RSSAlle reacties Tagged With: "POLITIEKE"

Islam en het nieuwe politieke landschap

De Back, Michael Keith, Azra Khan,
Kalbir Shukra en John Solomos

In de nasleep van de aanslag op het World Trade Center op 11 September 2001, en de Madrid en Londen bomaanslagen 2004 en 2005, een literatuur die adressen de vormen en modaliteiten van religieuze expressie - met name islamitische religieuze expressie - heeft bloeide in de penumbral regio's die verwijzen mainstream sociale wetenschappen te ontwerpen sociaal beleid, denktanks en journalistiek. Veel van het werk heeft geprobeerd om de houding of de aanleg van een moslimbevolking te definiëren in een bepaalde site van spanning, zoals Londen of het Verenigd Koninkrijk (Barnes, 2006; Ethnos Consultancy, 2005; GFK, 2006; GLA, 2006; Populus, 2006), of bekritiseerd bepaalde vormen van interventie sociaal beleid (Helder, 2006een; Mirza et al., 2007). Studies van het islamisme en jihadisme hebben een bijzondere nadruk gemaakt op de syncretic en complexe verbanden tussen islamitische religieuze geloof en de vormen van sociale bewegingen en politieke mobilisatie (Husain, 2007; Kepel, 2004, 2006; McRoy, 2006; Neville-Jones et al., 2006, 2007; Phillips, 2006; Roy, 2004, 2006). conventioneel, de analytische focus is de cultuur van de islam onder de aandacht gebracht, de overtuigingen van de gelovigen, en de historische en geografische trajecten van de moslimbevolking in de hele wereld in het algemeen en in ‘het Westen’ in het bijzonder (Abbas, 2005; Ansari, 2002; Eade en Garbin, 2002; Hussein, 2006; Modood, 2005; Ramadan, 1999, 2005). In dit artikel ligt de nadruk anders. We stellen dat studies van de islamitische politieke participatie moeten zorgvuldig worden contextualized zonder beroep te doen op grote algemeenheden over cultuur en geloof. Dit komt omdat zowel de cultuur en het geloof zijn gestructureerd door en op zijn beurt de structuur van de culturele, institutionele en deliberatieve landschappen waardoor zij worden gearticuleerd. In het geval van de Britse ervaring, de verborgen sporen van het christendom in de vorming van de verzorgingsstaat in de vorige eeuw, de snel veranderende cartografie van ruimten van de politieke en de rol van ‘religieuze organisaties’ in de herstructurering van de sociale voorzieningen genereren van de materiële maatschappelijke context bepalen van de kansen en de contouren van nieuwe vormen van politieke participatie.

Egyptische Moslimbroeders: CONFRONTATIE of integratie?

Onderzoek

De Vereniging van het succes Moslimbroeders in het november-december 2005 verkiezingen voor de Volksvergadering zond schokgolven door middel van politieke systeem van Egypte. In antwoord, het regime met harde hand op de beweging, lastiggevallen andere potentiële rivalen en zijn vliegvlug hervormingsproces omgekeerd. Dit is gevaarlijk kortzichtig. Er is reden om bezorgd te zijn over het politieke programma van de Moslimbroeders, en ze te danken aan de mensen echte opheldering over een aantal van zijn aspecten. Maar de regerende Nationale Democratische
Party's (NDP) weigering om zijn greep los te maken risico's verergeren spanningen in een tijd van zowel de politieke onzekerheid rond de presidentiële successie en ernstige sociaal-economische onrust. Hoewel dit zal waarschijnlijk een langdurige, geleidelijk proces, de regeling moet voorbereidende stappen te nemen om de deelname van de Moslimbroeders in het politieke leven te normaliseren. De Moslimbroeders, wier sociale activiteiten zijn reeds lang getolereerd, maar waarvan de rol in de formele politiek strikt beperkt, won een ongekende 20 procent van de parlementszetels in de 2005 verkiezingen. Zij deden dat ondanks concurreren voor slechts een derde van de beschikbare zitplaatsen en ondanks aanzienlijke hindernissen, inbegrip van de politie repressie en verkiezingsfraude. Dit succes bevestigt hun positie als een uiterst, overzichtelijk en diepgewortelde politieke kracht. Tegelijkertijd, Hij benadrukte dat er zwakke punten van zowel de legale oppositie en de regerende partij. Het regime zou goed hebben ingezet, dat een bescheiden toename van de parlementaire vertegenwoordiging van de Moslimbroeders kunnen worden gebruikt om stoke vrees voor een islamistische overname en daarbij dienen als een reden om kraam hervorming. Als, de strategie is op zware risico van terugslag.

