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Arabų rytoj


Spalio mėn 6, 1981, turėjo būti švenčiama Egipte. Ji pažymėjo didžiausios Egipto pergalės trijuose arabų ir Izraelio konfliktuose metines, kai šalies nepalankioji armija veržėsi per Sueco kanalą atidarymo dienomis 1973 Jom Kipuro karas ir išsiuntė Izraelio karius besitraukiančius. Ant vėsaus, debesuotas rytas, Kairo stadionas buvo sausakimšas egiptiečių šeimų, atvykusių pažiūrėti kariškių. Ant apžvalgos stendo, Prezidentas Anwaras el-Sadatas,karo architektas, su pasitenkinimu stebėjo, kaip prieš jį demonstruoja vyrai ir mašinos. Aš buvau šalia, ką tik atvykęs užsienio korespondentas.Staiga, vienas iš armijos sunkvežimių sustojo tiesiai prieš apžvalgos stendą, kai šeši „Mirage“ reaktyviniai lėktuvai riaumoja virš galvos ir atliko akrobatinį pasirodymą., dangų nudažius ilgais raudonos spalvos takais, geltona, violetinė,ir žali dūmai. Sadatas atsistojo, matyt, ruošiasi keistis sveikinimais su dar vienu egiptiečių karių kontingentu. Jis tapo puikiu taikiniu keturiems islamistams, iššokusiems iš sunkvežimio, šturmavo podiumą, ir apipylė jo kūną kulkomis.Kai žudikai tęsė, atrodytų, amžinybę, apipurškę stovą mirtina ugnimi., Akimirksniu svarsčiau, ar atsitrenkti į žemę ir rizikuoti, kad panikuoti žiūrovai mane mirtinai sutryps, ar likti toliau ir rizikuoti paimti užklydusią kulką. Instinktas liepė man stovėti ant kojų, ir mano žurnalistinės pareigos jausmas paskatino mane eiti išsiaiškinti, ar Sadatas gyvas, ar miręs.

Liberal Democracy and Political Islam: the Search for Common Ground.

Mostapha Benhenda

This paper seeks to establish a dialogue between democratic and Islamic political theories.1 The interplay between them is puzzling: pavyzdžiui, in order to explain the relationship existing between democracy and their conception of the ideal Islamic political
regime, the Pakistani scholar Abu ‘Ala Maududi coined the neologism “theodemocracy” whereas the French scholar Louis Massignon suggested the oxymoron “secular theocracy”. These expressions suggest that some aspects of democracy are evaluated positively and others are judged negatively. For example, Muslim scholars and activists often endorse the principle of accountability of rulers, which is a defining feature of democracy. On the contrary, they often reject the principle of separation between religion and the state, which is often considered to be part of democracy (at least, of democracy as known in the United States today). Given this mixed assessment of democratic principles, it seems interesting to determine the conception of democracy underlying Islamic political models. In other words, we should try to find out what is democratic in “theodemocracy”. To that end, among the impressive diversity and plurality of Islamic traditions of normative political thought, we essentially focus on the broad current of thought going back to Abu ‘Ala Maududi and the Egyptian intellectual Sayyed Qutb.8 This particular trend of thought is interesting because in the Muslim world, it lies at the basis of some of the most challenging oppositions to the diffusion of the values originating from the West. Based on religious values, this trend elaborated a political model alternative to liberal democracy. Broadly speaking, the conception of democracy included in this Islamic political model is procedural. With some differences, this conception is inspired by democratic theories advocated by some constitutionalists and political scientists.10 It is thin and minimalist, up to a certain point. For example, it does not rely on any notion of popular sovereignty and it does not require any separation between religion and politics. The first aim of this paper is to elaborate this minimalist conception. We make a detailed restatement of it in order to isolate this conception from its moral (liberal) foundations, which are controversial from the particular Islamic viewpoint considered here. Iš tikrųjų, demokratinis procesas paprastai kildinamas iš asmens autonomijos principo, kuriam šios islamo teorijos nepatvirtina.11 Čia, parodome, kad toks principas nėra būtinas demokratiniam procesui pateisinti.

