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  • Author: Sonia Boulos
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: The perception of Islam as antithetical to European human rights values is widespread in Europe. Such perceptions complicate the task of integrating Muslim minorities across Europe. While incrementing respect to human rights norms among migrant communities is an important element of any integration policy, this goal should not be perused by forcing migrant communities to adhere to human rights norms based on purely secular grounds. The drafting history of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the ultimate proof that human rights can be justified from different political, philosophical and religious perspectives. While European States cannot compromise their commitment to human rights, even in relation to migrant communities, still, they must allow other narratives on the importance and the meaning of human rights to emerge. Muslim migrant communities must be allowed to engage in intra-group religion-based dialogues to reevaluate their stance on human rights and to debate their meaning. After being given the opportunity to engage in internal debates on the significance of human rights, Muslim migrant communities should also be engaged in cross-cultural dialogues with the rest of community to generate a wider agreement on the meaning and the application of human rights. This two-fold strategy is consistent with the principle of subsidiarity, which suggests that for human rights be effective they must be seen as legitimate by all those small groups that are close to the individual. Such legitimacy cannot be imposed from the outside, it must emerge from within these small groups. However, for these intra-group and cross-cultural dialogues to succeed, the separation of religion and State cannot be understood as the complete exclusion of religion from the public sphere. Individuals of different philosophical or religious convictions must have an equal access to public debates on the centrality of human rights in the European legal order.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Islam, Religion, Culture, Integration
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Murat Ülgül
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Novus Orbis: Journal of Politics & International Relations
  • Institution: Department of International Relations, Karadeniz Technical University
  • Abstract: What is the relationship between religion and empire, and what role do religious ideas play in the empire-formation process? This paper focuses on these questions by analysing the role of Islam in the formation of the Umayyad and the Ottoman Empires. Although the literature about these Islamic empires is extensive enough, they generally provide a rich historical narrative without theorization. To fill this gap, I use constructivist theory in the analysis and point out that religion as a structural force helps states to turn into empires over time. Nevertheless, following the agent-structure debate, I also argue that the individual characteristics of these states are essential to understand how religion affected their policies and how they interpreted the religion. The findings show that as the Umayyad Empire was not recognized as legitimate by various sects in religious terms in the seventh and eighth centuries, religion played less of a regulatory role in imperial policies and its rulers did not hesitate to adopt ruthless stratagems and a divide-and-conquer strategy. On the other hand, the Ottoman Empire benefited from religion in its conquests and its policies were primarily restricted by religious norms and values. As a result of this dependence, ruthless stratagems were adopted less often, and Ottoman policies were heavily shaped by religious norms and values.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Empire, Constructivism, Ottoman Empire, Umayyad Empire
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Aisha Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: In recent years, jihadists across the world have transformed their gendered violence, shocking the world by breaking from prior taboos and even celebrating abuses that they had previously prohibited. This behavior is surprising because jihadists represent a class of insurgents that are deeply bound by rules and norms. For jihadists, deviating from established Islamist doctrines is no easy feat. What then explains these sudden transformations in the rules and norms governing jihadist violence? An inductive investigation of contemporary jihadist violence in Pakistan and Nigeria reveals a new theory of jihadist normative evolution. Data from these cases show that dramatic changes in jihadist violence occur when an external trigger creates an expanded political space for jihadist entrepreneurs to do away with normative constraints on socially prohibited types of violence. As these jihadist leaders capitalize on the triggers, they are able to encourage a re-socialization process within their ranks, resulting in the erosion of previously held taboos, the adoption of proscribed behaviors, and the emergence of toxic new norms.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, Islam, Terrorism, Women, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East, West Asia
  • Author: Emile Dirks
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The repression of Xinjiang’s Uighur population by the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) continues to horrify world opinion. Along with interning an estimated one million people in a network of re-education camps, the Chinese state has built extensive systems of daily surveillance directed at the region’s Muslims (China Brief, March 14, 2017; China Brief, November 5, 2018). Police inspections of local homes, blacklists of suspect Muslims, and biometric data collection are widespread. Previous research has illustrated how such policies have their roots in earlier (and ongoing) repression campaigns against Falun Gong and other religious groups (China Brief, February 1). However, evidence now suggests that these systems of social surveillance and repression also originated in programs directed at wider groups of Chinese citizens, identified as “key individuals” (重点人员, zhongdian renyuan). Systems of “key population management” (重点人口管理, zhongdian renkou guanli) possess many of the features associated with Xinjiang’s security state: profiling, extensive personal and biometric data collection, and location-based tracking.
  • Topic: Islam, Science and Technology, Prisons/Penal Systems, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Xinjiang
  • Author: Roie Yellinek
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: State-directed repression and harassment directed against Muslims in China has drawn broad international condemnation throughout the Western world. However, what has been the reaction from the Islamic world itself? Although reactions among major states have varied (as discussed below), the reaction throughout the Islamic world has largely been one of deafening silence—and when voices are raised, they have been faint.
  • Topic: International Relations, Islam, Prisons/Penal Systems, State Violence, Surveillance
  • Political Geography: China, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Xinjiang
  • Author: Maryam Azam
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The rise of sectarian groups in Pakistan has sprouted many internal challenges for the state as well as for the society. The issue of sectarianism is directly linked with the security and harmony of Pakistani society as it has culminated into a grave internal security challenge causing violence and loss of human life. The institutionalization of these groups and their role in the political landscape of Pakistan reflects their complicated nature, objectives and the overall discourse on which these groups are built. Despite the fact that government in various time periods have banned these sectarian militant groups but they were able to operate in shadows or under the banner of different names and roles. This piece of research aims to explicate their multidimensional roles and their capacity to operate and affect the security paradox as well as society as a whole
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion, Sectarianism, Sectarian violence, Violent Extremism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Usman Bashir, Iram Khalid
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This study is focused on the impact of religion on the electoral pattern of the people of Punjab. Religion as a determinant of voting behavior is best expressed in the votes secured by the religious parties. Thus, religious parties vote in Pakistan and Punjab is studied to build an argument. Religion has a strong impact on human life. It influences each act and attitude of the individual especially in developing countries. In Pakistan; religion has a solid affect in shaping the political attitudes and beliefs of the individuals. It is one of the key elements of politics.2018 general elections saw a sudden rise in the vote bank of religious political parties. It witnessed a 2.17 % increase in the religious vote country wide and 1.32% increase in Punjab. Tahreek Labbaik Pakistan appeared on the scene as a radical Sunni Islamic party, it mobilized the barelvi vote bank to great effect. And it emerged as the third largest party of Punjab, in terms of votes polled. 2018 general elections also witnessed the rise of Milli Muslim League which was a political wing of Jamaat-ud-Dawa, who were previously rejecting the parliamentary form of government and were critical of voting in elections. The increase in the influence of the various spiritual gaddi nasheen in the electoral politics of Punjab was also a prominent factor during the 11th general election.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion, Elections
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Benjamin Tua
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: Efforts to portray Muslims and their faith as threatening diminish our society by stigmatizing a significant American minority. They also can facilitate costly foreign policy blunders such as the 2017 Executive Order banning entry into the US of visitors from several Middle Eastern majority-Muslim countries, an order purportedly based on terrorist activity, technical hurdles to properly document these countries’ travelers, and poor coordination with US officials. Two recent books, “Mohammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires” and “What the Qur’an Meant: And Why it Matters,” take on the task of broadening Americans’ still unacceptably low understanding of Islam. The authors – Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, and Garry Wills, a Pulitzer Prize winning lay scholar of American Catholicism – approach their subject in distinctly different manners. Yet, their message and conclusions are remarkably similar – namely, that ignorance of and distortions of Islam and what the Quran says both alienate vast numbers of Muslims and have led to foreign policy missteps. The books complement each other nicely.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Peace Studies, Religion, Judaism, Islamophobia, Xenophobia
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Eastern Europe, Soviet Union, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Haviland Smith
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: American Diplomacy
  • Institution: American Diplomacy
  • Abstract: It is clear that there are powerful people both in the United States and in Iran who would like to force a real confrontation between our two countries. What is completely unclear is whether or not those hawks on both sides want a modified Cold War type confrontation, built perhaps on cyber warfare, or an all-out military confrontation. What this situation, with all its incredibly profound dangers and possible disastrous outcomes, has done is once again prompt the question, “what is the United States doing in the Middle East and what precisely are our goals there?”
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam, Religion, Terrorism, Minorities, Ethnicity
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, United States of America
  • Author: Matt Schrader
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: China Brief
  • Institution: The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: China has a serious and worsening Islamophobia problem. While relations between China’s Muslim minorities and its Han majority have been fraught since 2009’s deadly inter-ethnic riots in the far western city of Urumqi, recent years have seen the normalization of online hate speech directed at Muslims. The rise of Islamophobia inside China is a product both of government action, and of the government’s failure to act. Commentary on the recent death of a prominent Muslim leader in the western province of Qinghai highlights the extent to which the situation has deteriorated, and suggests the ways in which China’s warped online discourse could blunt its efforts to build influence and win friends in countries across the Muslim world.