Op zoek naar islamitisch constitutionalisme

Nadirsyah Pants

While constitutionalism in the West is mostly identified with secular thought, Islamic constitutionalism, which incorporates some religious elements, has attracted growing interest in recent years. Bijvoorbeeld, the Bush administration’s response to the events of 9/11 radically transformed the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan, and both countries are now rewriting their constitutions. Als
Ann Elizabeth Mayer points out, Islamic constitutionalism is constitutionalism that is, in some form, based on Islamic principles, as opposed to the constitutionalism developed in countries that happen to be Muslim but which has not been informed by distinctively Islamic principles. Several Muslim scholars, among them Muhammad Asad3 and Abul A`la al-Maududi, have written on such aspects of constitutional issues as human rights and the separation of powers. Evenwel, in general their works fall into apologetics, as Chibli Mallat points out:
Whether for the classical age or for the contemporary Muslim world, scholarly research on public law must respect a set of axiomatic requirements.
Eerst, the perusal of the tradition cannot be construed as a mere retrospective reading. By simply projecting present-day concepts backwards, it is all too easy to force the present into the past either in an apologetically contrived or haughtily dismissive manner. The approach is apologetic and contrived when Bills of Rights are read into, say, the Caliphate of `Umar, with the presupposition that the “just” qualities of `Umar included the complex and articulate precepts of constitutional balance one finds in modern texts

Islamitische politieke cultuur, Democratie, en mensenrechten

Daniel E. Prijs

Er is beweerd dat de islam autoritarisme faciliteert, is in tegenspraak met de

waarden van westerse samenlevingen, en heeft een aanzienlijke invloed op belangrijke politieke resultaten

in moslimlanden. Vervolgens, geleerden, commentatoren, en overheid

ambtenaren wijzen vaak op ‘islamitisch fundamentalisme’ als het volgende

ideologische bedreiging voor liberale democratieën. Dit beeld, echter, is voornamelijk gebaseerd

over de analyse van teksten, Islamitische politieke theorie, en ad-hocstudies

van individuele landen, die geen rekening houden met andere factoren. Het is mijn bewering

dat de teksten en tradities van de islam, zoals die van andere religies,

kan worden gebruikt ter ondersteuning van een verscheidenheid aan politieke systemen en beleid. Land

specific and descriptive studies do not help us to find patterns that will help

us explain the varying relationships between Islam and politics across the

countries of the Muslim world. Vandaar, een nieuwe benadering van de studie van de

verbinding tussen islam en politiek nodig is.
ik stel voor, door een grondige evaluatie van de relatie tussen de islam,

democratie, en mensenrechten op grensoverschrijdend niveau, that too much

emphasis is being placed on the power of Islam as a political force. I first

use comparative case studies, which focus on factors relating to the interplay

between Islamic groups and regimes, economische invloeden, etnische breuklijnen,

en maatschappelijke ontwikkeling, to explain the variance in the influence of

Islam on politics across eight nations.

