RSSToutes les inscriptions au "Syrie" Catégorie

The Arab Tomorrow

DAVID B. OTTAWAY

octobre 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, one of the army trucks halted directly in front of the reviewing stand just as six Mirage jets roared overhead in an acrobatic performance, painting the sky with long trails of red, yellow, purple,and green smoke. Sadat stood up, apparently preparing to exchange salutes with yet another contingent of Egyptian troops. He made himself a perfect target for four Islamist assassins who jumped from the truck, stormed the podium, and riddled his body with bullets.As the killers continued for what seemed an eternity to spray the stand with their deadly fire, I considered for an instant whether to hit the ground and risk being trampled to death by panicked spectators or remain afoot and risk taking a stray bullet. Instinct told me to stay on my feet, and my sense of journalistic duty impelled me to go find out whether Sadat was alive or dead.

Islam, L'Islam politique et l'Amérique

Arabes Insight

Is “Brotherhood” with America Possible?

khalil al-anani

“there is no chance of communicating with any U.S. administration so long as the United States maintains its long-standing view of Islam as a real danger, a view that puts the United States in the same boat as the Zionist enemy. We have no pre-conceived notions concerning the American people or the U.S. society and its civic organizations and think tanks. We have no problem communicating with the American people but no adequate efforts are being made to bring us closer,” said Dr. Issam al-Iryan, chief of the political department of the Muslim Brotherhood in a phone interview.
Al-Iryan’s words sum up the Muslim Brotherhood’s views of the American people and the U.S. government. Other members of the Muslim Brotherhood would agree, as would the late Hassan al-Banna, who founded the group in 1928. Al- Banna viewed the West mostly as a symbol of moral decay. Other Salafis – an Islamic school of thought that relies on ancestors as exemplary models – have taken the same view of the United States, but lack the ideological flexibility espoused by the Muslim Brotherhood. While the Muslim Brotherhood believes in engaging the Americans in civil dialogue, other extremist groups see no point in dialogue and maintain that force is the only way of dealing with the United States.

ISLAM, DEMOCRACY & THE USA:

Cordoba Foundation

Abdullah 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?
En outre, 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, Etats-Unis, 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

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.

ISLAM ET L'ÉTAT DE DROIT

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. À la fois, 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, or (3) a large minority. All this affects the development and the form of Islamic law.

La culture islamique politiques, Démocratie, et droits de l'homme

Daniel E. Prix

Il a été avancé que l'islam facilite l'autoritarisme, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. par conséquent, savants, commentateurs, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. Cette vue, cependant, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Théorie politique islamique, and ad hoc studies of individual countries, qui ne tiennent pas compte d'autres facteurs. It is my contention that the texts and traditions of Islam, comme ceux des autres religions, peut être utilisé pour soutenir une variété de systèmes politiques et de politiques. Country specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the countries of the Muslim world. D'où, une nouvelle approche de l'étude des
un lien entre l'islam et la politique est nécessaire.
je suggère, par une évaluation rigoureuse de la relation entre l'Islam, la démocratie, et les droits de l'homme au niveau transnational, that too much emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay between Islamic groups and regimes, influences économiques, clivages ethniques, et développement sociétal, 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.

S'attaquant à l'autoritarisme, Colonialisme, et de la désunion: Les mouvements islamiques réformistes politiques d'al-Afghani et Rida

Ahmed Ali Salem

Le déclin du monde musulman a précédé la colonisation européenne de la plupart

Terres musulmanes dans le dernier quart du XIXe siècle et le premier
quart du vingtième siècle. En particulier, l’Empire ottoman
la puissance et le statut mondial se détérioraient depuis le XVIIe siècle.
Mais, plus important pour les érudits musulmans, il avait cessé de se rencontrer

quelques exigences de base de sa position de califat, le suprême et
entité politique souveraine à laquelle tous les musulmans devraient être fidèles.
Par conséquent, certains des érudits et intellectuels musulmans de l’empire ont appelé
pour une réforme politique avant même l'empiètement européen sur
Terres musulmanes. Les réformes qu'ils envisageaient n'étaient pas seulement islamiques, mais
aussi ottoman - dans le cadre ottoman.

Ces réformateurs ont perçu le déclin du monde musulman en général,

et de l'Empire ottoman en particulier, être le résultat d'une augmentation

mépris de la mise en œuvre de la charia (loi islamique). Cependant, depuis le

fin du XVIIIe siècle, un nombre croissant de réformateurs, parfois pris en charge

par les sultans ottomans, a commencé à appeler à réformer l'empire le long

lignes européennes modernes. L’incapacité de l’empire à défendre ses terres et à

répondre avec succès aux défis de l’Occident n’a fait qu’alimenter cet appel

pour «moderniser» la réforme, qui a atteint son apogée dans le mouvement Tanzimat

dans la seconde moitié du XIXe siècle.

