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Iraq and the Future of Political Islam

James 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:
(ένα) 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.

Ισλάμ και Δημοκρατία

ITAC

Αν κάποιος διαβάζει τον Τύπο ή ακούει σχολιαστές διεθνών υποθέσεων, Λέγεται συχνά –και ακόμη πιο συχνά υπονοείται αλλά δεν λέγεται– ότι το Ισλάμ δεν είναι συμβατό με τη δημοκρατία. Στη δεκαετία του ενενήντα, Ο Samuel Huntington πυροδότησε μια πνευματική καταιγίδα όταν δημοσίευσε το The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, στο οποίο παρουσιάζει τις προβλέψεις του για τον κόσμο – γράψτε μεγάλα. Στην πολιτική σφαίρα, σημειώνει ότι ενώ η Τουρκία και το Πακιστάν μπορεί να έχουν κάποια μικρή αξίωση για «δημοκρατική νομιμότητα», όλες οι άλλες «... οι μουσουλμανικές χώρες ήταν σε μεγάλο βαθμό μη δημοκρατικές: μοναρχίες, μονοκομματικά συστήματα, στρατιωτικά καθεστώτα, προσωπικές δικτατορίες ή κάποιος συνδυασμός αυτών, συνήθως αναπαύεται σε περιορισμένη οικογένεια, φυλή, ή φυλετική βάση». Η προϋπόθεση στην οποία βασίζεται το επιχείρημά του είναι ότι όχι μόνο «δεν είναι σαν εμάς», Στην πραγματικότητα αντιτίθενται στις βασικές δημοκρατικές μας αξίες. Αυτος πιστευει, όπως και άλλοι, ότι ενώ η ιδέα του δυτικού εκδημοκρατισμού αντιστέκεται σε άλλα μέρη του κόσμου, η αντιπαράθεση είναι πιο αξιοσημείωτη σε εκείνες τις περιοχές όπου το Ισλάμ είναι η κυρίαρχη πίστη.
Το επιχείρημα έχει γίνει και από την άλλη πλευρά. Ένας Ιρανός θρησκευτικός λόγιος, αντανακλώντας μια συνταγματική κρίση των αρχών του εικοστού αιώνα στη χώρα του, δήλωσε ότι το Ισλάμ και η δημοκρατία δεν είναι συμβατά επειδή οι άνθρωποι δεν είναι ίσοι και ότι ένα νομοθετικό σώμα είναι περιττό λόγω της περιεκτικής φύσης του ισλαμικού θρησκευτικού νόμου. Παρόμοια θέση είχε πιο πρόσφατα ο Ali Belhadj, ένας Αλγερινός δάσκαλος γυμνασίου, κήρυκας και (Στο πλαίσιο αυτό) αρχηγός του FIS, όταν δήλωνε «η δημοκρατία δεν ήταν ισλαμική έννοια». Ίσως η πιο δραματική δήλωση προς αυτή την κατεύθυνση ήταν αυτή του Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, αρχηγός των σουνιτών ανταρτών στο Ιράκ που, όταν έρχεται αντιμέτωπος με την προοπτική εκλογών, κατήγγειλε τη δημοκρατία ως «μια κακή αρχή».
Σύμφωνα όμως με ορισμένους μουσουλμάνους μελετητές, Η δημοκρατία παραμένει ένα σημαντικό ιδανικό στο Ισλάμ, με την επιφύλαξη ότι υπόκειται πάντα στον θρησκευτικό νόμο. Η έμφαση στην ύψιστη θέση της σαρία είναι στοιχείο σχεδόν κάθε ισλαμικού σχολίου για τη διακυβέρνηση, μετριοπαθείς ή εξτρεμιστές. Μόνο αν ο ηγεμόνας, που λαμβάνει την εξουσία του από τον Θεό, περιορίζει τις ενέργειές του στην «εποπτεία της διοίκησης της σαρία» εάν πρέπει να υπακούει. Αν κάνει κάτι άλλο εκτός από αυτό, είναι άπιστος και οι αφοσιωμένοι μουσουλμάνοι πρέπει να επαναστατήσουν εναντίον του. Εδώ βρίσκεται η αιτιολόγηση για μεγάλο μέρος της βίας που έχει ταλαιπωρήσει τον μουσουλμανικό κόσμο σε αγώνες όπως αυτός που επικρατούσε στην Αλγερία κατά τη διάρκεια της δεκαετίας του '90

Ισλαμικός Πολιτικός Πολιτισμός, Δημοκρατία, και Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων

Daniel E. Τιμή

Έχει υποστηριχθεί ότι το Ισλάμ διευκολύνει τον αυταρχισμό, έρχεται σε αντίθεση με το

αξίες των δυτικών κοινωνιών, και επηρεάζει σημαντικά σημαντικά πολιτικά αποτελέσματα
στα μουσουλμανικά έθνη. συνεπώς, μελετητές, σχολιαστές, και κυβέρνηση
Οι αξιωματούχοι συχνά επισημαίνουν τον «ισλαμικό φονταμενταλισμό» ως τον επόμενο
ιδεολογική απειλή για τις φιλελεύθερες δημοκρατίες. Αυτή η άποψη, ωστόσο, βασίζεται πρωτίστως
για την ανάλυση των κειμένων, Ισλαμική πολιτική θεωρία, και ad hoc μελέτες
επιμέρους χωρών, που δεν λαμβάνουν υπόψη άλλους παράγοντες. Είναι ο ισχυρισμός μου
ότι τα κείμενα και οι παραδόσεις του Ισλάμ, όπως αυτές των άλλων θρησκειών,
μπορεί να χρησιμοποιηθεί για την υποστήριξη ποικίλων πολιτικών συστημάτων και πολιτικών. Χώρα
συγκεκριμένες και περιγραφικές μελέτες δεν μας βοηθούν να βρούμε μοτίβα που θα βοηθήσουν
εξηγούμε τις διαφορετικές σχέσεις μεταξύ του Ισλάμ και της πολιτικής
χώρες του μουσουλμανικού κόσμου. Ως εκ τούτου, μια νέα προσέγγιση στη μελέτη του
απαιτείται σύνδεση του Ισλάμ με την πολιτική.
Προτείνω, μέσω αυστηρής αξιολόγησης της σχέσης μεταξύ του Ισλάμ,
Δημοκρατία, και τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα σε διακρατικό επίπεδο, αυτό πάρα πολύ
δίνεται έμφαση στη δύναμη του Ισλάμ ως πολιτικής δύναμης. εγώ πρώτος
χρησιμοποιήστε συγκριτικές περιπτωσιολογικές μελέτες, που εστιάζουν σε παράγοντες που σχετίζονται με την αλληλεπίδραση
μεταξύ ισλαμικών ομάδων και καθεστώτων, οικονομικές επιρροές, εθνοτικές διασπάσεις,

και την κοινωνική ανάπτυξη, να εξηγήσει τη διακύμανση στην επιρροή του

Το Ισλάμ για την πολιτική σε οκτώ έθνη.