Islamic Political Culture, Demokratija, and Human Rights

Daniele. Kaina

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, however, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions, can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. 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. Hence, a new approach to the study of the
connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam, democracy, and human rights at the cross-national level, 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, economic influences, ethnic cleavages, and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of Islam on politics across eight nations. I argue that much of the power
attributed to Islam as the driving force behind policies and political systems in Muslim nations can be better explained by the previously mentioned factors. I also find, contrary to common belief, that the increasing strength of Islamic political groups has often been associated with modest pluralization of political systems.
I have constructed an index of Islamic political culture, based on the extent to which Islamic law is utilized and whether and, if so, how,Western ideas, institutions, and technologies are implemented, to test the nature of the relationship between Islam and democracy and Islam and human rights. This indicator is used in statistical analysis, which includes a sample of twenty-three predominantly Muslim countries and a control group of twenty-three non-Muslim developing nations. In addition to comparing
Islamic nations to non-Islamic developing nations, statistical analysis allows me to control for the influence of other variables that have been found to affect levels of democracy and the protection of individual rights. The result should be a more realistic and accurate picture of the influence of Islam on politics and policies.


Ibtisam Ibrahim |

What is Democracy?
Western scholars define democracy a method for protecting individuals’ civil and political rights. It provides for freedom of speech, press, tikėjimas, opinion, ownership, and assembly, as well as the right to vote, nominate and seek public office. Huntington (1984) argues that a political system is democratic to the extent that its most powerful collective decision makers are selected through
periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all adults are eligible to vote. Rothstein (1995) states that democracy is a form of government and a process of governance that changes and adapts in response to circumstances. He also adds that the Western definition of democracyin addition to accountability, competition, some degree of participationcontains a guarantee of important civil and political rights. Anderson (1995) argues that the term democracy means a system in which the most powerful collective decision makers are selected through periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote. Saad Eddin Ibrahim (1995), an Egyptian scholar, sees democracy that might apply to the Arab world as a set of rules and institutions designed to enable governance through the peaceful
management of competing groups and/or conflicting interests. However, Samir Amin (1991) based his definition of democracy on the social Marxist perspective. He divides democracy into two categories: bourgeois democracy which is based on individual rights and freedom for the individual, but without having social equality; and political democracy which entitles all people in society the right to vote and to elect their government and institutional representatives which will help to obtain their equal social rights.
To conclude this section, I would say that there is no one single definition of democracy that indicates precisely what it is or what is not. However, as we noticed, most of the definitions mentioned above have essential similar elementsaccountability, competition, and some degree of participationwhich have become dominant in the Western world and internationally.

Iraq and the Future of Political Islam

Jamesas Piscatori

Sixty-five years ago one of the greatest scholars of modern Islam asked the simple question, “whither Islam?“, where was the Islamic world going? It was a time of intense turmoil in both the Western and Muslim worlds – the demise of imperialism and crystallisation of a new state system outside Europe; the creation and testing of the neo- Wilsonian world order in the League of Nations; the emergence of European Fascism. Sir Hamilton Gibb recognised that Muslim societies, unable to avoid such world trends, were also faced with the equally inescapable penetration of nationalism, secularism, and Westernisation. While he prudently warned against making predictions – hazards for all of us interested in Middle Eastern and Islamic politics – he felt sure of two things:
(a) the Islamic world would move between the ideal of solidarity and the realities of division;
(b) the key to the future lay in leadership, or who speaks authoritatively for Islam.
Today Gibb’s prognostications may well have renewed relevance as we face a deepening crisis over Iraq, the unfolding of an expansive and controversial war on terror, and the continuing Palestinian problem. In this lecture I would like to look at the factors that may affect the course of Muslim politics in the present period and near-term future. Although the points I will raise are likely to have broader relevance, I will draw mainly on the case of the Arab world.
Assumptions about Political Islam There is no lack of predictions when it comes to a politicised Islam or Islamism. ‘Islamism’ is best understood as a sense that something has gone wrong with contemporary Muslim societies and that the solution must lie in a range of political action. Often used interchangeably with ‘fundamentalism’, Islamism is better equated with ‘political Islam’. Several commentators have proclaimed its demise and the advent of the post-Islamist era. They argue that the repressive apparatus of the state has proven more durable than the Islamic opposition and that the ideological incoherence of the Islamists has made them unsuitable to modern political competition. The events of September 11th seemed to contradict this prediction, yet, unshaken, they have argued that such spectacular, virtually anarchic acts only prove the bankruptcy of Islamist ideas and suggest that the radicals have abandoned any real hope of seizing power.

