RSSВсички записи, маркирани с: "Ikhwanweb"

Islamic Political Culture, Демокрация, and Human Rights

Даниеле. Цена

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.

Political Islam in the Middle East

Са Кнудсен

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.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Уилям Томасон

Is Islam a religion of violence? Is the widely applied stereotype that all Muslims are violently opposed to “infidel” Western cultures accurate? Today’s world is confronted with two opposing faces of Islam; one being a peaceful, adaptive, modernized Islam, and the other strictly fundamentalist and against all things un-Islamic or that may corrupt Islamic culture. Both specimens, though seemingly opposed, mingle and inter-relate, and are the roots of the confusion over modern Islam’s true identity. Islam’s vastness makes it difficult to analyze, but one can focus on a particular Islamic region and learn much about Islam as a whole. Indeed, one may do this with Egypt, particularly the relationship between the Fundamentalist society known as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian government and population. The two opposing faces of Islam are presented in Egypt in a manageable portion, offering a smaller model of the general multi-national struggle of today’s Islam. In an effort to exemplify the role of Islamic Fundamentalists, and their relationship with Islamic society as a whole in the current debate over what Islam is, this essay will offer a history of the Society of Muslim Brothers, a description of how the organization originated, functioned, and was organized, and a summary of the Brother’s activities and influences on Egyptian culture. Certainly, by doing so, one may gain a deeper understanding of how Islamic Fundamentalists interpret Islam


International Consultation of Muslim Intellectuals on Islam & Политика

Център Стимсън & Institute of Policy Studies

This two-day discussion brought together experts and scholars from Bangladesh, Египет, India,Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Пакистан, the Philippines, Sudan and Sri Lanka representing academia,non-governmental organizations and think tanks. Among the participants were a number of former government officials and one sitting legislator. The participants were also chosen to comprise abroad spectrum of ideologies, including the religious and the secular, cultural, political andeconomic conservatives, liberals and radicals.The following themes characterized the discussion:1. Western and US (Mis)Understanding There is a fundamental failure by the West to understand the rich variety of intellectual currents andcross-currents in the Muslim world and in Islamic thought. What is underway in the Muslim worldis not a simple opposition to the West based on grievance (though grievances there also are), but are newal of thought and culture and an aspiration to seek development and to modernize withoutlosing their identity. This takes diverse forms, and cannot be understood in simple terms. There is particular resentment towards Western attempts to define the parameters of legitimate Islamicdiscourse. There is a sense that Islam suffers from gross over generalization, from its champions asmuch as from its detractors. It is strongly urged that in order to understand the nature of the Muslim renaissance, the West should study all intellectual elements within Muslim societies, and not only professedly Islamic discourse.US policy in the aftermath of 9/11 has had several effects. It has led to a hardening andradicalization on both sides of the Western-Muslim encounter. It has led to mutual broad brush(mis)characterization of the other and its intentions. It has contributed to a sense of pan-Islamicsolidarity unprecedented since the end of the Khilafat after World War I. It has also produced adegeneration of US policy, and a diminution of US power, influence and credibility. Finally, theUS’ dualistic opposition of terror and its national interests has made the former an appealing instrument for those intent on resistance to the West.

The Muslim Brotherhood in Pursuit of Legal Existence and Intellectual Development in Egypt

Manar Hassan


In the wake of the devastating earthquake that trembled the congested capital of Egyptand its neighboring cities in October of 1992, the Private Voluntary Organizations – dominatedby Islamists – managed to considerably lead the relief efforts within hours, leaving theincumbent regime afflicted with its bureaucratic inefficiencies. The government’s ownlimitations in providing the type of crucial operative services at time of mayhem is a mereexample of its declining credibility among the masses. Moreover, its response to this publicembarrassment was even more austere – passing a decree to ban any direct relief efforts by thePVOs therefore forcing all aid to materialize through the government only. But withgovernmental impediments still looming, the regime struggled to meet the needs of the victimsin time which led to riots and posed as a mere reminder of the incessant exasperation thatEgyptians have faced in their recent history. Hence, it became apparent that Mubarak’sattempts to salvage his image in order to corroborate his grip on power had by and largealienated vital forces within Egypt’s civil society.The civil society has, therefore, been a crucial source through which oppositionists –predominantly the Muslim Brotherhood – derive the power of popular appeal. Being one of thelargest and most influential oppositionist organization, the Muslim Brotherhood cuts acrossestranged social structures such as the modern working class, the urban poor, the young, and thenew middle class, which form a support base. Some of the most prominent Brotherhoodmembers themselves pertain to the new middle class and therefore network through al-niqabatal-mihaniyyah (Professional Associations). One example is Dr. Ahmad el-Malt, who was theformer Deputy Supreme Guide to the Brotherhood and also President of the Doctors’ syndicateprior to his death

Brothers in Arms?