Τα Ισλαμικά Κόμματα της Αντιπολίτευσης και το Δυναμικό για δέσμευση της ΕΕ

Toby Archer

Heidi Huuhtanen

Υπό το πρίσμα της αυξανόμενης σημασίας των ισλαμιστικών κινημάτων στον μουσουλμανικό κόσμο και

τον τρόπο που η ριζοσπαστικοποίηση έχει επηρεάσει τα παγκόσμια γεγονότα από τις αρχές του αιώνα, το

Είναι σημαντικό για την ΕΕ να αξιολογήσει τις πολιτικές της έναντι των παραγόντων που μπορεί να είναι χαλαρά

αποκαλείται «ισλαμικός κόσμος». Είναι ιδιαίτερα σημαντικό να ρωτήσετε εάν και πώς να συμμετάσχετε

με τις διάφορες ισλαμιστικές ομάδες.

Αυτό παραμένει αμφιλεγόμενο ακόμη και εντός της ΕΕ. Μερικοί πιστεύουν ότι το Ισλαμικό εκτιμά αυτό

που βρίσκονται πίσω από τα ισλαμιστικά κόμματα είναι απλώς ασυμβίβαστα με τα δυτικά ιδανικά της δημοκρατίας και

ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, ενώ άλλοι βλέπουν τη δέσμευση ως ρεαλιστική αναγκαιότητα λόγω της αυξανόμενης

εγχώρια σημασία των ισλαμιστικών κομμάτων και η αυξανόμενη εμπλοκή τους στη διεθνή

υποθέσεων. Μια άλλη προοπτική είναι ότι ο εκδημοκρατισμός στον μουσουλμανικό κόσμο θα αυξηθεί

ευρωπαϊκή ασφάλεια. Η εγκυρότητα αυτών και άλλων επιχειρημάτων σχετικά με το αν και πώς το

Η ΕΕ πρέπει να δεσμευτεί μπορεί να δοκιμαστεί μόνο με τη μελέτη των διαφορετικών ισλαμιστικών κινημάτων και

τις πολιτικές τους συνθήκες, χώρα ανά χώρα.

Ο εκδημοκρατισμός αποτελεί κεντρικό θέμα των δράσεων κοινής εξωτερικής πολιτικής της ΕΕ, όπως στρώθηκε

στο άρθρο 11 της Συνθήκης για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Πολλά από τα κράτη που εξετάζονται σε αυτό

έκθεση δεν είναι δημοκρατική, ή όχι πλήρως δημοκρατικά. Στις περισσότερες από αυτές τις χώρες, Ισλαμιστής

κόμματα και κινήματα αποτελούν σημαντική αντίθεση στα κυρίαρχα καθεστώτα, και

σε ορισμένες αποτελούν το μεγαλύτερο αντιπολιτευτικό μπλοκ. Οι ευρωπαϊκές δημοκρατίες έπρεπε εδώ και καιρό

να αντιμετωπίσει κυβερνητικά καθεστώτα που είναι αυταρχικά, αλλά είναι νέο φαινόμενο να πατάς

για δημοκρατική μεταρρύθμιση σε κράτη όπου θα μπορούσαν να έχουν οι πιο πιθανοί δικαιούχοι, από το

άποψη της ΕΕ, διαφορετικές και μερικές φορές προβληματικές προσεγγίσεις της δημοκρατίας και της

σχετικές αξίες, όπως τα δικαιώματα των μειονοτήτων και των γυναικών και το κράτος δικαίου. Αυτές οι χρεώσεις είναι

συχνά στράφηκε ενάντια στα ισλαμιστικά κινήματα, Επομένως, είναι σημαντικό για τους ευρωπαίους φορείς χάραξης πολιτικής

έχουν ακριβή εικόνα των πολιτικών και των φιλοσοφιών των πιθανών εταίρων.

Οι εμπειρίες από διαφορετικές χώρες τείνουν να υποδηλώνουν ότι όσο περισσότερη ελευθερία είναι ισλαμιστές

επιτρέπονται τα πάρτι, τόσο πιο μετριοπαθείς είναι στις πράξεις και τις ιδέες τους. Σε ΠΟΛΛΟΥΣ

υποθέσεις ισλαμιστικά κόμματα και ομάδες έχουν εδώ και καιρό απομακρυνθεί από τον αρχικό τους στόχο

για την ίδρυση ενός ισλαμικού κράτους που θα διέπεται από τον ισλαμικό νόμο, και έχουν καταλήξει να δέχονται βασικά

δημοκρατικές αρχές του εκλογικού ανταγωνισμού για την εξουσία, η ύπαρξη άλλων πολιτικών

συναγωνιστές, και τον πολιτικό πλουραλισμό.

ΙΣΛΑΜΙΣΤΙΚΑ ΚΙΝΗΜΑΤΑ ΚΑΙ Η ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΚΗ ΔΙΑΔΙΚΑΣΙΑ ΣΤΟΝ ΑΡΑΒΙΚΟ ΚΟΣΜΟ: Εξερευνώντας τις Γκρίζες Ζώνες

Nathan J. καφέ, Amr Hamzawy,

Μαρίνα Ottaway

During the last decade, Islamist movements have established themselves as major political players in the Middle East. Together with the governments, Islamist movements, moderate as well as radical, will determine how the politics of the region unfold in the foreseeable future. Th ey have shown the ability not only to craft messages with widespread popular appeal but also, and most importantly, to create organizations with genuine social bases and develop coherent political strategies. Other parties,
by and large, have failed on all accounts.
Th e public in the West and, in particular, the United States, has only become aware of the importance of Islamist movements after dramatic events, such as the revolution in Iran and the assassination of President Anwar al-Sadat in Egypt. Attention has been far more sustained since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. As a result, Islamist movements are widely regarded as dangerous and hostile. While such a characterization is accurate regarding organizations at the radical end of the Islamist spectrum, which are dangerous because of their willingness to resort to indiscriminate violence in pursuing their goals, it is not an accurate characterization of the many groups that have renounced or avoided violence. Because terrorist organizations pose an immediate
threat, ωστόσο, policy makers in all countries have paid disproportionate attention to the violent organizations.
It is the mainstream Islamist organizations, not the radical ones, that will have the greatest impact on the future political evolution of the Middle East. Th e radicals’ grandiose goals of re-establishing a caliphate uniting the entire Arab world, or even of imposing on individual Arab countries laws and social customs inspired by a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam are simply too far removed from today’s reality to be realized. Th is does not mean that terrorist groups are not dangerous—they could cause great loss of life even in the pursuit of impossible goals—but that they are unlikely to change the face of the Middle East. Mainstream Islamist organizations are generally a diff erent matter. Th ey already have had a powerful impact on social customs in many countries, halting and reversing secularist trends and changing the way many Arabs dress and behave. And their immediate political goal, to become a powerful force by participating in the normal politics of their country, is not an impossible one. It is already being realized in countries such as Morocco, Ιορδανία, and even Egypt, which still bans all Islamist political organizations but now has eighty-eight Muslim Brothers in the Parliament. Πολιτική, not violence, is what gives mainstream Islamists their infl uence.

