This is the book Tony Blair doesn't want you to read about 7/7.
In February 2003, Tony Blair was warned by British intelligence that the invasion of Iraq would 'heighten' the risk of terrorism in Britain.
In July 2005, al-Qaeda struck in the heart of London. Despite the British Government's increasingly desperate attempts at denial, polls show that an overwhelming majority of people in Britain are convinced that there is a connection between the London bombings and the war on Iraq. A majority of Britons fault Tony Blair himself.
Using secret government documents declassified since the bombings, and leaks from British intelligence, Milan Rai exposes official deceit at the highest levels, and establishes the crucial role of British foreign policy in generating a home-grown version of al-Qaeda. Rai shows how an official report drawn up by the Home Office and Foreign Office in early 2004 identified 'foreign policy' - and the war in Iraq in particular - as a major cause of alienation among young British Muslims.
Examining the backgrounds of the 7/7 bombers, Milan Rai demonstrates that Islam is not to blame. Most importantly, the book shows us how to make sure that this never happens again -- and offers brief obituaries for the 52 people who lost their lives that day.
Contemporary mass media descriptions of Muslims often suggest that Islam and Muslims are fundamentally undemocratic. Policy-makers in the West have weaponized these descriptions in attempts to legitimize anti-Muslim right-wing policy developments across the West and in the United States in particular, from surveillance in the aftermath of 9/11 to the anti-Islamic travel ban of 2017. But are Muslims undemocratic? Ahmed Khanani argues that this is not the case. In All Politics are God's Politics, Khanani shows that in fact, the opposite holds true: for socially conservative, politically active Muslims (Islamists), democracy or dimuqrāṭiyya reflects and extends their religious values. By drawing on conversations with over 100 Islamists in Morocco, this book enables readers to understand and appreciate the significance of dimuqrāṭiyya as a concept alongside new prospects for Islam and democracy in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Khanani's in-depth analysis of the Moroccan case brings these Islamists and their attending political views to the forefront.
Jihad, with its many terrifying associations, is a term widely used today, though its meaning is poorly grasped. Few people understand the circumstances requiring a jihad, or "holy" war, or how Islamic militants justify their violent actions within the framework of the religious tradition of Islam. How Islam, with more than one billion followers, interprets jihad and establishes its precepts has become a critical issue for both the Muslim and the non-Muslim world.
John Kelsay's timely and important work focuses on jihad of the sword in Islamic thought, history, and culture. Making use of original sources, Kelsay delves into the tradition of shari'a--Islamic jurisprudence and reasoning--and shows how it defines jihad as the Islamic analogue of the Western "just" war. He traces the arguments of thinkers over the centuries who have debated the legitimacy of war through appeals to shari'a reasoning. He brings us up to the present and demonstrates how contemporary Muslims across the political spectrum continue this quest for a realistic ethics of war within the Islamic tradition.
Arguing the Just War in Islam provides a systematic account of how Islam's central texts interpret jihad, guiding us through the historical precedents and Qur'anic sources upon which today's claims to doctrinal truth and legitimate authority are made. In illuminating the broad spectrum of Islam's moral considerations of the just war, Kelsay helps Muslims and non-Muslims alike make sense of the possibilities for future war and peace.
A Book of Conquest
Manan Ahmed Asif Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BP173.7.A4835 2016 | Dewey Decimal 954.918021
Manan Ahmed Asif shows that the Chachnama is a sophisticated work of political theory, embedded in both the Indic and Islamic ethos. His social and intellectual history of this text offers an important corrective to the divisions between Muslim and Hindu that so often define Pakistani and Indian politics today.
Islamist thinkers used to debate the doctrine of the caliphate of man, which holds that God is sovereign but has appointed the multitude of believers as His vicegerent. Andrew March argues that the doctrine underpins a democratic vision of popular rule over governments and clerics. But is this an ideal regime destined to survive only in theory?
In the post-Soviet era, democracy has made little progress in Central Asia. In Chaos, Violence, Dynasty, Eric McGlinchey presents a compelling comparative study of the divergent political courses taken by Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan in the wake of Soviet rule. McGlinchey examines economics, religion, political legacies, foreign investment, and the ethnicity of these countries to evaluate the relative success of political structures in each nation.
McGlinchey explains the impact of Soviet policy on the region, from Lenin to Gorbachev. Ruling from a distance, a minimally invasive system of patronage proved the most successful over time, but planted the seeds for current “neo-patrimonial” governments. The level of direct Soviet involvement during perestroika was the major determinant in the stability of ensuing governments. Soviet manipulations of the politics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in the late 1980s solidified the role of elites, while in Kyrgyzstan the Soviets looked away as leadership crumbled during the ethnic riots of 1990. Today, Kyrgyzstan is the poorest and most politically unstable country in the region, thanks to a small, corrupt, and fractured political elite. In Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov maintains power through the brutal suppression of disaffected Muslims, who are nevertheless rising in numbers and influence. In Kazakhstan, a political machine fueled by oil wealth and patronage underlies the greatest economic equity in the region, and far less political violence.
McGlinchey’s timely study calls for a more realistic and flexible view of the successful aspects of authoritarian systems in the region that will be needed if there is to be any potential benefit from foreign engagement with the nations of Central Asia, and similar political systems globally.
Twice in this century popular revolts against colonial rule have occured in the Banten district of West Java. These revolts, conducted largely under an Islamic leadership, also proclaimed themselves Communist. Islamic Communism is seemingly a paradox. This is especially the case when one considers that probably no religion has proved more resistant to Communist ideology than Islam.
Michael Williams here details the complicated history of the Bantenese revolts in the twentieth century and probes the ideological riddle of Islamic Communism. Modern history is replete with examples of regions with a long history of organizing themselves politically to resist intrusion on their territory, resources, and people. This book establishes that in Indonesia, the Bantenese were among the most practiced exponents of resistance.
Contemporary Arab Thought is a complex term, encompassing a constellation of social, political, religious and ideological ideas that have evolved over the past two hundred years — ideas that represent the leading positions of the social classes in modern and contemporary Arab societies.