Islam and Democracy


If one reads the press or listens to commentators on international affairs, it is often said – and even more often implied but not said – that Islam is not compatible with democracy. In the nineties, Samuel Huntington set off an intellectual firestorm when he published The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, in which he presents his forecasts for the world – writ large. In the political realm, he notes that while Turkey and Pakistan might have some small claim to “democratic legitimacy” all other “… Muslim countries were overwhelmingly non-democratic: monarchies, one-party systems, military regimes, personal dictatorships or some combination of these, usually resting on a limited family, clan, or tribal base”. The premise on which his argument is founded is that they are not only ‘not like us’, they are actually opposed to our essential democratic values. He believes, as do others, that while the idea of Western democratization is being resisted in other parts of the world, the confrontation is most notable in those regions where Islam is the dominant faith.
The argument has also been made from the other side as well. An Iranian religious scholar, reflecting on an early twentieth-century constitutional crisis in his country, declared that Islam and democracy are not compatible because people are not equal and a legislative body is unnecessary because of the inclusive nature of Islamic religious law. A similar position was taken more recently by Ali Belhadj, an Algerian high school teacher, preacher and (in this context) leader of the FIS, when he declared “democracy was not an Islamic concept”. Perhaps the most dramatic statement to this effect was that of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of the Sunni insurgents in Iraq who, when faced with the prospect of an election, denounced democracy as “an evil principle”.
But according to some Muslim scholars, democracy remains an important ideal in Islam, with the caveat that it is always subject to the religious law. The emphasis on the paramount place of the shari’a is an element of almost every Islamic comment on governance, moderate or extremist. Only if the ruler, who receives his authority from God, limits his actions to the “supervision of the administration of the shari’a” is he to be obeyed. If he does other than this, he is a non-believer and committed Muslims are to rebel against him. Herein lies the justification for much of the violence that has plagued the Muslim world in such struggles as that prevailing in Algeria during the 90s

Islamic Political Culture, Demokratija, and Human Rights

Daniele. Kaina

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the

values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes
in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government
officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next
ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, however, is based primarily
on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, and ad hoc studies
of individual countries, which do not consider other factors. It is my contention
that the texts and traditions of Islam, like those of other religions,
can be used to support a variety of political systems and policies. 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. Hence, a new approach to the study of the
connection between Islam and politics is called for.
I suggest, through rigorous evaluation of the relationship between Islam,
democracy, and human rights at the cross-national level, 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, economic influences, ethnic cleavages,

and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

Islamistų opozicijos partijos ir ES įsitraukimo potencialas

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

Atsižvelgiant į didėjančią islamistinių judėjimų svarbą musulmonų pasaulyje ir

radikalėjimas nuo amžių pradžios paveikė pasaulinius įvykius, tai

Svarbu, kad ES įvertintų savo politiką, susijusią su veikėjais, kurie gali būti laisvi

vadinamas „islamo pasauliu“. Ypač svarbu paklausti, ar ir kaip užsiimti

su įvairiomis islamistų grupuotėmis.

