RSSTous les articles taggés avec: "Palestine"

FEMINISM BETWEEN SECULARISM AND ISLAMISM: THE CASE OF PALESTINE

Dr, Islah Jad

Legislative elections held in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2006 brought to power the Islamist movement Hamas, which went on to form the majority of the Palestinian Legislative Council and also the first majority Hamas government. These elections resulted in the appointment of the first female Hamas minister, who became the Minister of Women’s Affairs. Between March 2006 and June 2007, two different female Hamas ministers assumed this post, but both found it difficult to manage the Ministry since most of its employees were not Hamas members but belonged to other political parties, and most were members of Fatah, the dominant movement controlling most Palestinian Authority institutions. A tense period of struggle between the women of Hamas in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the female members of Fatah came to an end following Hamas’ takeover of power in the Gaza Strip and the resultant fall of its government in the West Bank – a struggle which sometimes took a violent turn. One reason later cited to explain this struggle was the difference between secular feminist discourse and Islamist discourse on women’s issues. In the Palestinian context this disagreement took on a dangerous nature as it was used to justify perpetuating the bloody political struggle, the removal of Hamas women from their positions or posts, and the political and geographical divides prevailing at the time in both the West Bank and the occupied Gaza Strip.
This struggle raises a number of important questions: should we punish the Islamist movement which has come to power, or should we consider the reasons which led to Fateh’s failure in the political arena? Can feminism offer a comprehensive framework for women, regardless of their social and ideological affiliations? Can a discourse of a shared common ground for women help them to realize and agree upon their common goals? Is paternalism only present in Islamist ideology, and not in nationalism and patriotism? What do we mean by feminism? Is there only one feminism, or several feminisms? What do we mean by Islamis it the movement known by this name or the religion, the philosophy, or the legal system? We need to go to the bottom of these issues and consider them carefully, and we must agree upon them so that we can later decide, as feminists, if our criticism of paternalism should be directed at religion (foi), which should be confined to the heart of the believer and not be allowed to take control of the world at large, or the jurisprudence, which relates to different schools of faith which explain the legal system contained in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophetthe Sunnah.

ISLAMIST WOMEN’S ACTIVISM IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE

Interviews by Khaled Amayreh

Interview with Sameera Al-Halayka

Sameera Al-Halayka is an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. She was

born in the village of Shoyoukh near Hebron in 1964. She has a BA in Sharia (Islamique

Jurisprudence) from Hebron University. She worked as a journalist from 1996 à 2006 when

she entered the Palestinian Legislative Council as an elected member in the 2006 élections.

She is married and has seven children.

Q: There is a general impression in some western countries that women receive

inferior treatment within Islamic resistance groups, such as Hamas. Is this true?

How are women activists treated in Hamas?
Rights and duties of Muslim women emanate first and foremost from Islamic Sharia or law.

They are not voluntary or charitable acts or gestures we receive from Hamas or anyone

else. Thus, as far as political involvement and activism is concerned, women generally have

the same rights and duties as men. After all, women make up at least 50 per cent of

society. In a certain sense, they are the entire society because they give birth to, and raise,

the new generation.

Par conséquent, I can say that the status of women within Hamas is in full conformity with her

status in Islam itself. This means that she is a full partner at all levels. En effet, it would be

unfair and unjust for an Islamic (or Islamist if you prefer) woman to be partner in suffering

while she is excluded from the decision-making process. This is why the woman’s role in

Hamas has always been pioneering.

Q: Do you feel that the emergence of women’s political activism within Hamas is

a natural development that is compatible with classical Islamic concepts

regarding the status and role of women, or is it merely a necessary response to

pressures of modernity and requirements of political action and of the continued

Israeli occupation?

There is no text in Islamic jurisprudence nor in Hamas’ charter which impedes women from

political participation. I believe the opposite is truethere are numerous Quranic verses

and sayings of the Prophet Muhammed urging women to be active in politics and public

issues affecting Muslims. But it is also true that for women, as it is for men, political activism

is not compulsory but voluntary, and is largely decided in light of each woman’s abilities,

qualifications and individual circumstances. None the less, showing concern for public

matters is mandatory upon each and every Muslim man and woman. The Prophet

Muhammed said: “He who doesn’t show concern for the affairs of Muslims is not a Muslim.”