Joshua Stacher
Within and between western governments, a heated policy debate is raging over the question of whether or not to engage with the world’s oldest and most influential political Islamist group: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006, publication of a series of leaked memos in the New Statesman magazine revealed that political analysts within the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended an enhancement of informal contacts with members of the Brotherhood.
The authors of these documents argued that the UK government should be seeking to influence this group, given the extent of its grassroots support in Egypt. The British analysts further suggested that engagement could provide a valuable opportunity for challenging the Brotherhood’s perceptions of the West, including the UK, and for detailed questioning of their prescriptions for solving the challenges facing Egypt and the wider region.
The Bush administration in the United States has been far less open to the idea of direct engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that it would be inappropriate to enter into formal ties with a group that is not legally recognised by the Egyptian government. However, there are indications that the US position may be starting to shift. In 2007, it emerged that the State Department had approved a policy that would enable US diplomats to meet and coordinate with elected Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and other Arab states.

Within and between western governments, a heated policy debate is raging over the question of whether or not to engage with the world’s oldest and most influential political Islamist group: Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In 2006, publication of a series of leaked memos in the New Statesman magazine revealed that political analysts within the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office recommended an enhancement of informal contacts with members of the Brotherhood.

The authors of these documents argued that the UK government should be seeking to influence this group, given the extent of its grassroots support in Egypt. The British analysts further suggested that engagement could provide a valuable opportunity for challenging the Brotherhood’s perceptions of the West, including the UK, and for detailed questioning of their prescriptions for solving the challenges facing Egypt and the wider region.

The Bush administration in the United States has been far less open to the idea of direct engagement with the Muslim Brotherhood, arguing that it would be inappropriate to enter into formal ties with a group that is not legally recognised by the Egyptian government. However, there are indications that the US position may be starting to shift. In 2007, it emerged that the State Department had approved a policy that would enable US diplomats to meet and coordinate with elected Brotherhood leaders in Egypt, Iraq, Syria and other Arab states.

Mahmoud Ezzat in a comprehensive interview with Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansur

Mahmoud Ezzat

Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat, Secretary-General of the Muslim Brotherhood, in a comprehensive interview with Al Jazeera’s Ahmed Mansour ascertained that the Muslim Brotherhood’s elections for Chairman scheduled to be held in the upcoming period by members of the Guidance Bureau is open to everyone who wishes to submit his nomination papers as a candidate.

In his statement to the talk show Bila Hedood (Without Borders) on Al-Jazeera TV, Ezzat explained that nomination papers generally should not be used for the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidates but rather a complete list of the entire Brotherhood’s 100-member Shura Council is presented to elect the Brotherhood’s Chairman and Guidance Bureau. He denied that the Brotherhood’s General Guide to leadership of the General Shura Council does not allow him the freedom to work on his own in making his final decision. He also revealed that the Council has the authority to hold the Chairman accountable for any failure and if the need arises dismiss him at any time.

He stressed that the movement is ready to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to practice the principle of Shura (consultation) within the ranks of, pointing out that the Shura Council will elect the Chairman and a new Guidance Bureau in the upcoming year.

He commented on the Media coverage of what really happened behind the scenes at the Guidance Bureau, citing that the committee which consisted of leading figures such as Dr. Essam el-Erian and a number of the Guidance Bureau members responsible for printing the Chairman’s weekly statement objected to Mr. Mahdi Akef’s wish a trifle difference of opinion. Akef’s first term will end on January 13, 2010 however he has announced earlier; he will still make a decision whether he will remain in office for a second term as the group’s general guide.

He continued that the 81-year old Akef had informed members of the Guidance Bureau earlier that he intended to resign and will not serve for a second term. Members of the Bureau immediately responded urging him to remain in office.

In his weekly message, Mahdi Akef vaguely referred to his intentions of not running a second term and thanking the Muslim Brotherhood and members of the Guidance Bureau who shared with him the responsibility as if he intended it to be his farewell speech. On Sunday, October 17 the media claimed that the Chairman of the Brotherhood had announced his resignation; however the Chairman has repeatedly denied media allegations where he came to the office the next day and met with members. He later issued a statement disclosing the truth. Media allegations on the Guidance Bureau’s unwillingness to appoint Dr. Essam el-Erian are totally false.

Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat ascertained that the movement is pleased to provide an opportunity to members to share their opinions, stressing it is a manifestation of power matching with its existing large size and leading role, indicating that Chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood is very pleased to do so.

He stressed that all issues come back to the Guidance Office for the final decision where its resolutions are binding and satisfactory to all, regardless of the differences in opinion.

