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Priorities of The Islamic Movement in The Coming Phase

Yusuf Al-Qardhawi

What Do We Mean By Islamic Movement?

By “Mouvman Islamik”, I mean that organized, collective work, undertaken by thepeople, to restore Islam to the leadership of society, and to the helm of life all walksof life.Before being anything else, the Islamic Movement is work: persistent, industriouswork, not just words to be said, speeches and lectures to be delivered, or books andarticles are indeed required, they are merely parts of a movement, not themovement itself (Allah the Almighty says, Work, and Allah, His Messenger and thebelievers will see your work} [Surat al-Tawba: 1 05].The Islamic Movement is a popular work performed for Allah’s sakeThe Islamic movement is a popular work based mainly on self-motivation andpersonal conviction. It is a work performed out of faith and for nothing other thanthe sake of Allah, in the hope of being rewarded by Him, not by humans.The core of this self-motivation is that unrest which a Muslim feels when theAwakening visits him and he feels a turmoil deep inside him, as a result of thecontradiction between his faith on the one hand and the actual state of affairs of hisnation on the other. It is then that he launches himself into action, driven by his lovefor his religion, his devotion to Allah, His Messenger, the Quran and the MuslimNation, and his feeling of his, and his people’s, neglect of their duty. In so doing, heis also stimulated by his keenness to discharge his duty, eliminate deficiencies,contribute to the revival of the neglected faridas [enjoined duties] of enforcing theSharia [Islamic Law] sent down by Allah; unifying the Muslim nation around the HolyQuran; supporting Allah’s friends and fighting Allah’s foes; liberating Muslimterritories from all aggression or non-Muslim control; reinstating the Islamiccaliphate system to the leadership anew as required by Sharia, and renewing theobligation to spread the call of Islam, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrongand strive in Allah’s cause by deed, by word or by heartthe latter being theweakest of beliefsso that the word of Allah may be exalted to the heights.

Beyond Post-Islamism

Ihsan Yilmaz


With the increased international prominence of Turkey and its successful and internationallyrespected AK Party government, the Academia’s attention has focused on the Turkish Islamistexperience. Turkey had already been seen as an almost unique case as far Islam-state-secularismdemocracyrelations were concerned but the recent transformation of Turkish Islamism coupledwith the global turmoil in the post-9/11 world has made the Turkish case much more important.While Turkish Islamists’ recent transformation that has brought about their rise to the power hasbeen applauded at home and abroad, there are relatively very few studies that analyze theirtransformation by taking into account the unique experience of Turkish Islamism starting from the18th & 19th centuries’ Ottoman secularization, Young Ottomans of the 1860s and the Ottomanconstitutionalism and democracy. Moreover, some dynamics that affected the change in theTurkish Islamists’ Islamic normative framework have not been analyzed in detail. Thus, this studyendeavors to analyze the main factors behind the newly emerged tolerant normative framework ofthe AK Party leaders who were formerly Islamists. After showing that there are good historicalreasons arising from the Ottoman experience of secularism and democracy and arguing based on abrief theoretical discussion of the plurality of Islamisms, it argues that the Turkish Islamism hasalways differed from the other Islamist experiences. Therefore, in this study, a detailed evaluationof the Turkish Islamist experience starting from the Young Ottomans is undertaken. Then, thispaper attempts to show that Islamic groups’ physical and discursive interaction has been a crucialfactor in the Turkish Islamism’s transformation. Main premise of this paper is that the Gülenmovement has been the most influential factor that has helped the AK Party leaders to develop amore tolerant normative framework and to eventually jettison their Islamism. It is of coursedifficult to establish casual relationship between two social phenomena but one can underscorecorrelations. As the main hypothesis is that the Gülen movement has been the most influentialfactor in the normative transformation of the former Islamists’ mental frameworks and theirreligio-political worldviews, this paper provides a comparative discourse analysis betweenFethullah Gülen’s and Islamists’ ideas on several issues that have been relevant for both Islamismand newly-emerged post-Islamism. To identify these relevant issues (secularism, pluralism,democracy, rule of law, nationalism, state, Islamis, religiosity, the other, borders and dialogue),the paper provides a brief theoretical discussion of Islamism and post-Islamism that will also helpthe reader to understand the fundamental differences between Islamism and the Gülenian thought.