Η μετριοπαθής Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα

Robert S. άποψη

Στίβεν Μπρουκ

The Muslim Brotherhood is the world’s oldest, largest, and most influential Islamist organization. It is also the most controversial,
condemned by both conventional opinion in the West and radical opinion in the Middle East. American commentators have called the Muslim Brothers “radical Islamists” and “a vital component of the enemy’s assault forcedeeply hostile to the United States.” Al Qaeda’s Ayman al-Zawahiri sneers at them for “lur[ing] thousands of young Muslim men into lines for electionsinstead of into the lines of jihad.” Jihadists loathe the Muslim Brotherhood (known in Arabic as al-Ikhwan al-Muslimeen) for rejecting global jihad and embracing democracy. These positions seem to make them moderates, the very thing the United States, short on allies in the Muslim world, seeks.
But the Ikhwan also assails U.S. εξωτερική πολιτική, especially Washington’s support for Israel, and questions linger about its actual commitment to the democratic process. Over the past year, we have met with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and activists from Egypt, Γαλλία, Ιορδανία, Ισπανία, Συρία,Τυνησία, and the United Kingdom.

Η Διαχείριση του Ισλαμικού Ακτιβισμού: Salafis, Η Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα, και Κρατική εξουσία στην Ιορδανία

Faisal Ghori

In his first book, Η Διαχείριση του Ισλαμικού Ακτιβισμού, Quintan Wiktorowicz examines the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis through the lens of social movement theory. Unlike some political scientists who dismiss Islamic movements because of their informal networks, Wiktorowicz contends that social movement theory is an apt framework through which Islamic movements can be examined and studied. In this regard, his work leads the field. Yet for all its promise, this book largely fails to deliver.
The book is divided into four primary sections, through which he tries to construct his conclusion: Jordanian political liberalization has occurred because of structural necessities, not because of its commitment to democratization. Επιπλέον, the state has been masterful in what he dubs the “management of collective action,” (p. 3) which has, for all practical purposes, stifled any real opposition. While his conclusion is certainly tenable, given his extensive fieldwork, the book is poorly organized and much of the evidence examined earlier in the work leaves many questions unanswered.

Τι οδηγεί τους ψηφοφόρους να υποστηρίξουν την αντιπολίτευση υπό τον αυταρχισμό ?

Michael D. Η. Robbins

Elections have become commonplace in most authoritarian states. While this may seem to be a contradiction in terms, in reality elections play an important role in these regimes. While elections for positions of real power tend to be non-competitive, many
elections—including those for seemingly toothless parliaments—can be strongly contested.
The existing literature has focused on the role that elections play in supporting the regime. Για παράδειγμα, they can help let off steam, help the regime take the temperature of society, or can be used to help a dominant party know which individuals it should promote (Schedler 2002; Blaydes 2006). Ακόμη, while the literature has focused on the supply-side of elections in authoritarian states, there are relatively few systematic studies of voter behavior in these elections (see Lust-Okar 2006 for an exception). Μάλλον, most analyses have argued that patronage politics are the norm in these societies and that ordinary citizens tend to be very cynical about these exercises given that they cannot bring any real change (Kassem 2004; Desposato 2001; Zaki 1995). While the majority of voters in authoritarian systems may behave in this manner, not all do. In fact, at times, even the majority vote against the regime leading to
significant changes as has occurred recently in Kenya, the Ukraine and Zimbabwe. Ακόμη, even in cases where opposition voters make up a much smaller percentage of voters, it is important to understand who these voters are and what leads them to vote against the
καθεστώς.

Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα στην Ιορδανία

Το ισλαμικό κίνημα στην Ιορδανία ήρθε στο επίκεντρο της διεθνούς προσοχής στον απόηχο του Απριλίου 1989 διαταραχές και τον επόμενο Νοέμβριο 1989 βουλευτικές εκλογές. Αυτές οι εξελίξεις τόνισαν την πολιτική επιρροή του κινήματος και ανέβασαν το φάσμα στη Δύση μιας ιρανικού τύπου ισλαμικής επανάστασης στην Ιορδανία, τροφοδοτείται από ριζοσπαστικά ισλαμικά κινήματα όπως αυτά της Αιγύπτου και του Μαγκρίμπ. Ενώ διάφορες πολιτικές τάσεις ανταγωνίζονταν για επιρροή κατά τους μήνες πριν από τις εκλογές, η Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα είχε ένα σαφές πλεονέκτημα; τις υποδομές του στα τζαμιά, τα κορανικά σχολεία και τα πανεπιστήμια του έδωσαν μια έτοιμη πολιτική βάση. Οι αριστερές φιλοκαθεστωτικές ομάδες, αφ 'ετέρου, έπρεπε να δημιουργήσουν de facto πολιτικά κόμματα —που εξακολουθούσαν να είναι νομικά απαγορευμένα— και να οικοδομήσουν την οργανωτική τους βάση σχεδόνex nihilo, ή να μετατρέψει μια λαθραία υποδομή σε φανερό πολιτικό. Θα έπρεπε να υπήρχε πολύ μικρή έκπληξη, επομένως, όταν η Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα και άλλοι Ισλαμιστές υποψήφιοι κέρδισαν ένα απροσδόκητο κέρδος 32 των 80 εδρών στο Κοινοβούλιο.Η πολιτικοποίηση του Ισλάμ δεν είναι καινούργια στην Ιορδανία.1 Από την ίδρυση του Εμιράτου της Υπεριορδανίας από τον «Αμπντάλα, Το Ισλάμ έχει χρησιμεύσει ως ένα από τα δομικά στοιχεία της νομιμότητας του καθεστώτος και της οικοδόμησης του έθνους. Η γενεαλογία της οικογένειας των Χασεμιτών ως γόνων της φυλής του Προφήτη ήταν μια σημαντική πηγή νομιμότητας για την κυριαρχία της στη Συρία, Ιράκ και Ιορδανία, όπως ήταν στη Χιτζάζ. Η ιδεολογία της «Μεγάλης Αραβικής Εξέγερσης» δεν ήταν λιγότερο ισλαμική από την αραβική, και τον έλεγχο της Ιερουσαλήμ μετά 1948 ερμηνεύτηκε από το καθεστώς ως ισλαμική ευθύνη και όχι μόνο ως αραβική.2 Ο βασιλιάς Αμπντάλα και ο εγγονός του Χουσεΐν, φρόντισαν να παρουσιάζονται ως πιστοί μουσουλμάνοι, που εμφανίζεται σε τελετουργίες και προσευχές, εκτελώντας το προσκύνημα στη Μέκκα και στολίζοντας τις ομιλίες τους με ισλαμικά μοτίβα.3 Το καθεστώς του Ισλάμ στο Βασίλειο επισημοποιήθηκε επίσης στο ιορδανικό σύνταγμα (1952) ορίζοντας ότι το Ισλάμ είναι η θρησκεία του βασιλείου και ότι ο βασιλιάς πρέπει να είναι μουσουλμάνος και από μουσουλμάνους γονείς. Ισλαμικός νόμος(Σαρία) ορίζεται στο σύνταγμα ως ένας από τους πυλώνες της νομοθεσίας στο βασίλειο, ενώ το οικογενειακό δίκαιο βρίσκεται στα αποκλειστικά χέρια των δικαστηρίων της Σαρία.