  • Topic: Demographics, Ethnic Conflict, Islam, Geopolitics, Islamophobia
  • Political Geography: China, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Meagan Torello, Rafael Leal-Arcas, Caitlin Werrell, Francesco Femia, Carmel Davis, Ziad Al Achkar, Ang Zhao, Buddhika Jayamaha, Jahara "Franky" Matisek, William Reno, Molly Jahn, Therese Adam, Peter J. Schraeder, Juan Macias-Amoretti, Karim Bejjit
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: In the first issue of our 20th volume, the cooperative and conflictual nature of climate change in international relations is explored. Rafael Leal-Arcas analyzes the necessity of a symbiotic relationship between bottom-up and top-down negotiations to implement clean energy consumption. Following, Caitlin Werrell and Francesco Femia begin this issue's dialogue on climate change and security. Carmel Davis discusses the effects of climate change on Sub-Saharan Africa's ability to develop and subsequently mitigate conflict. Similarly, Ziad Al Achkar outlines the economic, environmental, and security threats in the Arctic as its ice continues to melt. Zhao Ang then discusses China's ability and incentives to pursuing a greener economy. Following, Buddikha Jayamaha, Jahara Matisek, William Reno, and Molly Jahn discuss the security and development of climate change implications in the Sahel region. The main portion of this issue proudly concludes with the Journal's interview with former Swiss Ambassador Therese Adam on climate change negotiations and the great potential for civil society engagement. Following the climate change portion of this issue, we feature a special sup-topic: Africa Rising. Here, Peter Schraeder discusses the effects of President Donald Trump's foreign policy in Africa. Juan Macías-Amoretti analyzes the role of Islam in Moroccan politics, while Karim Bejjit concludes with a discussion on Morocco's growing relationship with the AU.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Diplomacy, Environment, Islam, Regional Cooperation, Conflict, Donald Trump
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Europe, Asia, North Africa, Switzerland, Morocco, Sahel, Global Focus
  • Author: Juan Macias-Amoretti
  • Publication Date: 09-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations
  • Institution: School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Seton Hall University
  • Abstract: One of the key factors to understanding contemporary politics in North Africa is the ideological use of Islam in the political sphere.1 Understood as a main foundation of North African cultural background and political identity, Islam has been present in the political discourse since the very emergence of the National states in the post-colonial era. Predating self-government in the form of sovereign states in the mid-1950s, Islam and Islamic law were also used by colonial forces to deal with the local elites and to legitimate their political rule and their economic and military administration. In any case, Islamic history has provided a powerful element of unity to North African societies in the form of Sunni and Mālikī trend, thus contributing to the social, political, and juridical order. Despite the diverse trends and symbolic representations of Islam in the cultural and spiritual fields in North Africa, there is little doubt about the centrality of the Islamic discourse in contemporary politics as it can be stated that Islam is one of the main power resources in the political competition among elites. The case of the ‘Alawī Kingdom of Morocco is especially relevant.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Religion, Ideology
  • Political Geography: Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Salma Umber, Muhammad Junaid Ghauri, Hassan Nawaz
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Indian film industry is one of the biggest film industries in the world which produces highest number of movies every year. Indian media and film industry overwhelmingly link Islam and Muslims with terrorism. Especially since 9/11 attacks, the Bollywood have portrayed the Muslims in stereotypically negative way. After the 9/11 incident, Muslims have been constructed as distrustful people, terrorists, and antagonists. The study at hand was set out to identify the overall dimension and nature of portrayal of Indian Muslims in the Bollywood. For the purpose the researcher opted convenient sampling as a tool of data collection and quantitative content analysis along with SPSS was used as data analysis technique. Bollywood movies, released during the year 2016 with Muslims as prominent characters in it, were selected as ample to be studied. The results indicated that majority of the movie contents contained negative and stereotypical image of Indian Muslims. Overall findings evidenced that the Muslims were assigned non-patriotic and antagonistic characters more than the patriotic and protagonist characters.
  • Topic: Islam, Mass Media, Media, Film, Representation, 9/11
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, India, Punjab
  • Author: Khalid Manzoor Butt, Naeema Siddiqui
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The word 'Islamic Republic' is debatable among scholars as what meaning and role the word 'Islam' adds to the republic is still not agreed upon. Therefore, there is a need for resolving this ambiguity by explicitly defining and explaining the meaning and role of Islam in an Islamic Republic. Pakistan, too, is an Islamic Republic, which got the name 'Islamic Republic of Pakistan' for the first time in the constitution of 1956. This study intends to comprehend the mentioned issue by highlighting the similarities and differences between democracy and Islamic system of governance. In this qualitative study, iterative analysis of semi-structured interviews of ten doctorate scholars is carried out. The study comes across primary contradictions between the two systems and gives a way out for a system having characteristics of both Islam and democracy.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Islam, Religion, History, Governance, Democracy, State
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Miguel Hernando de Larramendi
  • Publication Date: 05-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Revista UNISCI/UNISCI Journal
  • Institution: Unidad de investigación sobre seguridad y cooperación (UNISCI)
  • Abstract: Este artículo analiza el papel que el islam ha jugado en la política exterior de Marruecos sosteniendo que ha sido utilizado como un recurso ideológico al servicio de una política exterior cuyo proceso de tomas de decisión es monopolizado por la Monarquía. En las relaciones exteriores Marruecos ha utilizado el islam como un instrumento para ganar influencia internacional a través de tres vías principales: la explotación de la legitimidad religiosa de sus soberanos; la exportación de un modelo de islam caracterizado por su apertura interpretativa; y moderación y la utilización de los lazos mantenidos con el exterior por organizaciones trasnacionales arraigadas en el país como la cofradía Tiyaniyya
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Islam, Religion, Ideology
  • Political Geography: North Africa, Morocco
  • Author: Ches Thurber, Austin Bowman
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Ches Thurber is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University. He was previously a research fellow at the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism at the University of Chicago and at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His current book project, Strategies of Violence and Nonviolence in Revolutionary Movements, examines why political movements seeking to overthrow the state embrace strategies of either armed insurgency or civil resistance.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Non State Actors, Sectarianism, Social Movement, Conflict, Interview
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Syria, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Jafar Riaz Kataria, Umbreen Javaid
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: The Madrassa system has been providing an alternative mean to get education, which is religious in nature, according to the Islamic traditional values and is also affordable. Madrassa system in Pakistan, as a part of education-a social institution, is performing the functions of education institution. Acquisition of political culture and incorporation of political norms is political socialization. One of the important variable to understand the society‟s political socialization is the level of political efficacy. More efficacious the members of the society are, more positive is the political socialization of the society which ultimately leads to the good functioning of political system of the society. The present study aims to study the political efficacy of the madrassa students of the Lahore district of Pakistan.
  • Topic: Education, Islam, Politics, Youth
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Sadia Rafique, Khalid Manzoor Butt
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Socio, economic and political involvement of women as half of the total populace is important to reinforce society and state. In every sphere of life, women have been found under-represented one way or the other. The women of Iran are not exempted from this. This paper evaluates women‟s position in two different periods in the history of Iran, i.e., during the rule of the Pahlavi Dynasty, and during the period of the post Islamic Republic. The objective of the paper is, first, to highlight the treatment meted out to women in Iran and shed light on various spheres of social life while comparing the two periods. Secondly, to examine factors that have affected the position of women in Iran
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Human Rights, Islam, History, Governance, Women, Inequality
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Asia
  • Author: Karim Sajjad Sheikh, Khalil Ahmad, Ayesha Farooq
  • Publication Date: 07-2016
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: This paper attempts to review and analyze important features of Pakistani and Bangladeshi politics, the socio-economic situation and cultural traditions from both historical and contemporary perspectives with focus upon challenges of poverty alleviation. In so-doing, this paper analyses the major issues related to poverty alleviation against the backdrop of sociopolitical and economic structures. The present paper has been extracted from the published PhD work of the first author. The review indicates some of the important features of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both the countries share similar ranking on human development index. Substantial proportions of populations in both the countries are engaged in primary sector of economy. Gender disparities on socio-economic indicators, ethnic and sectarian divide, political instability and corruption are intertwined with political, economic and cultural structures of the countries. Good governance, increased civic participation, collaboration of Faith-based organizations with NGOs and CSOs can help improve indicators of Human Development Index in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • Topic: Corruption, Education, Islam, Poverty, History, Political stability
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Aisha Ahmad
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Many intractable civil wars take place in countries with large Muslim populations. In these protracted conflicts, Islamists are often just one of many actors fighting in a complex landscape of ethnic, tribal, and political violence. Yet, certain Islamist groups compete exceptionally well in these conflicts. Why do Islamists sometimes gain power out of civil war stalemates? Although much of the existing research points to either ethnic or religious motivations, I argue that there are also hard economic reasons behind the rise of Islamist power. In this article, I offer a micro-political economy model of Islamist success in civil war that highlights the role of an important, but often-overlooked, class: the local business community.
  • Topic: Security, Islam
  • Political Geography: Somalia
  • Author: Franck Düvell
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article argues that Turkey is going through a paradigm transition regarding its migration characteristics and has changed from an emigration to an immigration country. It briefly reviews the history of immigration of mostly ethnic Turks or other Muslims to Turkey, but then concentrates on contemporary non-Turkic and non-Muslim immigrants. In the first part, it distinguishes between flows of travelers and migrants and stock of immigrants. Notably, it illustrates national diversity, assesses the quantitative level of immigration to Turkey, including estimates on irregular immigration, and addresses the geographic dispersal of immigrants across the country. In the second part, it analyzes the macro-level economic, political and social factors and discrepancies between Turkey, its neighbors and other countries in the wider region, which represent the structural determinants of migration. It concludes that immigration to Turkey is still comparably low but that due to macro-level factors, it could grow. In order to develop adequate policy responses, more research must be done.
