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Die Arabiese Môre

DAVID B. OTTAWAY

October 6, 1981, was meant to be a day of celebration in Egypt. It marked the anniversary of Egypt’s grandest moment of victory in three Arab-Israeli conflicts, when the country’s underdog army thrust across the Suez Canal in the opening days ofthe 1973 Yom Kippur War and sent Israeli troops reeling in retreat. On a cool, cloudless morning, the Cairo stadium was packed with Egyptian families that had come to see the military strut its hardware.On the reviewing stand, President Anwar el-Sadat,the war’s architect, watched with satisfaction as men and machines paraded before him. I was nearby, a newly arrived foreign correspondent.Suddenly, 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, Politieke Islam en Amerika

Arabiese Insig

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.

Die beginsel van beweging in die struktuur van die Islam

Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

As 'n kulturele beweging Islam verwerp die ou statiese siening van die heelal, and reaches a dynamic view. As an emotional system of unification it recognizes the worth of the individual as such, and rejects bloodrelationship as a basis of human unity. Blood-relationship is earthrootedness. The search for a purely psychological foundation of human unity becomes possible only with the perception that all human life is spiritual in its origin.1 Such a perception is creative of fresh loyalties without any ceremonial to keep them alive, and makes it possible for man to emancipate himself from the earth. Christianity which had originally appeared as a monastic order was tried by Constantine as a system of unification.2 Its failure to work as such a system drove the Emperor Julian3 to return to the old gods of Rome on which he attempted to put philosophical interpretations. A modern historian of civilization has thus depicted the state of the civilized world about the time when Islam appeared on the stage of History: It seemed then that the great civilization that it had taken four thousand years to construct was on the verge of disintegration, and that mankind was likely to return to that condition of barbarism where every tribe and sect was against the next, en wet en orde is onbekend . . . Die
ou stam-sanksies het hul krag verloor. Hence the old imperial methods would no longer operate. Die nuwe sanksies geskep deur
Christianity were working division and destruction instead of unity and order. Dit was 'n tyd belaai met drama. Beskawing, like a gigantic tree whose foliage had overarched the world and whose branches had borne the golden fruits of art and science and literature, staan swik, its trunk no longer alive with the flowing sap of devotion and reverence, but rotted to the core, gespleten deur die storms van die oorlog, and held together only by the cords of ancient customs and laws, that might snap at any moment. Was daar enige emosionele kultuur wat kon in gebring word, to gather mankind once more into unity and to save civilization? Hierdie kultuur moet iets van 'n nuwe tipe wees, for the old sanctions and ceremonials were dead, en te bou aan ander van dieselfde soort sou die werk word
of centuries.’The writer then proceeds to tell us that the world stood in need of a new culture to take the place of the culture of the throne, en die stelsels van eenwording wat op bloodrelationship gebaseer is.
Dit is amazing, voeg hy by, that such a culture should have arisen from Arabia just at the time when it was most needed. Daar is, egter, niks amazing in die verskynsel. The world-life intuitively sees its own needs, en op kritiese oomblikke beskryf sy eie rigting. This is what, in die taal van geloof, ons noem profetiese openbaring. It is only natural that Islam should have flashed across the consciousness of a simple people untouched by any of the ancient cultures, en beklee 'n geografiese posisie waar drie vastelande bymekaarkom. The new culture finds the foundation of world-unity in the principle of Tauhâd.’5 Islam, as 'n samelewing, is only a practical means of making this principle a living factor in the intellectual and emotional life of mankind. Dit vereis lojaliteit aan God, om nie te trone. And since God is the ultimate spiritual basis of all life, lojaliteit aan God bedrae feitlik aan die mens se lojaliteit aan sy eie ideale natuur. The ultimate spiritual basis of all life, as swanger deur die Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile, in sy lewe, the categories of permanence and change. Dit moet oor die ewige beginsels sy kollektiewe lewe te reguleer, for the eternal gives us a foothold in the world of perpetual change.

ISLAM, DEMOKRASIE & DIE VSA:

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?
Verder, 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, VSA, 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

VSA Hamas-beleid blokke Midde-Ooste

Henry Siegman


Misluk bilaterale gesprekke oor die afgelope 16 jaar het getoon dat 'n Midde-Ooste beweging kan nooit bereik kan word deur die partye self. 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.