ISLAMIC MODERNITIES: FETHULLAH GULEN and CONTEMPORARY ISLAM

FAHRI CAKI

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

Pwogresis Islamik panse, sosyete sivil la ak mouvman Gulen nan kontèks nasyonal la

Greg Barton

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

Building bridges not walls

Alex Glennie

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

Terrorist and Extremist Movements in the Middle East

Anthony H. Cordesman

Terrorism and asymmetric warfare are scarcely new features of the Middle Eastern military balance, and Islamic
extremism is scarcely the only source of extremist violence. There are many serious ethnic and sectarian differences
in the Middle East, and these have long led to sporadic violence within given states, and sometimes to major civil
conflicts. The civil wars in Yemen and the Dhofar Rebellion in Oman are examples, as are the long history of civil
war in Lebanon and Syria’s violent suppression of Islamic political groups that opposed the regime of Hafez al-
Asad. The rising power of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) led to a civil war in Jordan in September
1970. The Iranian revolution in 1979 was followed by serious political fighting, and an effort to export a theocratic
revolution that helped trigger the Iran-Iraq War. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have both had civil clashes between their
Sunni ruling elites and hostile Shi’ites and these clashes led to significant violence in the case of Saudi Arabia.
There also, sepandan, has been a long history of violent Islamic extremism in the region, sometimes encouraged by
regimes that later became the target of the very Islamists they initially supported. Sadat attempted to use Islamic
movements as a counter to his secular opposition in Egypt only to be assassinated by one such movement after his
peace agreement with Israel. Israel thought it safe to sponsor Islamic movements after 1967 as a counter to the
PLO, only to see the rapid emergence of violently anti-Israeli groups. North and South Yemen were the scene of
coups and civil wars since the early 1960s, and it was a civil war in South Yemen that ultimately led to the collapse
of its regime and its merger with North Yemen in 1990.
The fall of the shah led to an Islamist takeover in Iran, and resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan triggered
an Islamist reaction that still influences the Middle East and the entire Islamic world. Saudi Arabia had to deal with
an uprising at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979. The religious character of this uprising shared many elements
of the movements that arose after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Gulf War in 1991.
Algerian efforts to suppress the victory of Islamic political parties in a democratic election in 1992 were followed by
a civil war that has lasted ever since. Egypt fought a long and largely successful battle with its own Islamic
extremists in the 1990s, but Egypt has only managed to have suppressed such movements rather than eradicated
them. In the rest of the Arab World, the civil wars in Kosovo and Bosnia helped create new Islamic extremist cadres.
Saudi Arabia suffered from two major terrorist attacks before 2001. These attacks struck at a National Guard
Training center and USAF barracks at Al Khobar, and at least one seems to have been the result of Islamic
extremists. Mawòk, Libya, Tinizi, Lòt bò larivyè Jouden, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Yemen have all seen hard-line Islamist
movements become a serious national threat.
While not directly part of the region, the Sudan has fought a 15-year long civil war that has probably cost over two
million lives, and this war had been supported by hard-line Islamist elements in the Arab north. Somalia has also
been the scene of a civil war since 1991 that has allowed Islamist cells to operate in that country.a