  • Topic: Islam, Immigration
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Shaimaa Magued
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Muslims in Modern Turkey: Kemalism, Modernism and the Revolt of the Islamic Intellectuals presents a comprehensive overview of contemporary Turkish intellectuals' thoughts on Kemalist ideology. With a selection of six intellectuals, the first chapter gives an overview of the Kemalist ideology and its sociocultural impact on both the private and public spheres in the newly-formed Turkish state. In the second, third and fourth chapters, more details are given about the lives and thoughts of the selected intellectuals, followed by a comparison with their counterparts in the Arab/Muslim world and the old Islamic intellectuals in Turkey. Overall, the book compiles the views of Islamic intellectuals regarding the secularization process in Turkey since the conception of the state; however, the book has weaknesses that prevent the ignition of the reader's curiosity and leaves one wondering what the author intended to contribute to existing literature.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Mauricio Jaramillo Jassir
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Democracy, Islam and Secularism in Turkey, edited by Ahmet Kuru and Alfred Stepan, decribes the so-called “Turkish model” in detail, while trying to avoid unfounded criticism. The book is divided into eight chapters, written mainly by Turkish authors, with the exception of Karen Barney, Stathis Kalyvas, Alfred Stepan and Joost Lagendijk.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Anita Sengupta
  • Publication Date: 05-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The relationship between Islam and foreign policy has become the subject of a number of volumes in recent years as scholars seek to understand the role that political Islam plays in determining foreign policy. This is more often than not accompanied by the assumption that Islam is fundamentally incompatible with modernity. Turkey, with its complex history of modernity and the transition from its Ottoman past, remains an interesting case for the study of the causal relationship between the construction of a modern nation state, secular identity and nationalized foreign policy. The rediscovery of Turkey's regional interests and affinities from the 'Balkans to Western China' – areas that had been largely absent from Turkish foreign policy debates since the foundation of the Republic – have emphasized the significance of the state's internal evolution in determining its external policy. In her book, Turkey Facing East: Islam, Modernity and Foreign Policy, Ayla Gol critically analyzes Turkey's engagement with modernity in the course of its transformation from the Ottoman structure into a modern nation state in order to understand Turkey's foreign policy towards its eastern neighbours between 1918 and 1921. This is a clear and important departure from studies that tend to examine this transition period in terms of Turkey's engagement with the West.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Balkans, South Caucasus
  • Author: Buddhika Jayamaha
  • Publication Date: 02-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has created an area where Turkish and Kurdish interests overlap: both parties are thoroughly alarmed at ISIL\'s expansion. However, delicate and sensitive cooperation against ISIL has to take place in the broader context of the complicated and evolving Kurdish-Turkish relationship. While Turkey develops its response to the ISIL threat and the Syrian crisis, it is also managing Kurdish relations as part of its effort to redefine the Turkish state and Turkish national identity. On their side, the Kurdish leaders — especially the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq — are compelled to deal with a complex and sometimes competing array of Kurdish organizational alliances and interests that cross international borders, while trying to deepen their relations with Ankara. Despite the complicated nature of the situation, there are reasons to be hopeful.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: We are happy to publish Volume 7, Issue 1 (January/ February 2015) of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis (CTTA) by the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. From a terrorism and counterterrorism perspective, the year 2014 was particularly significant. This was due as much to the potential impact of drawdown of US and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) from Afghanistan as to the declaration of the establishment of a so-called Islamic Caliphate by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). While the former has emboldened old and established groups like Al Qaeda Central, the Afghan Taliban, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, among others, the claim of the establishment of the “so called Islamic State” by ISIS seem to have galvanized disparate elements within the Muslim world, drawing fighters in thousands to Iraq and Syria and spurring radicalization and extremism in many countries in an unprecedented scale.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria, Singapore
  • Author: Shagufta Bano, Muhammad Sohail, Syed Shahbaz Hussain
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: South Asian Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Sufis are the spiritual guides who aspire for closer union with God. Islam is an exterior edifice in which an entity subsists, whilst the inner exploration for enlightenment belongs to an ambit of Sufi realization. The Sufi approach endeavors to mend a human demeanor and to open up human vistas to the sublime amity that comes from propinquity to God. Sufism is a devotional and spiritual current in the Islamic history. Sufism enlightens society to abstain from spitefulness, barbarianism, bigotry, sadism and discrepancy. Now it has been subject matter to the strain of modernization experienced across the Muslim world and people are faced with terrorism on its peak. The present-day approach of sadism and belligerence calls for a good propel for the message of Sufi Diaspora for the alteration of traumatized mental approach of the populace. The conflict ridden people really have a pursuit for peace. Sufi ideas generously contribute to the harmony and relief. Islam is a great and splendid religion now has become maligned due to atrocities of ‘Jehadis’ in the label of religion. Fundamentalism has amended the motif and spirit of Islam. Pakistan as a soil of Sufis, longs for serenity and harmony. Sufis are the people who believe in tolerance, love and well being of all humanity. It is necessary to follow the doctrine of Sufism in the world of turmoil and tribulations and to address the most serious issues like lack of interfaith harmony, terrorism, exploitation in Pakistan. The intention of this study is to explore the role of major Sufi saints in Sub-continent for preaching religion on the instructions of their sacred mentors and people have faith on Sufi Saints.
  • Topic: Islam, Religion, Taliban, Violent Extremism, Sufism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia, Punjab
  • Author: Ahmet T. Kuru
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: AHMET T. KURU analyses why most of the 49 Muslim-majority countries are authoritarian. He challenges explanations that point to Islam, the absence of secularism, patriarchy, and Arab exceptionalism as causes.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: In the Middle East today there are armed groups that have no respect for the humanitarian imperative. What challenges does this present to the Red Cross? I see two key challenges. The first one is very basic. We want to maintain a very close relationship with people affected by conflict, and access these days is more complex because we are in a very polarized environment. Look at the Iraq front–the problem is not new but it is exacerbated. The second issue is to be able to engage governments and non-state armed groups on a very pragmatic basis on issues related to people under their control. That normally works rather well. What I have found more complex these days is to engage them on issues related to international humanitarian law and the Geneva conventions.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Islam
  • Political Geography: Geneva, Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Gerard Russell
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Chatham House
  • Abstract: Iraq is being denuded of its ancient communities, and both it and the world are the poorer for it. As the jihadists of Islamic State try to entrench their rule, it is an open question whether Iraq's religious minorities will survive, and if so, how they can be protected. There is another, deeper question, however. How did Iraq come to have so much religious diversity in the first place, and what does this this say about the type of Islam that prevailed there until the 21st century?
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq
  • Author: David Tier
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: Our world is on a trajectory leading to a point where terrorists will eventually acquire a nuclear weapon. It is only a matter of time. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States recognized the lack of effectiveness of its previous intelligence and military efforts in deterring terrorists and sought an alternate way to defuse the radical Islamist threat. By continuing to advocate the use of military force in Iraq after weapons of mass destruction were not found, the U.S. pursued a strategy in line with the idealist school of thought by attempting to plant a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. Iraq became the centerpiece of the United States' ambitions to stop the region from exporting violence and terror, and attempted to transform it into a place of progress and peace. This effort was ambitious indeed, and many argued that these goals were be- yond the United States' ability to achieve. However, this strategy offered a possible solution to the endless cycle of violence across the Middle East and Africa and its continuing threat to U.S. national security. The current administration, in contrast, announced last year a "rebalance toward the Asia -Pacific region," ostensibly to counter the growing strength of China's military power. Like an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, this shift pivots the U.S. away from its true threat and increases the peril its citizens will face. The United States should focus its efforts on supporting democratization in troubled regions, and policy makers must counter those who criticize this strategy, including military-industrial complex advocates of the "pivot."
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Asia, Mumbai
  • Author: Ruben Tuitel
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Connections
  • Institution: Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes
  • Abstract: The Sinai Peninsula has been a center of conflict for many years, starting with the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948. After Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords in 1978, it became a peaceful region, strongly controlled by the military during Hosni Mubarak's rule in Cairo. Now, after several years of non-violence, the Sinai Peninsula is once again the center of a complicated conflict. Heavy protests across Egypt in 2011 forced Hosni Mubarak to step down from the presidency, creating a security vacuum in the Sinai that allowed radical Islamists to almost freely operate in the region. During the months that followed, insurgent groups grew in number, recruiting frustrated Bedouin who have been neglected by the Egyptian government for years.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Tahir Abbas
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This essay interprets the Gezi Park protests that began as a local resistance to government plans to level a public park but quickly escalated into a national outburst against government policies. How did the local events receive endorsements from different communities with otherwise ideological and cultural conflicts? This paper argues that political disenfranchisement intersected with society's aspirations with regard to dichotomies between conservatism and secularism, localisation and globalisation, and nationalism and majoritarianism.
  • Topic: Globalization, Government, Islam, Culture
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: A. Kadir Yildirim
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Egypt's democratization efforts require domestic and international considerations: Domestically, the country must focus on the economy at the expense of the military's political role: While military involvement in politics is crucial to democratization, improvements in this area represents an outcome, not the cause, of the process. Discussions should concentrate on protecting lower- and middle classes, generate prosperity and create common ground between democracy and class interests. At the international level, Egypt requires countries to support democratization efforts and condemn extra-democratic actions. Meanwhile, the prominence of Islamists causes concerns for Western governments with regard to the Peace Treaty and Israel's security.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Mustafa Kibaroglu
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Interest in Turkey and its foreign and security policies has grown significantly in the political and scholarly circles in the world, especially since the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi – AKP) came to power with the November 2002 elections. The AKP's electoral success continued in the subsequent elections in 2007 and 2011 with an increasing percentage of votes, which was unprecedented in the history of the Turkish Republic. One particular reason why Turkey attracted much attention in the world was because, in its first years in power, the AKP was easily categorized, both in the media and in academia, mainly in the West, as an “Islamic” party with a hidden agenda that aimed at drifting Turkey away from its mainstream foreign and security policies that have long been anchored in the Western alliance, thereby turning Turkey's face toward the Middle East and the Islamic world beyond it.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Development, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Ali Murat Yel
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THE NAQSHBANDIYYA is perhaps one of the widest-spread Islamic religious brotherhoods due to its active involvement in political affairs. Its 'strength' comes from the fact it could trace the sheiks of the order as far back as to the Prophet of Islam through his companion Abu Bakr. The silsila (the chain of transmission) of the order also contains some very important figures in Islamic history, like Salman al-Farisi and Bayazid al-Bistami. Despite the importance of the order and its worldwide expansion, the published works on the subject could fill only a small shelf. The order also has a great number of followers in Turkey, including some prominent political figures. Since Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, the founder of the order, the succeeding sheiks of the Naqshbandiyya tarikat (religious order) have currently been handed to Sheikh Nazim al-Kibrisi al-Haqqani, a Turkish Cypriot. The Sheikh has been given the task of expanding the order to the West, and as a result of arduous efforts he has been able to establish some centers in various European and American cities, with the biggest one being in London. Author Tayfun Atay studied this center for his Ph.D. thesis submitted to London University.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, Europe, Turkey, London
  • Author: Mohammad Siddique Seddon
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THE CONTINUED and growing presence of Islam and Muslims in the West has produced a plethora of conflicting literature and debates around interpretations on and representation of minority Muslim identity constructions. Incorporated into the configurations of the ever-shifting debates on Muslim identities is the impact of the 9/11 terror attacks and the subsequent re-framing of Islam/Muslims in modern, liberal and increasingly secular western societies. Geoffrey Nash's new book sets about unpacking what has been produced, by whom and why on evolving fictional narratives on Muslims over the last two decades. His survey covers a series of interrelated styles of English writing: ranging from the novel, through memoir and travel writing to journalism, including a wide range of authors and texts.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Mark Perry
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Fire is both the symbol of revolution and its most potent weapon. Much like the American Revolution and other key historic events, the Arab Spring began with fire when Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself alight to protest his treatment by police. Ever since the Arab Spring's onset, experts have debated about its eventual conclusion and concentrated on major forces, including the army and the clergy. The future of the revolutions, however, rests with the masses in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Syria. The uprisings marked deep and irreversible changes in the Arab world and will inevitably entail future repercussions. For onlookers, the best policy is not to interfere, but to let the fire burn.