Hamas en politieke hervormingen in het Midden-Oosten

David Mepham

The lesson of Palestine’s election is that the international community should become more serious and sophisticated about political reform in the middle east, says David Mepham of the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Hamas’s stunning victory in the 25 January elections to the Palestinian Legislative Council raises three critical questions for international policymakers:
• why did it happen – that an organisation labelled asterroristby the Israelis, the European Union and the United States manages to win the support of a majority of Palestinian voters?
• how should the international community now respond?
• where does Hamas’s victory leave the cause of political reform and democratisation in the middle east?
The rise of Hamas
Much of the immediate international commentary on the election result has focused on the failings of Fatah during the decade in which the movement held power in the Palestinian Authority (PA) – including the rampant corruption of senior Fatah officials and the lack of meaningful democracy within the PA. There was also a sizeable positive vote for Hamas. The organisation is seen by many Palestinians as untainted by corruption, en, unlike the PA, it has a good track record of providing health, education and other services.
The other part of the explanation for the Hamas victory – less discussed in the international media – has been the failure of thepeace processand the radicalising and impoverishing effects of the Israeli occupation. Under the premiership of Ariel Sharon since 2001, Israel has all but destroyed the infrastructure of the Palestinian Authority. Israel has also continued its policy of illegal settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, and it is in the process of building aseparation barrier”.
Israel is not building the barrier on its pre-1967 occupation border (which it would be allowed to do under international law). Rather it plans to build 80% of the barrier inside Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory. This involves incorporating the main Israeli settlement blocs, as well as taking over Palestinian agricultural lands and water resources. This restricts Palestinian freedom of movement, and makes it much harder for Palestinians to access their schools, health facilities and jobs.
These policies are oppressive and humiliating; they also have disastrous economic consequences. The United Nations estimates that poverty levels have more than trebled in the last five years, that 60% of Palestinians are now living in poverty, and that unemployment is around 30%. These conditions have provided very fertile soil for the radicalisation of Palestinian opinion and for the rise of Hamas.
The short-term challenge
Hamas’s electoral victory presents the international community with a real conundrum.
On the one hand, de “Quartet” (de Verenigde Staten, de Europese Unie, Russia and the United Nations) is right to say that full-scale peace negotiations with Hamas will require significant movement on Hamas’s part. Hamas does not recognise the state of Israel. It also supports violence, including attacks on Israeli civilians, as part of its strategy for Palestinian national liberation. Anyone expecting an immediate and formal shift in Hamas policy on these issues is likely to be disappointed.
But intelligent international diplomacy can still make a difference. While they are reluctant to formally proclaim it, there is evidence that some senior Hamas leaders accept the reality of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. Bovendien, on the question of violence Hamas has largely maintained a unilateral truce (tahdi’a) for the past year. Extending this truce, and working for a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire, should be the immediate focus of international diplomacy towards Hamas, if necessary through third-party intermediaries.
The other critical international objective should be to avoid the collapse of the Palestinian Authority. Fatah’s mismanagement and the disastrous consequences of Israeli occupation and closures have left the PA in a desperate state and entirely dependent on donor funding to stay afloat. In 2005, the EU provided £338 million, while the US contributed £225 million. Cutting that assistance overnight would plunge tens of thousands of Palestinians into acute poverty, triggering social implosion and anarchy. But donors are rightly worried about transferring resources to a government dominated by Hamas.
One possibility would be to press for a government of Palestinian technocrats, without senior Hamas figures in key ministerial positions, and to rely on Mahmoud Abbas, the directly elected Palestinian president, as the main interlocutor for the international community. Something along these lines appears to command support amongst the Quartet. If the immediate economic situation can be stabilised, then there is at least a possibility of encouraging Hamas to move in a political direction through a policy of gradual, conditional engagement. Pressure on Israel to live up to its obligations under international law, for example by ending illegal settlement activity, would also help: persuading a sceptical Palestinian public that the world does care about their plight and is committed to a two-state solution.