Islamisme Revisited

MAHA Azzam

There is a political and security crisis surrounding what is referred to as Islamism, a crisis whose antecedents long precede 9/11. Over the past 25 years, there have been different emphases on how to explain and combat Islamism. Analysts and policymakers
in the 1980s and 1990s spoke of the root causes of Islamic militancy as being economic malaise and marginalization. More recently there has been a focus on political reform as a means of undermining the appeal of radicalism. Increasingly today, the ideological and religious aspects of Islamism need to be addressed because they have become features of a wider political and security debate. Whether in connection with Al-Qaeda terrorism, political reform in the Muslim world, the nuclear issue in Iran or areas of crisis such as Palestine or Lebanon, it has become commonplace to fi nd that ideology and religion are used by opposing parties as sources of legitimization, inspiration and enmity.
The situation is further complicated today by the growing antagonism towards and fear of Islam in the West because of terrorist attacks which in turn impinge on attitudes towards immigration, religion and culture. The boundaries of the umma or community of the faithful have stretched beyond Muslim states to European cities. The umma potentially exists wherever there are Muslim communities. The shared sense of belonging to a common faith increases in an environment where the sense of integration into the surrounding community is unclear and where discrimination may be apparent. The greater the rejection of the values of society,
whether in the West or even in a Muslim state, the greater the consolidation of the moral force of Islam as a cultural identity and value-system.
Following the bombings in London on 7 Julie 2005 it became more apparent that some young people were asserting religious commitment as a way of expressing ethnicity. The links between Muslims across the globe and their perception that Muslims are vulnerable have led many in very diff erent parts of the world to merge their own local predicaments into the wider Muslim one, having identifi ed culturally, either primarily or partially, with a broadly defi ned Islam.

Islamitiese politieke kultuur, Demokrasie, en Menseregte

Daniel E. Prys

Dit is aangevoer dat die Islam fasiliteer outoritarisme, teenstrydig met die waardes van die Westerse samelewings, en die invloed aansienlik belangrike politieke uitkomste in Moslem-nasies. Gevolglik, geleerdes, kommentators, en regeringsamptenare gereeld punt na''Islamitiese fundamentalisme''as die volgende ideologiese bedreiging vir liberale demokrasieë. hierdie siening, egter, is hoofsaaklik gebaseer op die ontleding van tekste, Islamitiese politieke teorie, en ad hoc studies van individuele lande, wat nie oorweeg ander faktore. Dit is my bewering dat die tekste en tradisies van Islam, soos dié van ander godsdienste, gebruik kan word om 'n verskeidenheid van politieke stelsels en beleid te ondersteun. Land spesifieke en beskrywende studies nie vir ons help om patrone wat ons sal help verduidelik die verskillende verhoudings tussen Islam en die politiek in die lande van die Moslem wêreld te vind. vandaar, 'n nuwe benadering tot die studie van die
verband tussen Islam en die politiek is 'n beroep vir.
Ek stel voor, deur middel van streng evaluering van die verhouding tussen Islam, demokrasie, en menseregte by die kruis-nasionale vlak, dat daar te veel klem word op die krag van Islam geplaas as 'n politieke krag. Ek gebruik die eerste vergelykende gevallestudies, wat fokus op faktore wat verband hou met die wisselwerking tussen Islamitiese groepe en regimes, ekonomiese invloede, etniese gleufies, en maatskaplike ontwikkeling, om die variansie verklaar in die invloed van Islam op politiek regoor agt nasies. Ek argumenteer dat baie van die krag
toegeskryf word aan Islam as die dryfkrag agter die beleid en politieke stelsels in Moslem nasies kan beter verklaar word deur die voorheen genoemde faktore. Ek vind ook, in teenstelling met algemene opvatting, dat die toenemende krag van Islamitiese politieke groepe het dikwels geassosieer met 'n beskeie pluralisering van politieke stelsels.
Ek het 'n indeks van die Islamitiese politieke kultuur gebou, gebaseer op die mate waarin die Islamitiese wet gebruik word en of en, Indien wel, hoe,Western idees, instellings, en tegnologie geïmplementeer, om die aard van die verhouding tussen Islam en demokrasie en Islam en menseregte te toets. Hierdie aanwyser gebruik word in statistiese ontleding, wat 'n monster van drie en twintig oorwegend Moslem lande en 'n kontrole groep van drie en twintig nie-Moslem ontwikkelende lande sluit. In bykomend tot die vergelyking
Islamitiese nasies aan nie-Islamitiese ontwikkelende lande, statistiese analise laat my toe om te beheer vir die invloed van ander veranderlikes wat gevind is om vlakke van demokrasie en die beskerming van individuele regte beïnvloed. Die resultaat moet 'n meer realistiese en akkurate prentjie van die invloed van Islam op die politiek en beleid wees.

Egypt at the Tipping Point ?