  • Topic: Islam, History
  • Political Geography: Yemen, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Karen Leonard
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Finding Mecca in America: How Islam is Becoming an American Religion Near the end of this interesting book, the author characterizes his final chapter as “a series of interpretive judgments about the venture of Islam in its American habitat (p.205),” and I find this true of the book as a whole. It began as a doctoral dissertation, and Bilici defines himself a cultural sociologist who takes an agonistic (combative, contesting) approach, an approach that “pays attention to the margins more than the mainstreams, to lived experience more than to floating abstractions (p.21).” Yet, lengthy discussions of philosophy and social theory punctuate the chapters, enabling readers to debate the stated balance. Bilici also characterizes his work as ethnography, and while he draws on his work in Detroit, Michigan, as part of a team project and his internship with the Council of American-Islamic Relations, CAIR, in Washington, DC, the ethnographic material is limited, providing illustrations for various points Bilici wants to make rather than systematic evidence for them. He argues that his topics have escaped attention (or been taken for granted) or are postdiasporic, meaning they have not yet fully appeared above the horizon (p.19), such as Abrahamic discourse and Muslim comedy. He writes that “what should be prized is not the sea of data but the wisdom of elucidation (p.23),” and this personal interpretation is certainly worth reading.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Washington
  • Author: Nurullah Ardiç
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Secularism and Religion-Making Recent scholarship in the sociology of religion has produced fresh perspectives on the understanding of religion and its inter-relationships with society. Largely influenced by post-structuralist social theory, these new perspectives call for a re-evaluation of existing theoretical and methodological approaches as well as empirical analyses, as reflected in the oft-used terms to describe their projects, including “rethinking,” “imagining” religion and its “invention” and “manufacturing” a là “invention of tradition”. The term “religion-making” is one such concept that questions the traditional ways of studying religion (and its constitutive other, secularism). It refers to the reification by political and intellectual actors (with different motivations) of a religion (its beliefs and practices/rituals) based on certain taken-for-granted (binary) concepts, such as the religious/secular divide, within the discursive field of world religions. The collection of articles edited by Markus Dressler and Arvind-Pal Mandair brings together eleven theoretically-informed and empirically-focused studies on religion-making in different socio-historical contexts. It fits nicely, and contributes to, the above-mentioned recent trends in the sociology of religion and secularism. A strong trend within this scholarship is a critique of the “secular critique” of the Enlightenment-inspired secularization theory, which also implies a critical re-evaluation of the (secularist) notion of a clear-cut distinction between the religious and the secular. This is also a common theme among the articles brought together in this edited volume: each study questions from a post-structuralist angle (but focusing on a different aspect of) the assumption of the 'boundedness' of “religion” and “secularism” and their opposition to one another. The theoretical aim of the volume, according to the editors, is to problematize this dichotomous assumption and demonstrate instead the codependency of “secular” and “religious” discourses. Its empirical aim is to “examine the consequences of the colonial and postcolonial adoption of Western-style objectifications of religion and … the secular, by non-Western elites” (p. 3), but it also contains cases of Western actors. Moreover, the editors' lengthy Introduction contains a useful discussion on the philosophical foundations (from Kant to Heidegger, from Hume to Hegel) and current manifestations (in Taylor, Habermas etc.) of the epistemological hegemony of the religious/secular dichotomy and of the “universalization” of the concept of religion out of Western Christianity. The analyses contained in the volume address the processes of religion-making at three different levels. First, “religion-making from above” refers to the discursive strategy of reifying religion(s) from powerful positions rendering them an instrument of governmentality. This is often undertaken by nation-states in their efforts to reframe existing religious traditions in a docile manner. As the editors note, this strategy is also applied by individual political actors, intellectuals and NGOs, as exemplified by the famous American think-tank RAND Corporation's call for “rebuilding Islam” in a manner that would not constitute a threat to American interests worldwide. The same advice was reiterated in 2004 by Daniel Pipes, a member of the Zionist lobby in the US who was close to the Bush administration, who argued that the ultimate goal of “the war on terror” was “religion-building,” implying the neocon elites' desire to “civilize Islam” (p. 22). These examples show not only the fact that the notion of religion-making from above is extremely relevant to current global geo-politics but also a paradigmatic symptom of the secular-liberal hegemony over religion in Western imagination: all religious traditions are encouraged and/or forced to “fit in” the existing socio-political structures in the form of “protestantization” –i.e. becoming an a-political, “modernized”/secularized and docile religion with no agenda for change in the status quo. Therefore, this hegemonic secular discourse does not so much aim to cleanse the public sphere and politics from religion as to make the latter fit in with the existing system and, if possible, function as a source of legitimization for hegemonic powers.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: America
  • Author: David Ramin Jalilvand
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Revolution and Reform in Russia and Iran: Modernisation and Politics in Revolutionary States In her comparative study, Ghoncheh Tazmini investigates the Russian revolution of 1917 and the 1979 Iranian revolution to identify patterns of continuity and change, including attempts at reform. At first, both revolutions might appear entirely different. In Russia, the Tsarist monarchy was replaced by socialism, whereas in Iran political Islam prevailed. However, Tazmini convincingly shows that both revolutions had related roots: the people's opposition to Western-inspired, autocratically enforced modernization that was endorsed by the Russian Tsars and Iranian Shahs. Moreover, in Vladimir Putin and Mohammad Khatami, she argues, both countries saw reformers with a similar outlook. By adopting beneficial Western practices without 'Westernizing' their countries, Putin and Khatami overcame the “antinomies of the past.” After the introduction, chapters two, three, and four discuss the experiences of modernization in Russia and Iran under the Romanov tsars and Pahlavi shahs. Both Peter the Great (in the 18th century) and Reza Shah (in the 20th century) sought to catch-up with developed European countries. To this end, they embarked on ambitious modernization programs, which were continued by their successors. In this context, Tazmini shows that the Russian and Iranian modernization programs only partially followed the European example. While embracing outward signs of modernity such as modern industries, state-society relations remained traditionally autocratic. Tazmini rightly grasps this as “modernization without modernity” in an attempt of “modernization from above.” Modernization from above is described as a “double helix” of economic modernization on the one hand and authoritarian political stagnation on the other hand. She notes, “Whilst both countries aspired to converge with the West by meeting its material and technological achievements, they ended up diverging by retaining the autocratic foundations of the ancient régimes.”
  • Topic: Islam, Politics, Reform
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Anne Sofie Roald
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Muslim Minorities and Citizenship: Authority, Communities and Islamic Law In her comparative study, Ghoncheh Tazmini investigates the Russian revolution of 1917 and the 1979 Iranian revolution to identify patterns of continuity and change, including attempts at reform. At first, both revolutions might appear entirely different. In Russia, the Tsarist monarchy was replaced by socialism, whereas in Iran political Islam prevailed. However, Tazmini convincingly shows that both revolutions had related roots: the people's opposition to Western-inspired, autocratically enforced modernization that was endorsed by the Russian Tsars and Iranian Shahs. Moreover, in Vladimir Putin and Mohammad Khatami, she argues, both countries saw reformers with a similar outlook. By adopting beneficial Western practices without 'Westernizing' their countries, Putin and Khatami overcame the “antinomies of the past.” After the introduction, chapters two, three, and four discuss the experiences of modernization in Russia and Iran under the Romanov tsars and Pahlavi shahs. Both Peter the Great (in the 18th century) and Reza Shah (in the 20th century) sought to catch-up with developed European countries. To this end, they embarked on ambitious modernization programs, which were continued by their successors. In this context, Tazmini shows that the Russian and Iranian modernization programs only partially followed the European example. While embracing outward signs of modernity such as modern industries, state-society relations remained traditionally autocratic. Tazmini rightly grasps this as “modernization without modernity” in an attempt of “modernization from above.” Modernization from above is described as a “double helix” of economic modernization on the one hand and authoritarian political stagnation on the other hand. She notes, “Whilst both countries aspired to converge with the West by meeting its material and technological achievements, they ended up diverging by retaining the autocratic foundations of the ancient régimes.” Chapter five examines the people's opposition to the modernization from above, which resulted in the 1917 and 1979 revolutions. Tazmini argues that the contradiction inherent to modernization from above – economic development versus political stagnation – made people lose confidence in their respective state institutions. This provided the ground on which “ideological channels and fateful 'sparks' culminated in revolution” that replaced the Romanov and Pahlavi monarchies with communism in Russia and an Islamic Republic in Iran.
  • Topic: Islam, Law
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iran
  • Author: Sajjad H. Rizvi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Story of Islamic Philosophy You cannot judge a book by its cover – or even its title. Now and then, a work comes along that forces us to take notice of what the author means by giving his work a particular title. Certainly, those who pick up The Story of Islamic Philosophy might expect a conventional history of the philosophical endeavour in the world of Islam, starting with the translation movement and the appropriation of Aristotelianism and ending with the 'eclipse' of 'rational discourse' in medieval mysticism and obscurantism. The study of philosophy in Islam is rather polarised: the traditional academic field of 'Arabic philosophy' starts with the Graeco-Arabica and is very much in the mould of understanding what the Arabs owed to the Greeks and then what the Latins owed the Arabs. This book is a story of Aristotle arabus and then latinus, and hence it is not surprising that the story culminates with the ultimate Aristotelian, Averroes. Many Arab intellectuals, such as the late Muḥammad ʿĀbid al-Jābirī, have been sympathetic to such readings and wished to revive a sort of Averroist Aristotelianism in the name of reason and enlightenment. In particular, they wished to save the Arab-Islamic heritage from its 'perversion' by the Persians, starting with Avicenna and Ghazālī who initiated the shift from reason and discourse to mystagogy and 'unreason.' The models for this tradition of philosophy are the Metaphysics and the Organon of Aristotle. However, the Greek heritage was always much more than Aristotle – Plato and the thoroughly neoplatonised Aristotle were critical. If anything, a serious historical engagement with the course of philosophy in the late antiquity period, on the cusp of the emergence of Islam, demonstrates that philosophy was much more than abstract reasoning, discourse and a linearity of proof.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Aysegul Cimen
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Principles of Islamic International Criminal Law: A Comparative Search As one of the major components of the Islamic state, Islamic law has drawn considerable attention from different scholars both in the East and West. Particularly, comparative studies on the historical evolution of Islamic law and its application in modern legal systems are some of the major topics in the last two decades. Peters' Crime and Punishment in Islamic Law: Theory and Practice from Sixteenth to Twenty-First Century, Millers' Legislating Authority: Sin to Crime in the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, Hallaq's Shari'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations, and Naim's Islam and the Secular State: Negotiating the Future of Shari'a are some of the prominent books in the field.