The regional prospect
While Hamas’s victory has focused attention on the immediate crisis in the Palestinian territories, it raises wider questions about the process of political reform and democratisation in the broader middle east, a process advocated so publicly by the Bush administration. It is ironic, to say the least, that Hamas – a group with which the United States refuses to deal – should be the beneficiary of a free and fair election encouraged by US policy. Some will draw from this the conclusion that democratic reform in the middle east is a hopelessly misguided enterprise and one that should be abandoned forthwith. Smallcconservatives, on all sides of the political spectrum, will feel vindicated in highlighting the risks of rapid political change and in pointing out the virtues of stability.
It is true that political change carries risks, including the risk that radical Islamists like Hamas will be the major beneficiaries of political liberalisation. While this is a reasonable concern, those who highlight it tend to overlook the diversity of political Islamists in the region, the special circumstances that account for the rise of Hamas, and the extent to which some Islamists have moderated their positions in recent years. Unlike Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the Islamic Action Front in Jordan and the Justice & Development Party in Morocco all reject violence and have committed themselves to pluralistic politics.
Nor do the critics suggest a better alternative for addressing the phenomenon of political Islamism across the region than the attempted engagement of Islamists in the political process. Repression of Islamists and their systematic exclusion from political institutions has been a recipe for instability and extremism, not moderation.
There is obviously a strong critique to be made of the Bush administration’s attempts to promote political change in the middle east, not least the multiple failings of its policy in Iraq. More broadly, the US lacks credibility in the region as a force for democracy and human rights because of its largely uncritical support for Israel, and its military, diplomatic and often financial backing for many of the more authoritarian regimes in the region. Even when it is particularly outspoken on the need for greater democracy, for example in its recent dealings with President Mubarak of Egypt, the administration’s anti-terrorism agenda consistently trumps its political reform objectives.
But exposing the folly and ineffectiveness of US policy is one thing; ditching the commitment to political reform in the middle east is quite another. The international community needs to strengthen not weaken its commitment to accountable government and human rights in the region. In thinking about political change in the middle east – where the concept of a democratic culture is often very weak – international actors need to give as much emphasis toconstitutionalismas to elections, important though elections are. In this context, constitutionalism means a balance of powers, including checks on the executive, a fair and independent legal process, a free press and media, and the protection of the rights of minorities.
It is important too for international actors to be realistic about what can be achieved in particular countries and over particular timescales. In some cases, support for political reform might involve pushing hard now for genuinely free elections. In other cases, a higher short-term priority for political reform might be encouraging an enlarged space in which opposition groups or civil society can function, greater freedom for the press, support for educational reforms and cultural exchanges, and promoting more inclusive economic development.
It is also vital to think more imaginatively about creating incentives for political reform in the middle east. There is a particular role for the European Union here. The experience of political change in other parts of the world suggests that countries can be persuaded to undertake very significant political and economic reforms if this is part of a process that yields real benefits to the ruling elite and the wider society. The way in which the prospect of EU membership has been used to bring about far-reaching change in eastern and central Europe is a good example of this. The process of Turkey’s accession to the EU can be seen in a similar vein.
A critical question is whether such a process might be used more broadly to stimulate political reform across the middle east, through initiatives like the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The ENP will provide participating middle-eastern states with a stake in EU institutions, in particular the single market, providing a powerful incentive for reform. It also allows for the EU to reward countries that make faster progress against agreed benchmarks for political reform.
There are no simple answers to the current problems besetting the middle east. But the lesson to be drawn from the Hamas result is emphatically not that the international community should give up on the cause of political reform in the region. Rather it should become more serious and sophisticated about helping to support it.