I do not underestimate what has happened already or I’d simply say there is no crisis, at the same time, we should not blow things out of its context, we are determined to apply the principle of Shura”, he added.

It was discussed earlier at the subsequent meeting of the Guidance Bureau that the group’s Shura Council has the sole right to elect membership of the Guidance Bureau to any member, he explained. Dr. Essam himself agreed that it was not suitable to appoint a new member in the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau since the election was near.

Ezzat stated that the episode was presented to the Shura Council on the recommendation of the guidance office amid frequent arrests and detentions waged by state security. We strive hard to involve the Shura Council to choose the next Chairman and members of the Guidance Office. It is expected the whole matter be resolved, Allah’s willing, before January 13.

It was decided at this meeting by the Chairman and members of the MB Guidance Bureau to send a letter to the Shura Council, stressing that the date for these elections will not be later than sixth months. It was assumed that the proceedings would be conducted prior to or during elections in which 5 new members were elected last year. It is the Shura Council’s decision and not the MB Guidance Bureau. Consequently, the general group’s Shura Council finally reached its unanimous decision of holding elections as soon as possible.

He stressed that the Muslim Brotherhood, with the enforcement of the Shura is organized by its internal regulations. Regulations which are adopted and advocated by laws of the Shura Council and are subject to change. The most recent amendment underway with one of its clauses is the duration of the term of a member of the Guidance Office provides that a member must not serve more than two consecutive terms.

Some members of the Guidance Office were accused of their adherence to stay in office for many years; Dr. Ezzat claimed that frequent arrests which did not exclude any one the Executive Bureau prompted us to modify another article in the internal Regulation that provides a member maintain his membership even if he was detained. The absence of the honorable working for the welfare of their country and the sublime mission led us to insist on them maintaining their membership. Engineer Khayrat Al-Shater will remain as second deputy chairman of the MB and Dr. Mohammed Ali Bishr a member of the MB Executive Bureau. It is expected Bishr will be released next month.

Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat completely denied rumors about internal conflicts within the opposition group with regards to leadership, stressing that the mechanisms, regulations and terms are paving the way to select the movement’s leaders. He also noted that Egypt’s geographical situation and considerable moral weight within the Muslim world justifies the need for the MB Chairman to be Egyptian.

The Guidance Office is currently exploring the general tendency of the Brotherhood’s 100-member Shura Council with regards to nominating a suitable candidate eligible to take charge as Chairman”, he said.

It is extremely difficult to predict who will be the next chairman, noting that 5 minutes ahead of appointing Mr. Akef as Chairman nobody knew, the ballots only decided who would be the new leader”, he said.

Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat attributed the Media’s apparent conflicting reports on their allegations towards remarks about the Brotherhood top leaders to the same inconsistencies of media reports on senior leaders that vary from newspaper to another.

Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat shed light with figures upon security raids that led to the arrest of some 2696 members of the group in 2007, 3674 in 2008 и 5022 in 2009. This resulted in the Shura Council’s inability to hold meetings and contest elections.

He also emphasized that the Muslim Brotherhood is extremely keen on maintaining Egypt’s national security and itsinterest in achieving peaceful reform in the society. “We are well aware that the meetings of the Guidance Office are surveilled by security although we intend only to practice democracy. In fact, we do not want to provoke the hostility and animosity of others”.

He also stressed the differences within the organization are not motivated by hatred or personal differences since the decent temperaments encouraged by the sublime teachings of Islam encourage us to tolerate difference of opinions. He added that history has proven that the Muslim Brotherhood movement has encountered much more difficult circumstances than the existing crisis.

The media has projected a negative image of the Muslim Brotherhood where they relied on SSI investigations for information. It is imperative that journalists get facts from the original sources if they are to have some sort of credibility. In fact the judiciary has invalidated all the accusations reported in state investigation, he said.

Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat was optimistic that the current political crisis will pass asserting that events will prove that the Muslim Brotherhood with all its noble manners, objectivity, and practicing of democracy will shine through with flying colours.