Distinguished Islamic scholar Ibrahim Abu-Rabi‘ addresses such questions as the Shari‘ah, human rights, civil society, secularism and globalization. This is complimented by a focused discussion on the writings of key Arab thinkers who represent established trends of thought in the Arab world, including Muhammad ‘Abid al-Jabiri, Adallah Laroui, Muhammad al-Ghazali, Rashid al-Ghannoushi, Qutatnine Zurayk, Mahdi ‘Amil and many others.
Before 1967, some Arab countries launched hopeful programmes of modernisation. After the 1967 defeat with Israel, many of these hopes were dashed. This book retraces the Arab world’s aborted modernity of recent decades. Abu-Rabi‘ explores the development of contemporary Arab thought against the historical background of the rise of modern Islamism, and the impact of the West on the modern Arab world.
Democracy in Iran
Misagh Parsa Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress DS318.825P38 2016 | Dewey Decimal 320.955
In Misagh Parsa’s view, the outlook for democracy in Iran is stark. Gradual reforms will not be sufficient for real change: the government must fundamentally rethink its commitment to the role of religion in politics and civic life. For Iran to democratize, the options are narrowing to a single path: another revolution.
The European Union, Turkey and Islam
The Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) Amsterdam University Press, 2005 Library of Congress HC240.25.T8E9713 2004 | Dewey Decimal 337.142
The relationship between Turkey and Islam is a hotly debated issue that dominates discussion over the country's bid to join the European Union. The European Union, Turkey and Islam examines here the role of religion in Turkey and the EU and offers arguments on why Turkish Islam will not be an obstacle to Turkey's EU membership.
The distinguished contributors analyze Turkish Islam and attempt to determine how significant a factor it is in Turkey's compatibility with the democratic and humanitarian aims of EU member states. Their incisive essays argue that Islamic religious forces will not undermine the autonomy of the secular Turkish state. They also contend that Islam-inspired political parties actually support the secular government. Included in the volume is the thought-provoking study "Searching for the Fault-Line" by E. J. Zürcher and H. van der Linden that examines Turkey's current religious landscape and ultimately dismisses the notion of an inevitable clash between Turkish Islam and European cultures.
A valuable study for political scientists, European scholars, and interested observers, The European Union, Turkey and Islam offers a timely and masterfully argued case for why Islam as practiced in Turkey should not be an impediment to the nation's membership in the European Union.
The relationship between Western democracies and Islam, rarely entirely comfortable, has in recent years become increasingly tense. A growing immigrant population and worries about cultural and political assimilation—exacerbated by terrorist attacks in the United States, Europe, and around the world—have provoked reams of commentary from all parts of the political spectrum, a frustrating majority of it hyperbolic or even hysterical.
In The Fear of Barbarians, the celebrated intellectual Tzvetan Todorov offers a corrective: a reasoned and often highly personal analysis of the problem, rooted in Enlightenment values yet open to the claims of cultural difference. Drawing on history, anthropology, and politics, and bringing to bear examples ranging from the murder of Theo van Gogh to the French ban on headscarves, Todorov argues that the West must overcome its fear of Islam if it is to avoid betraying the values it claims to protect. True freedom, Todorov explains, requires us to strike a delicate balance between protecting and imposing cultural values, acknowledging the primacy of the law, and yet strenuously protecting minority views that do not interfere with its aims. Adding force to Todorov's arguments is his own experience as a native of communist Bulgaria: his admiration of French civic identity—and Western freedom—is vigorous but non-nativist, an inclusive vision whose very flexibility is its core strength.
The record of a penetrating mind grappling with a complicated, multifaceted problem, The Fear of Barbarians is a powerful, important book—a call, not to arms, but to thought.
In Senegal, the Muridiyya, a large Islamic Sufi order, is the single most influential religious organization, including among its numbers the nation’s president. Yet little is known of this sect in the West. Drawn from a wide variety of archival, oral, and iconographic sources in Arabic, French, and Wolof, Fighting the Greater Jihad offers an astute analysis of the founding and development of the order and a biographical study of its founder, Cheikh Ahmadu Bamba Mbakke.
Cheikh Anta Babou explores the forging of Murid identity and pedagogy around the person and initiative of Amadu Bamba as well as the continuing reconstruction of this identity by more recent followers. He makes a compelling case for reexamining the history of Muslim institutions in Africa and elsewhere in order to appreciate believers’ motivation and initiatives, especially religious culture and education, beyond the narrow confines of political collaboration and resistance. Fighting the Greater Jihad also reveals how religious power is built at the intersection of genealogy, knowledge, and spiritual force, and how this power in turn affected colonial policy.
Fighting the Greater Jihad will dramatically alter the perspective from which anthropologists, historians, and political scientists study Muslim mystical orders.
This beginner's guide to Hamas has been fully revised and updated. It now covers all the major events since the January 2006 elections, including the conflict with Fatah and Israel's brutal offensive in Gaza at the end of 2008.
Explaining the reasons for Hamas's popularity, leading Al-Jazeera journalist and Cambridge academic Khaled Hroub provides the key facts that are so often missing from conventional news reports. It's a one-stop guide that gives a clear overview of Hamas's history, key beliefs, and its political agenda.
This unique book provides a refreshing perspective that gets to the heart of Hamas.
Hezbollah’s revolutionary role in global politics has invited lionization and vilification, rather than a clear-eyed view of its place in history. Now that the party is in power, how will Hezbollah reconcile its regional obligations with its religious beliefs? This nonpartisan account offers insights that Western media have missed or misunderstood.
Hizbu’llah is the largest and most prominent political party in Lebanon, and one of the most renowned Islamist movements in the world. In this book, Amal Saad-Ghorayeb examines the organisation’s understanding of jihad and how this, together with its belief in martyrdom, brought about the withdrawal of Israeli occupation forces from Lebanon in May 2000.
Saad-Ghorayeb explores the nature of the party’s struggle against the West by studying its views on the use of violence against Westerners. Crucially, she also addresses the question of whether Hizbu’llah depicts this struggle in purely political or civilisational terms. The existential nature of the movement’s conflict with Israel is analysed and the Islamic roots of its anti-Judaism is unearthed.