Διεκδίκηση του Κέντρου: Πολιτικό Ισλάμ σε Μετάβαση

John L. Esposito

Στη δεκαετία του 1990 το πολιτικό Ισλάμ, αυτό που λένε κάποιοι “Ισλαμικός φονταμενταλισμός,” παραμένει μια σημαντική παρουσία στην κυβέρνηση και στην αντιπολιτευτική πολιτική από τη Βόρεια Αφρική έως τη Νοτιοανατολική Ασία. Το πολιτικό Ισλάμ στην εξουσία και στην πολιτική έχει εγείρει πολλά ζητήματα και ερωτήματα: “Είναι το Ισλάμ αντίθετο με τον εκσυγχρονισμό?,” “Είναι ασυμβίβαστο το Ισλάμ και η δημοκρατία?,” “Ποιες είναι οι επιπτώσεις μιας ισλαμικής κυβέρνησης για τον πλουραλισμό, δικαιώματα των μειονοτήτων και των γυναικών,” “Πόσο αντιπροσωπευτικοί είναι οι ισλαμιστές,” “Υπάρχουν ισλαμιστές μετριοπαθείς?,” “Εάν η Δύση φοβάται μια διεθνική ισλαμική απειλή ή σύγκρουση πολιτισμών?” Σύγχρονη Ισλαμική Αναγέννηση Το τοπίο του μουσουλμανικού κόσμου σήμερα αποκαλύπτει την εμφάνιση νέων ισλαμικών δημοκρατιών (Ιράν, Σουδάν, Αφγανιστάν), ο πολλαπλασιασμός των ισλαμικών κινημάτων που λειτουργούν ως κύριοι πολιτικοί και κοινωνικοί παράγοντες στα υπάρχοντα συστήματα, και η συγκρουσιακή πολιτική των ριζοσπαστικών βίαιων εξτρεμιστών._ Σε αντίθεση με τη δεκαετία του 1980, όταν το πολιτικό Ισλάμ απλώς εξισωνόταν με το επαναστατικό Ιράν ή με λαθρομάδες με ονόματα όπως Ισλαμική Τζιχάντ ή Στρατός του Θεού, ο μουσουλμανικός κόσμος της δεκαετίας του 1990 είναι ένας κόσμος στον οποίο οι ισλαμιστές συμμετείχαν στην εκλογική διαδικασία και είναι ορατοί ως πρωθυπουργοί, στελέχη του υπουργικού συμβουλίου, ομιλητές εθνικών συνελεύσεων, βουλευτές, και δήμαρχοι σε χώρες τόσο διαφορετικές όπως η Αίγυπτος, Σουδάν, Τουρκία, Ιράν, Λίβανος, Κουβέιτ, Γέμενη, Ιορδανία, Πακιστάν, Μπαγκλαντές, Μαλαισία, Ινδονησία, και Ισραήλ/Παλαιστίνη. Στην αυγή του εικοστού πρώτου αιώνα, Το πολιτικό Ισλάμ συνεχίζει να είναι μια σημαντική δύναμη τάξης και αταξίας στην παγκόσμια πολιτική, αυτός που συμμετέχει στην πολιτική διαδικασία αλλά και σε τρομοκρατικές ενέργειες, μια πρόκληση για τον μουσουλμανικό κόσμο και τη Δύση. Κατανόηση της φύσης του πολιτικού Ισλάμ σήμερα, και ειδικότερα τα ζητήματα και τα ερωτήματα που προέκυψαν από την εμπειρία του πρόσφατου παρελθόντος, παραμένει κρίσιμο για τις κυβερνήσεις, φορείς χάραξης πολιτικής, και φοιτητές της διεθνούς πολιτικής.

COMPARING THREE MUSLIM BROTHERHOODS: SYRIA, JORDAN, ΑΙΓΥΠΤΟΣ

Barry Rubin

Το λάβαρο της ισλαμιστικής επανάστασης στη Μέση Ανατολή σήμερα έχει περάσει σε μεγάλο βαθμό σε ομάδες που χρηματοδοτούνται από ή προέρχονται από τη Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα. Αυτό το άρθρο αναπτύσσει μια εισαγωγική εξέταση τριών βασικών ομάδων της Μουσουλμανικής Αδελφότητας και συγκρίνει την πολιτική τους, αλληλεπιδράσεις, και μεθόδους. Καθε, φυσικά, είναι προσαρμοσμένο στις συνθήκες μιας συγκεκριμένης χώρας. Το λάβαρο της ισλαμικής επανάστασης στη Μέση Ανατολή σήμερα έχει περάσει σε μεγάλο βαθμό σε ομάδες που χρηματοδοτούνται από ή προέρχονται από τη Μουσουλμανική Αδελφότητα. Αυτό το άρθρο αναπτύσσει μια εισαγωγική εξέταση τριών βασικών ομάδων της Μουσουλμανικής Αδελφότητας και συγκρίνει την πολιτική τους, αλληλεπιδράσεις, και μεθόδους. Καθε, φυσικά, προσαρμόζεται στις συνθήκες μιας συγκεκριμένης χώρας.Πρώτον, είναι σημαντικό να κατανοήσουμε την πολιτική της Αδελφότητας απέναντι και τις σχέσεις και με τις δύο τζιχαντιστικές ομάδες (αλ-Κάιντα, το δίκτυο Ζαρκάουι, και άλλες όπως η Χεζμπ αλ Ταχρίρ και η Χαμάς) και θεωρητικοί (όπως ο Abu Mus'ab al-Suri και ο Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi).The Brotherhoods do not have ongoing relationships with Hizb al-Tahrir—which is regarded by them as a small, cultish group of no importance. Other than in Jordan, they have had little contact with it at all.Regarding al-Qa’ida—both its theorists and its terrorist infrastructure—the Brotherhoods approve generally of its militancy, attacks on America, and ideology (or respect its ideologues), but view it as a rival.