Terrorism and asymmetric warfare are scarcely new features of the Middle Eastern military balance, and Islamicextremism is scarcely the only source of extremist violence. There are many serious ethnic and sectarian differencesin the Middle East, and these have long led to sporadic violence within given states, and sometimes to major civilconflicts. The civil wars in Yemen and the Dhofar Rebellion in Oman are examples, as are the long history of civilwar in Lebanon and Syria’s violent suppression of Islamic political groups that opposed the regime of Hafez al-Asad. The rising power of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) led to a civil war in Jordan in September1970. The Iranian revolution in 1979 was followed by serious political fighting, and an effort to export a theocraticrevolution that helped trigger the Iran-Iraq War. Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have both had civil clashes between theirSunni ruling elites and hostile Shi’ites and these clashes led to significant violence in the case of Saudi Arabia.There also, sepandan, has been a long history of violent Islamic extremism in the region, sometimes encouraged byregimes that later became the target of the very Islamists they initially supported. Sadat attempted to use Islamicmovements as a counter to his secular opposition in Egypt only to be assassinated by one such movement after hispeace agreement with Israel. Israel thought it safe to sponsor Islamic movements after 1967 as a counter to thePLO, only to see the rapid emergence of violently anti-Israeli groups. North and South Yemen were the scene ofcoups and civil wars since the early 1960s, and it was a civil war in South Yemen that ultimately led to the collapseof its regime and its merger with North Yemen in 1990.The fall of the shah led to an Islamist takeover in Iran, and resistance to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan triggeredan Islamist reaction that still influences the Middle East and the entire Islamic world. Saudi Arabia had to deal withan uprising at the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979. The religious character of this uprising shared many elementsof the movements that arose after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Gulf War in 1991.Algerian efforts to suppress the victory of Islamic political parties in a democratic election in 1992 were followed bya civil war that has lasted ever since. Egypt fought a long and largely successful battle with its own Islamicextremists in the 1990s, but Egypt has only managed to have suppressed such movements rather than eradicatedthem. In the rest of the Arab World, the civil wars in Kosovo and Bosnia helped create new Islamic extremist cadres.Saudi Arabia suffered from two major terrorist attacks before 2001. These attacks struck at a National GuardTraining center and USAF barracks at Al Khobar, and at least one seems to have been the result of Islamicextremists. Mawòk, Libya, Tinizi, Lòt bò larivyè Jouden, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Yemen have all seen hard-line Islamistmovements become a serious national threat.While not directly part of the region, the Sudan has fought a 15-year long civil war that has probably cost over twomillion lives, and this war had been supported by hard-line Islamist elements in the Arab north. Somalia has alsobeen the scene of a civil war since 1991 that has allowed Islamist cells to operate in that country.

Will Turkey Have An Islamist President?

Michael Rubin


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democracy Protecting Itself from Itself?

Ebru Erdem

Studies on government in Muslim societies and in the Middle East in particular have mostly focused on authoritarianism. They sought to answer why authoritarianism is the most often observed regime type, and why it persists. Recent work has looked at the role of elections and elected bodies under authoritarianism, explaining why they exist and what purposes they serve (Blaydes 2008; Lust-Okar 2006). The goal of this paper is to shift the spotlight onto the judiciary, and to the political role of high courts in Muslim societies with different levels of authoritarianism.Judiciaries and the judicial processes in Muslim societies have not caught much scholarly attention. Much of the work in this area has revolved around Shari’a. Shari’a law, incorporation of the Shari’a into western style judicial systems and legal codes, conflicts between western and Shari’a inspired codes of family law, and especially the impact of the latter on women’s rights are some of the extensively studied topics concerning the judicial processes in these societies. On the other hand, work on judiciary as a political institution in the Muslim world is scarce, notable exceptions being Moustafa (2003) and Hirschl (2004). Judiciaries may take different institutional forms, be based on different legal traditions, or vary in the level of independence they enjoy, but they are still a political institutions.Why study the judiciary in the Muslim World? Is a focus on the judiciary meaningful given the dominance of the executives in countries with authoritarian regimes? The justification for a focus on the judiciary has different dimensions. From a rational choice-institutionalist perspective: if an institution exists, there must be a reason for it, and we think that investigating the raison d’être of the judiciaries will provide interesting insights about political processes and executive strategies. From an institutional-design perspective, the shape that an institution takes2is related to the strategies of the actors negotiating over that institution, and we would like to use the observed variance in judicial institutions and powers across countries and time periods to learn about different aspects of political bargains that scholars have studied in other political realms. From a democratic development perspective, the establishment of the checks and balances is central to a functioning and sustainable democracy, and we would argue that studying the judiciary is central to understanding the prospects towards establishment of rule of law and a credible commitment to democracy (Weingast 1997).