The author explores the mechanics and rationale behind the party’s integration into the Lebanese political system, and sheds light on how it has reconciled its national idenitity with its solidarity with the Muslim umma.
Despite the controversial reputation of Hizbullah in the West, and the significant role this powerful Islamist organization plays in Lebanese politics, there are few reliable, published English translations of the party’s primary documents. With this extensive work, Joseph Alagha seeks to remedy this problem and rectify the distortions and misrepresentations that have resulted from inaccurate translations.
Through privileged access to the party, Alagha was able to compile and meticulously translate a host of original primary documents, from the party’s 1985 Open Letter; through its eight clandestine conclaves from 1989 to 2009; to all of its election programs from 1992 to 2010, as well as all of the agreements, understandings, and pacts the party has ratified over the years; ending with the 2009 Political Manifesto. This firsthand portrait of Hizbullah’s metamorphosis, especially in the past decade, is complete with thorough footnotes, commentary, background information, chronology, and a detailed introductory chapter that maps the party’s transformation by analytically comparing the Open Letter with the 2009 Manifesto. This volume will be an invaluable companion for both scholars and policy makers.
As the dominant political force in Lebanon and one of the most powerful post-Islamist organizations in the world, Hizbullah is a source of great controversy and uncertainty in the West. Despite the significant attention paid to this group by the media, the details of Hizbullah’s evolution have frequently confounded politicians—and even scholars. In this important study, Joseph Alagha, a scholar with unprecedented access to the organization, exhaustively and objectively analyzes Hizbullah’s historical evolution and offers a revolutionary new perspective on the political phenomenon of the organization.
Hizbullah’s Identity Construction is a timely examination of one of the world’s most turbulent regions; a major contribution to the study of contemporary Islamic political movements in the Middle East; and a refreshing departure from the bland hagiographies and ad hominem attacks that are all too common in studies of Hizbullah’s murky history. Superbly documented and argued, and rooted in broad knowledge of contemporary Islamist political thought, this study brings much-needed clarity to a hot-button subject.
“Joseph Alagha remains one of the most thorough and careful analysts of Hizbullah’s political ideology and practice. Scholars, analysts, and policy makers will find in this work a veritable treasure trove of research and insights into this complex organization.”—Michaelle Browers, Wake Forest University
Political mobilization tends to take different forms in contemporary Catholic- and Sunni-majority countries. Luis Felipe Mantilla attributes this dynamic to changes taking place in religious communities and the political institutions that govern religious political engagement.
In How Political Parties Mobilize Religion, Mantillaevenhandedly traces the emergence and success of religious parties in Mexico and Turkey, two countries shaped by assertive secular regimes. In doing so, he demonstrates that religious parties are highly responsive to political institutions, such as electoral laws, as well as to the structure of broader religious communities.
Whereas in both countries, the electoral success of religious mobilizers was initially a boon for democracy, in Mexico it was marred by political mismanagement and became entangled with persistent corruption and escalating violence. In Turkey, the democratic credentials of religious mobilizers were profoundly eroded as the government became increasingly autocratic, concentrating power in very few hands and rolling back basic liberal rights.
Mantilla investigates the role religious mobilization plays in the evolution of electoral politics and democratic institutions, and to what extent their trajectories reflect broader trends in political Catholicism and Islam.
A Muslim scholar with extensive experience in Africa, T. Abdou Maliqalim Simone was recruited by the Islamic fundamentalist Shari‘a Movement in Sudan to act as consultant for its project to unite Muslims and non-Muslims in Khartoum's shanty towns. Based on his interviews with hundreds of individuals during this time, plus extensive historical and archival research, In Whose Image? is a penetrating examination of the use of Islam as a tool for political transformation.
Drawing a detailed portrait of political fundamentalism during the 1985-89 period of democratic rule in the Sudan, Simone shows how the Shari‘a Movement attempted to shape a viable social order by linking religious integrity and economic development, where religious practice was to dominate all aspects of society and individuals' daily lives. However, because Sudanese society is remarkably diverse ethnically and religiously, this often led to conflict, fragmentation, and violence in the name of Islam.
Simone's own Islamic background leads him to deplore the violence and the devastating psychological, economic, and cultural consequences of one form of Islamic radicalism, while holding to hope that a viable form of this inherently political religion can in fact be applied. As a counterpoint, he ends with a discussion of South Africa's Call of Islam, which seeks political unity through a more tolerant interpretation of Islam.
As an introduction to religious discourse in Africa, this book will be widely read by students and scholars throughout African Studies, Religious Studies, Anthropology, and Political Science.
President Obama may have delivered on his campaign promise to kill Osama bin Laden, but as an Al-Qaeda strategist, bin Laden has been dead for years. This book introduces and examines the new generation of Al-Qaeda leaders who have been behind the most recent attacks.
Investigative journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad dedicated his life to revealing the strategies and inner workings of Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. He had access to top-level commanders in both movements, as well as within the ISI, Pakistan’s intelligence service. Shahzad’s work was praised by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for "bringing to light the troubles extremism poses to Pakistan's stability." Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban explains the wider aims of both organizations and provides an essential analysis of major terrorist incidents, including the 2008 Mumbai attacks.
In May 2011, Shahzad was abducted and killed in Pakistan, days after writing an article suggesting that insiders in the Pakistani navy had colluded with Al-Qaeda in an attack on a naval air station. This book is a testament to his fearless reporting and analytical rigor. It will provide readers worldwide with invaluable insights into the new phase of the ongoing struggle against terrorism which threatens to tear apart the fragile fabric of so many countries.
Unlike much of the instant analysis that appeared at the time of the Iranian revolution, Iran: From Religious Dispute to Revolution is based upon extensive fieldwork carried out in Iran. Michael M. J. Fischer draws upon his rich experience with the mullahs and their students in the holy city of Qum, composing a picture of Iranian society from the inside—the lives of ordinary people, the way that each class interprets Islam, and the role of religion and religious education in the culture. Fischer’s book, with its new introduction updating arguments for the post-Revolutionary period, brings a dynamic view of a society undergoing metamorphosis, which remains fundamental to understanding Iranian society in the early twenty-first century.