Tai tebėra prieštaringa net ES viduje. Kai kurie mano, kad islamas tai vertina

gulėti už islamistų partijų yra tiesiog nesuderinami su vakarietiškais demokratijos idealais ir

Žmonių teisės, o kiti mano, kad įsitraukimas yra reali būtinybė dėl augančio

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, ir

in some they form the largest opposition bloc. European democracies have long had to

spręsti valdančius režimus, kurie yra autoritariniai, bet tai naujas reiškinys, kurį reikia spausti

demokratinėms reformoms tose valstybėse, kuriose naudos gali gauti labiausiai tikėtini asmenys, nuo

ES požiūriu, skirtingi ir kartais problemiški požiūriai į demokratiją ir ją

susijusios vertybės, mažumų ir moterų teisės bei teisinės valstybės principai. Šie mokesčiai yra

dažnai prieštarauja islamistiniams judėjimams, todėl Europos politikos formuotojams svarbu tai padaryti

turėti tikslų potencialių partnerių politikos ir filosofijos vaizdą.

Įvairių šalių patirtis rodo, kad kuo daugiau laisvės yra islamistų

vakarėliai leidžiami, tuo jie nuosaikesni savo veiksmuose ir idėjomis. Daugelyje

islamistų partijos ir grupės jau seniai nukrypo nuo savo pirminio tikslo

islamo valstybės, valdomos pagal islamo teisę, įkūrimo, ir atėjo priimti pagrindinius

demokratiniai rinkiminės konkurencijos dėl valdžios principai, kitų politinių egzistavimą

konkurentai, ir politinis pliuralizmas.

Political Islam in the Middle East

Ar Knudsenas

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, į

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.




Politinis islamas šiandien yra vienintelė aktyviausia politinė jėga Artimuosiuose Rytuose. Jos ateitis glaudžiai susijusi su regiono ateitimi. Jeigu Jungtinės Valstijos ir Europos Sąjunga yra įsipareigojusios remti politines reformas regione, jiems reikės sugalvoti betoną, nuoseklios islamistų grupių įtraukimo strategijos. Dar, Jungtinės Amerikos Valstijos. paprastai nenorėjo pradėti dialogo su šiais judėjimais. Panašiai, ES bendradarbiavimas su islamistais buvo išimtis, ne taisyklė. Kur yra žemo lygio kontaktai, jie daugiausia skirti informacijos rinkimo tikslams, ne strateginiai tikslai. Jungtinės Amerikos Valstijos. ir ES turi daugybę programų, skirtų ekonominiam ir politiniam vystymuisi regione, įskaitant Artimųjų Rytų partnerystės iniciatyvą. (MEPI), Tūkstantmečio iššūkio korporacija (MKC), Viduržemio jūros šalių sąjunga, ir Europos kaimynystės politika (ENP) – tačiau jie turi mažai ką pasakyti apie tai, kaip islamistų politinės opozicijos iššūkis dera su platesnio pobūdžio regioniniais tikslais. JAV. ES parama demokratijai ir programavimas beveik vien yra nukreipti arba pačioms autoritarinėms vyriausybėms, arba pasaulietinėms pilietinės visuomenės grupėms, turinčioms minimalią paramą savo visuomenėse..
Atėjo laikas iš naujo įvertinti dabartinę politiką. Nuo rugsėjo mėnesio teroristinių išpuolių 11, 2001, Artimųjų Rytų demokratijos rėmimas Vakarų politikos formuotojams tapo svarbesnis, kurie mato ryšį tarp demokratijos stokos ir politinio smurto. Didesnis dėmesys buvo skirtas politinio islamo skirtumų supratimui. Naujoji Amerikos administracija yra atviresnė bendravimui su musulmonų pasauliu. Tuo tarpu, didžioji dauguma pagrindinių islamistų organizacijų, įskaitant Musulmonų broliją Egipte, Jordanijos islamo veiksmų frontas (IAF), Maroko teisingumo ir plėtros partija (PJD), Kuveito islamo konstitucinis judėjimas, ir Jemeno Islah partija – vis dažniau rėmimą politinėms reformoms ir demokratijai padarė pagrindiniu savo politinių platformų komponentu.. Papildomai, daugelis parodė didelį susidomėjimą pradėti dialogą su JAV. ir ES vyriausybės.
Vakarų šalių ir Artimųjų Rytų santykių ateitį gali daugiausia nulemti tai, kiek pirmosios šalys įtrauks nesmurtines islamistų partijas į platų dialogą apie bendrus interesus ir tikslus.. Pastaruoju metu padaugėjo tyrimų apie bendradarbiavimą su islamistais, tačiau nedaugelis aiškiai nurodo, ką tai gali reikšti praktiškai. Kaip Zoe Nautre, kviestinis bendradarbis Vokietijos užsienio santykių taryboje, įdeda, „ES galvoja apie dalyvavimą, bet iš tikrųjų nežino, kaip tai padaryti“.1 Tikėdamasi paaiškinti diskusiją, skiriame tris „įsitraukimo“ lygius,“ kiekvienas su įvairiomis priemonėmis ir tikslais: žemo lygio kontaktai, strateginis dialogas, ir partnerystę.