Islamic Movements and the Use of Violence:

Esen Kirdis

.


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

Islamic Movements and Democratization

Aysegul Kozak

Gulseren Isik

In recent years, many sociologists as well as political scientists argued over and offered theories about the factors that promote democracy. Some suggested that a country may more likely to become democratic if it becomes richer, if it redistributes the country’s wealth and income in an egalitarian manner.
To still others, becoming more capitalististic and rapidly converting its peasantry into proletarians is a condition of democratization. Being a former British colony and being a Protestant are also offered as factors that increase the likelihood of being a successful democracy (see Dahl, 1971; Bollen & Jackman 1985; Huntington 1991; Lipset, 1994; Moore, 1966; Muller, 1995).
Up to date, the majority of the studies on the democratization of the Islamic countries have dealt with the issue under the lenses of Islam’s adverse effects on the level of democratization in the Muslim countries. These studies, sepandan, mostly failed to notice the positive drive to democratization brought by the Islamic parties into the existing political system. This paper aims to address this deficiency within the democracy literature.
More specifically, the aim of the paper, via case studies of Turkey and Egypt, is to examine the effect of the inclusion or exclusion of the Islamic parties in the political system of Muslim countries’ transitions to democracy. We argue that, inclusion of the Islamic parties in the democratic system in Turkey increased the state’s legitimacy, diminished civil conflict, and encouraged liberalization of the Turkish political system, the parties and their constituency thus, promoted a drive to successful democratization.
On the other hand, the exclusion of Islamists from the political system in Egypt weakened the state’s legitimacy, intensified the civil conflict, and radicalized the Islamic 4 movement and its constituency. The state gradually became more and more autocratic thus, hindered democratization.

In recent years, many sociologists as well as political scientists argued over andoffered theories about the factors that promote democracy. Some suggested that a countrymay more likely to become democratic if it becomes richer, if it redistributes thecountry’s wealth and income in an egalitarian manner. To still others, becoming morecapitalististic and rapidly converting its peasantry into proletarians is a condition ofdemocratization. Being a former British colony and being a Protestant are also offered asfactors that increase the likelihood of being a successful democracy (see Dahl, 1971;Bollen & Jackman 1985; Huntington 1991; Lipset, 1994; Moore, 1966; Muller, 1995).Up to date, the majority of the studies on the democratization of the Islamic countrieshave dealt with the issue under the lenses of Islam’s adverse effects on the level ofdemocratization in the Muslim countries. These studies, sepandan, mostly failed to noticethe positive drive to democratization brought by the Islamic parties into the existingpolitical system. This paper aims to address this deficiency within the democracyliterature.More specifically, the aim of the paper, via case studies of Turkey and Egypt, is toexamine the effect of the inclusion or exclusion of the Islamic parties in the politicalsystem of Muslim countries’ transitions to democracy. We argue that, inclusion of theIslamic parties in the democratic system in Turkey increased the state’s legitimacy,diminished civil conflict, and encouraged liberalization of the Turkish political system,the parties and their constituency thus, promoted a drive to successful democratization.On the other hand, the exclusion of Islamists from the political system in Egyptweakened the state’s legitimacy, intensified the civil conflict, and radicalized the Islamic4movement and its constituency. The state gradually became more and more autocraticthus, hindered democratization.