  • Topic: International Relations, International Law, Islam, Law
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ödül Celep
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The current peace process regarding Turkey's Kurdish question could pave the way for the normalization of politics and democratization in Turkey if the existing opportunities are not missed. The major actors that represent the Kurdish left in Turkey, the PKK and the HDP (formerly BDP), are all equally significant parts of the peace process. The HDP in particular has the potential to turn into a constructive actor for Turkey's democratization in the near future. This article argues that the Kurdish left of the democratic, parliamentary stage, lately the HDP, could contribute to Turkey's democratization if it can fulfill the libertarian left policy space in Turkish politics, which has long been abandoned by all existing political parties.
  • Topic: Development, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Colin Eide, Averell Schmidt, Ibrahim Sharqieh, Matthew Levitt, Denise Natali, Gina A. Zurlo, Todd M. Johnson, Karina Piser, John Strickland, Sarath Ganji, Nada Zohdy
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: We are pleased to present the third edition of the Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Pol icy. This volume is being published at a time of rapid transformation in the Middle East and North Africa. The euphoric uprisings of 2011 have met with fierce resistance from resilient autocrats and the complex realities of reshuffled domestic politics. With corruption scandals threatening the long-venerated Turkish model, an Egyptian military reasserting itself in political life, and heated tribal disputes compromising an already fragile Libyan state, which way the region is headed remains altogether unclear. These volatile domestic transformations coincide with regional diplomatic realignments. Nuclear diplomacy between Iran and the West has complicated the relationship between Washington and its traditional allies in Israel and the Gulf. The Obama administration’s hesitance to intervene militarily in Syria has at times further strained these ties. Meanwhile, the unprecedented diffusion of Syrian refugees risks destabilizing neighboring states and igniting a region-wide conflagration. This year’s Journal sheds light on many of the dynamics underlying what we see as a larger regional transformation. Ibrahim Sharqieh opens the Journal with a commentary on the often overlooked plight of Palestinian “double refugees”—those first displaced by conflict with Israel, displaced again by conflict in Syria. Matthew Levitt provides our first feature article investigating the evolving strategic relationship between Hezbollah and Iran. Denise Natali analyzes the dynamics—new and old—of transborder Kurdish politics. Todd M. Johnson and Gina A. Zurlo focus our attention on demographic trends behind the flight of the region’s Christian communities. Karina Piser helps dispel the popular narrative of religion as the sole driver of Islamist political parties in Tunisia, focusing us instead on their internal debates and political acumen. John Strickland points us to an economic transformation with global consequences taking place in the region’s skies: the growth of Gulf airlines. Lastly, spanning the politics of the Palestinian Authority, the political economy of oil and gas, and the underpinnings of the region’s grassroots political movements, this year’s staff interviews offer fresh perspectives on pressing issues.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration, Peace Studies, History, Social Movement, Partnerships, Arab Spring, Protests, Christianity, Hezbollah, Kurds
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Syria, Jordan, Tunisia, Gulf Nations
  • Author: Laura Guazzone
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: After winning the 2011 elections, the Ennahda Islamist Party was the majority partner in successive coalition governments, whose poor performance - namely in the economic and security fields - disappointed the people's high post-revolutionary expectations. Opponents accused Ennahda of incompetence, greed for power and double talk. Many of the Ennahda-led governments' failures were due to factors beyond their control, but some did indeed depend on Ennahda's own political weaknesses. Nevertheless, Ennahda contributed positively to the overall development of Tunisia's political transition thanks to its moderation and pragmatism and its contribution remains paramount for the democratic consolidation of Tunisia and other political Islamic actors.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Tunisia
  • Author: Emmanuel Karagiannis
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Western Muslims have joined jihadi groups in Afghanistan/Pakistan, Somalia and Syria to defend Islam from its perceived enemies. Transnational Islamist networks have played a pivotal role in bringing them to conflict zones by fulfilling three functions: radicalisation through mosques, radical preachers, and the Internet; recruitment which can be conducted either physically or digitally; and identity formation that provides the radicalised recruits with a larger cause to fight for as members of an imagined global community. Transnational Islamist networks are multifunctional entities on the rise.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia
  • Author: Robert D. Springborg
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Turkish model deemed most relevant to 2011-12 post-Mubarak Egypt was the Islamist-led transformation of the polity and economy that occurred following the rise to power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the 2002 general election. As it transpired, this version of the Turkish model lasted but one year before another took its place. That model was the political project of the Turkish military that seized power in September 1980. This thirty-one year old Turkish model of a constitutionally empowered executive body, controlled by the military appears to have trumped the contemporary, Islamist one in Egypt. But the Turkish military coup of 1980 unwittingly and unintentionally laid the groundwork for the transition that ultimately swept it from power and its leaders into jail. The pertinent question then is will Egypt's civilian political and economic actors be similarly and sufficiently astute to exploit the opportunities they inevitably will have even under military rule? Egyptian political forces will inevitably mount serious challenges as they did in Turkey. In Egypt, however, the domestic and regional political and economic contexts are so different from those in Turkey that the outcome of the struggle for power between civilians and the military are likely to deviate substantially from this Turkish model.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Egypt
  • Author: Nelly Lahoud, Muhammad al-`Ubaydi
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: ON FEBRUARY 2, 2014, al-Qa`ida released a statement declaring that "it has no connection" with the "group" called the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The statement further highlighted that al-Qa`ida was not responsible for founding the ISIL and was not privy to the deliberations that led to its establishment. That is why, the statement continued, "The ISIL is not a branch of al-Qa`ida, the latter is not bound by organizational ties to it and is not responsible for the ISIL's actions."
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Civil War, Islam, Terrorism, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Arabinda Acharya
  • Publication Date: 05-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Assessing extremism requires an understanding of jihadist authority and how it relates to the vanguard role of Al Qaeda. Contrary to conventional thinking, Al Qaeda is not the supreme authority in the hierarchy of Salafi - jihadist doctrine; neither are all significant elements of the jihadist threat, many of which are decentralized, directly associated with Al Qaeda, as is the case with the Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL).
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Arabinda Acharya
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: ISIS is fighting an insurgency deeply influenced by the principles of Maoist protracted political warfare and moreover informed by the successes and failures of previous Al Qaeda movements in Iraq from 2006-2008, and of other jihadist groups attempting to seize and hold territory in countries like Somalia, Yemen and Mali. This analysis argues that, whether it survives or not, ISIS has set a political separatist precedent, the effects of which are yet to be fully understood and addressed by the international community.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism, Insurgency, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Arabia, Southeast Asia
  • Author: Abdul Basit
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The rise of ISIS-like terrorist groups in the Syria and Iraq conflicts and their ability to attract foreign fighters has created new challenges for global peace. While the return of these foreign fighters to their home countries is a threat to be monitored, it is imperative to understand the factors luring them to fight in Syria and Iraq to formulate counter-strategies. The desire to live in and defend the so-called 'Islamic state', participate in the 'end times battle', sectarian motivations and the search for an Islamic identity are some of the factors attracting foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Arabinda Acharya
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, which is at centre stage of terrorist movements today, claims to be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. This is however deeply contested as the information on him is mostly from various online sources, the genealogy is unverifiable, and there are inconsistencies in publically shared information. A review of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi's background and atrocities committed by the group under his leadership also show the contrast between ISIS ideology and the real teachings of Islam.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Syria
  • Author: Craig Biddle
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of The Objective Standard, which begins our ninth year of publication. I want first and foremost to extend an enormous “thank you” to all of our subscribers, donors, and writers, whose material, moral, and intellectual support made our first eight years possible and laid the groundwork for what is to come. Without your initial and sustained support, TOS simply would not exist. With your support, this hub of Objectivist intellectual output is not merely existing, but thriving, expanding, and reaching more and more minds with the ideas on which human life and civilized society depend. From all of us at TOS: Thank you. Now, on to the contents at hand.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Andrew Bernstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Careful observation of history reveals two dramatically different approaches to life on earth. In one approach, we see Islamic jihadists perpetrating murderous terrorist assaults around the world, virtually daily. The attack on 9/11 is the worst Islamist atrocity to date, but many have followed, including a recent attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi, in which Islamists murdered scores of people and wounded hundreds more. Similarly, we see Christians, throughout a full millennium during which they held unchallenged cultural and political power, relentlessly hunting down and slaughtering untold thousands for the “crime” of disagreeing with religious orthodoxy. And we see Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, and Sikhs on the Indian subcontinent engaging in a seething inferno of violence in which millions have been slain. In the other approach, we see something utterly different. We see Copernicus, Darwin, and Einstein advancing revolutionary theories in astronomy, biology, and physics. We see Edison, Bell, and the Wright brothers pioneering life-promoting inventions. We see writers from Homer to Ayn Rand dramatizing the heroism and greatness possible to individuals committed to man's earthly existence. Here, then, are two different visions of human life: one driven by faith, the other by reason—one religious, the other secular—one irrational, often violently so; the other, rational, often brilliantly so. Most of Western history has been a struggle between these two contrasting philosophies. Religious mysticism—in this instance, proceeding from ancient Judaism—is a pernicious force in human life. Rational secularism—the creation and legacy of ancient Greek culture—is vital to proper human life. By observing Judaism, Christianity, and Islam relative to the ideas of the ancient Greeks, we can see that the essentially secular approach of Greek culture—especially the rational method Aristotle developed—is responsible for golden ages and renaissances, both in the West and in the Middle East; and that the faith-based approach of religion, when intellectually dominant, is responsible for cultural stagnation and dark ages. A clear understanding of the nature of these opposing forces—and of the struggle between them—is essential to the preservation of civilization. An essentialized survey should start at the beginning. The Greeks Give Birth to Western Civilization What did the Greeks contribute to human life? As the eminent historian Will Durant wrote, “there is hardly anything secular in our culture that does not come from Greece. Schools, gymnasiums, arithmetic, geometry, history . . . physics, biology . . . poetry, music, tragedy, comedy, philosophy . . . ethics, politics, idealism, philanthropy . . . democracy: these are all Greek words for cultural forms . . . in many cases first matured . . . by the abounding energy of the Greeks.” Philosophy is the fundamental value that men inherited from the Greeks, for it seeks to answer life's most important questions: What is the nature of the universe? How do men gain knowledge? What is human nature? What is the good? What is a good society? Philosophy attempts to give rational rather than mythic or faith-based answers to such questions. . . .