The future of Islam after 9/11

Μανσούρ Moaddel

There is no consensus among historians and Islamicists about the nature of theIslamic belief system and the experience of historical Islam, on which one couldbase a definitive judgment concerning Islam’s compatibility with modernity. Παρόλα αυτά,the availability of both historical and value survey data allow us to analyzethe future of Islam in light of the horrific event of 9/11. The key factor that woulddetermine the level of societal visibility necessary for predicting the future developmentof a culture is the nature and clarity of the ideological targets in relation towhich new cultural discourses are produced. Based on this premise, I shall try toilluminate the nature of such targets that are confronted by Muslim activists inIran, Αίγυπτος, and Jordan.

Building bridges not walls

Alex Glennie

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

The Muslim Brotherhood of Jordan and Jama’at-i-Islam of Pakistan

Neha Sahgal

The study of Islamist activism is new to social movement theory. Socialmovement scholarship has ignored Islamist movements because of their unique faithbasednature. More recently scholars have recognized that the processes of contentionconceptualized by social movement theory can be applied to Islamist activism to seektheoretical refinements in both areas of study.In this paper, I examine variations in the strategies followed by Islamistmovements in response to government policies. States have followed various policies inmanaging the tide of Islamist opposition to their power. Some states have chosen to userepressive means (Αίγυπτος, Jordan before 1989), while others, at different times in theirhistory have used accommodative policies (Jordan after 1989, Πακιστάν, Μαλαισία). Iexamine the effects of government accommodation on Islamist movement strategies.I argue that accommodation can have varying effects on Islamist movementstrategies depending on the nature of accommodative policies followed. Governmentshave employed two different types of accommodative policies in their tenuousrelationship with Islamist opposition – Islamization and liberalization. Islamizationattempts to co-opt the movements through greater religiosity in state and society.Liberalization allows the movements to conduct their activities at both the state and thesocietal level without necessarily increasing the religiosity of the state1. Islamizationdisempowers Islamists while liberalization empowers them by providing a sphere ofinfluence.