The surprise election of Hasan Rouhani in 2013 has refocused attention on the dynamics between Islam and democracy in Iran after the hiatus of the Ahmadinejad presidency. With comparisons being drawn between Rouhani and his predecessor, the late Reformist President Mohammad Khatami, there has never been a better time for a close look at the rise and fall of the Reform movement in Iran, situating it within the context of the “politics of managing change.” This revised and updated edition incorporates recent work on the presidential election crisis of 2009, along with the election of Rouhani in 2013, and an additional essay on the idea of reformism in Iran in historical context. The study remains then most comprehensive account of the politics of reform and, in situating the Rouhani presidency within that context, it shines a clear light on the pressures and pitfalls Iran faces in politics and international relations.
This book compares Islamic and Western political formulations, highlighting areas of agreement and disparity. Building on this analysis, the author goes on to show that political Islam offers a serious alternative to the dominant political system and ideology of the West.
Sabet argues that rather than leading to a "Clash of Civlizations" or the assimilation of Islam into the Western system, a positive process of interactive self-reflection between Islam and liberal democracy is the best way forward.
Beginning this process, Sabet highlights key concepts of Islamic political thought and brings them into dialogue with Western modernity. The resulting synthesis is essential reading for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of Islamic and Middle Eastern politics, political theory, comparative politics and international relations.
Islam exists in global history with its richly variegated cultural and social realities. When these specific cultural contexts are marginalized, Islam is reduced to an ahistorical religion without the ability to contribute to humanity. This limited understanding of Islam has been a contributing factor in many of the violent conflicts in the present day. Reflecting on Islam in Indonesia, the world’s third largest democracy, supporting the largest Muslim population, Ahmad Syafii Maarif argues for an understanding that is both faithful to Islam’s essential teachings and open to constantly changing social and cultural contexts. Building on this, he then addresses critical contemporary issues such as democracy, human rights, religious freedom, the status of women, and the future of Islam. Syafii Maarif’s insights offer inspiration to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
The decades-long rule of President Suharto in Indonesia was ended by violent protests throughout the country in the spring of 1998. Following Suharto’s resignation, Indonesia successfully made the transition from an authoritarian state to a democracy, and this book explores the effects of that transformation on Islamic political organizations in Indonesia, which, for the first time in forty years, were legally allowed to campaign and promote their agenda. The contributors to this book consider the effects of these changes on the influence of orthodoxy and radicalism in Indonesian life and politics, the status of women, and the fate of religious minorities.
During the 1990s, there was a general consensus that Central Asia was witnessing an Islamic revival after independence, and that this occurrence would follow similar events throughout the Islamic world in the prior two decades, which had negative effects on both social and political development. Twenty years later, we are still struggling to fully understand the transformation of Islam in a region that’s evolved through a complex and dynamic process, involving diversity in belief and practice, religious authority, and political intervention. This volume seeks to shed light on these crucial questions by bringing together an international group of scholars to offer a new perspective on Central Asian states and societies.
The chapters provide analysis through four distinct categories: the everyday practice of Islam across local communities; state policies toward Islam, focusing on attempts to regulate public and private practice through cultural, legal, and political institutions and how these differ from Soviet policies; how religious actors influence communities in the practice of Islam, state policies towards the religion, and subsequent communal responses to state regulations; and how knowledge of and interaction with the larger Islamic world is shaping Central Asia’s current Islamic revival and state responses.
The contributors, a multidisciplinary and international group of leading scholars, develop fresh insights that both corroborate and contradict findings from previous research, while also highlighting the problem of making any generalizations about Islam in individual states or the region. As such, this volume provides new and impactful analysis for scholars, students, and policy makers concerned with Central Asia.
The resurgence of Islamic fundamentalism in the 1980s influenced many in the Islamic world to reject Western norms of liberal rationality and to return, instead, to their own tradition for political and cultural inspiration. This rejection of foreign thought threatens to end the centuries-long dialogue between Islam and the West, a dialogue that has produced a nascent Middle Eastern liberalism, along with many less desirable forms of discourse. With Islamic Liberalism, Leonard Binder hopes to reinvigorate that dialogue, asking whether political liberalism can take root in the Middle East without a vigorous Islamic liberalism. But, Binder asks, is an Islamic liberalism possible?
The Islamic political community presents special problems to the development of an indigenous liberalism. That community is conceived of as divinely ordained, and its notions of the good are to be derived from scriptural revelation, not arrived at through rational discourse. Liberal politics would seem to stand little chance of surviving in such an atmosphere, let alone thriving.
Binder responds to the challenge of Edward Said's critique of Orientalism, of a range of neo-Marxian development theorists, of Sayyid Qutb's fundamentalist vision, of Samir Amin's vision of Egypt's role in the Arab awakening, of Tariq al-Bishri's new populism, of Zaki Najib Mahmud's pragmatism, and the structuralism of Arkoun and Laroui. The deconstruction of these varied texts produces a number of persuasive hermeneutical conclusions that are sequentially woven together in a critical argument that refocuses our attention on the central question of political freedom and democracy. In the course of constructing this argument, Binder reopens the dialogue between Western modernity and Islamic authenticity and reveals the surprising extent to which there is a convergent interest in liberal, democratic, civil society. Finally, in a concluding chapter, he addresses the prospects for liberalism in the three major bourgeois states of Islam—Egypt, Turkey, and Iran.
The Islamic world has experienced extensive social changes in modern times—the rise of new social classes, the formation of massive bureaucratic and military states, and the incorporation of its economies into the world capitalist structure. Yet despite these changes, a national consensus on even the most important principles of social organization—the form of government, the status of women, national identity, and rule making—has yet to emerge.