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Middle East
  • Author: Andy Baker
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Americas Quarterly
  • Institution: Council of the Americas
  • Abstract: "Why do they hate us?” This question1, on so many U.S. citizens' minds over the decade following the September 11, 2001, attacks, is often asked about Islamic extremists and even the broader Muslim world. Among the most common responses is that “they” resent U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. When the focus shifts to Latin America, U.S. foreign policy similarly appears to be the principal reason for anti-Americanism. This seems to make sense. One would be hard-pressed to find another world region with greater and more long-standing grievances about Washington's actions. The Monroe Doctrine, Dollar Diplomacy and Cold War Containment were euphemisms for imperial abuses committed against Latin America over the course of two centuries.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Latin America
  • Author: Mahmood Shoori
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: The Islamic Revolution of 1979 in Iran led to serious differences and disputes between the new revolutionary government on the one hand and major world powers as well as countries in the region on the other. Many analysts have, attributed this to the idealism of Iran's revolutionary leaders and their attempts to export the revolution. Often in these works, without paying attention to the events of the years after the revolution, the roots of this aggressive foreign policy are sought in the thoughts and actions of the new revolutionary leaders. This paper, while criticizing this approach, will seek to confirm the hypothesis that the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran was molded principally by actions and reactions that took place between 1980 and 1983 between Iran and the aforementioned nations. In other words, the new foreign policy was not created to be inherently aggressive, but a series of interactive communications, in the outlined time period, have influenced the contours of this new identity.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Seyed Ali Monavari, Farhad Atai
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: What paved the way for the establishment of the foreign policy of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran? This paper seeks to analyze the phenomenon of the construction of the enemy image in the diplomatic history of Iran from 1798 to 1921 and assess its historical roots as it can be useful for the understanding of the attitudes of Iranian policy makers towards the West. The authors' proposal is to explain the construction of enemy image in a historical context in the cognitive structure of Iranian political leaders towards the great powers in the 20th century until the advent of the Islamic Revolution in February 1979. In doing so, the authors have proposed the following hypothesis: With the continuation of Iran's diplomatic relations with Western powers (Great Britain and Russia) under the Qajar dynasty in 1798, a process took shape which gradually led to the construction of an enemy image in the cognitive structure of future Iranian statesmen in the Pahlavi era, underpinning their political relationships with contemporary powers. The authors' findings include the notion that the historical process in question under the Qajar Dynasty involved a combination of military domination, political influence and economic exploitation by the aforementioned powers.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, Iran
  • Author: Davood Kiani
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: One of the most important tools utilized by states to maximize their impact in foreign affairs is public diplomacy and to this extent, public diplomacy is considered a source of soft power. The robust use of public diplomacy can enhance and reinforce the soft power of countries. Central Asia is among the regions that have an ever increasing relevance to regional and international affairs in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and is currently considered a critical subsystem for our country. The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran towards this region is, on one hand, built on the foundation of converging factors in political, economic, and cultural arenas and looking towards opportunities for influence and cooperation. On the other hand, considering the divergent components, it also faces challenges and threats, the sum of which continues to effect the orientation of Iranian foreign policy towards the region. This article will study Iranian public diplomacy in this region and examine the opportunities and challenges, as well as, provide and proper model for a successful public diplomacy in the region of Central Asia, while taking into account the Islamic Republic of Iran's tools and potential.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Diplomacy, Economics, Islam, Politics, Culture
  • Political Geography: Iran, Central Asia
  • Author: Abuzar Gohari Moqaddam, Hojatollah Noori Sari
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Diplomatic relationship between Iran and the United Kingdom is one of the most heated debates in the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic. The pros and cons of these relations have always been subject to argument and controversy among politicians and academics. This article seeks to analyze diplomatic ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Kingdom, applying the cost-benefit analysis method. In this relationship, the costs and benefits are discussed in three situations including the maintenance, downgrading, and rupture of diplomatic relations. The main question answered by the authors is how diplomatic relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United Kingdom can be analyzed according to the cost-benefit analysis method, and what costs and benefits can be brought about for Iran in case of the rupture, downgrading or maintenance of diplomatic relations with Britain. The final conclusion of this research suggests that under the current circumstances, downgrading diplomatic relations with the United Kingdom can lead to fewer costs and further benefits for the Islamic Republic of Iran in comparison to the other two options.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Britain, United Kingdom, Iran
  • Author: Rouhollah Eslami
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: Does Iran, which is known in political science literature as a developing, oriental and ancient country, have specific, examinable and predictable models in a way that can be applied to foreign policy studies? In this study the author intends to analyze six models of Iranian foreign policy between the two revolutions (from the constitutional to the Islamic); these patterns have been fluctuating dialectically between an idealism embedded in the Iranian grieving ontology and realism as it relates to the international environment. At the beginning, the nostalgic worldview of Iranians that is a reflection of their subjective collective constructs is analyzed. Then counter-scientism and anti-positivism in Iranian epistemology is studies. The outcome of these two is the absence of realism as the most significant paradigm of foreign policy. In order to prove the assumption, six models of Iranian foreign policy will be briefly assessed with the aim of demonstrating how the unconsciousness of Iranian ancient civilization and mystical and severely anti-science and anti-reality covers have given life to an anti-reality which has caused Iranian foreign policy patterns to be infused with unwarranted idealism. The dialectic between the two different atmospheres, however, has given way to creative models; and the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been efficient and taken the initiative in their design, implementation and assessment.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Libor Kutěj
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence & Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The article deals with important aspects determining the defensibility of the State of Israel borderlines and its current conditions. It outlines trends and tendencies in Israeli approach to this burning issue and depicts important political and military - strategic factors concerning Israeli concept for countering military and paramilitary (i.e. terrorist, insurgent etc.) threats in border region. Particular focus is dedicated to the new regional security situation after the outbreak of the Arab Spring and its impact on securing the Israeli sovereignty. Furthermore, it depicts the question whether current unsatisfied security situation in surrounding Arab countries could eventually turn into an outbreak of conventional military conflict and/or whether the State of Israel could possibly face concentrated strain of radical Islamic groups operating in the border area. Last but not least, the article concludes an outline of Israeli doctrinal approaches and examines the impact of budgetary restraints into the development of IDF.
  • Topic: Security, Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: AT FIRST GLANCE the contents of this issue of the Journal appear disparate, ranging as they do over the Israeli settlement project, Tony Blair's tenure as Quartet Middle East representative, the role of Islamic Jihad, and the effect of recent upheavals in the Arab world on the Palestinian issue. But taken as a whole they show how much the contemporary Middle East-with the Palestine question at its center-is in dialogue with its history. Although history may not repeat itself, there are nevertheless striking parallels and linkages between past and current events.
  • Topic: Islam, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Mouin Rabbani
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Khalid al-Batsh, a senior official of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Gaza chair of the “Freedom Committee,” established under the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement of May 2011, was interviewed in Cairo by Mouin Rabbani on 11 July 2012. The interview from which the following excerpts were taken covered a range of issues, including the impact of the “Arab Spring” on the Palestinians, the situations in Egypt and Syria, Islamic Jihad's relations with Fatah and Hamas, and prospects for reform of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The excerpts below directly concern Islamic Jihad and Palestine. The complete interview in Arabic was published by JPS's sister journal, Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyya, no. 93 (Winter 2013), pp. 122–37.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Stevan Weine
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The Obama administration's landmark new approach to countering violent extremism through engaging community partners calls for no less than a paradigm shift in how we understand the causes of terrorism. The shift is away from a pathways approach focused on how push and pull factors influenced one person's trajectory toward or away from violent extremism, and towards an ecological view that looks at how characteristics of the social environment can either lead to or diminish involvement in violent extremism for the persons living there. The core idea of this new paradigm, conveyed in the White House's December 2011 Strategic Implementation Plan for Empowering Local Partners to Prevent Violent Extremism in the United States (SIP), is that of countering violent extremism through building resilience. Denis McDonough, former Deputy National Security Advisor to President Obama, expressed this at an Islamic center in Virginia, stating, “we know, as the President said, that the best defense against terrorist ideologies is strong and resilient individuals and communities.” Subsequent White House documents have further unpacked this, for example, in stating: “[n]ational security draws on the strength and resilience of our citizens, communities, and economy.” Resilience usually refers to persons' capacities to withstand or bounce back from adversity. It is a concept derived from engineering perspectives upon the durability of materials to bend and not break. In recent years, resilience has come to the forefront in the fields of public health, child development, and disaster relief. To scientists and policymakers, resilience is not just a property of individuals, but of families, communities, organizations, networks, and societies. Resilience-focused policies and interventions that support or enhance its components have yielded significant and cost effective gains in preventing HIV/AIDS transmission, and helping high-risk children and disaster-impacted populations. Though the present use of resilience sounds more like resistance, today's hope is that such approaches could also keep young Americans away from violent extremism. A resilience approach offers no quick fix, not in any of the aforementioned fields or in countering violent extremism. It depends upon adequately understanding what resilience means for a particular group of persons and how it has been shaped by history, politics, social context, and culture. It also depends upon government establishing and sustaining partnerships with the impacted families, communities, networks, and organizations. Additionally, it depends on government working in partnership to design, implement, and evaluate what interventions can really make a difference in building resilience, a process certain to involve trial and error
  • Topic: Security, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: John McNeil