En outre, Palestinian Islamist women have to take all objective factors on the ground into

account when deciding whether to join politics or get involved in political activism.


Profession, Colonialisme, Apartheid?

The Human Sciences Research Council

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa commissioned this study to test the hypothesis posed by Professor John Dugard in the report he presented to the UN Human Rights Council in January 2007, in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel (à savoir, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, et
Gaz, hereafter OPT). Professor Dugard posed the question: Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT. À la fois, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law. What are the legal consequences of a regime of prolonged occupation with features of colonialism and apartheid for the occupied people, the Occupying Power and third States?
In order to consider these consequences, this study set out to examine legally the premises of Professor Dugard’s question: is Israel the occupant of the OPT, et, if so, do elements of its occupation of these territories amount to colonialism or apartheid? South Africa has an obvious interest in these questions given its bitter history of apartheid, which entailed the denial of selfdetermination
to its majority population and, during its occupation of Namibia, the extension of apartheid to that territory which South Africa effectively sought to colonise. These unlawful practices must not be replicated elsewhere: other peoples must not suffer in the way the populations of South Africa and Namibia have suffered.
To explore these issues, an international team of scholars was assembled. The aim of this project was to scrutinise the situation from the nonpartisan perspective of international law, rather than engage in political discourse and rhetoric. This study is the outcome of a fifteen-month collaborative process of intensive research, consultation, writing and review. It concludes and, it is to be hoped, persuasively argues and clearly demonstrates that Israel, depuis 1967, has been the belligerent Occupying Power in the OPT, and that its occupation of these territories has become a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid. Belligerent occupation in itself is not an unlawful situation: it is accepted as a possible consequence of armed conflict. À la fois, under the law of armed conflict (also known as international humanitarian law), occupation is intended to be only a temporary state of affairs. International law prohibits the unilateral annexation or permanent acquisition of territory as a result of the threat or use of force: should this occur, no State may recognise or support the resulting unlawful situation. In contrast to occupation, both colonialism and apartheid are always unlawful and indeed are considered to be particularly serious breaches of international law because they are fundamentally contrary to core values of the international legal order. Colonialism violates the principle of self-determination,
which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has affirmed as ‘one of the essential principles of contemporary international law’. All States have a duty to respect and promote self-determination. Apartheid is an aggravated case of racial discrimination, which is constituted according to the International Convention for the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973,
hereafter ‘Apartheid Convention’) by ‘inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them’. The practice of apartheid, moreover, is an international crime.
Professor Dugard in his report to the UN Human Rights Council in 2007 suggested that an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s conduct should be sought from the ICJ. This advisory opinion would undoubtedly complement the opinion that the ICJ delivered in 2004 on the Legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territories (hereafter ‘the Wall advisory opinion’). This course of legal action does not exhaust the options open to the international community, nor indeed the duties of third States and international organisations when they are appraised that another State is engaged in the practices of colonialism or apartheid.

ISLAM, LA DÉMOCRATIE & LES ÉTATS UNIS:

Fondation Cordoue

Abdullah Faliq

Introduction ,


Bien qu'il s'agisse d'un débat à la fois éternel et complexe, Arches Quarterly réexamine à partir de motifs théologiques et pratiques, l'important débat sur la relation et la compatibilité entre l'islam et la démocratie, comme en écho dans le programme d'espoir et de changement de Barack Obama. Alors que beaucoup célèbrent l'ascension d'Obama au bureau ovale comme une catharsis nationale pour les États-Unis, d'autres restent moins optimistes quant à un changement d'idéologie et d'approche sur la scène internationale. Alors qu'une grande partie de la tension et de la méfiance entre le monde musulman et les États-Unis peut être attribuée à l'approche de promotion de la démocratie, typically favoring dictatorships and puppet regimes that pay lip-service to democratic values and human rights, the aftershock of 9/11 has truly cemented the misgivings further through America’s position on political Islam. It has created a wall of negativity as found by worldpublicopinion.org, according to which 67% of Egyptians believe that globally America is playing a “mainly negative” role.
America’s response has thus been apt. By electing Obama, many around the world are pinning their hopes for developing a less belligerent, but fairer foreign policy towards the Muslim world. Th e test for Obama, as we discuss, is how America and her allies promote democracy. Will it be facilitating or imposing?
En outre, can it importantly be an honest broker in prolonged zones of confl icts? Faire appel à l'expertise et à la perspicacité de prolifi
c érudits, universitaires, journalistes et politiciens chevronnés, Arches Quarterly met en lumière la relation entre l'islam et la démocratie et le rôle de l'Amérique - ainsi que les changements apportés par Obama, dans la recherche d'un terrain d'entente. Anas Altikriti, le PDG de la Fondation Cordoba fournit le pari d'ouverture de cette discussion, où il réfléchit sur les espoirs et les défis qui reposent sur le chemin d'Obama. Suivant Altikriti, l'ancien conseiller du président Nixon, Le Dr Robert Crane offre une analyse approfondie du principe islamique du droit à la liberté. Anouar Ibrahim, ancien vice-premier ministre de Malaisie, enrichit la discussion avec les réalités pratiques de la mise en œuvre de la démocratie dans les sociétés à dominante musulmane, à savoir, en Indonésie et en Malaisie.
We also have Dr Shireen Hunter, of Georgetown University, Etats-Unis, who explores Muslim countries lagging in democratisation and modernisation. Th is is complemented by terrorism writer, Dr Nafeez Ahmed’s explanation of the crisis of post-modernity and the
demise of democracy. Dr Daud Abdullah (Director of Middle East Media Monitor), Alan Hart (former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent; author of Zionism: Th e Real Enemy of the Jews) and Asem Sondos (Editor of Egypt’s Sawt Al Omma weekly) concentrate on Obama and his role vis-à-vis democracy-promotion in the Muslim world, as well as US relations with Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Minister of Foreign Aff airs, Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed speculates on the future of Islam and Democracy; Cllr. Gerry Maclochlainn
a Sinn Féin member who endured four years in prison for Irish Republican activities and a campaigner for the Guildford 4 and Birmingham 6, refl ects on his recent trip to Gaza where he witnessed the impact of the brutality and injustice meted out against Palestinians; Dr Marie Breen-Smyth, Director of the Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence discusses the challenges of critically researching political terror; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, writer and playwright, discusses prospects of peace in Darfur; and fi nally journalist and human rights activist Ashur Shamis looks critically at the democratisation and politicisation of Muslims today.
We hope all this makes for a comprehensive reading and a source for refl ection on issues that aff ect us all in a new dawn of hope.
Thank you

US Hamas policy blocks Middle East peace

Henry Siegman


Failed bilateral talks over these past 16 years have shown that a Middle East peace accord can never be reached by the parties themselves. Israeli governments believe they can defy international condemnation of their illegal colonial project in the West Bank because they can count on the US to oppose international sanctions. Bilateral talks that are not framed by US-formulated parameters (based on Security Council resolutions, the Oslo accords, the Arab Peace Initiative, the “road map” and other previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements) cannot succeed. Israel’s government believes that the US Congress will not permit an American president to issue such parameters and demand their acceptance. What hope there is for the bilateral talks that resume in Washington DC on September 2 depends entirely on President Obama proving that belief to be wrong, and on whether the “bridging proposals” he has promised, should the talks reach an impasse, are a euphemism for the submission of American parameters. Such a US initiative must offer Israel iron-clad assurances for its security within its pre-1967 borders, but at the same time must make it clear these assurances are not available if Israel insists on denying Palestinians a viable and sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza. This paper focuses on the other major obstacle to a permanent status agreement: the absence of an effective Palestinian interlocutor. Addressing Hamas’ legitimate grievances – and as noted in a recent CENTCOM report, Hamas has legitimate grievances – could lead to its return to a Palestinian coalition government that would provide Israel with a credible peace partner. If that outreach fails because of Hamas’ rejectionism, the organization’s ability to prevent a reasonable accord negotiated by other Palestinian political parties will have been significantly impeded. If the Obama administration will not lead an international initiative to define the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and actively promote Palestinian political reconciliation, Europe must do so, and hope America will follow. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that can guarantee the goal of “two states living side by side in peace and security.”
But President Obama’s present course absolutely precludes it.