An ambitious comparative historical analysis of ideological production in the Islamic world from the mid-1800s to the present, Mansoor Moaddel's Islamic Modernism, Nationalism, and Fundamentalism provides a unique perspective for understanding the social conditions of these discourses. Moaddel characterizes these movements in terms of a sequence of cultural episodes characterized by ideological debates and religious disputations, each ending with a revolution or military coup. Understanding how the leaders of these movements formulated their discourses is, for Moaddel, the key to understanding Middle Eastern history. This premise allows him to unlock for readers the historical process that started with Islamic modernism and ended with fundamentalism.
The 1970s and 1980s were times of political and religious turmoil in Nigeria, characterized by governmental upheaval, and aggressive confrontations between the Sufi brotherhoods and the Izala movement. In Islamic Reform and Political Change in Northern Nigeria, Roman Loimeier explores the intermeshing of religion in the struggle for political influence and preservation of the interests of Nigerian Muslims.
Loimeier's careful scholarship combines astute readings of the work of previous scholars--both published and unpublished--with archival material and the findings of his own fieldwork in Nigeria. His work fills a substantial gap in contemporary Nigerian studies. This book provides invaluable and essential reading for serious students of Nigerian politics and of Islamic movements in Africa.
The Languages of Political Islam illuminates the diverse ways in which Islam, from the time of its arrival in India in the twelfth century through its height as the ruling theology to its decline, adapted to its new cultural context to become "Indianized."
Muzaffar Alam shows that the adoption of Arabo-Persian Islam in India changed the manner in which Islamic rule and governance were conducted. Islamic regulation and statecraft in a predominately Hindu country required strategic shifts from the original Islamic injunctions. Islamic principles could not regulate beliefs in a vast country without accepting cultural limitations and limits on the exercise of power. As a result of cultural adaptation, Islam was in the end forced to reinvent its principles for religious rule. Acculturation also forced key Islamic terms to change so fundamentally that Indian Islam could be said to have acquired a character substantially different from the Islam practiced outside of India.
Analysts and pundits from across the American political spectrum describe Islamic fundamentalism as one of the greatest threats to modern, Western-style democracy. Yet very few non-Muslims would be able to venture an accurate definition of political Islam. Mohammed Ayoob's The Many Faces of Political Islam thoroughly describes the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology and analyzes its impact on global relations.
"In this beautifully crafted and utterly compelling book, Mohammed Ayoob accomplishes admirably the difficult task of offering a readily accessible yet nuanced and comprehensive analysis of an issue of enormous political importance. Both students and specialists will learn a great deal from this absolutely first-rate book."
---Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow, Cornell University
"Dr. Ayoob addresses the nuances and complexities of political Islam---be it mainstream, radical, or militant---and offers a road map of the pivotal players and issues that define the movement. There is no one as qualified as Mohammed Ayoob to write a synthesis of various manifestations of political Islam. His complex narrative highlights the changes and shifts that have taken place within the Islamist universe and their implications for internal Muslim politics and relations between the world of Islam and the Christian world."
---Fawaz A. Gerges, Carnegie Scholar, and holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies, Sarah Lawrence College
"Let's hope that many readers---not only academics but policymakers as well---will use this invaluable book."
---François Burgat, Director, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Institute for Research and Study on the Arab and Muslim World (IREMAM), Aix-en-Provence, France
"This is a wonderful, concise book by an accomplished and sophisticated political scientist who nonetheless manages to convey his interpretation of complex issues and movements to even those who have little background on the subject. It is impressive in its clarity, providing a badly needed text on political Islam that's accessible to college students and the general public alike."
---Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor of International Relations with a joint appointment in James Madison College and the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University.
Analysts and pundits from across the American political spectrum describe Islamic fundamentalism as one of the greatest threats to modern, Western-style democracy. Yet very few non-Muslims would be able to venture an accurate definition of political Islam. Fully revised and updated, The Many Faces of Political Islam thoroughly analyzes the many facets of this political ideology and shows its impact on global relations.
In the postcolonial era, Arab societies have been ruled by a variety of authoritarian regimes. Focusing on his native Morocco, Abdellah Hammoudi explores the ideological and cultural foundations of this persistent authoritarianism.
Building on the work of Foucault, Hammoudi argues that at the heart of Moroccan culture lies a paradigm of authority that juxtaposes absolute authority against absolute submission. Rooted in Islamic mysticism, this paradigm can be observed in the drama of mystic initiation, with its fundamental dialectic between Master and Disciple; in conflict with other cultural forms, and reelaborated in colonial and postcolonial circumstances, it informs all major aspects of Moroccan personal, political, and gender relations. Its influence is so pervasive and so firmly embedded that it ultimately legitimizes the authoritarian structure of power. Hammoudi contends that as long as the Master-Disciple dialectic remains the dominant paradigm of power relations, male authoritarianism will prevail as the dominant political form.
"Connecting political domination to gift exchange, ritual initiation, social loyalty, and gender reversals, Master and Disciple is nothing less than a thoroughgoing revision of our understanding of authoritarian rule in Morocco and in the Arab world in general."—Clifford Geertz, Institute for Advanced Study
The Muslim Brotherhood and the West is the first comprehensive history of the relationship between the world’s largest Islamist movement and the Western powers that have dominated the Middle East for the past century: Britain and the United States.
In the decades since the Brotherhood emerged in Egypt in the 1920s, the movement’s notion of “the West” has remained central to its worldview and a key driver of its behavior. From its founding, the Brotherhood stood opposed to the British Empire and Western cultural influence more broadly. As British power gave way to American, the Brotherhood’s leaders, committed to a vision of more authentic Islamic societies, oscillated between anxiety or paranoia about the West and the need to engage with it. Western officials, for their part, struggled to understand the Brotherhood, unsure whether to shun the movement as one of dangerous “fanatics” or to embrace it as a moderate and inevitable part of the region’s political scene. Too often, diplomats failed to view the movement on its own terms, preferring to impose their own external agendas and obsessions.
Martyn Frampton reveals the history of this complex and charged relationship down to the eve of the Arab Spring. Drawing on extensive archival research in London and Washington and the Brotherhood’s writings in Arabic and English, he provides the most authoritative assessment to date of a relationship that is both vital in itself and crucial to navigating one of the world’s most turbulent regions.
