RSSAlle Einträge Tagged With: "Vereinigte Staaten"

Liberale Demokratie und politische Islam: die Search for Common Ground.

Mostapha Benhenda

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

Islamischen Reformation

Adnan Khan

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi boasted after the events of 9/11:
“…we must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed

well being, respect for human rights andin contrast with Islamic countriesrespect

for religious and political rights, a system that has its values understanding of diversity

and tolerance…The West will conquer peoples, like it conquered communism, even if it

means a confrontation with another civilisation, the Islamic one, stuck where it was

1,400 years ago…”1

And in a 2007 report the RAND institute declared:
“The struggle underway throughout much of the Muslim world is essentially a war of

ideas. Its outcome will determine the future direction of the Muslim world.”

Building moderate Muslim Networks, RAND Institute

The concept of ‘islah’ (reform) is a concept unknown to Muslims. It never existed throughout the

history of the Islamic civilisation; it was never debated or even considered. A cursory glance at classical

Islamic literature shows us that when the classical scholars laid the foundations of usul, and codified

their Islamic rulings (fiqh) they were only looking to the comprehension of the Islamic rules in order to

apply them. A similar situation occurred when the rules were laid down for the hadith, tafseer and the

Arabic language. Scholars, thinkers and intellectuals throughout Islamic history spent much time

understanding Allah’s revelation – the Qur’an and applying the ayaat upon the realities and coined

principals and disciplines in order to facilitate understanding. Hence the Qur’an remained the basis of

study and all the disciplines that evolved were always based upon the Qur’an. Those who became

smitten by Greek philosophy such as the Muslim philosophers and some from amongst the Mut’azilah

were considered to have left the fold of Islam as the Qur’an ceased to be their basis of study. Thus for

any Muslim attempting to deduce rules or understand what stance should be taken upon a particular

issue the Qur’an is the basis of this study.

The first attempt at reforming Islam took place at the turn of the 19th century. By the turn of the

century the Ummah had been in a lengthy period of decline where the global balance of power shifted

from the Khilafah to Britain. Mounting problems engulfed the Khilafah whilst Western Europe was in

the midst of the industrial revolution. The Ummah came to lose her pristine understanding of Islam, und

in an attempt to reverse the decline engulfing the Uthmani’s (Ottomans) some Muslims were sent to the

West, and as a result became smitten by what they saw. Rifa’a Rafi’ al-Tahtawi of Egypt (1801-1873),

on his return from Paris, wrote a biographical book called Takhlis al-ibriz ila talkhis Bariz (Der

Extraction of Gold, or an Overview of Paris, 1834), praising their cleanliness, love of work, and above

all social morality. He declared that we must mimic what is being done in Paris, advocating changes to

the Islamic society from liberalising women to the systems of ruling. This thought, and others like it,

marked the beginning of the reinventing trend in Islam.

Islam im Westen

Jocelyne Cesari

The immigration of Muslims to Europe, North America, and Australia and the complex socioreligious dynamics that have subsequently developed have made Islam in the West a compelling new ªeld of research. The Salman Rushdie affair, hijab controversies, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the furor over the Danish cartoons are all examples of international crises that have brought to light the connections between Muslims in the West and the global Muslim world. These new situations entail theoretical and methodological challenges for the study of contemporary Islam, and it has become crucial that we avoid essentializing either Islam or Muslims and resist the rhetorical structures of discourses that are preoccupied with security and terrorism.
In this article, I argue that Islam as a religious tradition is a terra incognita. A preliminary reason for this situation is that there is no consensus on religion as an object of research. Religion, as an academic discipline, has become torn between historical, sociological, and hermeneutical methodologies. With Islam, the situation is even more intricate. In the West, the study of Islam began as a branch of Orientalist studies and therefore followed a separate and distinctive path from the study of religions. Even though the critique of Orientalism has been central to the emergence of the study of Islam in the ªeld of social sciences, tensions remain strong between Islamicists and both anthropologists and sociologists. The topic of Islam and Muslims in the West is embedded in this struggle. One implication of this methodological tension is that students of Islam who began their academic career studying Islam in France, Germany, or America ªnd it challenging to establish credibility as scholars of Islam, particularly in the North American academic
context.