Χαλασμένα ψηφοδέλτια

marc Lynch

marc-akef

Moderate Islamist movements across the Arab world have made a decisive turn towards participation in democratic politics over the last 20 χρόνια. They have developed an elaborate ideological justification for contesting elections, which they have defended against intense criticism from more radical Islamist competitors. Την ίδια στιγμή, they have demonstrated a commitment to internal democracy remarkable by the standards of the region, and have repeatedly proved their willingness to respect the results of elections even when they lose.
But rather than welcome this development, secular authoritarian regimes have responded with growing repression. Again and again, successful electoral participation by Islamists has triggered a backlash, often with the consent – if not the encouragement – of the United States. When Hamas prevailed in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, the response was boycott and political subversion. When the Egyptian government cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood after elections in 2005, few outsiders objected.
As the door to democracy is slammed in their faces, how have the Islamist groups that embraced participation responded? In some ways, they have passed the test with flying colours. They have remained committed to democratic participation even in the face of massive electoral fraud and harsh campaigns of repression. Their leaders have affirmed their democratic ideals, and have often spoken out to reiterate their ideological and strategic commitment to democracy. Πράγματι, they have often emerged as the leading advocates for public freedoms and democratic reform. And there is as yet little sign of any such organisation turning to violence as an alternative.
But in other ways, the toll of repression is beginning to show. Doubts about the value of democratic participation inside these movements are growing. Splits in the top ranks have roiled movements in Jordan and Egypt, among others. In many of the cases, a Brotherhood leadership which prefers a moderate, accommodationist approach to the regime has struggled to find a way to respond to the escalating pressures of repression and the closing down of the paths towards democratic participation. Στην Αίγυπτο, frustration over extended detentions of the most moderate leaders have tarnished the coin of those calling for political participation, with a rising trend calling for a retreat from politics and a renewed focus upon social activism and religious work. In Jordan, the influence of those seeking to abandon worthless domestic politics and to focus instead on supporting Hamas has grown.
Critics of the Brotherhood have pointed to these recent struggles as evidence that Islamists cannot be trusted with democracy. But this profoundly misreads the current trends. These crises in fact reflect a delayed response to the blocked promise of democratic participation. The Islamist debate today is not about the legitimacy of democracy – it is about how to respond to frustrated efforts to play the democratic game.
********************************
I recently spent a week in Amman, talking to most of the senior leaders of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood as well as a cross-section of the country’s political and journalistic elite. The picture that emerged was one not simply of an Islamist movement in crisis, but also of a blocked and deteriorating political system. The government was in the process of declining to call the Parliament back into session in order to force through its desired legislation as temporary laws of dubious constitutionality. Stories of social conflict among the tribes and of crushing economic problems amid spiralling corruption filled daily conversation.
The Jordanian Brotherhood, established in 1946, is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted branches of the global Islamist organisation. Unlike in many other countries, where the Brotherhood worked in opposition to those in power, in Jordan it played a crucial role for decades in supporting the Hashemite throne against external and domestic challengers. In return, it enjoyed a privileged relationship with the Jordanian state, including control over key ministries, and good relations with King Hussein in spite of his friendly ties with Israel and the United States.
When Jordan lost the West Bank in the 1967 war, it struggled to maintain its role in the occupied territories. Το Ισλάμ και η Δημιουργία της Κρατικής Εξουσίας 1988, ωστόσο, as the Palestinian Intifada raged and threatened to spread to the East Bank, Jordan formally renounced its claims, severing its ties and concentrating on developing the East Bank and “Jordanising” the truncated state, a decision that was not accepted by the Brotherhood, which maintained ties with its West Bank counterparts.
When riots broke out throughout the country the next year, King Hussein responded with a remarkable democratic opening which revitalised the Kingdom’s political life. The Brotherhood participated fully in this process, and emerged in the 1989 elections as the dominant bloc in Parliament. The years that followed are fondly remembered in Jordan as the apex of political life, with an effective Parliament, a “national pact” establishing the ground rules of democracy and a vibrant emerging press.
Το Ισλάμ και η Δημιουργία της Κρατικής Εξουσίας 1993, ωστόσο, the Jordanian regime changed the electoral law in a way that served to limit Muslim Brotherhood success. As it moved rapidly towards a peace treaty with Israel, the state began to clamp down on the Brotherhood and on all other forms of political opposition. Its interventions in the political process grew so extreme that in 1997 the Brotherhood’s political party, the Islamic Action Front, decided to boycott elections. After King Hussein’s death in 1999, the crown passed to his son Abdullah, who showed little interest in democratic reform, και στο 2001 decided to suspend Parliament and rule by emergency law. While formal democracy returned in 2003, political reform efforts failed to gain traction. The extent of electoral fraud against the Brotherhood and other critics of the regime during the 2007 vote shocked even jaded observers.
The Jordanian crackdown has not reached the brutal levels of Syria or Tunisia (where the Islamist opposition was massacred or driven abroad). The Brotherhood continues to operate publicly, and the Islamic Action Front holds six seats in Parliament. But the gerrymandered electoral system and massive fraud has hamstrung Islamist political participation, to the degree that many believe that the Brotherhood is being dared to boycott.
Following the 2007 electoral debacle, the Brotherhood entered a period of intense internal unrest. It dissolved its Shura Council as penance for its fateful decision to participate in the election. The core issue was over how best to respond to the regime’s repression: through confrontation, or through a retreat and consolidation of the political strategy? In April 2008, the “hawkish” trend won the internal elections to the Shura Council by a single vote, and the pragmatic and domestically-orientated Salem Falahat was replaced by the fiery, Palestine-centric hawk Himmam Said. Said and the new head of the Islamic Action Front, Zaki Bani Arshid, steered the Islamist movement into more direct conflict with the regime, with little success. The reformist trend, led by the soft-spoken intellectual Ruheil Ghuraybeh, avoided open confrontation but advanced an ambitious programme to transform Jordan into a constitutional monarchy.
As the Brotherhood rank and file lost interest in a stalled domestic political process, they were simultaneously galvanised by the electoral success of Hamas and then by the visceral images of Israel’s war on Gaza. The growing interest in Palestinian issues at the expense of Jordanian politics worried not only the regime but also the traditional leadership of the Brotherhood. The leading Jordanian journalist Mohammed Abu Rumman argues that the issue of relations with Hamas has supplanted the traditional “hawk-dove” struggle within the organisation. While both trends support Hamas – “if you are not with Hamas, you are not with the Muslim Brotherhood”, explained one of the “dovish” leaders – they disagree over the appropriate organisational relationship. The “Hamasi” trend supports close ties and the prioritisation of Palestinian issues, and embraces a common Muslim identity over a narrowly Jordanian one. The “reformist” trend insists that Hamas, as the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, should have responsibility for Palestine while the Jordanian Brotherhood must be a national organisation focused upon domestic Jordanian issues.
This crisis came to a head over the issue of Hamas participation in the administrative structures of the Jordanian Brotherhood. Three leading reformists resigned from the Executive Office, triggering an as-yet-unresolved internal crisis that threatens one of the first serious internal splits in the history of the movement. The media has eagerly egged this conflict on; πράγματι, a number of Brotherhood leaders told me that what made the current crisis unique was not the issues at stake or the intensity of the disagreement, but the fact that for the first time it had become public.
********************************
The story of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is many things, but certainly not a story of Islamists retreating from democracy. Similar dynamics can be seen in Egypt, where the Brotherhood’s leadership is similarly divided over how to respond to escalating repression. During multiple trips to Cairo in the last few years, I saw the growing frustration of a generation of reformists who found their every effort to embrace democracy met with force and rejection.
After “independent” Brotherhood candidates scored sweeping victories in the first of three rounds of the 2005 Parliamentary elections, government forces began to intervene to prevent further gains. Despite well-documented fraud and heavy-handed security interference in Brotherhood strongholds, the movement emerged as the largest opposition bloc with 88 seats. As Deputy Supreme Guide Mohammed Habib ruefully told me, their mistake was that they did too well – had they won 50 seats, perhaps they would not have triggered such harsh reprisals.
The subsequent crackdown matched the magnitude of the Brotherhood victory. A series of media campaigns aimed to scare mainstream Egyptians with alleged nefarious Brotherhood schemes (they were supposedly training an underground militia, conspiring with Hizbollah, and more). A wide range of leading Brotherhood figures, including noted moderates such as the financier Khairat el Shater and the intellectual Abd el Monem Abou el Fattouh, were detained indefinitely on trumped up charges.
For a while, the Egyptian Brotherhood held fast in the face of these provocations. They continued to try to participate in elections even as the fraud and overt manipulation mounted. Their Parliamentarians performed well as an opposition. They routinely expressed their ongoing commitment to democracy to every audience which would listen. And they imposed discipline on their own members to prevent the explosion of frustration into violence.
But over time, the pressure began to take its toll. The leadership reined in its freewheeling young bloggers, whose public airing of internal issues was being exploited by the organisation’s opponents. It adopted tougher rhetoric on foreign policy issues such as the Gaza war – attacking the Egyptian government’s enforcement of the blockade of Gaza – in part to rally its demoralised membership. Considerable evidence suggests that the cadres of the organisation were growing disenchanted with politics and preferred to return to the core social and religious mission. And growing voices from inside and outside the movement began to suggest retreating from politics until a more propitious time.
Earlier this month the conflicts inside the Egyptian Brotherhood leapt into the pages of local newspapers, which reported that the movement’s leader, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, had abruptly resigned his post in protest after conservatives refused to appoint the leading reformist Essam el Erian to an open leadership seat. Akef has denied the reports – but the portrait of a movement in turmoil is clear.
The Jordanian, Egyptian and American governments may see all this as something of a success story: the influence of the Islamists has been curbed, both in formal politics and in the social sector, and the restraint exercised by the Brotherhood leadership has meant the states have not faced a backlash. But this is dangerously short-sighted. The campaigns against Islamists weaken the foundations of democracy as a whole, not just the appeal of one movement, and have had a corrosive effect on public freedoms, transparency and accountability. Regardless of the fortunes of the movements themselves, the crackdown on the Islamists contributes to the wider corruption of public life. The growing frustration within moderate Islamist groups with democratic participation cannot help but affect their future ideological trajectory.
Sowing disenchantment with democratic politics in the ranks of the Brotherhood could forfeit one of the signal developments in Islamist political thinking of the last few decades. The failure of the movement’s democratic experiment could empower more radical Islamists, including not only terrorist groups but also doctrinaire salafists less inclined to pragmatic politics. The degradation of its organisational strengths could open up space for al Qa’eda and other radical competitors to move in. The alternative to Ismail Haniya might be Osama bin Laden rather than Abu Mazen, and the exclusion of Essam el-Erian may not produce an Ayman Nour.
Marc Lynch is associate professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He writes a blog on Arab politics and media for Foreign Policy.