De politieke evolutie van de Moslimbroederschap in Egypte

Stephen Bennett

“Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur’an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

Since its early days in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood has created much controversy, as some argue that the organization advocates violence in the name of Islam. According to Dr. Mamoun Fandy of the James A. Baker III Institute of Public Policy, jihadism and the activation of the views of the world of the house of Islam and the house of war are the ideas that emerged from the writings and the teachings of the Muslim Brotherhood” (Livesy, 2005). The primary evidence for this argument is notable member of the Brotherhood, Sayeed Qutb, who is credited with developing the revisionist and controversial interpretation of jihad that provided religious justifications for violence committed by offshoot organizations of the Brotherhood like al-jihad, al-Takfir wa al-Hijra, Hamas, en al-Qaeda.

Yet that is still a debatable position, because despite being the ideological parent of these violent organizations, the Muslim Brotherhood itself has always maintained an official stance against violence and instead has promoted Islamic civil and social action at the grassroots level. Within the first twenty years of its existence the Muslim Brotherhood gained status as the most influential of all major groups in the Middle East through its popular activism. It also spread from Egypt into other nations throughout the region and served as the catalyst for many of the successful popular liberation movements against Western colonialism in the Middle East.

While it has retained most of its founding principles from its inception, the Muslim Brotherhood has made a dramatic transformation in some crucial aspects of its political ideology. Formerly denounced by many as a terrorist organization, as of late the Muslim Brotherhood has been labeled by most current scholars of the Middle East as politically “moderate”, “politically centrist”, and “accommodationist” to Egypt’s political and governmental structures (Abed-Kotob, 1995, P. 321-322). Sana Abed-Kotob also tells us that of the current Islamist opposition groups that exist today “the more ‘radical’ or militant of these groups insist upon revolutionary change that is to be imposed on the masses and political system, whereas… the new Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, call for gradual change that is to be undertaken from within the political system and with the enlistment of the Muslim masses”

De Moslim Broederschap in België

Steve Merley,
Senior Analyst


De Global Moslim Broederschap is aanwezig in Europa sinds 1960 wanneer SaidRamadan, de kleinzoon van Hassan al-Banna, stichtte een moskee in Munich.1 Sinds die tijd,Broederschap organisaties opgericht in bijna alle EU-landen, evenals asnon-EU-landen, zoals Rusland en Turkije. Ondanks die onder andere namen, sommige Ofthe organisaties in de grotere landen worden erkend als onderdeel van het wereldwijde MuslimBrotherhood. Bijvoorbeeld, de Unie van Islamitische Organisaties van Frankrijk (UOIF) isgenerally beschouwd als onderdeel van de Moslim Broederschap in Frankrijk. Het netwerk wordt alsobecoming bekend in een aantal van de kleinere landen zoals Nederland, waarbij een recentNEFA Stichting verslag van de activiteiten van de Moslimbroederschap in dat country.2Neighboring België gedetailleerd is ook een belangrijk centrum voor de Moslim Broederschap inEurope geworden. EEN 2002 rapporteren door de Intelligence Committee van het Belgische parlement explainedhow de Broederschap is actief in België:“De Staatsveiligheid is naar aanleiding van de activiteiten van de InternationalMuslim Broederschap in België sinds 1982. De International MuslimBrotherhood heeft een clandestiene structuur voor bijna 20 jaar. De identityof de leden is geheim; ze werken in de grootste discretie. Ze zoeken tospread hun ideologie binnen de islamitische gemeenschap van België en ze aimin het bijzonder aan de jongeren van de tweede en derde generatie ofimmigrants. In België als in andere Europese landen, they try to take controlof the religious, social, and sports associations and establish themselves asprivileged interlocutors of the national authorities in order to manage Islamicaffairs. The Muslim Brotherhood assumes that the national authorities will bepressed more and more to select Muslim leaders for such management and,in deze context, they try to insert within the representative bodies, individualsinfluenced by their ideology.

Het succes van de Moslimbroederschap bij de wetgevende verkiezingen in Egypte 2005