Islamist parties : Three kinds of movements

Tamara Cofman

Between 1991 ir 2001, the world of political Islam became significantly more diverse. Today, the term “Islamist”—used to describe a political perspective centrally informed by a set of religious interpretations and commitments—can be applied to such a wide array of groups as to be almost meaningless. It encompasses everyone from the terrorists who flew planes into the World Trade Center to peacefully elected legislators in Kuwait who have voted in favor of women’s suffrage.
Nonetheless, the prominence of Islamist movements—legal and illegal, violent and peaceful—in the ranks of political oppositions across the Arab world makes the necessity of drawing relevant distinctions obvious. The religious discourse of the Islamists is now unavoidably central to Arab politics. Conventional policy discussions label Islamists either “moderate” or “radical,” generally categorizing them according to two rather loose and unhelpful criteria. The first is violence: Radicals use it and moderates do not. This begs the question of how to classify groups that do not themselves engage in violence but who condone, justify, or even actively support the violence of others. A second, only somewhat more restrictive criterion is whether the groups or individuals in question
accept the rules of the democratic electoral game. Popular sovereignty is no small concession for traditional Islamists, many of whom reject democratically elected governments as usurpers of God’s sovereignty.
Yet commitment to the procedural rules of democratic elections is not the same as commitment to democratic politics or governance.

The Mismeasure of Political Islam

Martinas Krameris

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 bymoderates” arba “reformists.” 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.


Jamesas Piscatori

Už idėją, kurios laikas neva atėjo, „Demokratija“ užmaskuoja stulbinamą

neatsakytų klausimų skaičius ir, musulmonų pasaulyje, sugeneravo

nepaprastas šilumos kiekis. Ar tai kultūriškai specifinis terminas, atspindintys vakarietišką

Europos patirtis per kelis šimtmečius? Ar turi ne vakarietiškos visuomenės

savo dalyvavimo ir atskaitomybės standartus ir iš tikrųjų savo

vystymosi ritmai, į kuriuos reikia atkreipti dėmesį, jei ne pagarba? Ar islamas,

pabrėžiant Rašto autoritetą ir šventojo įstatymo pagrindą, leisti

už lanksčią politiką ir dalyvaujamąjį valdymą?

Atsakymai į šiuos klausimus yra pasakojimo ir priešpriešinio pasakojimo dalis

kad jie patys yra neatsiejama ginčijamo diskurso dalis. Didesnė istorija

susirūpinęs, ar „islamas“ kelia grėsmę Vakarams, ar ne, ir papildomas

istorija susijusi su islamo suderinamumu su demokratija. Intelektualas

bagažas, pakeisti metaforą, yra beveik neutralus. Pati diskusija turi

tapo aštriai politizuotas, pateko į su tuo susijusius ginčus dėl orientalistikos,

Artimųjų Rytų išskirtinumas ir apskritai musulmonų pasaulis,

ir religinių „fundamentalistinių“ judėjimų modernizmas.