FRÈRES MUSULMANS ÉGYPTE: CONFRONTATION OU INTÉGRATION?

Rechercher

Le succès de la Society of Muslim Brothers en novembre-décembre 2005 les élections à l’Assemblée du peuple ont provoqué une onde de choc dans le système politique égyptien. En réponse, le régime a réprimé le mouvement, harcelé d'autres rivaux potentiels et annulé son processus de réforme naissant. C'est dangereusement myope. Il y a lieu de s'inquiéter du programme politique des Frères musulmans, et ils doivent au peuple de véritables clarifications sur plusieurs de ses aspects. Mais le national démocrate au pouvoir
Fête (NPD) le refus de desserrer son emprise risque d'exacerber les tensions à la fois dans une période d'incertitude politique entourant la succession présidentielle et de graves troubles socio-économiques. Bien que ce soit probablement un, processus graduel, le régime devrait prendre des mesures préliminaires pour normaliser la participation des Frères musulmans à la vie politique. Les Frères musulmans, dont les activités sociales ont longtemps été tolérées mais dont le rôle dans la politique formelle est strictement limité, a remporté un sans précédent 20 pour cent des sièges parlementaires au 2005 élections. Ils l'ont fait malgré la compétition pour seulement un tiers des sièges disponibles et malgré des obstacles considérables, y compris la répression policière et la fraude électorale. Ce succès a confirmé leur position de force politique extrêmement bien organisée et profondément enracinée. À la fois, il a souligné les faiblesses de l'opposition légale et du parti au pouvoir. Le régime aurait bien pu parier qu’une augmentation modeste de la représentation parlementaire des Frères musulmans pourrait être utilisée pour attiser les craintes d’une prise de contrôle islamiste et servir ainsi de raison pour bloquer la réforme.. Le cas échéant, la stratégie risque fort de se retourner contre vous.

Islam et Démocratie

ITAC

Si l'on lit la presse ou écoute des commentateurs sur les affaires internationales, on dit souvent - et encore plus souvent sous-entendu mais pas dit - que l'islam n'est pas compatible avec la démocratie. Dans les années 90, Samuel Huntington a déclenché une tempête intellectuelle en publiant The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, dans lequel il présente ses prévisions pour le monde - en gros. Dans le domaine politique, il note que si la Turquie et le Pakistan peuvent prétendre à une «légitimité démocratique», tous les autres «… les pays musulmans étaient majoritairement non démocratiques: monarchies, systèmes à un seul parti, régimes militaires, dictatures personnelles ou une combinaison de celles-ci, reposant généralement sur une famille limitée, clan, ou base tribale ». La prémisse sur laquelle se fonde son argument est qu’ils ne sont pas seulement «pas comme nous», ils sont en fait opposés à nos valeurs démocratiques essentielles. Il croit, comme les autres, que tandis que l'idée de démocratisation occidentale est combattue dans d'autres parties du monde, la confrontation est la plus notable dans les régions où l'islam est la religion dominante.
L'argument a également été avancé de l'autre côté. Un érudit religieux iranien, réflexion sur une crise constitutionnelle du début du XXe siècle dans son pays, a déclaré que l'islam et la démocratie ne sont pas compatibles parce que les gens ne sont pas égaux et qu'un organe législatif n'est pas nécessaire en raison de la nature inclusive de la loi religieuse islamique. Une position similaire a été prise plus récemment par Ali Belhadj, un professeur de lycée algérien, prédicateur et (dans ce contexte) leader du FIS, lorsqu'il a déclaré que «la démocratie n'était pas un concept islamique». La déclaration la plus dramatique à cet effet est peut-être celle d'Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, chef des insurgés sunnites en Irak qui, face à la perspective d'une élection, a dénoncé la démocratie comme «un principe diabolique».
Mais selon certains érudits musulmans, la démocratie reste un idéal important de l'islam, avec la mise en garde qu'il est toujours soumis à la loi religieuse. L'accent mis sur la place primordiale de la charia est un élément de presque tous les commentaires islamiques sur la gouvernance, modéré ou extrémiste. Seulement si la règle, qui reçoit son autorité de Dieu, limite ses actions à la «supervision de l’administration de la charia» est-il à obéir. S'il fait autre chose que ça, il est un non-croyant et les musulmans engagés doivent se rebeller contre lui. C'est là que réside la justification d'une grande partie de la violence qui a frappé le monde musulman dans des luttes telles que celle qui prévalait en Algérie dans les années 90.

