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EGYPT’S MUSLIM BROTHERS: CONFRONTATION OR INTEGRATION?

Research

The Society of Muslim Brothers’ success in the November-December 2005 elections for the People’s Assembly sent shockwaves through Egypt’s political system. In response, the regime cracked down on the movement, harassed other potential rivals and reversed its fledging reform process. This is dangerously short-sighted. There is reason to be concerned about the Muslim Brothers’ political program, and they owe the people genuine clarifications about several of its aspects. But the ruling National Democratic
Party’s (NDP) refusal to loosen its grip risks exacerbating tensions at a time of both political uncertainty surrounding the presidential succession and serious socio-economic unrest. Though this likely will be a prolonged, gradual process, the regime should take preliminary steps to normalise the Muslim Brothers’ participation in political life. The Muslim Brothers, whose social activities have long been tolerated but whose role in formal politics is strictly limited, won an unprecedented 20 per cent of parliamentary seats in the 2005 Wahlen. They did so despite competing for only a third of available seats and notwithstanding considerable obstacles, including police repression and electoral fraud. This success confirmed their position as an extremely wellorganised and deeply rooted political force. At the same time, it underscored the weaknesses of both the legal opposition and ruling party. The regime might well have wagered that a modest increase in the Muslim Brothers’ parliamentary representation could be used to stoke fears of an Islamist takeover and thereby serve as a reason to stall reform. If so, the strategy is at heavy risk of backfiring.

GLOBALIZATION AND POLITICAL ISLAM: THE SOCIAL BASES OF TURKEY’S WELFARE PARTY

Haldun Gulalp

Political Islam has gained heightened visibility in recent decades in Turkey. Large numbers of female students have begun to demonstrate their commitment by wearing the banned Islamic headdress on university campuses, and influential pro-Islamist TV
channels have proliferated. This paper focuses on the Welfare (Refah) Party as the foremost institutional representative of political Islam in Turkey.
The Welfare Party’s brief tenure in power as the leading coalition partner from mid-1996 to mid-1997 was the culmination of a decade of steady growth that was aided by other Islamist organizations and institutions. These organizations and institutions
included newspapers and publishing houses that attracted Islamist writers, numerous Islamic foundations, an Islamist labor-union confederation, and an Islamist businessmen’s association. These institutions worked in tandem with, and in support of, Welfare as the undisputed leader and representative of political Islam in Turkey, even though they had their own particularistic goals and ideals, which often diverged from Welfare’s political projects. Focusing on the Welfare Party, then, allows for an analysis of the wider social base upon which the Islamist political movement rose in Turkey. Since Welfare’s ouster from power and its eventual closure, the Islamist movement has been in disarray. This paper will, therefore, be confined to the Welfare Party period.
Welfare’s predecessor, the National Salvation Party, was active in the 1970s but was closed down by the military regime in 1980. Welfare was founded in 1983 and gained great popularity in the 1990s. Starting with a 4.4 percent vote in the municipal elections of 1984, the Welfare Party steadily increased its showing and multiplied its vote nearly five times in twelve years. It alarmed Turkey’s secular establishment first in the municipal elections of 1994, with 19 percent of all votes nationwide and the mayor’s seats in both Istanbul and Ankara, then in the general elections of 1995 when it won a plurality with 21.4 percent of the national vote. Nevertheless, the Welfare Party was only briefly able to lead a coalition government in partnership with the right-wing True Path Party of Tansu C¸ iller.

Islamist Opposition Parties and the Potential for EU Engagement

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

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

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

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

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

with the various Islamist groups.

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

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

Menschenrechte, 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, und

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.

Political Islam in the Middle East

Sind 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, in

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”). This

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.

STRATEGIEN FÜR Einbeziehung des politischen Islams

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, den USA. has generally been unwilling to open a dialogue with these movements. Ähnlich, 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. die US-. 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. US-. 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. Außerdem, many have signaled strong interest in opening dialogue with U.S. and EU governments.
The future of relations between Western nations and the Middle East may be largely determined by the degree to which the former engage nonviolent Islamist parties in a broad dialogue about shared interests and objectives. There has been a recent proliferation of studies on engagement with Islamists, but few clearly address what it might entail in practice. As Zoé Nautré, visiting fellow at the German Council on Foreign Relations, puts it, “the EU is thinking about engagement but doesn’t really know how.”1 In the hope of clarifying the discussion, we distinguish between three levels of “engagement,” each with varying means and ends: low-level contacts, strategic dialogue, and partnership.