Political Islam and European Foreign Policy




Since 2001 and the international events that ensued the nature of the relationship between the West and political Islam has become a definingissue for foreign policy. In recent years a considerable amount of research and analysis has been undertaken on the issue of political Islam. This has helped to correct some of the simplistic and alarmist assumptions previously held in the West about the nature of Islamist values and intentions. Parallel to this, the European Union (EU) has developed a number of policy initiatives primarily the European Neighbourhood Policy(ENP) that in principle commit to dialogue and deeper engagement all(non-violent) political actors and civil society organisations within Arab countries. Yet many analysts and policy-makers now complain of a certain a trophy in both conceptual debate and policy development. It has been established that political Islam is a changing landscape, deeply affected bya range of circumstances, but debate often seems to have stuck on the simplistic question of ‘are Islamists democratic?’ Many independent analysts have nevertheless advocated engagement with Islamists, but theactual rapprochement between Western governments and Islamist organisations remains limited .


Vali Nasr

A specter is haunting the Muslim world. This particular specter is notthe malign and much-discussed spirit of fundamentalist extremism, nor yet the phantom hope known as liberal Islam. Instead, the specter that I have in mind is a third force, a hopeful if still somewhat ambiguoustrend that I call—in a conscious evocation of the political tradition associated with the Christian Democratic parties of Europe—“Muslim Democracy.”The emergence and unfolding of Muslim Democracy as a “fact on the ground” over the last fifteen years has been impressive. This is so even though all its exponents have thus far eschewed that label1 and even though the lion’s share of scholarly and political attention has gone to the question of how to promote religious reform within Islam as a prelude to democratization.2 Since the early 1990s, political openings in anumber of Muslim-majority countries—all, admittedly, outside the Arabworld—have seen Islamic-oriented (but non-Islamist) parties vying successfullyfor votes in Bangladesh, Indonezija, Malaizija, Pakistanas (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.

Radical Islam in the Maghreb

Carlos Echeverría Jesús

The development of a radical Islamist movement has been a major featureof Algerian political life since the mid-1970s, especially after the death of PresidentHouari Boumediène, the Republic’s first president, in December 1978.1 Boumediènehad adopted a policy of Arabization that included phasing out the French language.French professors were replaced by Arabic speakers from Egypt, Libanas, andSyria, many of them members of the Muslim Brotherhood.The troubles began in 1985, when the Mouvement islamique algérien (MIA),founded to protest the single-party socialist regime, began attacking police stations.Escalating tensions amid declining oil prices culminated in the Semoule revolt inOctober 1988. More than 500 people were killed in the streets of Algiers in thatrevolt, and the government was finally forced to undertake reforms. Į 1989 itlegalized political parties, including the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), and over thenext two years the Islamists were able to impose their will in many parts of thecountry, targeting symbols of Western “corruption” such as satellite TV dishes thatbrought in European channels, alcohol, and women who didn’t wear the hiyab (theIslam veil). FIS victories in the June 1990 municipal elections and in the first roundof the parliamentary elections held in December 1991 generated fears of animpending Islamist dictatorship and led to a preemptive interruption of the electoralprocess in January 1992. The next year saw an increase in the violence that hadbegun in 1991 with the FIS’s rhetoric in support of Saddam Hussein in the GulfWar, the growing presence of Algerian “Afghans”—Algerian volunteer fightersreturning from the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan—and the November 1991massacre of border guards at Guemmar, on the border between Algeria andTunisia.2Until mid-1993, victims of MIA, Islamic Salvation Army–AIS (the FIS’sarmed wing), and Islamic Armed Group (GIA) violence were mostly policemen,soldiers, and terrorists. Later that year the violence expanded to claim both foreignand Algerian civilians. In September 1993, the bodies of seven foreigners werefound in various locations around the country.3 Dozens of judges, doctors,intellectuals, and journalists were also murdered that year. In October 1993 Islamistsvowed to kill any foreigner remaining in Algeria after December 1; more than 4,000foreigners left in November 1993.