Hoewel Antar


In the context of an unprecedented opening of the political system in Egypt in 2004/2005, de Moslim Broederschap (MB) scored an impressive success in the 2005 legislative elections that showed that the mainstream non-violent Islamist movement, despite the legal ban of the movement itself and of its political activities, is the only influential and organised political opposition in the face of the veteran National Democratic Party (NDP).Reasons for the Muslim Brotherhood’s electoral success in 2005The first set of reasons for the MB’s success is related to the changes that occurred in the political context. Above all, the first presidential elections that took place in September 2005 had a direct impact on the legislative elections in November the same year: By opening up competition for the post of the president, the election signalled the unprecedented impasse of the regime seeking to patch up its legitimacy. In aanvulling, civic protest movements had emerged that rejected the political system much more fundamentally and called for comprehensive reform. The most important of these has been the dynamic protest movement called the Egyptian Movement for Change, Kifaya. Evenwel, as a second set of factors, the regime itself can also be considered a factor in the MB’s rising influence: The NDP and government officials have relied heavily on religious arguments; they have oppressed secular or liberal opponents; they have nourished obscurantist religious trends in Al-Azhar and among religious groups; and they have let the MB take charge of welfare services in order to save on the state budget. Ook, the regime has allowed Islamist activists to enter trade unions, while reserving the leadership positions for the NDP. There is a third set of reasons for the MB’s success which is related to the movement’s long term strategy to build a societal base: The MB’s strategic approach has been to invest in welfare services so as to build a large power base among the population that they are able to mobilize politically. And indeed, not only have many MB candidates gained credibility and respect through their daily contacts with the people, the movement has been investing in the social sphere for more than 30 jaar. In a society in which 40 percent of the population lives under the poverty line and the political participation rate is only 25 procent, providing services in all vital sectors – education, health, and employment – has proved to be the fastest and most successful way to gain supporters. Fourth, using the religious sphere as a place for political mobilisation has been a successful strategy of the MB. Those affiliated with the MB, members and sympathizers, often saw it as a religious duty to vote for a candidate of the movement. Despite the doubts the slogan “Islam is the solution” raised among many, the MB continued to use it because it wanted to focus on religion as the determining factor for the vote, and because it had gained the trust of the people as being the movement representing Islamic identity. On top of this, the movement was able to make use of the unprecedented coincidence of growing internal and external pressures on the regime, by starting open and direct political activity in the name of the movement. The MB has also understood the importance of rallying with other opposition forces, and it has sought coordination with these forces for creating more pressure on the regime. Related to this is another important factor for the MB’s success: its organisational capacity.Has the MB changed its agenda and priorities?While the MB has opted to participate peacefully in the political process in Egypt, it remains unclear as to whether it represents a genuine democratic force or if it will use the democratic opening to pursue an authoritarian agenda. Nog steeds, participation in the political system has already transformed the movement. During the 2005 election campaign the concepts of “democracy” and “political participation” found their way into the MB’s rhetoric and, most importantly, into its political strategies of creating grassroot networks for popular support. The experience of elaborating a political programme for the legislative elections pushed the movement to publicly clarify its positions on concepts such as party pluralism – something that had previously been refused in some trends of Islamic thought as “al-tahazzub” (partisanship) with the argument that Islam calls for unity of the nation rather than its fragmentation. The MB can be considered to be part of Egypt’s reform forces, but that is primarily so because it agrees with other political reformers on the tools for bringing about reforms: rule of law, good governance and free elections. The MB’s activities in Parliament have so far demonstrated their devotion to serving their voters and retaining credibility. They have been more efficient in dealing with public needs, in revealing corruption cases and in rapidly interacting with victims of injustice than other deputies. As has been discussed above, political change in Egypt until now has not meant a significant move toward democracy. Eerst, this has reflected on the MB’s organisation, strategy and agenda. The “mutual fear reflex” as an outcome of the relationship between the illegal MB and the regime has required the movement to adopt a strategy of secrecy which prevents them from being transparent for security reasons. Ook, maintaining ambiguous positions is a defence mechanism used by both Islamist and non-Islamist opposition forces in Egypt.