An estimated twenty million Muslims now reside in Europe, mostly as a result of large-scale postwar immigration. In The Muslim Question in Europe, Peter O’Brien challenges the popular notion that the hostilities concerning immigration—which continues to provoke debates about citizenship, headscarves, secularism, and terrorism—are a clash between “Islam and the West.” Rather, he explains, the vehement controversies surrounding European Muslims are better understood as persistent, unresolved intra-European tensions.
O’Brien contends that the best way to understand the politics of state accommodation of European Muslims is through the lens of three competing political ideologies: liberalism, nationalism, and postmodernism. These three broadly understood philosophical traditions represent the most influential normative forces in the politics of immigration in Europe today. He concludes that Muslim Europeans do not represent a monolithic anti-Western bloc within Europe. Although they vehemently disagree among themselves, it is along the same basic liberal, nationalist, and postmodern contours as non-Muslim Europeans.
Faisal Devji Harvard University Press, 2013 Library of Congress DS384.D43 2013 | Dewey Decimal 320.54095491
Muslim Zion argues that Pakistan has never been a nation-state, grounded in the historic connections of lands and peoples. Just as Israel is the only Jewish state, Pakistan is the only Muslim state to make religion the sole basis of its nationality. Faisal Devji offers a penetrating critique of founding a state on nothing but the idea of belonging.
Muslims in a Post-9/11 America examines how public fears about Muslims in the United States compare with the reality of American Muslims’ attitudes on a range of relevant issues. While most research on Muslim Americans focuses on Arab Muslims, a quarter of the Muslim American population, Rachel Gillum includes perspectives of Muslims from various ethnic and national communities—from African Americans to those of Pakistani, Iranian, or Eastern European descent. Using interviews and one of the largest nationwide surveys of Muslim Americans to date, Gillum examines more than three generations of Muslim American immigrants to assess how segments of the Muslim American community are integrating into the U.S. social fabric, and how they respond to post-9/11 policy changes. Gillum’s findings challenge perceptions of Muslims as a homogeneous, isolated, un-American, and potentially violent segment of the U.S. population.
Despite these realities, negative political rhetoric around Muslim Americans persists. The findings suggest that the policies designed to keep America safe from terrorist attacks may have eroded one of law enforcement’s greatest assets in the fight against violent extremism—a relationship of trust and goodwill between the Muslim American community and the U.S. government. Gillum argues for policies and law enforcement tactics that will bring nuanced understandings of this diverse category of Americans and build trust, rather than alienate Muslim communities.
Muslims in Kenyan Politics explores the changing relationship between Muslims and the state in Kenya from precolonial times to the present, culminating in the radicalization of a section of the Muslim population in recent decades. The politicization of Islam in Kenya is deeply connected with the sense of marginalization that shapes Muslims’ understanding of Kenyan politics and government policies.
Kenya’s Muslim population comprises ethnic Arabs, Indians, and black Africans, and its status has varied historically. Under British rule, an imposed racial hierarchy affected Muslims particularly, thwarting the development of a united political voice. Drawing on a broad range of interviews and historical research, Ndzovu presents a nuanced picture of political associations during the postcolonial period and explores the role of Kenyan Muslims as political actors.
For generations Islamic and Western intellectuals and policymakers have debated Islam’s compatibility with democratic government, usually with few solid conclusions. But where—Brandon Kendhammer asks in this book—have the voices of ordinary, working-class Muslims been in this conversation? Doesn’t the fate of democracy rest in their hands? Visiting with community members in northern Nigeria, he tells the complex story of the stunning return of democracy to a country that has also embraced Shariah law and endured the radical religious terrorism of Boko Haram.
Kendhammer argues that despite Nigeria’s struggles with jihadist insurgency, its recent history is really one of tenuous and fragile reconciliation between mass democratic aspirations and concerted popular efforts to preserve Islamic values in government and law. Combining an innovative analysis of Nigeria’s Islamic and political history with visits to the living rooms of working families, he sketches how this reconciliation has been constructed in the conversations, debates, and everyday experiences of Nigerian Muslims. In doing so, he uncovers valuable new lessons—ones rooted in the real politics of ordinary life—for how democracy might work alongside the legal recognition of Islamic values, a question that extends far beyond Nigeria and into the Muslim world at large.
As the twentieth century drew to a close, the unity and authority of the secularist Turkish state were challenged by the rise of political Islam and Kurdish separatism on the one hand and by the increasing demands of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank on the other. While the Turkish government had long limited Islam—the religion of the overwhelming majority of its citizens—to the private sphere, it burst into the public arena in the late 1990s, becoming part of party politics. As religion became political, symbols of Kemalism—the official ideology of the Turkish Republic founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1923—spread throughout the private sphere. In Nostalgia for the Modern, Esra Özyürek analyzes the ways that Turkish citizens began to express an attachment to—and nostalgia for—the secularist, modernist, and nationalist foundations of the Turkish Republic.
Drawing on her ethnographic research in Istanbul and Ankara during the late 1990s, Özyürek describes how ordinary Turkish citizens demonstrated their affinity for Kemalism in the ways they organized their domestic space, decorated their walls, told their life stories, and interpreted political developments. She examines the recent interest in the private lives of the founding generation of the Republic, reflects on several privately organized museum exhibits about the early Republic, and considers the proliferation in homes and businesses of pictures of Atatürk, the most potent symbol of the secular Turkish state. She also explores the organization of the 1998 celebrations marking the Republic’s seventy-fifth anniversary. Özyürek’s insights into how state ideologies spread through private and personal realms of life have implications for all societies confronting the simultaneous rise of neoliberalism and politicized religion.
Partisans of Allah
Ayesha Jalal Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress BP182.J34 2008 | Dewey Decimal 297.720954
Today, more than ever, jihad signifies the political opposition between Islam and the West. As the line drawn between Muslims and non-Muslims becomes more rigid, Jalal seeks to retrieve the ethical meanings of this core Islamic principle in South Asian history. Drawing on historical, legal, and literary sources, Jalal traces the intellectual itinerary of jihad through several centuries and across the territory connecting the Middle East with South Asia.