Continuité organisationnelle dans les Frères musulmans d’Égypte

Eisenhart Lee Tess

En tant que mouvement d’opposition le plus ancien et le plus important d’Égypte, la Société de

Frères musulmans, al-ikhwan al-muslimeen, a longtemps posé un défi aux séculiers successifs
régimes en offrant une vision globale d'un État islamique et
Services sociaux. Depuis sa fondation en 1928, la fraternité (Ikhwan) a prospéré dans un
secteur parallèle des services religieux et sociaux, évitant généralement la confrontation directe avec
régimes en place.1 Plus récemment au cours des deux dernières décennies, cependant, la Fraternité a
touché à la partisanerie dans le domaine politique formel. Cette expérience a abouti à
l’élection des quatre-vingt-huit Frères à l’Assemblée du peuple en 2005 - la plus importante
bloc d'opposition dans l'histoire égyptienne moderne - et les arrestations subséquentes de près de
1,000 Frères.2 L'avancée électorale dans la politique dominante fournit un
pour que les érudits testent des théories et fassent des prédictions sur l'avenir de l'Égyptien
régime: tombera-t-il aux mains de l'opposition islamiste ou restera-t-il un phare de la laïcité
monde arabe?
Cette thèse évite de faire de telles spéculations. Plutôt, il explore

la mesure dans laquelle les Frères musulmans se sont adaptés en tant qu'organisation dans le passé
décennie.

