islamist movements.Soon after independence, Algeria adopted an inward-oriented “socialist”system. Its economic development model depended on revenues fromhydrocarbons, mainly oil. Additionally, the public sector dominated the economicactivities through the State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) that were supposed tocatalyze the economic and social development of the country. !e governmentwas the main supplier of subsidized food, utilities, housing, education, andjobs. In this first phase of the socialist experience, the government successfullyfaced “the problems of development,” and it could deliver the just-mentionedgoods and services as long as oil prices and oil revenues were high enough.1 !egovernment, gayunpaman, failed to face “the development of problems” during thesecond phase of its socialist experience. A huge decrease in the price of oil inthe mid-1980s, from around $40 to around $6 a barrel in few weeks, left thegovernment unable to provide better living standards for a population that haddoubled in size since independence. Since oil revenues were, and still are, themost important source of foreign currency for the country, the drastic decreasein crude oil prices had several consequences. First, it led to a severe foreign debtcrisis. Second, there was a dramatic reduction in the volume of imports—inparticular, food products. !ird, the government’s budgetary resources werereduced by about 50%. Finally, there was a severe economic recession that ledto social protests that led, in turn, to “bread rioting.”