In the early and mid-1940s, during the period of British wartime occupation, community and religious leaders in the former Italian colony of Eritrea engaged in a course of intellectual and political debate that marked the beginnings of a genuine national consciousness across the region. During the late 1940s and 1950s, the scope of these concerns slowly expanded as the nascent nationalist movement brought together Muslim activists with the increasingly disaffected community of Eritrean Christians.
The Eritrean Muslim League emerged as the first genuine proindependence organization in the country to challenge both the Ethiopian government’s calls for annexation and international plans to partition Eritrea between Sudan and Ethiopia. The league and its supporters also contributed to the expansion of Eritrea’s civil society, formulating the first substantial arguments about what made Eritrea an inherently separate national entity. These concepts were essential to the later transition from peaceful political protest to armed rebellion against Ethiopian occupation.
Paths toward the Nation is the first study to focus exclusively on Eritrea’s nationalist movement before the start of the armed struggle in 1961.
In The Politics of Islamic Law, Iza Hussin compares India, Malaya, and Egypt during the British colonial period in order to trace the making and transformation of the contemporary category of ‘Islamic law.’ She demonstrates that not only is Islamic law not the shari’ah, its present institutional forms, substantive content, symbolic vocabulary, and relationship to state and society—in short, its politics—are built upon foundations laid during the colonial encounter.
Drawing on extensive archival work in English, Arabic, and Malay—from court records to colonial and local papers to private letters and visual material—Hussin offers a view of politics in the colonial period as an iterative series of negotiations between local and colonial powers in multiple locations. She shows how this resulted in a paradox, centralizing Islamic law at the same time that it limited its reach to family and ritual matters, and produced a transformation in the Muslim state, providing the frame within which Islam is articulated today, setting the agenda for ongoing legislation and policy, and defining the limits of change. Combining a genealogy of law with a political analysis of its institutional dynamics, this book offers an up-close look at the ways in which global transformations are realized at the local level.
This volume of the Building Bridges Seminar, Power:Divine and Human, Christian and Muslim Perspectives, comprises pairs of essays by Christians and Muslims which introduce texts for dialogical study, plus the actual text-excerpts themselves.
This new book goes far beyond mere reporting on a dialogical seminar; rather, it provides guidance and materials for constructing a similar dialogical experience on a particular topic. As a resource for comparative theology, Power:Divine and Human is unique in that it takes up a topic not usually explored in depth in Christian-Muslim conversations. It is written by scholars for scholars. However, in tone and structure, it is suitable for the non-specialist as well. Students (undergraduate and graduate), religious leaders, and motivated non-specialists will find it readable and useful. While it falls solidly in the domain of comparative theology, it can also be used in courses on dialogical reading of scripture, interreligious relations, and political philosophy.
This book presents three of the works of Abduʾl-Bahā, son of the founder of the Bahāʾi Faith, which deal with social and political issues.
In The Secret of Divine Civilization (1875) Abduʾl-Bahā supports the administrative and broader social reforms of Mirzā Hosayn Khān, but looks mainly for organic reform through the efforts of Iranian intellectuals to awaken and educate the masses. In this work, Abduʾl-Bahā gives virtuous and progressive Islamic clerics a leading role among these intellectuals—indeed most of his appeals are directed specifically to them. A Traveller’s Narrative (1889/90) is an authoritative statement of the overarching concepts of Bahā’i social and political thinking. The Art of Governance (1892/93) was written as Iran entered a prerevolutionary phase, and ideas that we recognize today as the precursors of political Islam were spreading. It sets out the principles underlying the ideal relationship between religion and politics and between the government and the people.
In addition to presenting the first parallel text translations of these works, the Persian texts incorporate notes on variants in the early published sources. An introduction outlines the intellectual and political landscape from which Abduʾl-Bahā wrote, and in which his readers lived.
In Radical Arab Nationalism and Political Islam, Lahouari Addi attempts to assess the history and political legacy of radical Arab nationalism to show that it contained the seeds of its own destruction. While the revolutionary regimes promised economic and social development and sought the unity of Arab nations, they did not account for social transformations, such as freedom of speech, that would eventually lead to their decline. But while radical Arab nationalism fell apart, authoritarian populism did not disappear. Today it is expressed by political Islam that aims to achieve the kind of social justice radical Arab nationalism once promised.
Addi creatively links the past and present while also raising questions about the future of Arab countries. Is political Islam the heir of radical Arab nationalism? If political Islam succeeds, will it face the same challenges faced by radical Arab nationalism? Will it be able to implement modernity? The future of Arab countries, Addi writes, depends on this crucial issue.
Published in collaboration with Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University.
In this notable work, Souad T. Ali examines the seminal writings of Egyptian reformist scholar Ali'Abd al-Raziq, often regarded as the intellectual father of Islamic secularism, and his controversial argument that the caliphate should be considered a human innovation, rather than a religious imperative. 'Abd al Raziq contended that Islam is "a religion, not a state; a message, not a government," a major departure from the traditional view that religious and political spheres are intertwined and inseparable in Islam.
Opponents denounced 'Abd al-Raziq's ideas as a foreign corruption imported from the West. Ali's careful, objective, and scholarly examination of 'Abd al-Raziq's work, however, reveals that his arguments are not based in Western thought. Rather, they sit firmly within the dictates of Islam's sacred texts, particularly the Quran and Hadith, and also enjoy considerable support from the historical record.
This analysis critically challenges prevalent misinterpretations of Islam that have endured for centuries. Ali recognizes the varied models and discourses that have arisen throughout different epochs, especially so the role that Western intervention has played in placing the question of Islam's modernity at the forefront of intellectual debate. Throughout, the study emphasizes the atmosphere of openness and tolerance that is a requisite for free, intelligent debate.
