Analysts and pundits from across the American political spectrum describe Islamic fundamentalism as one of the greatest threats to modern, Western-style democracy. Yet very few non-Muslims would be able to venture an accurate definition of political Islam. Mohammed Ayoob's The Many Faces of Political Islam thoroughly describes the myriad manifestations of this rising ideology and analyzes its impact on global relations. "In this beautifully crafted and utterly compelling book, Mohammed Ayoob accomplishes admirably the difficult task of offering a readily accessible yet nuanced and comprehensive analysis of an issue of enormous political importance. Both students and specialists will learn a great deal from this absolutely first-rate book." ---Peter J. Katzenstein, Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. Professor of International Studies and Stephen H. Weiss Presidential Teaching Fellow, Cornell University "Dr. Ayoob addresses the nuances and complexities of political Islam---be it mainstream, radical, or militant---and offers a road map of the pivotal players and issues that define the movement. There is no one as qualified as Mohammed Ayoob to write a synthesis of various manifestations of political Islam. His complex narrative highlights the changes and shifts that have taken place within the Islamist universe and their implications for internal Muslim politics and relations between the world of Islam and the Christian world." ---Fawaz A. Gerges, Carnegie Scholar, and holds the Christian A. Johnson Chair in International Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies, Sarah Lawrence College "Let's hope that many readers---not only academics but policymakers as well---will use this invaluable book." ---Franç ois Burgat, Director, French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Institute for Research and Study on the Arab and Muslim World (IREMAM), Aix-en-Provence, France "This is a wonderful, concise book by an accomplished and sophisticated political scientist who nonetheless manages to convey his interpretation of complex issues and movements to even those who have little background on the subject. It is impressive in its clarity, providing a badly needed text on political Islam that's accessible to college students and the general public alike." ---Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, University of Maryland, and Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor of International Relations with a joint appointment in James Madison College and the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University. He is also Coordinator of the Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University.
The essays of Post-Islamism bring together young and established scholars and activists from different parts of the Muslim World and the West to discuss their research on the changing discourses and practices of Islamist movements and Islamic states largely in the Muslim majority countries.
For over three decades, Islamist politics, or political Islam, has been one of the most dynamic and contentious political forces in the Middle East. Although there is broad consensus on the importance of political Islam, there is far less agreement on its character, the reasons for Islamist’s success, the role of Islamist movements in domestic and international affairs, or what these movements portend for the future. This volume addresses a number of central questions in the study of Islamist politics in the Middle East through detailed case studies of some of the region’s most important Islamist movements. Chapters by leading scholars in the field examine the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah, Morocco’s Justice and Benevolence, the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq and Islamist politics in Turkey and Iran. The topics addressed within this volume include social networks and social welfare provision, Islamist groups as opposition actors, Islamist electoral participation, the intersection of Islam and national liberation struggles, the role of religion in Islamist politics, and Islam and state politics in Iran, among other topics. All of the contributing authors are specialists with deep knowledge of the subject matter who are committed to empirically based research. These scholars take Islamists seriously as modern, sophisticated, and strategic political players. Together, their work captures much of the diversity of Islamist politics in the region and will contribute to the scholarship on a topic that continues to be important for the Middle East and the world.
An accessible and comprehensive account of the global dimensions of political Islam in the twenty-first century, explaining political Islam, nationalism and globalization and providing a detailed account of Al Qaeda.
Muslim countries experience wide variation in levels of Islamist political mobilization, including such political activities as protest, voting, and violence. Institutional Origins of Islamist Political Mobilization provides a theory of the institutional origins of Islamist politics, focusing on the development of religious common knowledge, religious entrepreneurship, and coordinating focal points as critical to the success of Islamist activism. Examining Islamist politics in more than 50 countries over four decades, the book illustrates that Islamist political activism varies a great deal, appearing in specific types of institutional contexts. Detailed case studies of Turkey, Algeria, and Senegal demonstrate how diverse contexts yield different types of Islamist politics across the Muslim world.