De dood van de politieke islam

Jon B. Alterman

De doodsbrieven voor de politieke islam zijn begonnen te worden geschreven. Na jaren van schijnbaar onstuitbare groei, Islamitische partijen beginnen te struikelen. In Marokko, de Partij voor Rechtvaardigheid en Ontwikkeling (of PJD) deed het veel slechter dan verwacht bij de verkiezingen van afgelopen september, en Jordan's Islamic Action Front verloor meer dan de helft van zijn zetels in de peilingen van vorige maand. Het langverwachte manifest van de Egyptische Moslimbroederschap, waarvan een concept afgelopen september verscheen,toonde noch kracht noch durf. In plaats daarvan, het suggereerde dat de groep werd geteisterd door intellectuele tegenstellingen en verteerd door machtsstrijd. Het is te vroeg om de dood van de politieke islam aan te kondigen, omdat het voorbarig was om de geboorte van het liberalisme in de Arabische wereld in 2003-04, maar de vooruitzichten lijken opmerkelijk minder dan ze zelfs een jaar geleden deden. Voor sommigen, de val uit de gratie was onvermijdelijk; politieke islam is ingestort onder zijn eigen tegenstrijdigheden, ze zeggen. Ze beweren dat, in objectieve termen, politieke islam was nooit meer dan rook en spiegels. Religie gaat over geloof en waarheid, en politiek gaan over compromissen en accommodatie. Op deze manier gezien, politieke islam was nooit een heilige onderneming, slechts een poging om de politieke vooruitzichten van één partij in een politiek debat te vergroten. Gesteund door religieuze autoriteit en legitimiteit, oppositie tegen de wil van islamisten was niet langer louter politiek - het werd ketterij - en de islamisten profiteerden ervan. Deze sceptici zien de politieke islam als een nuttige manier om politieke bewegingen te beschermen,koe politieke vijanden, en rally-ondersteuning. Als een bestuursstrategie, echter, zij stellen dat de politieke islam geen successen heeft opgeleverd. In twee gebieden waar het onlangs aan de macht is gekomen, de Palestijnse Autoriteit en Irak, bestuur is bloedarm geweest. In Iran, waar de mullahs al bijna drie decennia aan de macht zijn, geestelijken strijden om respect en het land bloedt geld naar Dubai en andere overzeese markten met meer voorspelbare regels en positievere opbrengsten. De meest uitgesproken religieuze staat in het Midden-Oosten, SaudiArabia, heeft opmerkelijk minder intellectuele vrijheid dan veel van zijn buren, en de bewakers van de orthodoxie daar omschrijven het religieuze denken zorgvuldig. Zoals de Franse geleerde van de islam,Olivier Roy, memorabel waargenomen meer dan een decennium geleden, de versmelting van religie en politiek heiligde de politiek niet, het politiseerde religie. Maar hoewel de islam niet heeft gezorgd voor een coherente theorie van bestuur, laat staan ​​een universeel aanvaarde benadering van de problemen van de mensheid, the salience of religion continues to grow among many Muslims.That salience goes far beyond issues of dress, which have become more conservative for both women and men in recent years, andbeyond language, which invokes God’s name far more than was the case a decade ago. It also goes beyond the daily practice ofIslam—from prayer to charity to fasting—all of which are on the upswing.What has changed is something even more fundamental than physical appearance or ritual practice, and that is this: A growingnumber of Muslims start from the proposition that Islam is relevant to all aspects of their daily lives, and not merely the province oftheology or personal belief.Some see this as a return to traditionalism in the Middle East, toen verschillende maten van bijgeloof en spiritualiteit het dagelijks leven beheersten. nauwkeuriger, hoewel, wat we zien is de opkomst van het “neo-traditionalisme”,” waarin symbolen en slogans uit het verleden worden gebruikt om de toegang tot de toekomst te bespoedigen. Islamitisch financieren, dat wil zeggen:, financiering die afhankelijk is van aandelen en rendement in plaats van rente - is booming, en strakke bankfilialen hebben aparte ingangen voor mannen en vrouwen. Gladde jonge televisie-evangelisten vertrouwen op de stijl van het heiligen van het alledaagse en het zoeken naar vergeving, tienduizenden naar hun bijeenkomsten en televisiepubliek trekken in de miljoenen. Music videos—viewable on YouTube—implore young viewers to embrace faith and turn away froma meaningless secular life.Many in the West see secularism and relativism as concrete signs of modernity. In the Middle East, many see them as symbols ofa bankrupt secular nationalist past that failed to deliver justice or development, freedom or progress. The suffering of secularism ismeaningless, but the discipline of Islam is filled with signficance.It is for this reason that it is premature to declare the death of political Islam. Islam, increasingly, cannot be contained. It is spreadingto all aspects of life, and it is robust among some of the most dynamic forces in the Middle East. It enjoys state subsidies to be sure,maar staten hebben weinig te maken met de creativiteit die zich op religieus gebied afspeelt. Het gevaar is dat deze islamisering van het openbare leven de weinige tolerantie die er nog in het Midden-Oosten over is, opzij zet, na eeuwen alsa-fundamenteel islamitisch-multiculturele entrepôt. Het is moeilijk voor te stellen hoe islamiserende samenlevingen kunnen floreren als ze innovatie en creativiteit niet omarmen, diversiteit en verschil. “Islamitisch” is geen vanzelfsprekend begrip, zoals mijn vriend Mustapha Kamal Pasha ooit opmerkte, maar het kan geen bron van kracht zijn in moderne samenlevingen als het gebonden is aan verstarde en parochiale noties van zijn aard. Omgaan met verschillen is in wezen een politieke taak, en het is hier dat de politieke islam zijn ware test zal ondergaan. De formele regeringsstructuren in het Midden-Oosten zijn duurzaam gebleken, en het is onwaarschijnlijk dat ze zullen bezwijken onder een golf van islamitisch activisme. Om de politieke islam te laten slagen, het moet een manier vinden om diverse coalities van verschillende religies en geloofsgraden te verenigen, spreek niet alleen met zijn basis. Het heeft nog geen manier gevonden om dit te doen, maar dat wil niet zeggen dat het niet kan.