Moderate Islamist movements across the Arab world have made a decisive turn towards participation in democratic politics over the last 20 χρόνια. They have developed an elaborate ideological justification for contesting elections, which they have defended against intense criticism from more radical Islamist competitors. Την ίδια στιγμή, they have demonstrated a commitment to internal democracy remarkable by the standards of the region, and have repeatedly proved their willingness to respect the results of elections even when they lose.

But rather than welcome this development, secular authoritarian regimes have responded with growing repression. Again and again, successful electoral participation by Islamists has triggered a backlash, often with the consent – if not the encouragement – of the United States. When Hamas prevailed in the Palestinian parliamentary elections in 2006, the response was boycott and political subversion. When the Egyptian government cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood after elections in 2005, few outsiders objected.

As the door to democracy is slammed in their faces, how have the Islamist groups that embraced participation responded? In some ways, they have passed the test with flying colours. They have remained committed to democratic participation even in the face of massive electoral fraud and harsh campaigns of repression. Their leaders have affirmed their democratic ideals, and have often spoken out to reiterate their ideological and strategic commitment to democracy. Πράγματι, they have often emerged as the leading advocates for public freedoms and democratic reform. And there is as yet little sign of any such organisation turning to violence as an alternative.

But in other ways, the toll of repression is beginning to show. Doubts about the value of democratic participation inside these movements are growing. Splits in the top ranks have roiled movements in Jordan and Egypt, among others. In many of the cases, a Brotherhood leadership which prefers a moderate, accommodationist approach to the regime has struggled to find a way to respond to the escalating pressures of repression and the closing down of the paths towards democratic participation. Στην Αίγυπτο, frustration over extended detentions of the most moderate leaders have tarnished the coin of those calling for political participation, with a rising trend calling for a retreat from politics and a renewed focus upon social activism and religious work. In Jordan, the influence of those seeking to abandon worthless domestic politics and to focus instead on supporting Hamas has grown.

Critics of the Brotherhood have pointed to these recent struggles as evidence that Islamists cannot be trusted with democracy. But this profoundly misreads the current trends. These crises in fact reflect a delayed response to the blocked promise of democratic participation. The Islamist debate today is not about the legitimacy of democracy – it is about how to respond to frustrated efforts to play the democratic game.

********************************

I recently spent a week in Amman, talking to most of the senior leaders of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood as well as a cross-section of the country’s political and journalistic elite. The picture that emerged was one not simply of an Islamist movement in crisis, but also of a blocked and deteriorating political system. The government was in the process of declining to call the Parliament back into session in order to force through its desired legislation as temporary laws of dubious constitutionality. Stories of social conflict among the tribes and of crushing economic problems amid spiralling corruption filled daily conversation.

The Jordanian Brotherhood, established in 1946, is one of the oldest and most deeply rooted branches of the global Islamist organisation. Unlike in many other countries, where the Brotherhood worked in opposition to those in power, in Jordan it played a crucial role for decades in supporting the Hashemite throne against external and domestic challengers. In return, it enjoyed a privileged relationship with the Jordanian state, including control over key ministries, and good relations with King Hussein in spite of his friendly ties with Israel and the United States.

When Jordan lost the West Bank in the 1967 war, it struggled to maintain its role in the occupied territories. Το Ισλάμ και η Δημιουργία της Κρατικής Εξουσίας 1988, ωστόσο, as the Palestinian Intifada raged and threatened to spread to the East Bank, Jordan formally renounced its claims, severing its ties and concentrating on developing the East Bank and “Jordanising” the truncated state, a decision that was not accepted by the Brotherhood, which maintained ties with its West Bank counterparts.

When riots broke out throughout the country the next year, King Hussein responded with a remarkable democratic opening which revitalised the Kingdom’s political life. The Brotherhood participated fully in this process, and emerged in the 1989 elections as the dominant bloc in Parliament. The years that followed are fondly remembered in Jordan as the apex of political life, with an effective Parliament, a “national pact” establishing the ground rules of democracy and a vibrant emerging press.

Το Ισλάμ και η Δημιουργία της Κρατικής Εξουσίας 1993, ωστόσο, the Jordanian regime changed the electoral law in a way that served to limit Muslim Brotherhood success. As it moved rapidly towards a peace treaty with Israel, the state began to clamp down on the Brotherhood and on all other forms of political opposition. Its interventions in the political process grew so extreme that in 1997 the Brotherhood’s political party, the Islamic Action Front, decided to boycott elections. After King Hussein’s death in 1999, the crown passed to his son Abdullah, who showed little interest in democratic reform, και στο 2001 decided to suspend Parliament and rule by emergency law. While formal democracy returned in 2003, political reform efforts failed to gain traction. The extent of electoral fraud against the Brotherhood and other critics of the regime during the 2007 vote shocked even jaded observers.

The Jordanian crackdown has not reached the brutal levels of Syria or Tunisia (where the Islamist opposition was massacred or driven abroad). The Brotherhood continues to operate publicly, and the Islamic Action Front holds six seats in Parliament. But the gerrymandered electoral system and massive fraud has hamstrung Islamist political participation, to the degree that many believe that the Brotherhood is being dared to boycott.

Following the 2007 electoral debacle, the Brotherhood entered a period of intense internal unrest. It dissolved its Shura Council as penance for its fateful decision to participate in the election. The core issue was over how best to respond to the regime’s repression: through confrontation, or through a retreat and consolidation of the political strategy? In April 2008, the “hawkish” trend won the internal elections to the Shura Council by a single vote, and the pragmatic and domestically-orientated Salem Falahat was replaced by the fiery, Palestine-centric hawk Himmam Said. Said and the new head of the Islamic Action Front, Zaki Bani Arshid, steered the Islamist movement into more direct conflict with the regime, with little success. The reformist trend, led by the soft-spoken intellectual Ruheil Ghuraybeh, avoided open confrontation but advanced an ambitious programme to transform Jordan into a constitutional monarchy.