Salafism, comprised of fundamentalist Islamic movements whose adherents consider themselves the only “saved” sect of Islam, has been little studied, remains shrouded in misconceptions, and has provoked new interest as Salafists have recently staked a claim to power in some Arab states while spearheading battles against “infidel” Arab regimes during recent rebellions in the Arab world. Robert G. Rabil examines the emergence and development of Salafism into a prominent religious movement in Lebanon, including the ideological and sociopolitical foundation that led to the three different schools of Salafism in Lebanon: quietist Salafists, Haraki (active) Salafists; and Salafi Jihadists.
Emphasizing their manhaj (methodology) toward politics, the author surveys Salafists’ ideological transformation from opponents to supporters of political engagement. Their antagonism to Hezbollah, which they denounce as the party of Satan, has risen exponentially following the party’s seizure of Beirut in 2008 and support of the tyrannical Syrian regime. Salafism in Lebanon also demonstrates how activists and jihadi Salafists, in response to the political weakness of Sunni leadership, have threatened regional and international security by endorsing violence and jihad.
Drawing on field research trips, personal interviews, and Arabic primary sources, the book explores the relationship between the ideologies of the various schools of Salafism and their praxis in relation to Lebanese politics. The book should interest students and scholars of Islamic movements, international affairs, politics and religion, and radical groups and terrorism.
Dismissing oversimplified and politically charged views of the politics of Shi'ite Islam, Said Amir Arjomand offers a richly researched sociological and historical study of Shi'ism and the political order of premodern Iran that exposes the roots of what became Khomeini's theocracy.
The State of Islam tells the story of Pakistan through the lens of the Cold War, and more recently the War on Terror, to shed light on the domestic and international processes behind the global rise of militant Islam.
Unlike existing scholarship on nationalism, Islam and the state in Pakistan, which tends to privilege events in a narrowly-defined ‘political’ realm, Saadia Toor highlights the significance of cultural politics in Pakistan from its origins to the contemporary period. This extra dimension allows Toor to explain how the struggle between Marxists and liberal nationalists was influenced and eventually engulfed by the agenda of the religious right.
Timely and unique, this book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the roots of modern Pakistan and the likely outcome of current power struggles in the country.
The Struggle for Pakistan
Ayesha Jalal Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress DS383.5.A2J338 2014 | Dewey Decimal 954.9104
In a probing biography of her native land, Ayesha Jalal provides a unique insider’s assessment of how the nuclear-armed Muslim nation of Pakistan evolved into a country besieged by military domination and militant religious extremism, and explains why its dilemmas weigh so heavily on prospects for peace in the region.
Political Islam, to be distinguished from Islam as a culture or a religion, and from Islamic Fundamentalism, is an increasingly important feature of the western political scene. The ideologies of Political Islam reflect the fact that some of their adherents live and work within a Western socio-political context.
Although Political Islam has been widely written about in Muslim countries, very little has been published the West, and this book attempts to redress that imbalance.
With a range of outstanding contributors that includes academics and human rights advocates this book tackles the diversity of Islamist thinking and practice in various Western countries and explores their transnational connections in both East and West.
The book analyses developments in Islamist thinking and activities, and their connections to the latest global political and economic trends, and discusses future evolutions of the ideology and its manifestations.
Under the Drones
Shahzad Bashir Harvard University Press, 2012 Library of Congress DS357.6.P18U53 2012 | Dewey Decimal 958.10471
Western media coverage of Afghanistan and Pakistan paints a simplistic picture of ageless barbarity, terrorist safe havens, and peoples in need of either punishment or salvation. Under the Drones looks beyond this limiting view to investigate real people on the ground, and analyze the political, social, and economic forces that shape their lives.
What is driving political extremism in Pakistan? In early 2011, the prominent Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by a member of his own security team for insulting Islam by expressing views in support of the rights of women and religious minorities. Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, was killed by gunfire and explosive devices as she left a campaign event in December 2007; strong evidence links members of extremist organizations to her slaying.
These murders underscore the fact that religion, politics, and policy are inextricably linked in Pakistan. In this book, Haroon K. Ullah analyzes the origins, ideologies, bases of support, and electoral successes of the largest and most influential Islamic parties in Pakistan. Based on his extensive field work in Pakistan, he develops a new typology for understanding and comparing the discourses put forth by these parties in order to assess what drives them and what separates the moderate from the extreme. A better understanding of the range of parties is critical for knowing how the US and other Western nations can engage states where Islamic political parties hold both political and moral authority.
Pakistan’s current democratic transition will hinge on how well Islamic parties contribute to civilian rule, shun violence, and mobilize support for political reform. Ullah’s political-party typology may also shed light on the politics of other majority-Muslim democracies, such as Egypt and Tunisia, where Islamist political parties have recently won elections.
With the first Fulbright grant for research in Iran to be awarded since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Roxanne Varzi returned to the country her family left before the Iran-Iraq war. Drawing on ethnographic research she conducted in Tehran between 1991 and 2000, she provides an eloquent account of the beliefs and experiences of young, middle-class, urban Iranians. As the first generation to have come of age entirely in the period since the founding of the Islamic Republic of Iran, twenty-something Iranians comprise a vital index of the success of the nation’s Islamic Revolution. Varzi describes how, since 1979, the Iranian state has attempted to produce and enforce an Islamic public sphere by governing behavior and by manipulating images—particularly images related to religious martyrdom and the bloody war with Iraq during the 1980s—through films, murals, and television shows. Yet many of the young Iranians Varzi studied quietly resist the government’s conflation of religious faith and political identity.
Highlighting trends that belie the government’s claim that Islamic values have taken hold—including rising rates of suicide, drug use, and sex outside of marriage—Varzi argues that by concentrating on images and the performance of proper behavior, the government’s campaign to produce model Islamic citizens has affected only the appearance of religious orthodoxy, and that the strictly religious public sphere is partly a mirage masking a profound crisis of faith among many Iranians. Warring Souls is a powerful account of contemporary Iran made more vivid by Varzi’s inclusion of excerpts from the diaries she maintained during her research and from journal entries written by Iranian university students with whom she formed a study group.