Islamist Parties : participation without power

Malika Zeghal

Over the last two decades, social and political movements grounding their ideologies in references to Islam have sought to become legal political parties in many countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Some of these Islamist movements have been authorized to take part lawfully in electoral competition. Among the best known is Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), which won a parliamentary majority in 2002 and has led the government ever since. Morocco’s own Party of Justice and Development (PJD) has been legal since the mid- 1990s and commands a significant bloc of seats in Parliament. In Egypt, die Muslimbruderschaft (MB) has never been authorized to form a political party, but in spite of state repression it has successfully run candidates as nominal independents in both national and local elections.
Since the early 1990s, this trend has gone hand-in-hand with official policies of limited political liberalization. Together, the two trends have occasioned a debate about whether these movements are committed to “democracy.” A vast literature has sprung up to underline the paradoxes as well as the possible risks and benefits of including Islamist parties in the electoral process. The main paradigm found in this body of writing focuses on the consequences that might ensue when Islamists use democratic instruments, and seeks to divine the “true” intentions that Islamists will manifest if they come to power.

ISLAMIST RADICALISATION

PREFACE
RICHARD YOUNGS
MICHAEL EMERSON

Issues relating to political Islam continue to present challenges to European foreign policies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). As EU policy has sought to come to terms with such challenges during the last decade or so political Islam itself has evolved. Experts point to the growing complexity and variety of trends within political Islam. Some Islamist organisations have strengthened their commitment to democratic norms and engaged fully in peaceable, mainstream national politics. Others remain wedded to violent means. And still others have drifted towards a more quietist form of Islam, disengaged from political activity. Political Islam in the MENA region presents no uniform trend to European policymakers. Analytical debate has grown around the concept of ‘radicalisation’. This in turn has spawned research on the factors driving ‘de-radicalisation’, and conversely, ‘re-radicalisation’. Much of the complexity derives from the widely held view that all three of these phenomena are occurring at the same time. Even the terms themselves are contested. It has often been pointed out that the moderate–radical dichotomy fails fully to capture the nuances of trends within political Islam. Some analysts also complain that talk of ‘radicalism’ is ideologically loaded. At the level of terminology, we understand radicalisation to be associated with extremism, but views differ over the centrality of its religious–fundamentalist versus political content, and over whether the willingness to resort to violence is implied or not.

Such differences are reflected in the views held by the Islamists themselves, as well as in the perceptions of outsiders.

Counter Transformations in the Center and Periphery of Turkish Society and the Rise of the Justice and Development Party

Ramin Ahmadov

The election results on November 3, 2002, which brought the Justice and Development Party into power, shocked many, but for varying reasons. Afterwards, some became more hopeful about future of their country, while others became even more doubtful and anxious, since for them the “republican regime” came under threat. These opposing responses, along with the perceptions that fueled them, neatly describe the two very different worlds that currently exist within Turkish society, and so it is important to think through many of the contested issues that have arisen as a result of these shifting political winds.
The winning Justice and Development Party (JDP) was established in 2001 by a group of politicians under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, many of whom split from the religio-political movement of Necmetiin Erbakan, the National Outlook Movement, and the Welfare Party. Interestingly, in less than two years after its establishment, and at the first general election it participated in, the JDP received 34.29 % of the vote when all other established parties fell under the 10 % threshold. The only exception to this was the Republican People’s Party (19.38 %). The JDP captured 365 out of 550 seats in the parliament and therefore was given the opportunity of establishing the government alone, which is exactly what happened. Two years later, in the 2004 local elections, the JDP increased its votes to 41.46 %, while the RPP slightly decreased to 18.27 %, and the Nationalist Action Party increased to 10.10 % (von 8.35 % in 2002). Schließlich, in the most recent general elections in Turkey in 2007, which was marked by intense debate over presidential elections and an online military note, the JDP won nearly half of all votes, 46.58 %, and began its second term in power.

Turkey and the EU: A Survey on Turkish MPs’ EU Vision

Power Bulbul

Even though Turkey’s dream for being a member of European Union (EU) dates back to late 1950s, it can be said that this process has gained its momentum since the governing period of Justice and Development Party, which is shortly called AK party or AKP in Turkish. When compared with earlier periods, the enormous accomplishments during the AK party’s rule are recognized by domestic and European authorities alike. In the parallel of gigantic steps towardsthe European membership, which is now a real possibility for Turkey, there have been increasingdebates about this process. While some European authorities generate policies over Cyprus issueagainst Turkey’s membership, some others mainly lead by German Christian Democrats proposea privileged status rather than full membership. Turkish authorities do not stay silent over thesearguments, and probably first time the Turkish foreign minister can articulate that “should they(the EU) propose anything short of full membership, or any new conditions, we will walk away.And this time it will be for good” (The Economist 2005 30-31) After October third, Even though Mr. Abdullah Gül, who is the foreign minister of the AK party govenrment, persistentlyemphasizes that there is no such a concept so-called “privileged partnership” in the framework document, (Milliyet, 2005) the prime minister of France puts forward that this option is actually one of the possible alternatives.

zealous democrats : ISLAMISM AND DEMOCRACY IN EGYPT, INDONESIA AND TURKEY

Anthony Bubalo
Greg Fealy
Whit Mason

The fear of Islamists coming to power through elections has long been an obstacle to democratisation in authoritarian states of the Muslim world. Islamists have been, and continue to be, the best organised and most credible opposition movements in many of these countries.