As the Brotherhood rank and file lost interest in a stalled domestic political process, they were simultaneously galvanised by the electoral success of Hamas and then by the visceral images of Israel’s war on Gaza. The growing interest in Palestinian issues at the expense of Jordanian politics worried not only the regime but also the traditional leadership of the Brotherhood. The leading Jordanian journalist Mohammed Abu Rumman argues that the issue of relations with Hamas has supplanted the traditional “hawk-dove” struggle within the organisation. While both trends support Hamas – “if you are not with Hamas, you are not with the Muslim Brotherhood”, explained one of the “dovish” leaders – they disagree over the appropriate organisational relationship. The “Hamasi” trend supports close ties and the prioritisation of Palestinian issues, and embraces a common Muslim identity over a narrowly Jordanian one. The “reformist” trend insists that Hamas, as the Palestinian Muslim Brotherhood, should have responsibility for Palestine while the Jordanian Brotherhood must be a national organisation focused upon domestic Jordanian issues.

This crisis came to a head over the issue of Hamas participation in the administrative structures of the Jordanian Brotherhood. Three leading reformists resigned from the Executive Office, triggering an as-yet-unresolved internal crisis that threatens one of the first serious internal splits in the history of the movement. The media has eagerly egged this conflict on; πράγματι, a number of Brotherhood leaders told me that what made the current crisis unique was not the issues at stake or the intensity of the disagreement, but the fact that for the first time it had become public.

********************************

The story of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is many things, but certainly not a story of Islamists retreating from democracy. Similar dynamics can be seen in Egypt, where the Brotherhood’s leadership is similarly divided over how to respond to escalating repression. During multiple trips to Cairo in the last few years, I saw the growing frustration of a generation of reformists who found their every effort to embrace democracy met with force and rejection.

After “independent” Brotherhood candidates scored sweeping victories in the first of three rounds of the 2005 Parliamentary elections, government forces began to intervene to prevent further gains. Despite well-documented fraud and heavy-handed security interference in Brotherhood strongholds, the movement emerged as the largest opposition bloc with 88 seats. As Deputy Supreme Guide Mohammed Habib ruefully told me, their mistake was that they did too well – had they won 50 seats, perhaps they would not have triggered such harsh reprisals.

The subsequent crackdown matched the magnitude of the Brotherhood victory. A series of media campaigns aimed to scare mainstream Egyptians with alleged nefarious Brotherhood schemes (they were supposedly training an underground militia, conspiring with Hizbollah, and more). A wide range of leading Brotherhood figures, including noted moderates such as the financier Khairat el Shater and the intellectual Abd el Monem Abou el Fattouh, were detained indefinitely on trumped up charges.

For a while, the Egyptian Brotherhood held fast in the face of these provocations. They continued to try to participate in elections even as the fraud and overt manipulation mounted. Their Parliamentarians performed well as an opposition. They routinely expressed their ongoing commitment to democracy to every audience which would listen. And they imposed discipline on their own members to prevent the explosion of frustration into violence.

But over time, the pressure began to take its toll. The leadership reined in its freewheeling young bloggers, whose public airing of internal issues was being exploited by the organisation’s opponents. It adopted tougher rhetoric on foreign policy issues such as the Gaza war – attacking the Egyptian government’s enforcement of the blockade of Gaza – in part to rally its demoralised membership. Considerable evidence suggests that the cadres of the organisation were growing disenchanted with politics and preferred to return to the core social and religious mission. And growing voices from inside and outside the movement began to suggest retreating from politics until a more propitious time.

Earlier this month the conflicts inside the Egyptian Brotherhood leapt into the pages of local newspapers, which reported that the movement’s leader, Mohammed Mahdi Akef, had abruptly resigned his post in protest after conservatives refused to appoint the leading reformist Essam el Erian to an open leadership seat. Akef has denied the reports – but the portrait of a movement in turmoil is clear.

The Jordanian, Egyptian and American governments may see all this as something of a success story: the influence of the Islamists has been curbed, both in formal politics and in the social sector, and the restraint exercised by the Brotherhood leadership has meant the states have not faced a backlash. But this is dangerously short-sighted. The campaigns against Islamists weaken the foundations of democracy as a whole, not just the appeal of one movement, and have had a corrosive effect on public freedoms, transparency and accountability. Regardless of the fortunes of the movements themselves, the crackdown on the Islamists contributes to the wider corruption of public life. The growing frustration within moderate Islamist groups with democratic participation cannot help but affect their future ideological trajectory.

Sowing disenchantment with democratic politics in the ranks of the Brotherhood could forfeit one of the signal developments in Islamist political thinking of the last few decades. The failure of the movement’s democratic experiment could empower more radical Islamists, including not only terrorist groups but also doctrinaire salafists less inclined to pragmatic politics. The degradation of its organisational strengths could open up space for al Qa’eda and other radical competitors to move in. The alternative to Ismail Haniya might be Osama bin Laden rather than Abu Mazen, and the exclusion of Essam el-Erian may not produce an Ayman Nour.

Marc Lynch is associate professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. He writes a blog on Arab politics and media for Foreign Policy.

From the National

Published on October 30, 2009

Το Διαδίκτυο και η ισλαμιστική πολιτική στην Ιορδανία, Μαρόκο και Αίγυπτο.

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, και
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, Ισλαμιστής
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
Αίγυπτος.
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
Ιορδανία, 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. Πρώτα, Ισλαμιστής
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. Τελικά, 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
Αδελφότητα, 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; ωστόσο, each goal targets a different actor: the public, the media, and the
καθεστώς. 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

Andrew Helms

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, Μαρόκο και Αίγυπτο.

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.

Πρώτα, 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.

Τελικά, το Διαδίκτυο επιτρέπει στις ισλαμιστικές οργανώσεις να παρουσιάζουν έναν αντιηγεμονικό λόγο σε αντίθεση με το κυβερνών καθεστώς ή τη μοναρχία ή να εκτίθενται σε διεθνές ακροατήριο. Αυτό το τρίτο κίνητρο ισχύει πιο συγκεκριμένα για τους Αδελφούς Μουσουλμάνους, η οποία παρουσιάζει έναν εξελιγμένο ιστότοπο στην αγγλική γλώσσα, σχεδιασμένο σε δυτικό στυλ και προσαρμοσμένο ώστε να προσεγγίζει ένα επιλεκτικό κοινό μελετητών, politicians and journalists.

Το MB έχει διαπρέψει σε αυτό το λεγόμενο "bridgeblogging" 1 και έχει θέσει το πρότυπο για τα ισλαμικά κόμματα που προσπαθούν να επηρεάσουν τις διεθνείς αντιλήψεις για τις θέσεις και το έργο τους. Το περιεχόμενο ποικίλλει μεταξύ της αραβικής και της αγγλικής έκδοσης του ιστότοπου, και θα εξεταστεί περαιτέρω στην ενότητα για τους Αδελφούς Μουσουλμάνους.

Αυτοί οι τρεις στόχοι αλληλεπικαλύπτονται σημαντικά τόσο στις προθέσεις όσο και στα επιθυμητά τους αποτελέσματα; ωστόσο, 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.