ENTRE HIER ET AUJOURD'HUI

HASAN AL-BANNA

Le premier État islamique
Sur la base de cet ordre social coranique vertueux, le premier État islamique est né, avoir une foi inébranlable en il, l'appliquer méticuleusement, et le répandre dans le monde, de sorte que le premier Khilafah disait: 'Si je devrait perdre la tête d'un chameau, Je le trouverais dans le livre d’Allah. ». Il a combattu ceux qui refusaient de payer la zakah, En ce qui concerne eux comme apostats parce qu'ils avaient renversé l'un des piliers de cet ordre, en disant: «Par Allah, s'ils refusaient moi une piste qu'ils remettraient à l'apôtre d'Allah (PBUH), Je les combattrais dès que j'aurais un épée dans ma main!’Pour l’unité, dans toutes ses significations et manifestations, imprégné cette nouvelle nation à venir.
L’unité sociale complète est née de l’universalisation de l’ordre coranique et de son langage, tout en politique l'unité était sous l'ombre de l'Amir Al-Mumineen et sous l'étendard du Khilafah dans la capitale.
Le fait que l'idéologie islamique était celle de la décentralisation des forces armées, les trésors de l'État, et les gouverneurs de province ne se sont pas avérés être un obstacle à cette, puisque tous ont agi selon un seul credo et un et contrôle complet. Les principes coraniques ont dissipé et anéanti l'idolâtrie superstitieuse qui prévaut dans la péninsule arabique et en Perse. Ils ont banni le judaïsme trompeur et l'ont confiné à une province étroite, mettre fin à son autorité religieuse et politique. Ils ont lutté avec le christianisme de telle sorte que son influence était fortement diminué sur les continents asiatique et africain, confiné uniquement à l'Europe sous la garde des Byzantins Empire à Constantinople. Ainsi, l'État islamique est devenu le centre de la domination spirituelle et politique au sein les deux plus grands continents. Cet État a persisté dans ses attaques contre le troisième continent, agresser Constantinople depuis l'est et l'assiégeant jusqu'à ce que le siège devienne lassant. Puis il est venu de l'ouest,
plonger en Espagne, avec ses soldats victorieux atteignant le cœur de la France et pénétrant jusqu'au nord et sud de l'Italie. Il a établi un État imposant en Europe occidentale, rayonnant de science et de savoir.
Ensuite, il a mis fin à la conquête de Constantinople elle-même et au christianisme confiné dans la zone restreinte d'Europe centrale. Les flottes islamiques se sont aventurées dans les profondeurs de la Méditerranée et de la mer Rouge, les deux sont devenus Lacs islamiques. Et ainsi les forces armées de l'Etat islamique ont assumé la suprématie des mers à la fois à l'Est et l'Ouest, jouissant d'une maîtrise absolue sur terre et sur mer. Ces nations islamiques avaient déjà combiné et incorporé beaucoup de choses d'autres civilisations, mais ils ont triomphé par la force de leur foi et de la solidité de leur système par rapport aux autres. Ils les ont arabisés, ou réussi à le faire dans une certaine mesure, et étaient capable de les influencer et de les convertir à la splendeur, beauté et vitalité de leur langue et de leur religion. Le Les musulmans étaient libres d'adopter tout ce qui était bénéfique à d'autres civilisations, dans la mesure où il n'a pas eu d'effets indésirables sur leur unité sociale et politique.

La démocratie dans la pensée politique islamique

Azzam S. Tamimi

La démocratie préoccupe les penseurs politiques arabes depuis l'aube de la renaissance arabe moderne il y a environ deux siècles. Depuis, le concept de démocratie a changé et s'est développé sous l'influence de divers développements sociaux et politiques. La discussion sur la démocratie dans la littérature arabo-islamique remonte à Rifa'a Tahtawi, le père de la démocratie égyptienne selon Lewis Awad,[3] qui peu de temps après son retour au Caire de Paris a publié son premier livre, Takhlis Al-Ibriz Ila Talkhis Bariz, dans 1834. Le livre résumait ses observations sur les mœurs et les coutumes du français moderne,[4] et a fait l'éloge du concept de démocratie tel qu'il le voyait en France et en étant témoin de sa défense et de sa réaffirmation à travers le 1830 Révolution contre le roi Charles X.[5] Tahtawi a tenté de montrer que le concept démocratique qu'il expliquait à ses lecteurs était compatible avec la loi de l'islam. Il a comparé le pluralisme politique aux formes de pluralisme idéologique et jurisprudentiel qui existaient dans l'expérience islamique:
La liberté religieuse est la liberté de croyance, d'opinion et de secte, à condition de ne pas contredire les fondements de la religion . . . La même chose s'appliquerait à la liberté de pratique politique et d'opinion des principaux administrateurs, qui s'efforcent d'interpréter et d'appliquer les règles et les dispositions conformément aux lois de leur propre pays. Les rois et les ministres sont autorisés dans le domaine de la politique à suivre diverses voies qui, en fin de compte, servent un seul but.: bonne administration et justice.[6] Un jalon important à cet égard a été la contribution de Khairuddin At-Tunisi (1810- 99), leader du mouvement de réforme du XIXe siècle en Tunisie, qui, dans 1867, a formulé un plan général de réforme dans un livre intitulé Aqwam Al-Masalik Fi Taqwim Al- Revenir (La voie directe pour réformer les gouvernements). La principale préoccupation du livre était d'aborder la question de la réforme politique dans le monde arabe. Tout en appelant les politiciens et les universitaires de son temps à rechercher tous les moyens possibles afin d'améliorer le statut de la
communauté et développer sa courtoisie, il a mis en garde le grand public musulman de ne pas fuir les expériences d'autres nations sur la base de l'idée fausse que tous les écrits, inventions, les expériences ou les attitudes des non-musulmans doivent être rejetées ou ignorées.
Khairuddin a en outre appelé à la fin du régime absolutiste, qu'il a blâmé pour l'oppression des nations et la destruction des civilisations.