David B. Ottaway
In the early 1980s, I lived in Cairo as bureau chief of The Washington Post covering such historic events as the withdrawal of the last
Israeli forces from Egyptian territory occupied during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and the assassination of President
Anwar Sadat by Islamic fanatics in October 1981.
The latter national drama, which I witnessed personally, had proven to be a wrenching milestone. It forced Sadat’s successor, Hosni Mubarak, to turn inwards to deal with an Islamist challenge of unknown proportions and effectively ended Egypt’s leadership role in the Arab world.
Mubarak immediately showed himself to be a highly cautious, unimaginative leader, maddeningly reactive rather than pro-active in dealing with the social and economic problems overwhelming his nation like its explosive population growth (1.2 million more Egyptians a year) and economic decline.
In a four-part Washington Post series written as I was departing in early 1985, I noted the new Egyptian leader was still pretty much
a total enigma to his own people, offering no vision and commanding what seemed a rudderless ship of state. The socialist economy
inherited from the era of President Gamal Abdel Nasser (1952 te 1970) was a mess. The country’s currency, the pound, was operating
on eight different exchange rates; its state-run factories were unproductive, uncompetitive and deep in debt; and the government was heading for bankruptcy partly because subsidies for food, electricity and gasoline were consuming one-third ($7 billion) of its budget. Cairo had sunk into a hopeless morass of gridlocked traffic and teeming humanity—12 million people squeezed into a narrow band of land bordering the Nile River, most living cheek by jowl in ramshackle tenements in the city’s ever-expanding slums.

Roots Of Nationalism In The Muslim World

Shabir Ahmed

The Muslim world has been characterised by failure, disunity, bloodshed, oppression and backwardness. At present, no Muslim country in the world can rightly claim to be a leader in any field of human activity. Inderdaad, the non-Muslims of the East and the West
now dictate the social, economic and political agenda for the Muslim Ummah.
Furthermore, the Muslims identify themselves as Turkish, Arabiese, African and Pakistani. If this is not enough, Muslims are further sub-divided within each country or continent. Byvoorbeeld, in Pakistan people are classed as Punjabis, Sindhis, Balauchis and
Pathans. The Muslim Ummah was never faced with such a dilemma in the past during Islamic rule. They never suffered from disunity, widespread oppression, stagnation in science and technology and certainly not from the internal conflicts that we have witnessed this century like the Iran-Iraq war. So what has gone wrong with the Muslims this century? Why are there so many feuds between them and why are they seen to be fighting each other? What has caused their weakness and how will they ever recover from the present stagnation?
There are many factors that contributed to the present state of affairs, but the main ones are the abandoning of the Arabic language as the language of understanding Islam correctly and performing ijtihad, the absorption of foreign cultures such as the philosophies of the Greeks, Persian and the Hindus, the gradual loss of central authority over some of the provinces, and the rise of nationalism since the 19th Century.
This book focuses on the origins of nationalism in the Muslim world. Nationalism did not arise in the Muslim world naturally, nor did it came about in response to any hardships faced by the people, nor due to the frustration they felt when Europe started to dominate the world after the industrial revolution. Rather, nationalism was implanted in the minds of the Muslims through a well thought out scheme by the European powers, after their failure to destroy the Islamic State by force. The book also presents the Islamic verdict on nationalism and practical steps that can be taken to eradicate the disease of nationalism from the Muslim Ummah so as to restore it back to its former glory.

Democracy in Islamic Political Thought

Azzam S. Tamimi

Democracy has preoccupied Arab political thinkers since the dawn of the modern Arab renaissance about two centuries ago. Since then, the concept of democracy has changed and developed under the influence of a variety of social and political developments.The discussion of democracy in Arab Islamic literature can be traced back to Rifa’a Tahtawi, the father of Egyptian democracy according to Lewis Awad,[3] who shortly after his return to Cairo from Paris published his first book, Takhlis Al-Ibriz Ila Talkhis Bariz, in 1834. The book summarized his observations of the manners and customs of the modern French,[4] and praised the concept of democracy as he saw it in France and as he witnessed its defence and reassertion through the 1830 Revolution against King Charles X.[5] Tahtawi tried to show that the democratic concept he was explaining to his readers was compatible with the law of Islam. He compared political pluralism to forms of ideological and jurisprudential pluralism that existed in the Islamic experience:
Religious freedom is the freedom of belief, of opinion and of sect, provided it does not contradict the fundamentals of religion . . . The same would apply to the freedom of political practice and opinion by leading administrators, who endeavour to interpret and apply rules and provisions in accordance with the laws of their own countries. Kings and ministers are licensed in the realm of politics to pursue various routes that in the end serve one purpose: good administration and justice.[6] One important landmark in this regard was the contribution of Khairuddin At-Tunisi (1810- 99), leader of the 19th-century reform movement in Tunisia, who, in 1867, formulated a general plan for reform in a book entitled Aqwam Al-Masalik Fi Taqwim Al- Mamalik (The Straight Path to Reforming Governments). The main preoccupation of the book was in tackling the question of political reform in the Arab world. While appealing to politicians and scholars of his time to seek all possible means in order to improve the status of the
community and develop its civility, he warned the general Muslim public against shunning the experiences of other nations on the basis of the misconception that all the writings, inventions, experiences or attitudes of non-Muslims should be rejected or disregarded.
Khairuddin further called for an end to absolutist rule, which he blamed for the oppression of nations and the destruction of civilizations.