They are also commonly, if not always correctly, assumed to be in the best position to capitalise on any democratic opening of their political systems. At the same time, the commitment of Islamists to democracy is often questioned. Tatsächlich, when it comes to democracy, Islamism’s intellectual heritage and historical record (in terms of the few examples of Islamist-led states, such as Sudan and Iran) have not been reassuring. The apparent strength of Islamist movements, combined with suspicions about Islamism’s democratic compatibility, has been used by authoritarian governments as an argument to defl ect both domestic and international calls for political reform and democratisation.

Domestically, secular liberals have preferred to settle for nominally secular dictatorships over potentially religious ones. Internationally, Western governments have preferred friendly autocrats to democratically elected, but potentially hostile, Islamist-led governments.

The goal of this paper is to re-examine some of the assumptions about the risks of democratisation in authoritarian countries of the Muslim world (and not just in the Middle East) where strong Islamist movements or parties exist.

Der Erfolg der türkischen AK-Partei darf nicht verdünnt Sorgen über arabische Islamisten

Mona Eltahawy

It has been unsurprising that since Abdullah Gul became president of Turkey on 27 August that much misguided analyses has been wasted on howIslamistscan pass the democracy test. His victory was bound to be described as theIslamistrouting of Turkish politics. And Arab Islamistsin the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, their supporters and defenderswere always going to point to Turkey and tell us that we’ve been wrong all along to worry about the Arab Islamistalleged flirtation with democracy. “It worked in Turkey, it can work in the Arab world,” they would try to assure us.Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.Firstly, Gul is not an Islamist. His wife’s headscarf might be the red cloth to the bull of the secular nationalists in Turkey, but neither Gul nor the AK Party which swept parliamentary elections in Turkey in June, can be called Islamists. Tatsächlich, so little does the AK Party share with the Muslim Brotherhoodaside from the common faith of its membersthat it’s absurd to use its success in Turkish politics as a reason to reduce fears over the Mus-lim Brotherhood’s role in Arab politics.The three litmus tests of Islamism will prove my point: women and sex, das “West”, and Israel.As a secular Muslim who has vowed never to live in Egypt should Islamists ever take power, I never take lightly any attempt to blend religion with politics. So it has been with a more than skeptical eye that I’ve followed Turkish politics over the past few years.

IS TAYYIP ERDOĞAN THE NEW NASSER

Hurriyet DailyNews
Mustafa Akyol

Last Thursday night, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan suddenly became the focus of all the news channels in the country. The reason was that he had stormed the diplomatic scene at a World Economic Forum panel in Davos by accusing Israeli President Shimon Peres forkilling people,” and reminding the biblical commandment, “Thou shall not kill.

This was not just breaking news to the media, but also music to the ears of millions of Turks who were deeply touched by the recent bloodshed that Israel caused in the Gaza Strip. Some of them even hit the streets in order to welcome Erdoğan, who had decided to come to Istanbul right away after the tense debate. Thousands of cars headed toward the Atatürk airport in the middle of the night in order to welcomethe conqueror of Davos.

’Turkey is proud of you’

I personally had a more mundane problem at that very moment. In order to catch my 5 a.m. flight, I had left home at a quite reasonable time, 2.30 a.m. But the traffic to the airport was completely locked because of the amazing number of cars destined toward it. So, after leaving the taxi at the start of the long river of vehicles, I had to walk on the highway for about two kilometers, my hands on my luggage and my eyes on the crowd. When Erdoğan finally stepped out of the terminal, while I just walking into it, thousands applauded him and started to chant, “Turkey is proud of you!”