Les partis islamistes : pourquoi ils ne peuvent pas être démocratique

Bassam Tibi

Noting Islamism’s growing appeal and strength on the ground, many

Western scholars and officials have been grasping for some way to take

an inclusionary approach toward it. In keeping with this desire, it has

become fashionable contemptuously to dismiss the idea of insisting on

clear and rigorous distinctions as “academic.” When it comes to Islam

and democracy, this deplorable fashion has been fraught with unfortunate

consequences.

Intelligent discussion of Islamism, la démocratie, and Islam requires

clear and accurate definitions. Without them, analysis will collapse into

confusion and policy making will suffer. My own view, formed after

thirty years of study and reflection regarding the matter, is that Islam and

democracy are indeed compatible, provided that certain necessary religious

reforms are made. The propensity to deliver on such reforms is what

I see as lacking in political Islam. My own avowed interest—as an Arab-

Muslim prodemocracy theorist and practitioner—is to promote the establishment

of secular democracy within the ambit of Islamic civilization.

In order to help clear away the confusion that all too often surrounds

this topic, I will lay out several basic points to bear in mind. The first is

cette, so far, Western practices vis-`a-vis political Islam have been faulty

because they have lacked the underpinning of a well-founded assessment.

Unless blind luck intervenes, no policy can be better than the assessment

upon which it is based. Proper assessment is the beginning of

all practical wisdom.

Islamist parties : Three kinds of movements

Tamara Cofman

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

Political Islam: Ready for Engagement?

Emad El-Din Shahin

The voluminous literature on reform and democratization in the Middle East region reveals a number of facts: a main obstacle to reform is the incumbent regimes that have been trying to resist and circumvent genuine democratic transformations; political reform cannot be credible without integrating moderate Islamists in the process; and external actors (mainly the US and the EU) have not yet formulated a coherent approach to reform that could simultaneously achieve stability and democracy in the region. This paper explores the possibilities and implications of a European engagement with moderate Islamists on democracy promotion in the region. It argues that the EU approach to political reform in the Middle East region needs to be enhanced and linked to realities on the ground. Political reform cannot be effective without the integration of non-violent Islamic groups in a gradual, multifaceted process. It should be highlighted that the process of engagement is a risky one for both the EU and the Islamists, yet both stand to gain from a systematic dialogue on democracy. To reduce the risks, the engagement with political Islam should come within a broader EU strategy for democracy promotion in the region. En réalité, what the Islamists would expect from Europe is to maintain a
consistent and assertive stand on political reforms that would allow for a genuine representation of the popular will through peaceful means.
In this regard, a number of questions seem pertinent. Does the EU really need to engage political Islam in democratic reforms? Is political Islam ready for engagement and will it be willing to engage? How can an engagement policy be formulated on the basis of plausible implementation with minimal risks to the interests of the parties involved?