PRECISION IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR:

Sherifa Zuhur

Seven years after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, many experts believe al-Qa’ida has regained strength and that its copycats or affiliates are more lethal than before. The National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 asserted that al-Qa’ida is more dangerous now than before 9/11.1 Al-Qa’ida’s emulators continue to threaten Western, Middle Eastern, and European nations, as in the plot foiled in September 2007 in Germany. Bruce Riedel states: Thanks largely to Washington’s eagerness to go into Iraq rather than hunting down al Qaeda’s leaders, the organization now has a solid base of operations in the badlands of Pakistan and an effective franchise in western Iraq. Its reach has spread throughout the Muslim world and in Europe . . . Osama bin Laden has mounted a successful propaganda campaign. . . . His ideas now attract more followers than ever.
It is true that various salafi-jihadist organizations are still emerging throughout the Islamic world. Why have heavily resourced responses to the Islamist terrorism that we are calling global jihad not proven extremely effective?
Moving to the tools of “soft power,” what about the efficacy of Western efforts to bolster Muslims in the Global War on Terror (GWOT)? Why has the United States won so few “hearts and minds” in the broader Islamic world? Why do American strategic messages on this issue play so badly in the region? Why, despite broad Muslim disapproval of extremism as shown in surveys and official utterances by key Muslim leaders, has support for bin Ladin actually increased in Jordan and in Pakistan?
This monograph will not revisit the origins of Islamist violence. It is instead concerned with a type of conceptual failure that wrongly constructs the GWOT and which discourages Muslims from supporting it. They are unable to identify with the proposed transformative countermeasures because they discern some of their core beliefs and institutions as targets in
this endeavor.
Several deeply problematic trends confound the American conceptualizations of the GWOT and the strategic messages crafted to fight that War. These evolve from (1) post-colonial political approaches to Muslims and Muslim majority nations that vary greatly and therefore produce conflicting and confusing impressions and effects; und (2) residual generalized ignorance of and prejudice toward Islam and subregional cultures. Add to this American anger, fear, and anxiety about the deadly events of 9/11, and certain elements that, despite the urgings of cooler heads, hold Muslims and their religion accountable for the misdeeds of their coreligionists, or who find it useful to do so for political reasons.

EGYPT’S MUSLIM BROTHERS: CONFRONTATION OR INTEGRATION?

Research

The Society of Muslim Brothers’ success in the November-December 2005 elections for the People’s Assembly sent shockwaves through Egypt’s political system. In response, the regime cracked down on the movement, harassed other potential rivals and reversed its fledging reform process. This is dangerously short-sighted. There is reason to be concerned about the Muslim Brothers’ political program, and they owe the people genuine clarifications about several of its aspects. But the ruling National Democratic
Party’s (NDP) refusal to loosen its grip risks exacerbating tensions at a time of both political uncertainty surrounding the presidential succession and serious socio-economic unrest. Though this likely will be a prolonged, gradual process, the regime should take preliminary steps to normalise the Muslim Brothers’ participation in political life. The Muslim Brothers, whose social activities have long been tolerated but whose role in formal politics is strictly limited, won an unprecedented 20 per cent of parliamentary seats in the 2005 Wahlen. They did so despite competing for only a third of available seats and notwithstanding considerable obstacles, including police repression and electoral fraud. This success confirmed their position as an extremely wellorganised and deeply rooted political force. At the same time, it underscored the weaknesses of both the legal opposition and ruling party. The regime might well have wagered that a modest increase in the Muslim Brothers’ parliamentary representation could be used to stoke fears of an Islamist takeover and thereby serve as a reason to stall reform. If so, the strategy is at heavy risk of backfiring.

Demokratie, Terrorism and American Policy in the Arab World

F. Gregory Gause

The United States has embarked upon what President Bush and Secretary of State Rice has called a “generational challenge” to encourage political reform and democracy in the Arab world. The Bush Administration and other defenders of the democracy campaign contend that the push for Arab democracy is not only about spreading American values, but also about insuring American security. They hypothesize that as democracy grows in the Arab world, anti-American terrorism from the Arab world will decline. Therefore, the promotion of democracy inthe Arab world is not only consistent with American security goals in the area, but necessary to achieve those goals.
Two questions present themselves in considering this element of the “Bush Doctrine” in the Arab world: 1) Is there a relationship between terrorism and democracy such that the more democratic a country becomes, the less likely it is to produce terrorists and terrorist groups? In other words, is the security rationale for democracy promotion in the Arab world based on a sound premise?; und 2) What kind of governments would likely be generated by democratic elections in Arab countries? Would they be willing to cooperate with the United States on important policy objectives in the Middle East, not only in maintaining democracy but also on
Arab-Israeli, Gulf security and oil issues?
This paper will consider these two questions. It finds that there is little empirical evidence linking democracy with an absence of or reduction in terrorism. It questions whether democracy would reduce the motives and opportunities of groups like al-Qa’ida, which oppose democracy on both religious and practical grounds. It examines recent trends in Arab public opinion and elections, concluding that while Arab publics are very supportive of democracy, democratic elections in Arab states are likely to produce Islamist governments which would be much less likely to cooperate with the United States than their authoritarian predecessors.

ISLAMISCHE MOBILISIERUNG

Ziad Munson

This article examines the emergence and growth of the Muslim Brotherhood inEgypt from the 1930s through the 1950s. It begins by outlining and empirically evaluatingpossible explanations for the organization’s growth based on (1) theories of politicalIslam and (2) the concept of political opportunity structure in social movementtheory. An extension of these approaches is suggested based on data from organizationaldocuments and declassiŽed U.S. State Department Žles from the period. Thesuccessful mobilization of the Muslim Brotherhood was possible because of the wayin which its Islamic message was tied to its organizational structure, activities, andstrategies and the everyday lives of Egyptians. The analysis suggests that ideas areintegrated into social movements in more ways than the concept of framing allows.It also expands our understanding of how organizations can arise in highly repressiveenvironments.