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: William Polk, born in 1929, is one of the more successful scholar-diplomats in American life. He has written more than a dozen books, mainly on the modern Arab world, some for trade publishers and some for university presses. He taught Middle East and Islamic history at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He also served in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, on the State Department's Policy Planning staff and later as an adviser to McGeorge Bundy, President Johnson's National Security Adviser, charged with handling the aftermath of 1967's Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors. His latest book is his first on Iran. He has visited the country from time to time since 1956, and in the 1960s met the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and some of the Iranian political elite. Aware of the stalemate that bedevils U.S.-Iranian relations, and frustrated by what he sees as the narrowness of war-game exercises and the field of international relations, Polk wrote this book “to bring forward what war games omit: in short, what it means when we speak of Iran and Iranians.” He feels American policy-makers pay insufficient heed to the history and culture of Iran and Iranians, and are thereby baffled by what seems to them illogical behavior. If they had adequate grounding in things Iranian, he believes, they would better understand Iran, its government, its policies, and its people. Adequate grounding, in Polk's view, extends back 2,500 years. He maintains that even if the majority of Iranians alive have scant knowledge of the Achaemenid dynasty they are nonetheless influenced by it. Indeed, he writes, “I am certain that the inhabitants of Iran today are largely governed by their past regardless of whether they consciously remember it.” He appeals to Carl Jung's notion of “collective unconscious” and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's “social contract” to make his case.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Chicago
  • Author: Elizabeth H. Ozdalga
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: STUDIES on late Ottoman society continue to be inviting for historians in many aspects. This period is not only important for historical research into the Ottoman world but also necessary for a better understanding of modern Turkey. This also can be extended to the Islamic world, including many Middle Eastern countries together with the Balkans, North Africa, and the Caucasus regions. Özdalga has made a valuable contribution with this comprehen-sive volume on the intellectual legacy of the period.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, North Africa
  • Author: Azzam Tamimi
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THIS BOOK is an easy to read textbook that is structured to present readers with an historical overview of some of the prominent Islamic movements active in parts of the Muslim world, specifically in West and South Asia. It comprises an introduction, five chapters, and a conclusion. The first chapter is about Egypt's Islamism with the main focus on the Muslim Brotherhood. The second chapter is on the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel. A summary of the history of the conflict leads to a discussion of Hamas, Palestine's main Islamic group. The third chapter is on Saudi Arabia tracing the roots of Wahhabism to Najd. The fourth chapter is on Pakistan with an emphasis on Mawdudi and Jama'at-I Islami. And the fifth chapter is on Afghanistan and the rise of Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and Alqaida.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Timo Behr
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The rise of political Islam in the EU's southern neighbourhood represents a political as well as conceptual challenge to the EU as a foreign policy actor. In the past, the EU reacted to this challenge based on its essentialist perception of political Islam and its overarching interest in regional stability and security. However, the growing salience of 'contingencist' interpretations of political Islam and the resolution of the EU's democratisation-stabilisation dilemma in the wake of the Arab Spring have recently provided an opportunity for greater engagement and cooperation. This has enabled a switch in EU policies from a strategy of containment to a strategy of engagement. Despite this, problems remain as the EU continues to expect Islamist actors to adjust to its own discursive framework and as intra-European divisions revive as a result of the renewal of secular-religious divisions in the neighbourhood. This will complicate EU attempts to build a new partnership with Islamist democracies and will fuel old stereotypes and animosities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Jonathan Laurence, Gabriel Goodliffe
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Nicolas Sarkozy's presidency presented a mixed record on the issues of Muslim immigration and integration. On the one hand, his administration took novel and constructive steps to advance the integration of Muslim immigrants into French society, notably through the granting of unprecedented official recognition and institutional representation to Islam in the country. On the other, by placing the immigration issue at the centre of his 2012 re-election strategy, he overshadowed and undermined the effectiveness of these integrative policies. Given the country's worsening economic outlook and rising unemployment, immigration is therefore likely to remain as salient and difficult an issue under the new Hollande administration as it was under Sarkozy's.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Author: Karim Mezran
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Muslims in Italy are now a consistent, although not new, phenomenon in the social and political panorama of the country. Like other communities, they are in search of an agreement with the state that would allow them to live and prosper within a legal framework that guarantees rights and duties. Unfortunately, attempts at achieving such an agreement have come up against a wall of prejudice and fear from the Italian population, as well as a lack of courage and foresight on the part of Italian state institutions. The problems and difficulties associated with the struggle of Italian Muslims in reaching an intesa are outlined and analytically presented along with a discussion of how integration may lead to the type of pluralism and tolerance enshrined in the Italian constitution.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Italy
  • Author: Saskia van Genugten
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: With the elections of 2012, the main party driving the Islam debate in the Netherlands was sidelined. The new government of Liberals and Social Democrats is trying to re-bury the contentious issue, not least because Islam-related questions have had a confusing effect on their parties. Nonetheless, with societal concerns lingering, the topic is likely to reappear. In the Netherlands, the wariness towards (Islamic) immigration is not rooted in fears of ethnic or religious competition. Instead, it tends to receive serious political attention only when cloaked as a defence of secularist and liberal values. As such, curbing Islamic practices is presented as a way to protect a (self-promoted) image of the Netherlands as a non-judgemental and tolerant place. The paradox remains that that self-image was traditionally meant to include minorities, not to exclude them.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Netherlands
  • Author: Catherine Fieschi, Nick Johnson
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: This piece examines the relationship of Muslim communities to the UK mainstream between 2005 and 2010. Using the dual backdrop of the country's embedded multiculturalism policy and its counter-terrorism strategy implemented through the Prevent agenda, the authors brush a picture of a tense yet ultimately resilient relationship. While Prevent was often accused of leading to a securitisation of community policy, it is arguable that tensions have led to increased visibility and leadership capacity from the Muslim community, and a recognition of their role and diversity on behalf of the public and the government.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom
  • Author: Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Populists argue that Islamic immigrants are fundamentally different from Europeans. As evidence, they point to notions of religious and cultural identity. Such arguments have popular resonance. As more mainstream politicians pick up on these themes, they begin to take on an air of common sense. Nevertheless, they are mistaken. Europe has a long track record of reconciling competing identities. This has happened by focusing on patterns of interaction (solidarity) rather than obvious indicators of distinctiveness. Using the examples of the Netherlands and Turkey, this article illustrates the wide spectrum of European approaches to the challenge of getting different groups to share the same geographic space.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Netherlands
  • Author: Dario Cristiani, Riccardo Fabiani
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The structural problems characterising Mali interlocked with the dynamics of crisis triggered by the war in Libya in 2011, causing the collapse of one of the few African democracies. The Tuareg rebellion of 2012, the coup d'état and the Islamist takeover of Northern Mali were the three key phases of this crisis, which pushed France - the former colonial patron - to intervene military. After analysing the major local actors involved in the crisis, the article critically analyses the engagement of the EU in the crisis.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Africa, France, Mali
  • Author: Jennifer Lind
  • Publication Date: 08-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The National Interest
  • Institution: Center for the National Interest
  • Abstract: THE UNITED States has security partnerships with numerous countries whose people detest America. The United States and Pakistan wrangled for seven months over a U.S. apology for the NATO air strikes that killed twenty-four Pakistani soldiers in 2011. The accompanying protests that roiled Islamabad, Karachi and other cities are a staple of the two countries' fraught relationship. Similarly, American relations with Afghanistan repeatedly descended into turmoil last year as Afghans expressed outrage at Koran burnings by U.S. personnel through riots and killings. “Green on blue” attacks—Afghan killings of U.S. soldiers—plague the alliance. In many Islamic countries, polls reflect little warmth toward Americans. Washington's strategy of aligning with governments, rather than peoples, blew up in Egypt and could blow up in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen. America's alliances in the Middle East and Persian Gulf are fraught with distrust, dislike and frequent crisis. Is there any hope for them? Turns out, there is. Fifty years ago, a different alliance was rocked by crisis and heading toward demise. Like many contemporary U.S. alliances, it had been created as a marriage of convenience between Washington and a narrow segment of elites, and it was viewed with distrust by the peoples of both countries. Yet a half century later, that pairing is one of the strongest security partnerships in the world—the alliance between the United States and Japan.
  • Topic: Security, Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Japan, America, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Andrew Bernstein
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Examines the Golden Age of Islam and considers the ideas of some of its leading thinkers, telling “a story of great achievements—and their rejection; of great heroes—and their defeat; of great minds—and their suppression; ultimately, of great danger—and its cancerous growth.”
  • Topic: Islam
  • Author: Farhad Shahabi Sirjani
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: In 2012, alongside the negotiations on Iran's nuclear program, special media attention was paid to a Fatwa (religious decree) issued by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Leader of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, banning all weapons of mass destruction (WMD), nuclear weapons in particular. This study address es some misunderstandings and erroneous claims, about the Fatwa. Its aim is to provide accurate and clear information and to investigate why the Fatwa was issued, its importance, credibility, relevance and relationship to international law. The latter is achieved through examining the Fatwa's legal concordance with international principles regarding nuclear weapons non - proliferation and disarmament, as embodied in the Treaty on the Non - Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). In addition to providing sources and texts of the Fatwa, the study pays special attention to its logical consistency and solid historical roots. The Fatwa elaborates and confirms Iran's commitment regarding WMD ban, on the one hand, and Iran's insistence on its NPT right to peaceful uses of nuclear technology, on the other. It is concluded that the commitment undertaken by Iran via the Fatwa, is, in some important respects, more comprehensive and more long - lasting than that Iran has undertaken under the NPT.
  • Topic: International Law, Islam, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Iran
  • Author: Younes Nourbakhsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research (CSR)
  • Abstract: The relation between the Islamic East and the American and European West is potentially an important concept in discussions about religious coexistence. The domination of a discourse in opposition with coexistence can be a major obstacle in the formation of peace and the relations between the two worlds. The political discourse between the West and the Islamic world, though not always the same during time has been based on three main concepts of authorization, ethnocentrity, supremacy, well after the modernity. In other words, the West has exhibited a different, negative image of Islam, while presenting liberalism as the best model culture. The universalization of such a model has been pursued through modernity and technical ability. The discourse has been the hegemon for a long while. Even the East acknowledged it and developed the center - margin model of coexistence based on Wallerstein's theory, which gradually turned into the Islamic rival discourse. The political Islam tried to improve a social and political identity by rejecting the western discourse. After September 11, both discourses tended towards fundamentalism, and rivalry and confrontation replaced coexistence. In fact, a second Cold War was developed between the West and Muslim World. It seems that such a dialogical, polarized condition would not be apt to maintain any effective discourse. In this article, the elements and processes in the formation of such a discourse, and the effects on the existing challenges would be explained.