The Mismeasure of Political Islam

Martin Kramer

Perhaps no development of the last decade of the twentieth century has caused as much confusion in the West as the emergence of political Islam. Just what does it portend? Is it against modernity, or is it an effect of modernity? Is it against nationalism, or is it a
form of nationalism? Is it a striving for freedom, or a revolt against freedom?
One would think that these are difficult questions to answer, and that they would inspire deep debates. Yet over the past few years, a surprisingly broad consensus has emerged within academe about the way political Islam should be measured. This consensus has
begun to spread into parts of government as well, especially in the U.S. and Europe. A paradigm has been built, and its builders claim that its reliability and validity are beyond question.
This now-dominant paradigm runs as follows. The Arab Middle East and North Africa are stirring. The peoples in these lands are still under varieties of authoritarian or despotic rule. But they are moved by the same universal yearning for democracy that transformed Eastern Europe and Latin America. True, there are no movements we would easily recognize as democracy movements. But for historical and cultural reasons, this universal yearning has taken the form of Islamist protest movements. If these do not look
like democracy movements, it is only a consequence of our own age-old bias against Islam. When the veil of prejudice is lifted, one will see Islamist movements for what they are: the functional equivalents of democratic reform movements. True, on the edges of these movements are groups that are atavistic and authoritarian. Some of their members are prone to violence. These are theextremists.” But the mainstream movements are essentially open, pluralistic, and nonviolent, led bymoderatesorreformists.” Thesemoderatescan be strengthened if they are made partners in the political process, and an initial step must be dialogue. But ultimately, the most effective way to domesticate the Islamists is to permit them to share or possess power. There is no threat here unless the West creates it, by supporting acts of state repression that would deny Islamists access to participation or power.

Les partis islamistes , ARE THEY DEMOCRATS? DOES it matter ?

Tarek Masoud

Driven by a sense that “the Islamists are coming,” journalists and policy makers have been engaged of late in fevered speculation over whether Islamist parties such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood (MB) or Palestine’s Hamas really believe in democracy. While I attempt to outline the boundaries of the Islamist democratic commitment, I think that peering into the Islamist soul is a misuse of energies. The Islamists are not coming. En outre, as Adam Przeworski and others have argued, commitments to democracy are more often born of environmental constraints than of true belief. Instead of worrying whether Islamists are real democrats,
our goal should be to help fortify democratic and liberal institutions and actors so that no group—Islamist or otherwise—can subvert them.
But what is this movement over whose democratic bona fides we worry? Islamism is a slippery concept. Par exemple, if we label as Islamist those parties that call for the application of shari‘a, we must exclude Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (which is widely considered Islamist) and include Egypt’s ruling National Democratic Party (which actively represses Islamists). Instead of becoming mired in definitional issues, we would do better to focus on a set of political parties that have grown from the same historical roots, derive many of their goals and positions from the same body of ideas, and maintain organizational ties to one another—that is, those parties that spring from the international MB. These include the Egyptian mother organization (founded in 1928), but also Hamas, Jordan’s Islamic Action Front, Algeria’s Movement for a Peaceful Society, the Iraqi Islamic Party, Lebanon’s Islamic Group, and others.

Muslim Civil Society in Urban Public Spaces: Globalization, Discursive Shifts, and Social Movements

Paul M. Lubeck
Bryana Britt
Cities are processes, not products. The three Islamic elements that set in motion the processes that give rise to Islamic cities were: a distinction between the members of the Umma and the outsiders, which led to juridical and spatial distinction by neighborhoods; the segregation of the sexes which gave rise to a particular solution to the question of spatial organization; and a legal system which, rather than imposing general regulations over land uses of various types in various places, left to the litigation of the neighbors the detailed adjudication of mutual rights over space and use. (Janet Abu Lughod 1987: 173)
Framing: Muslim Movements in Urban Situations We live in an intellectual moment when the complexity of the global Islamic
revival renders it difficult to generalize about Muslim institutions, social movements, and discursive practices. While diversity and locality remain paramount features of Muslim cities, globalization has inadvertently nurtured transnational Muslim networks from the homeland of Islam and extended them into the web of interconnected world cities. Quite opportunistically, urban-based
Muslim networks and insurrectionist movements now thrive in the interstitial spaces created by the new global communication and transportation infrastructures. What, then, are the long-term patterns for Muslims in cities? Since the last millennium, as Janet Abu-Lughod reminds us, “the Islamic cityhas been the primary site for: defining power relations between ruler and subject, specifying the rights and identities of spatial communities, and regulating urban social relations between genders. Today’s Muslim city remains the epicenter of a burgeoning public sphere in which informed publics debate highly contested Islamic discourses regarding social justice,