Die Muslimbruderschaft der US-. Netzwerk

Zeyno Baran


Washington, D.C. plötzlich sehr hat sich in der Muslimbruderschaft interessiert. Amerikanische Politiker debattieren, ob gewalt Elemente der Muslimbruderschaft Netzwerk engagieren, sowohl innerhalb als auch außerhalb der Vereinigten Staaten, in der Hoffnung, dass ein solches Engagement diese „Moderaten“ gegen gewaltsame Wahhabiten und Salafi-Gruppen wie al-Qaida wird ermächtigen. Unfortunately, this strategy is based on a false assumption: that “moderate” Islamist groups will confront and weaken their violent co-religionists, robbing them of their support base.
This lesser-of-two-evils strategy is reminiscent of the rationale behind the Cold War-era decision to support the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviet army. In the short term, den USA. alliance with the mujahideen did indeed aid America in its struggle against the Soviet Union. In the long term, however, US-. support led to the empowerment of a dangerous and potent adversary. In choosing its allies, den USA. cannot afford to elevate short-term tactical considerations above longer-term strategic ones. Most importantly, den USA. must consider the ideology of any potential partners.
Although various Islamist groups do quarrel over tactics and often bear considerable animosity towards one another, they all agree on the endgame: a world dictated by political Islam. A “divide and conquer” strategy by the United States will only push them closer together.

The United States and Egypt

A Conference Report

The study of bilateral relations has fallen deeply out of favor in the academiccommunity. Political science has turned to the study of international state systemsrather than relations between individual states; anthropologists and sociologists arefar more interested in non-state actors; and historians have largely abandonedstates altogether. It is a shame, because there is much to be learned from bilateralrelationships, and some such relationships are vital—not only to the countriesinvolved, but also to a broader array of countries.One such vital relationship is that between the United States and Egypt. Forgedduring the Cold War almost entirely on the issue of Arab-Israeli peacemaking, theU.S.-Egyptian bilateral relationship has deepened and broadened over the lastquarter century. Egypt remains one of the United States’ most important Arab allies,and the bilateral relationship with Washington remains the keystone of Egypt’sforeign policy. Strong U.S.-Egyptian bilateral relations are also an important anchorfor states throughout the Middle East and for Western policy in the region. Therelationship is valuable for policymakers in both countries; doing without it isunthinkable.To explore this relationship, the CSIS Middle East Program, in cooperation with theAl-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Cairo, convened a one-dayconference on June 26, 2003, entitled, “The United States and Egypt: Building thePartnership.” The goal of the meeting was to brainstorm how that partnership mightbe strengthened.Participants agreed that much needs to be done on the diplomatic, political, Militär,and economic levels. Although all did not agree on a single course forward, theparticipants unanimously concurred that a stronger U.S.-Egyptian relationship is verymuch in the interests of both countries, and although it will require a great deal ofwork to achieve, the benefits are worth the effort.

Die Muslimbruderschaft in den Vereinigten Staaten

MBusThe leadership of the U.S. Muslimbruderschaft (MB, or Ikhwan) has said that its goal
was and is jihad aimed at destroying the U.S. from within. The Brotherhood leadership has
also said that the means of achieving this goal is to establish Islamic organizations in the
US-. under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Since the early 1960s, the Brotherhood has
constructed an elaborate covert organizational infrastructure on which was built a set of public or
“front” organizations. Die aktuelle US-. Bruderschaft Führung hat versucht, diese Geschichte zu leugnen,
both claiming that it is not accurate and at the same time that saying that it represents an older
form of thought inside the Brotherhood. An examination of public and private Brotherhood documents,
however, indicates that this history is both accurate and that the Brotherhood has taken
no action to demonstrate change in its mode of thought and/or activity.sss

Steven MerleyMBus

The leadership of the U.S. Muslimbruderschaft (MB, or Ikhwan) has said that its goal was and is jihad aimed at destroying the U.S. from within.

The Brotherhood leadership has also said that the means of achieving this goal is to establish Islamic organizations in the U.S. under the control of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Since the early 1960s, the Brotherhood has constructed an elaborate covert organizational infrastructure on which was built a set of public or “front” organizations.

Die aktuelle US-. Bruderschaft Führung hat versucht, diese Geschichte zu leugnen, beide behaupten, dass es nicht genau und zugleich ist, dass zu sagen, dass es eine ältere Form des Denkens innerhalb der Bruderschaft repräsentiert.

An examination of public and private Brotherhood documents, however, indicates that this history is both accurate and that the Brotherhood has taken no action to demonstrate change in its mode of thought and/or activity.