D'autres réformateurs musulmans ont appelé à une voie intermédiaire. D'un côté,

ils ont admis que le califat devrait être modelé selon le modèle islamique

sources d'orientation, en particulier le Coran et le Prophète Muhammad

enseignements (Sunnah), et que la ummah (la communauté musulmane mondiale)

l’unité est l’un des piliers politiques de l’islam. D'autre part, ils ont réalisé le

besoin de rajeunir l'empire ou de le remplacer par un plus viable. En effet,

leurs idées créatives sur les futurs modèles inclus, mais n'étaient pas limités à, le

Suivant: remplaçant l'Empire ottoman dirigé par la Turquie par un

califat, construire un califat musulman fédéral ou confédéré, établissement

une communauté de nations musulmanes ou orientales, et renforcer la solidarité

et la coopération entre les pays musulmans indépendants sans créer

une structure fixe. Ces idées et des idées similaires ont été désignées plus tard sous le nom de

Modèle de la ligue musulmane, qui était une thèse-cadre pour les différentes propositions

lié au futur califat.

Deux partisans d'une telle réforme étaient Jamal al-Din al-Afghani et

Muhammad `Abduh, qui ont tous deux joué un rôle clé dans la modernité

Mouvement de réforme politique islamique.1 Leur réponse au double défi

face au monde musulman à la fin du XIXe siècle - colonisation européenne

et le déclin musulman - était équilibré. Leur but ultime était de

raviver la Oummah en observant la révélation islamique et en bénéficiant

des réalisations de l’Europe. Cependant, ils n'étaient pas d'accord sur certains aspects

et méthodes, ainsi que les objectifs et stratégies immédiats, de réforme.

Alors qu'Al-Afghani appelait et luttait principalement pour une réforme politique,

`Abduh, une fois l'un de ses proches disciples, développé ses propres idées, lequel

mis l'accent sur l'éducation et sapé la politique.




L'Égypte au point de basculement ?

David B. Ottaway
Au début des années 80, J'ai vécu au Caire en tant que chef de bureau du Washington Post couvrant des événements historiques tels que le retrait du dernier
Les forces israéliennes du territoire égyptien occupé pendant la 1973 Guerre israélo-arabe et assassinat du président
Anouar Sadate par des fanatiques islamiques en octobre 1981.
Le dernier drame national, dont j'ai été témoin personnellement, s'était avéré être une étape décisive. Il a forcé le successeur de Sadate, Hosni Moubarak, se tourner vers l’intérieur pour faire face à un défi islamiste aux proportions inconnues et mettre fin au rôle de leader de l’Égypte dans le monde arabe.
Moubarak s'est immédiatement montré très prudent, leader sans imagination, terriblement réactif plutôt que pro-actif pour faire face aux problèmes sociaux et économiques qui accablent sa nation comme sa croissance démographique explosive (1.2 millions d'Egyptiens de plus par an) et déclin économique.
Dans une série en quatre parties du Washington Post écrite alors que je partais tôt 1985, J'ai noté que le nouveau dirigeant égyptien était encore à peu près
une énigme totale pour son propre peuple, n'offrant aucune vision et commandant ce qui semblait être un navire d'État sans gouvernail. L'économie socialiste
hérité de l'époque du président Gamal Abdel Nasser (1952 à 1970) était un gâchis. La monnaie du pays, la livre, fonctionnait
sur huit taux de change différents; ses usines gérées par l'État étaient improductives, non compétitif et très endetté; et le gouvernement se dirigeait vers la faillite en partie parce que les subventions alimentaires, l'électricité et l'essence consommaient un tiers ($7 milliard) de son budget. Le Caire avait sombré dans un marais sans espoir de trafic embouteillé et d'humanité grouillante - 12 millions de personnes coincées dans une étroite bande de terre bordant le Nil, la plupart des vivants joue par bajoue dans des immeubles délabrés dans les bidonvilles en constante expansion de la ville.

Un archipel musulman

Max L. Brut

Ce livre a été de nombreuses années en cours d'élaboration, comme l'explique l'auteur dans sa préface, bien qu'il ait écrit la majeure partie du texte au cours de son année en tant que chercheur principal au Center for Strategic Intelligence Research. L'auteur a été pendant de nombreuses années doyen de la School of Intelligence Studies du Joint Military Intelligence College.. Même s'il peut sembler que le livre ait pu être écrit par n'importe quel bon historien ou spécialiste régional de l'Asie du Sud-Est, ce travail est éclairé par les plus de trois décennies de service de l’auteur au sein de la communauté nationale du renseignement. Son expertise régionale a souvent été appliquée à des évaluations spéciales pour la Communauté. Avec une connaissance de l’islam sans pareille parmi ses pairs et une soif inextinguible de déterminer comment les objectifs de cette religion pourraient jouer dans des domaines loin de l’attention actuelle de la plupart des décideurs politiques, l'auteur a profité de cette occasion pour familiariser la communauté du renseignement et un lectorat plus large avec une appréciation stratégique d'une région en proie à la réconciliation des forces laïques et religieuses.
Cette publication a été approuvée pour une distribution sans restriction par le Bureau de l'examen de la sécurité, département de la Défense.