Although apocalyptic visions and predictions have been part of contemporary Islam, this work covers this disparate but influential body of writing. It suggests that Islam began as an apocalyptic movement and has retained an apocalyptic and messianic tone.
The "twin shocks" of the Egyptian coup and the rise of ISIS have challenged conventional wisdom on political Islam, forcing scholars and Muslim activists to reconsider some of the basic assumptions about Sunni Islamist movements. While ISIS and other jihadist groups garner the most media attention, the vast majority of Islamists are of the mainstream variety, seeking gradual change and participating in parliamentary politics when they're allowed to. It is these groups that are the focus of this book. They not only represent the future of what we call "political Islam," but they also - in their own struggles adapting to the changes of recent years - provide a fascinating window into a rapidly changing Middle East. The breadth of the book is expansive, covering the experience of Islamist groups in twelve countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Pakistan, as well as Malaysia and Indonesia. In each of these cases, contributors consider how Muslim Brotherhood and Brotherhood-inspired Islamist movements have grappled with fundamental questions, including gradual versus revolutionary approaches to change, the use of tactical or situational violence, attitudes toward the nation-state, and how ideology and political variables interact. The case studies include authoritarian and democratic states and are not solely focused on the Arab world, allowing readers to consider a greater diversity of Islamist experiences.
American geopolitical interests and the potential threats to those interests are both on the rise in East Africa. The author places the spread of militant Islamism and the development of radical Islamist networks in East Africa in the broader context of the social, economic, and political factors that have shaped the region's security environment.
During the Golden Age of Islam (seventh through seventeenth centuries A.D.), Muslim philosophers and poets, artists and scientists, princes and laborers created a unique culture that has influenced societies on every continent. This book offers a fully illustrated, highly accessible introduction to an important aspect of that culture—the scientific achievements of medieval Islam. Howard Turner opens with a historical overview of the spread of Islamic civilization from the Arabian peninsula eastward to India and westward across northern Africa into Spain. He describes how a passion for knowledge led the Muslims during their centuries of empire-building to assimilate and expand the scientific knowledge of older cultures, including those of Greece, India, and China. He explores medieval Islamic accomplishments in cosmology, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, geography, medicine, natural sciences, alchemy, and optics. He also indicates the ways in which Muslim scientific achievement influenced the advance of science in the Western world from the Renaissance to the modern era. This survey of historic Muslim scientific achievements offers students and general readers a window into one of the world's great cultures, one which is experiencing a remarkable resurgence as a religious, political, and social force in our own time.
Perhaps no other Western writer has more deeply probed the bitter struggle in the Muslim world between the forces of religion and law and those of violence and lawlessness as Noah Feldman. His scholarship has defined the stakes in the Middle East today. Now, in this incisive book, Feldman tells the story behind the increasingly popular call for the establishment of the shari'a--the law of the traditional Islamic state--in the modern Muslim world. Western powers call it a threat to democracy. Islamist movements are winning elections on it. Terrorists use it to justify their crimes. What, then, is the shari'a? Given the severity of some of its provisions, why is it popular among Muslims? Can the Islamic state succeed--should it? Feldman reveals how the classical Islamic constitution governed through and was legitimated by law. He shows how executive power was balanced by the scholars who interpreted and administered the shari'a, and how this balance of power was finally destroyed by the tragically incomplete reforms of the modern era. The result has been the unchecked executive dominance that now distorts politics in so many Muslim states. Feldman argues that a modern Islamic state could provide political and legal justice to today's Muslims, but only if new institutions emerge that restore this constitutional balance of power. The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State gives us the sweeping history of the traditional Islamic constitution--its noble beginnings, its downfall, and the renewed promise it could hold for Muslims and Westerners alike. In a new introduction, Feldman discusses developments in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and other Muslim-majority countries since the Arab Spring and describes how Islamists must meet the challenge of balance if the new Islamic states are to succeed.