Published on Ikhwanweb

The Internet and Islamist Politics in Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

The end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first saw a
dissemination of the Internet as a center of communication, information, entertainment and
commerce. The spread of the Internet reached all four corners of the globe, connecting the
researcher in Antarctica with the farmer in Guatemala and the newscaster in Moscow to the
Bedouin in Egypt. Through the Internet, the flow of information and real-time news reaches
across continents, and the voices of subalternity have the potential to project their previously
silenced voices through blogs, websites and social networking sites. Political organizations
across the left-right continuum have targeted the Internet as the political mobilizer of the future,
and governments now provide access to historical documents, party platforms, и
administrative papers through their sites. Similarly, religious groups display their beliefs online
through official sites, and forums allow members from across the globe to debate issues of
eschatology, orthopraxy and any number of nuanced theological issues. Fusing the two, Islamist
political organizations have made their presence known through sophisticated websites detailing
their political platforms, relevant news stories, and religiously oriented material discussing their
theological views. This paper will specifically examine this nexus – the use of the Internet by
Islamist political organizations in the Middle East in the countries of Jordan, Morocco and
Египет.
Although a wide range of Islamist political organizations utilize the Internet as a forum to
publicize their views and create a national or international reputation, the methods and intentions
of these groups vary greatly and depend on the nature of the organization. This paper will
examine the use of the Internet by three ‘moderate’ Islamist parties: the Islamic Action Front in
2
Jordan, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
As these three parties have increased their political sophistication and reputation, both at home
and abroad, they have increasingly utilized the Internet for a variety of purposes. First, Islamist
organizations have used the Internet as a contemporary extension of the public sphere, a sphere
through which parties frame, communicate and institutionalize ideas to a broader public.
Secondly, the Internet provides Islamist organizations an unfiltered forum through which
officials may promote and advertise their positions and views, as well as circumvent local media
restrictions imposed by the state. Finally, the Internet allows Islamist organizations to present a
counterhegemonic discourse in opposition to the ruling regime or monarchy or on display to an
international audience. This third motivation applies most specifically to the Muslim
Братство, which presents a sophisticated English language website designed in a Western
style and tailored to reach a selective audience of scholars, politicians and journalists. The MB
has excelled in this so-called “bridgeblogging” 1 and has set the standard for Islamist parties
attempting to influence international perceptions of their positions and work. The content varies
between the Arabic and English versions of the site, and will be examined further in the section
on the Muslim Brotherhood. These three goals overlap significantly in both their intentions and
desired outcomes; however, each goal targets a different actor: the public, the media, and the
regime. Following an analysis of these three areas, this paper will proceed into a case study
analysis of the websites of the IAF, the PJD and the Muslim Brotherhood.
1

Андрю Хелмс

Ikhwanweb

The end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first saw a dissemination of the Internet as a center of communication, information, entertainment and commerce.

The spread of the Internet reached all four corners of the globe, connecting the researcher in Antarctica with the farmer in Guatemala and the newscaster in Moscow to the Bedouin in Egypt.

Through the Internet, the flow of information and real-time news reaches across continents, and the voices of subalternity have the potential to project their previously silenced voices through blogs, websites and social networking sites.

Political organizations across the left-right continuum have targeted the Internet as the political mobilizer of the future, and governments now provide access to historical documents, party platforms, and administrative papers through their sites. Similarly, religious groups display their beliefs online through official sites, and forums allow members from across the globe to debate issues of eschatology, orthopraxy and any number of nuanced theological issues.

Fusing the two, Islamist political organizations have made their presence known through sophisticated websites detailing their political platforms, relevant news stories, and religiously oriented material discussing their theological views. This paper will specifically examine this nexus – the use of the Internet by Islamist political organizations in the Middle East in the countries of Jordan, Morocco and Egypt.

Although a wide range of Islamist political organizations utilize the Internet as a forum to publicize their views and create a national or international reputation, the methods and intentions of these groups vary greatly and depend on the nature of the organization.

This paper will examine the use of the Internet by three ‘moderate’ Islamist parties: the Islamic Action Front in Jordan, the Justice and Development Party in Morocco and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. As these three parties have increased their political sophistication and reputation, both at home and abroad, they have increasingly utilized the Internet for a variety of purposes.

First, Islamist organizations have used the Internet as a contemporary extension of the public sphere, a sphere through which parties frame, communicate and institutionalize ideas to a broader public.

Secondly, the Internet provides Islamist organizations an unfiltered forum through which officials may promote and advertise their positions and views, as well as circumvent local media restrictions imposed by the state.

Finally, the Internet allows Islamist organizations to present a counterhegemonic discourse in opposition to the ruling regime or monarchy or on display to an international audience. This third motivation applies most specifically to the Muslim Brotherhood, which presents a sophisticated English language website designed in a Western style and tailored to reach a selective audience of scholars, politicians and journalists.

The MB has excelled in this so-called “bridgeblogging” 1 and has set the standard for Islamist parties attempting to influence international perceptions of their positions and work. The content varies between the Arabic and English versions of the site, and will be examined further in the section on the Muslim Brotherhood.

These three goals overlap significantly in both their intentions and desired outcomes; however, each goal targets a different actor: the public, the media, and the regime. Following an analysis of these three areas, this paper will proceed into a case study analysis of the websites of the IAF, the PJD and the Muslim Brotherhood.