La démocratie dans la pensée politique islamique

Azzam S. Tamimi

La démocratie préoccupe les penseurs politiques arabes depuis l'aube de la renaissance arabe moderne il y a environ deux siècles. Depuis, le concept de démocratie a changé et s'est développé sous l'influence de divers développements sociaux et politiques. La discussion sur la démocratie dans la littérature arabo-islamique remonte à Rifa'a Tahtawi, le père de la démocratie égyptienne selon Lewis Awad,[3] qui peu de temps après son retour au Caire de Paris a publié son premier livre, Takhlis Al-Ibriz Ila Talkhis Bariz, dans 1834. Le livre résumait ses observations sur les mœurs et les coutumes du français moderne,[4] et a fait l'éloge du concept de démocratie tel qu'il le voyait en France et en étant témoin de sa défense et de sa réaffirmation à travers le 1830 Révolution contre le roi Charles X.[5] Tahtawi a tenté de montrer que le concept démocratique qu'il expliquait à ses lecteurs était compatible avec la loi de l'islam. Il a comparé le pluralisme politique aux formes de pluralisme idéologique et jurisprudentiel qui existaient dans l'expérience islamique:
La liberté religieuse est la liberté de croyance, d'opinion et de secte, à condition de ne pas contredire les fondements de la religion . . . La même chose s'appliquerait à la liberté de pratique politique et d'opinion des principaux administrateurs, qui s'efforcent d'interpréter et d'appliquer les règles et les dispositions conformément aux lois de leur propre pays. Les rois et les ministres sont autorisés dans le domaine de la politique à suivre diverses voies qui, en fin de compte, servent un seul but.: bonne administration et justice.[6] Un jalon important à cet égard a été la contribution de Khairuddin At-Tunisi (1810- 99), leader du mouvement de réforme du XIXe siècle en Tunisie, qui, dans 1867, a formulé un plan général de réforme dans un livre intitulé Aqwam Al-Masalik Fi Taqwim Al- Revenir (La voie directe pour réformer les gouvernements). La principale préoccupation du livre était d'aborder la question de la réforme politique dans le monde arabe. Tout en appelant les politiciens et les universitaires de son temps à rechercher tous les moyens possibles afin d'améliorer le statut de la
communauté et développer sa courtoisie, il a mis en garde le grand public musulman de ne pas fuir les expériences d'autres nations sur la base de l'idée fausse que tous les écrits, inventions, les expériences ou les attitudes des non-musulmans doivent être rejetées ou ignorées.
Khairuddin a en outre appelé à la fin du régime absolutiste, qu'il a blâmé pour l'oppression des nations et la destruction des civilisations.

La culture islamique politiques, Démocratie, et droits de l'homme

Daniel E. Prix

Il a été avancé que l'islam facilite l'autoritarisme, contredit le

valeurs des sociétés occidentales, et affecte de manière significative des résultats politiques importants

dans les pays musulmans. par conséquent, savants, commentateurs, et gouvernement

les responsables désignent fréquemment le «fondamentalisme islamique» comme le prochain

menace idéologique pour les démocraties libérales. Cette vue, cependant, est basé principalement

sur l'analyse des textes, Théorie politique islamique, et études ad hoc

de pays individuels, qui ne tiennent pas compte d'autres facteurs. C'est mon argument

que les textes et traditions de l'islam, comme ceux des autres religions,

peut être utilisé pour soutenir une variété de systèmes politiques et de politiques. De campagne

des études spécifiques et descriptives ne nous aident pas à trouver des modèles qui aideront

nous expliquons les relations variables entre l'islam et la politique à travers le

pays du monde musulman. D'où, une nouvelle approche de l'étude des

un lien entre l'islam et la politique est nécessaire.
je suggère, par une évaluation rigoureuse de la relation entre l'Islam,

la démocratie, et les droits de l'homme au niveau transnational, trop

l'accent est mis sur le pouvoir de l'islam en tant que force politique. Je l'ai fait en premier

utiliser des études de cas comparatives, qui se concentrent sur les facteurs liés à l'interaction

entre groupes et régimes islamiques, influences économiques, clivages ethniques,

et développement sociétal, pour expliquer la variance de l'influence de

L'Islam et la politique dans huit pays.