How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World
Author: Shadi Hamid
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Category: Political Science
In Islamic Exceptionalism, Brookings Institution scholar and acclaimed author Shadi Hamid offers a novel and provocative argument on how Islam is, in fact, "exceptional" in how it relates to politics, with profound implications for how we understand the future of the Middle East. Divides among citizens aren't just about power but are products of fundamental disagreements over the very nature and purpose of the modern nation state—and the vexing problem of religion’s role in public life. Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics by examining different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying—and alarmingly successful—example of ISIS. With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid offers a panoramic and ambitious interpretation of the region's descent into violence. Islamic Exceptionalism is a vital contribution to our understanding of Islam's past and present, and its outsized role in modern politics. We don't have to like it, but we have to understand it—because Islam, as a religion and as an idea, will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well in the decades to come.
One of the most important developments in Muslim politics in recent years has been the spread of movements calling for the implementation of shari`a or Islamic law. Shari`Ê»a Politics maps the ideals and organization of these movements and examines their implications for the future of democracy, citizen rights, and gender relations in the Muslim world. These studies of eight Muslim-majority societies, and state-of-the-field reflections by leading experts, provide the first comparative investigation of movements for and against implementation of shari`a. These essays reveal that the Muslim public's interest in shari`a does not spring from an unchanging devotion to received religious tradition, but from an effort to respond to the central political and ethical questions of the day.
A political, social, and cultural battle is currently raging in the Middle East. On one side are the Islamists, those who believe Islam should be the region’s primary identity. In opposition are nationalists, secularists, royal families, military establishments, and others who view Islamism as a serious threat to national security, historical identity, and a cohesive society. This provocative, vitally important work explores the development of the largest, most influential Islamic groups in the Middle East over the past century. Tarek Osman examines why political Islam managed to win successive elections and how Islamist groups in various nations have responded after ascending to power. He dissects the alliances that have formed among Islamist factions and against them, addressing the important issues of Islamism’s compatibility with modernity, with the region’s experiences in the twentieth century, and its impact on social contracts and minorities. He explains what Salafism means, its evolution, and connections to jihadist groups in the Middle East. Osman speculates on what the Islamists’ prospects for the future will mean for the region and the rest of the world.
"An evenhanded introduction to the questions and dilemmas facing Islam in the modern world. A wealth of source-texts by the best writers on the subject, Moslem and Western alike."--Sasson Somekh, Tel Aviv University Written in a style easily accessible to both students and general readers, The Many Faces of Islam offers a wide range of perspectives on modern Islamic culture and religious practice. Seeking to dispel the perception that Islamic fundamentalism and extremism represent Islam in its entirety, Nissim Rejwan surveys the issues and provides numerous excerpts from modern writers and scholars, Muslim and non-Muslim, summarizing the many problems and dilemmas facing contemporary Muslims. Rejwan argues that to view Islam as uniform and all of a piece invites confusion and miscomprehension. The rich sampling of readings amplifies the summary discussion and demonstrates the surprising variety of Islamic concepts and practices. Issues include the uniqueness of Islam, the decline of the Islamic establishment, the impact of modernity, misunderstandings of Islam, Islam and the Dhimmis, the fundamentalist revival, and more. With a novel, topical approach to his subject, Rejwan widens the view of Islam from radicalism to the culture as a whole. His combination of topical summary and illuminating, balanced texts will provide a useful resource for students of Islamic culture and, for general readers, an insightful, balanced, and engaging introduction to a poorly understood but increasingly important civilization. Nissim Rejwan is a Research Fellow at the Harry S Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Among his nine previous books are Arabs Face the Modern World: Religious, Cultural, and Political Responses to the West (UPF, 1998) and Israel's Place in the Middle East: A Pluralist Perspective (UPF, 1998), winner of the 1998 National Jewish Book Award in Israel studies. He is currently writing his memoirs of Baghdad, where he was born and grew up.