Den Aufstieg einer "muslimischen Demokratie”

Gouverneur Nasr

Ein Gespenst geht um in der muslimischen Welt. Diese besondere Gespenst geht um in notthe bösartige und viel Geist der fundamentalistischen Extremismus diskutiert, und noch die Hoffnung als Phantom liberalen Islam bekannt. Instead, the specter that I have in mind is a third force, a hopeful if still somewhat ambiguoustrend that I call—in a conscious evocation of the political tradition associated with the Christian Democratic parties of Europe—“Muslim Democracy.”The emergence and unfolding of Muslim Democracy as a “fact on the ground” over the last fifteen years has been impressive. This is so even though all its exponents have thus far eschewed that label1 and even though the lion’s share of scholarly and political attention has gone to the question of how to promote religious reform within Islam as a prelude to democratization.2 Since the early 1990s, political openings in anumber of Muslim-majority countries—all, admittedly, outside the Arabworld—have seen Islamic-oriented (but non-Islamist) parties vying successfullyfor votes in Bangladesh, Indonesien, Malaysia, Pakistan (beforeits 1999 military coup), and Turkey.Unlike Islamists, with their visions of rule by shari‘a (Islamic law) oreven a restored caliphate, Muslim Democrats view political life with apragmatic eye. They reject or at least discount the classic Islamist claim that Islam commands the pursuit of a shari‘a state, and their main goaltends to be the more mundane one of crafting viable electoral platform sand stable governing coalitions to serve individual and collective interests—Islamic as well as secular—within a democratic arena whosebounds they respect, win or lose. Islamists view democracy not as something deeply legitimate, but at best as a tool or tactic that may be useful in gaining the power to build an Islamic state.

Parting the Veil

shadi hamid

America’s post-September 11 project to promote democracy in the Middle East has proven a spectacular failure. Today,Arab autocrats are as emboldened as ever. Ägypten, Jordan, Tunesien, and others are backsliding on reform. Opposition forces are being crushed. Three of the most democratic polities in the region, Libanon, Irak, and the Palestinian territories,are being torn apart by violence and sectarian conflict.Not long ago, it seemed an entirely different outcome was in the offing. Asrecently as late 2005, observers were hailing the “Arab spring,” an “autumn forautocrats,” and other seasonal formulations. They had cause for such optimism.On January 31, 2005, the world stood in collective awe as Iraqis braved terroristthreats to cast their ballots for the first time. That February, Egyptian PresidentHosni Mubarak announced multi-candidate presidential elections, another first.And that same month, after former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri wasshadi hamid is director of research at the Project on Middle East Democracyand an associate of the Truman National Security Project.Parting the Veil Now is no time to give up supporting democracy in the Muslim world.But to do so, the United States must embrace Islamist moderates.shadi hamiddemocracyjournal.org 39killed, Lebanon erupted in grief and then anger as nearly one million Lebanesetook to the streets of their war-torn capital, demanding self-determination. Notlong afterward, 50,000 Bahrainis—one-eighth of the country’s population—ralliedfor constitutional reform. The opposition was finally coming alive.But when the Arab spring really did come, the American response provide dample evidence that while Arabs were ready for democracy, the United States most certainly was not. Looking back, the failure of the Bush Administration’s efforts should not have been so surprising. Since the early 1990s, US-. policymakershave had two dueling and ultimately incompatible objectives in the Middle East: promoting Arab democracy on one hand, and curbing the power and appealof Islamist groups on the other. In his second inaugural address, President George W. Bush declared that in supporting Arab democracy, our “vital interests and our deepest beliefs” were now one. The reality was more complicated.When Islamist groups throughout the region began making impressive gains at the ballot box, particularly in Egypt and in the Palestinian territories, the Bush Administration stumbled. With Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza high on the agendaand a deteriorating situation in Iraq, American priorities began to shift. Friendly dictators once again became an invaluable resource for an administration that found itself increasingly embattled both at home and abroad.The reason for this divergence in policy revolves around a critical question:What should the United States do when Islamists come to power through free elections? In a region where Islamist parties represent the only viable oppositionto secular dictatorships, this is the crux of the matter. In the MiddleEastern context, the question of democracy and the question of political Islamare inseparable. Without a well-defined policy of engagement toward politicalIslam, the United States will fall victim to the same pitfalls of the past. In many ways, it already has.

Islamic Movement: Politische Freiheit & Demokratie

Dr.Yusuf al-Qaradawi

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

The Political Revival of Islam: The Case of Egypt

Nazih N. M. Ayubi

he Middle East was the cradle of the world’s three great monotheistic religions,and to this day they continue to play a very important role it its affairs.The recent events in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan, and in Libya andPakistan, as well as the less widely publicized events in Turkey, Syrien, Egyptand the Gulf, have stimulated and renewed people’s interest in understandingboth the role of religion and the religious revival in the Middle East.It should be observed here that I speak of religious revival, not only of Islamicrevival, for in addition to Islamic movements we have the Likud bloc(with its important religious component) in power in Israel for the first time inthat state’s three decades of existence, while in Lebanon and in Egypt we canobserve Christian revivalist movements that cannot be regarded entirely ascounterreactions.However, it is the so-called Islamic revival that has drawn people’s attentionmost in the West, owing in part to political and international considerations.