La culture islamique politiques, Démocratie, et droits de l'homme

Daniel E. Prix

Il a été avancé que l'islam facilite l'autoritarisme, contredit le

valeurs des sociétés occidentales, et affecte de manière significative des résultats politiques importants
dans les pays musulmans. par conséquent, savants, commentateurs, et gouvernement
les responsables désignent fréquemment le «fondamentalisme islamique» comme le prochain
menace idéologique pour les démocraties libérales. Cette vue, cependant, est basé principalement
sur l'analyse des textes, Théorie politique islamique, et études ad hoc
de pays individuels, qui ne tiennent pas compte d'autres facteurs. C'est mon argument
que les textes et traditions de l'islam, comme ceux des autres religions,
peut être utilisé pour soutenir une variété de systèmes politiques et de politiques. De campagne
des études spécifiques et descriptives ne nous aident pas à trouver des modèles qui aideront
nous expliquons les relations variables entre l'islam et la politique à travers le
pays du monde musulman. D'où, une nouvelle approche de l'étude des
un lien entre l'islam et la politique est nécessaire.
je suggère, par une évaluation rigoureuse de la relation entre l'Islam,
la démocratie, et les droits de l'homme au niveau transnational, trop
l'accent est mis sur le pouvoir de l'islam en tant que force politique. Je l'ai fait en premier
utiliser des études de cas comparatives, qui se concentrent sur les facteurs liés à l'interaction
entre groupes et régimes islamiques, influences économiques, clivages ethniques,

et développement sociétal, pour expliquer la variance de l'influence de

L'Islam et la politique dans huit pays.

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, il

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

droits de l'homme, 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, et

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.

L'islam politique au Moyen-Orient

Êtes-Knudsen

This report provides an introduction to selected aspects of the phenomenon commonly

referred to as “political Islam”. The report gives special emphasis to the Middle East, dans

particular the Levantine countries, and outlines two aspects of the Islamist movement that may

be considered polar opposites: democracy and political violence. In the third section the report

reviews some of the main theories used to explain the Islamic resurgence in the Middle East

(Figure 1). In brief, the report shows that Islam need not be incompatible with democracy and

that there is a tendency to neglect the fact that many Middle Eastern countries have been

engaged in a brutal suppression of Islamist movements, causing them, some argue, to take up

arms against the state, and more rarely, foreign countries. The use of political violence is

widespread in the Middle East, but is neither illogical nor irrational. In many cases even

Islamist groups known for their use of violence have been transformed into peaceful political

parties successfully contesting municipal and national elections. Nonetheless, the Islamist

revival in the Middle East remains in part unexplained despite a number of theories seeking to

account for its growth and popular appeal. In general, most theories hold that Islamism is a

reaction to relative deprivation, especially social inequality and political oppression. Alternative

theories seek the answer to the Islamist revival within the confines of religion itself and the

powerful, evocative potential of religious symbolism.

The conclusion argues in favour of moving beyond the “gloom and doom” approach that

portrays Islamism as an illegitimate political expression and a potential threat to the West (“Old

Islamism”), and of a more nuanced understanding of the current democratisation of the Islamist

movement that is now taking place throughout the Middle East (“New Islamism”). Cette

importance of understanding the ideological roots of the “New Islamism” is foregrounded

along with the need for thorough first-hand knowledge of Islamist movements and their

adherents. As social movements, its is argued that more emphasis needs to be placed on

understanding the ways in which they have been capable of harnessing the aspirations not only

of the poorer sections of society but also of the middle class.

STRATEGIES FOR ENGAGING POLITICAL ISLAM

SHADI HAMID

AMANDA KADLEC

Political Islam is the single most active political force in the Middle East today. Its future is intimately tied to that of the region. If the United States and the European Union are committed to supporting political reform in the region, they will need to devise concrete, coherent strategies for engaging Islamist groups. Encore, the U.S. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Similarly, EU engagement with Islamists has been the exception, not the rule. Where low-level contacts exist, they mainly serve information-gathering purposes, not strategic objectives. The U.S. and EU have a number of programs that address economic and political development in the region – among them the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the Union for the Mediterranean, and the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) – yet they have little to say about how the challenge of Islamist political opposition fits within broader regional objectives. États-Unis. 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 MOVEMENTS AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS IN THE ARAB WORLD: Exploring the Gray Zones

Nathan J. Brun, Amr Hamzawy,

Marina Ottaway

During the last decade, Islamist movements have established themselves as major political players in the Middle East. Together with the governments, Islamist movements, moderate as well as radical, will determine how the politics of the region unfold in the foreseeable future. Th ey have shown the ability not only to craft messages with widespread popular appeal but also, and most importantly, to create organizations with genuine social bases and develop coherent political strategies. Other parties,
by and large, have failed on all accounts.
Th e public in the West and, 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, cependant, 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, Jordanie, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Politique, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.