Democratie die zichzelf tegen zichzelf beschermt?

Ebru Erdem

Studies on government in Muslim societies and in the Middle East in particular have mostly focused on authoritarianism. They sought to answer why authoritarianism is the most often observed regime type, and why it persists. Recent work has looked at the role of elections and elected bodies under authoritarianism, explaining why they exist and what purposes they serve (Blaydes 2008; Lust-Okar 2006). The goal of this paper is to shift the spotlight onto the judiciary, and to the political role of high courts in Muslim societies with different levels of authoritarianism.Judiciaries and the judicial processes in Muslim societies have not caught much scholarly attention. Much of the work in this area has revolved around Shari’a. Shari’a law, incorporation of the Shari’a into western style judicial systems and legal codes, conflicts between western and Shari’a inspired codes of family law, and especially the impact of the latter on women’s rights are some of the extensively studied topics concerning the judicial processes in these societies. Aan de andere kant, work on judiciary as a political institution in the Muslim world is scarce, notable exceptions being Moustafa (2003) and Hirschl (2004). Judiciaries may take different institutional forms, be based on different legal traditions, or vary in the level of independence they enjoy, but they are still a political institutions.Why study the judiciary in the Muslim World? Is a focus on the judiciary meaningful given the dominance of the executives in countries with authoritarian regimes? The justification for a focus on the judiciary has different dimensions. From a rational choice-institutionalist perspective: if an institution exists, there must be a reason for it, and we think that investigating the raison d’être of the judiciaries will provide interesting insights about political processes and executive strategies. From an institutional-design perspective, the shape that an institution takes2is related to the strategies of the actors negotiating over that institution, and we would like to use the observed variance in judicial institutions and powers across countries and time periods to learn about different aspects of political bargains that scholars have studied in other political realms. From a democratic development perspective, the establishment of the checks and balances is central to a functioning and sustainable democracy, and we would argue that studying the judiciary is central to understanding the prospects towards establishment of rule of law and a credible commitment to democracy (Weingast 1997).