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Tomáš Šmíd
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Obrana a strategie (Defence & Strategy)
  • Institution: University of Defence
  • Abstract: The submitted paper discusses the organization Caucasus Emirate, which is currently the most distinctive non-state armed actor in the North Caucasus region. The organization considers itself to form a state structure, however, this article treats it as a rebel Islamist structure that has aspirations to separate the North Caucasus from Russian Federation and consequently create an independent multi-ethnic state unified under the idea of Sunni fundamentalism - Salafism. The text provides an insight into the genesis of the Caucasus Emirate, its ideological background and its organizational structure. From the genesis of Caucasus Emirate it is evident that the two ideological tendencies in the anti-Russian resistance were evident in the region since the early 90s, when the anti-Russian resistance limited itself to the area of Chechnya. Over time, the Chechen ethnonationalism got exhausted through history while Islamic radicalism showed greater potential to unite the malcontents in the anti-Russian resistance across the peoples of North Caucasus. Moreover, the text also shows that implicit ethnonationalism has not faded away totally and it still affects the appearance and character of Salafism in the region so that we can talk about some kind of a sect within the Salafi movement.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: North Caucasus
  • Author: John Herbst
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: PRISM
  • Institution: Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS), National Defense University
  • Abstract: Understanding the underlying dynamics of political and social life is not easy in any society and particularly in authoritarian ones. The challenge is even greater when the society in question is remote and has been isolated for decades as Central Asia was under Soviet rule. kazakhstan, kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan emerged as reluctant independent states in 1991 when the Soviet Union dissolved.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Soviet Union
  • Author: Mehmet Karakaş
  • Publication Date: 06-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Institution: Sakarya University, Institute of Social Sciences
  • Abstract: The construction of identity is one of the determinant factors in constructing a valid individual and social world, for identities are constructed both individually and socially. Identities through the demarcation of political boundaries the internalization of the essential dissimilarity of the other is created and the theoretical underpinning of actual practices is formulated. In addition, it always requires a politicized society. The construction processes of identity in Turkish society have always functioned as a dynamic of political change. In fact, policy formed around identity politics has always been an essential determining factor on political, and in general, on the social structure from Ottoman to modern times. At turning points in the history of societies, changes in the issue of identity also occur. The developments that took place under the partiality for Westernization and in the post-1980 neo-liberal process exhibit variations in the identity construction of the Turkish community. In this study, the politics and sociology of identity will be discussed in relation to the formulations of identity from the time of Ottoman Turkey to the modern Turkish Republic.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section includes articles and news items, mainly from Israeli but also from international press sources, that provide insightful or illuminating perspectives on events, developments, or trends in Israel and the occupied territories not readily available in the mainstream U.S. media.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Intelligence, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Ireland
  • Author: Jillian York
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In 1991, just four years after Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali rose to power as president, Tunisia became the first country in the Arab world to connect to the Internet. The public had access by 1996, though its vast democratizing benefits were to be short-lived. That same year, the L'Agence Tunisienne d'Internet (Tunisian Internet Agency, or ATI) was established. Among its first mandates was the introduction of censorship. Over the course of the next decade the region began to trickle online, with Saudi Arabia and Syria amongst the last to connect. Swept up by the global technology bubble, in Cairo and Beirut, Amman and Abu Dhabi, entrepreneurs, seeing the communicative potential of the pre-Web 2.0 Internet, began developing email services, job-search sites, and perhaps most importantly, web forums. Such forums became sources of unreported news, discussion, social commentary, and political debate, paving the way for the region's future bloggers. In countries where political discussion was taboo and crossing red lines—such as discussion of the ruling family, or debates about Islam—resulted in persecution of journalists, web forums created new spaces, outside of society, where political discussion was relatively safe…
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Saudi Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Francis Ghilès
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In recent years the Arab lands have been reduced to a uniform discourse, which well suited those in America such as Bernard Lewis who tried to convince their political masters that a clash of civilisations between the West and Islam was inevitable. However, over the past twelve months a series of revolts recast the map of the Middle East. When the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt started, many Western commentators failed to understand how young Arabs peacefully managed to overthrow well-entrenched dictators such as Ben Ali and Mubarak. Their initial reactions fitted into a broader collective spirit of Orientalism, which long gave up hope on Arab societies ever joining contemporary trends towards democratization. It was not Islam or poverty that provoked the uprisings – it was the crushing humiliation that had deprived the majority of the Arabs who are under the age of thirty of the right to assert control over their own lives.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ahmet Yükleyen
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This collection of essays bridges the gap between arguments that emphasize the role of Islamic communities and the individualization of religious authority in the literature on Muslims in Western Europe. The editors propose to focus on the process by which Islamic knowledge-"whatever Muslims consider to be correct or proper belief and practice"-is produced through the interaction of religious authorities, lay Muslims, and their European context. There are two common themes that connect all the articles: the religious market model and the localization of Islam in Europe.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pamela Irving Jackson
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, Europe, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Author: Emre ErÅŸen
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Caucasus, Armenia
  • Author: Joan W. Scott
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland
  • Author: Stefano Maria Torelli
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: More than a year after the start of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts, the question of how political Islam will return to regional politics is still open. This article explores the differences between the AKP's Turkish model and the Tunisian al-Nahda movement. The Tunisian and the Turkish case studies are examined and compared on three levels. First of all the historical and structural contexts of the two countries and the relationship between the state and Islam are taken into account. Secondly the two models of political Islam that have developed in Tunisia and Turkey are analyzed. Finally, the two different views of the social, political and economic life proposed by al-Nahda in Tunisia and by the AKP in Turkey are compared. By examining the structural differences between these two contexts, and consequently by looking at the two distinctive ways of understanding Islam in public life, the article will also demonstrate how and why the “Turkish model”, as represented by the AKP, cannot be applied to Tunisia, although the al-Nahda has itself embarked on a process of “de-radicalization.”
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia
  • Author: Ergün Yildirim
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines the trajectory of Islamism as a modern phenomenon. It demonstrates that, having evolved under the influence of myriad political, intellectual and historical developments of the past two hundred years, the concept is still surrounded by various debates, movements, acts of violence, ideologies, policies and positions. Islamism also continues to be a significant element in Turkey's political and intellectual life as well. The article then engages several critical questions. Has Islamism reached its end? Is a new type of Islamism emerging? Is post-Islamism on the horizon. In response, the article argues that Islamism's diversification–as opposed to its end–leads the movement to survive as pluralities that result from structural changes stemming from global and plural modernities' interaction with societies. In line with social and political organizations' pursuit of violence, poverty, challenge, reconciliation and alliance, Islamism too is being plurally reconstructed.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ali Bulaç
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article examines Islamism in its historical trajectory as well as its current standing and likely evolution. After pointing out to the problems stemming from the lack of an agreed-upon definition, the article presents a definition that constitutes the basis of analysis. It identifies three generations of Islamists and evaluates them by using three criteria: the framework of reference, political themetendency, and leadership profile. The article presents a self-criticism of the second generation Islamists, of which the author is also a member, and identifies areas in which the third generation Islamists have faced a serious test. The paper then turns to discuss the experience of the AK Party in Turkey, focusing on the debate on whether it is an Islamist movement. Next, the article seeks to drive an analytical distinction between Islamism and theology, before concluding the analysis with a critical engagement of an ongoing debate on whether Islamism is dead.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Feride Aslı Ergül
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Women have been both the subjects and objects of Turkish modernization for a long time. They have always been at the forefront of burning questions in Turkey, either with the decades-old debate of wearing headscarves in public institutions, or, lately, with Erdoğan's agenda-setting remarks that women need to give birth to at least three children or abortion will be constrained. However, studies about their position in society or their role in modernization have not gone far beyond superficial repetition. Dedeoglu and Elveren, to a large extent, fill this academic gap in Turkey through editing this book. It consists of thirteen valuable chapters dealing with different aspects of gender issues that are at the junction of tradition and modernity. To this end, the book mainly aims at understanding the impact of neoliberal social policies, political Islam, and EU accession on gender in Turkey. Women stuck between formal equality on paper and social realities in practice are examined using different data sets and topics, from female labor ratios to payment policies, and from social security reform to the individual pension system. For all the diversity of topics, the authors' comprehensive analysis about the reasons for the secondary position of women in society and the possible outcomes of eager but not-yet mature governmental reforms makes this study a reference book not only for readers who want to learn more about gender, society and the neoliberal economy in Turkey, but also for decision makers who want to be aware of the margins of socio-economic dynamics in Turkey.
  • Topic: Government, Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Jon Armajani
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: One of Toor's central theses is that within and outside the context of Pakistan's history and politics, Islam is far from being a monolith. For Toor, Islam as a set of religio-political entities has been and continues to be invested with different meanings and associations by different actors who have enormously different goals. Toor's volume analyzes the diversity of meanings and political programs which have been associated with Islam throughout much of Pakistan's history. Some of the many themes that she examines include modernist Islam, Islam as it was fused with Pakistani (and other forms of) nationalism, the Jama'at-i Islami's appropriations of Islam, and the Islamic socialism of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's People's Party. Toor argues that these diverse forms of Islam have been under attack by a variety of domestic and international forces. The book provides an overview of these contestations and examines trends related to polarization during Pakistan's history.
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan
  • Author: Sebastiano Sali
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Review of: Islamism, democracy and liberalism in Turkey: the case of the AKP, by William Hale and Ergun Özbudun, Routledge, 2010
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Turkey
  • Author: Ronald Bruce St John
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In landmark elections, Libyans went to the polls for the first time in 60 years to elect a General National Congress which will form an interim government, oversee the writing of a constitution, and supervise polls for an elected government based on the new constitution. Taking place only nine months after the successful conclusion of the 17 February Revolution, the elections were widely hailed as an extraordinary achievement. The election results were a surprise to many observers as Libyan voters largely supported moderate parties and candidates, reversing a regional trend in support of Islamists.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Yahia H. Zoubir
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the late 1980s, prospects for Maghreb integration were high; the process of integration reflected the aspirations of Maghreb states and societies. However, analysis shows that the process was merely a response to internal and external events of that period, namely, economic difficulties, 'fortress Europe', and the rise of radical Islamism. Following the Arab Spring, incessant calls for unity have re-emerged. Once again, these calls for unity, after a long period of tense relations, especially between Algeria and Morocco, have resulted from internal and external constraints. The threats to the incumbent regimes and/or the insecurity prevailing domestically and at the borders have compelled the Maghreb states to seek greater cooperation to overcome the hardships with which they are faced.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Algeria, Spain
  • Author: Fernando Reinares
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: ON MARCH 11, 2004, a series of coordinated bombings ripped through Madrid's commuter train system, killing 191 people. Although the attacks have been described as the product of an independent cell of self-radicalized individual sonly inspired by al-Qa`ida, the extensive criminal proceedings on the Madrid bombings refute this hypothesis. The network responsible for the Madrid attacks evolved from the remnants of an al-Qa`ida cell formed in Spain a decade earlier. It was initiated following instructions from an operative of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and included members of the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM), as well as two former members of the Algerian Armed Islamic Group and Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Although the network also included common criminals who radicalized into jihadists, this cell component was only a late addition.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Derek Henry Flood
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: ON JANUARY 17, 2012, a rebellion began in Mali when ethnic Tuareg fighters attacked a Malian army garrison in the eastern town of Menaka near the border with Niger.1 In the conflict's early weeks, the ethno-nationalist rebels of the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA)2 cooperated and sometimes collaborated with Islamist fighters of Ansar Eddine for as long as the divergent movements had a common enemy in the Malian state.3 On March 22, disgruntled Malian soldiers upset about their lack of support staged a coup d'état, overthrowing the democratically elected government of President Amadou Toumani Touré.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Northern Mali