Secularisme, Hermeneutiek, en Ryk: Die politiek van die Islamitiese Hervorming

Saba Mahmood

Since the events of September 11, 2001, against the

backdrop of two decades of the ascendance of global religious politics, urgent
calls for the reinstatement of secularism have reached a crescendo that cannot
be ignored. The most obvious target of these strident calls is Islam, particularly
those practices and discourses within Islam that are suspected of fostering fundamentalism
and militancy. It has become de rigueur for leftists and liberals alike
to link the fate of democracy in the Muslim world with the institutionalization

of secularism — both as a political doctrine and as a political ethic. This coupling
is now broadly echoed within the discourse emanating from the U.S. State
Department, particularly in its programmatic efforts to reshape and transform
“Islam from within.” In this essay, I will examine both the particular conception
of secularism that underlies the current consensus that Islam needs to be
reformed — that its secularization is a necessary step in bringing “democracy” to
the Muslim world — and the strategic means by which this programmatic vision is
being instituted today. Insomuch as secularism is a historically shifting category
with a variegated genealogy, my aim is not to secure an authoritative definition of
secularism or to trace its historical transformation within the United States or the
Muslim world. My goal here is more limited: I want to sketch out the particular
understanding of secularism underlying contemporary American discourses on
Islam, an understanding that is deeply shaped by U.S. security and foreign policy
concerns in the Muslim world.

Islamitiese politieke kultuur, Demokrasie, en Menseregte

Daniel E. Prys

Dit is aangevoer dat die Islam fasiliteer outoritarisme, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes

in Muslim nations. Gevolglik, geleerdes, kommentators, and government

officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next

ideological threat to liberal democracies. hierdie siening, egter, is based primarily

on the analysis of texts, Islamitiese politieke teorie, and ad hoc studies

of individual countries, wat nie oorweeg ander faktore. It is my contention

that the texts and traditions of Islam, soos dié van ander godsdienste,

gebruik kan word om 'n verskeidenheid van politieke stelsels en beleid te ondersteun. 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. vandaar, 'n nuwe benadering tot die studie van die

verband tussen Islam en die politiek is 'n beroep vir.
Ek stel voor, deur middel van streng evaluering van die verhouding tussen Islam,

demokrasie, en menseregte by die kruis-nasionale vlak, 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, ekonomiese invloede, etniese gleufies,

en maatskaplike ontwikkeling, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

Islamitiese politieke kultuur, Demokrasie, en Menseregte

Daniel E. Prys

Dit is aangevoer dat die Islam fasiliteer outoritarisme, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes
in Muslim nations. Gevolglik, geleerdes, kommentators, and government
officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next
ideological threat to liberal democracies. hierdie siening, egter, is based primarily
on the analysis of texts, Islamitiese politieke teorie, and ad hoc studies
of individual countries, wat nie oorweeg ander faktore. It is my contention
that the texts and traditions of Islam, soos dié van ander godsdienste,
gebruik kan word om 'n verskeidenheid van politieke stelsels en beleid te ondersteun. 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. vandaar, 'n nuwe benadering tot die studie van die
verband tussen Islam en die politiek is 'n beroep vir.
Ek stel voor, deur middel van streng evaluering van die verhouding tussen Islam,
demokrasie, en menseregte by die kruis-nasionale vlak, 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, ekonomiese invloede, etniese gleufies,

en maatskaplike ontwikkeling, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

STRATEGIEë VIR innemende politieke 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. Yet, die VSA. 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. VSA. 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.

Probleme Amerika se isla Dilemma: Lesse uit Suid-en Suidoos-Asië

Shadi Hamid
VSA. 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 en 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. Egter, 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, en, 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. Verder, they are seen as crucial to U.S. efforts to counter Iran, stabilize Iraq, and combat terrorism.

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.