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.
The must-read summary of Noah Feldman's book: “The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State”. This complete summary of "The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State" by Noah Feldman, a prominent writer and professor of law, presents the author's explanation of how shari'a law and the classical Islamic constitution have survived into modern times, and of how new institutions must emerge if the constitutional balance of power is to be restored. Added-value of this summary: • Save time • Understand Islamic law and its links to religious fundamentalism • Expand your knowledge of international politics To learn more, read "The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State" and discover why Islamic law has lasted into the 21st century, and what this means for Muslim-majority countries.
Appearing seemingly out of nowhere over the course of 2013-14, the Islamic State, or Daesh, captured the attention of international audiences through widely broadcast acts of barbarity, followed by the proclamation of its own state and upending state borders in the process. The rise of the terror organization has prompted many questions: where did it originate from? How has it been able to establish itself so quickly? Can it actually persist? Can it be defeated? The aim of this year’s study, entitled “The Rise and Fall of ISIS: from Evitability to Inevitability”, is to understand the organization, its motivations, its inherent weaknesses, as well as its ability to endure. A broader aim is to set out how it could develop as it comes under ever more pressure by regional powers and, in the case of its defeat, how to prevent the arrival of the next ISIS. A key message of this chapter is that ISIS is a ‘child of its time’ and is not destined to persist. Its professed millenarian or eschatological bent is meant to cast the conflict between the Caliphate and the rest of the word as a cosmic battle, but in reality is largely of instrumental value. Also, while its rise could have been prevented, its fall looks all but inevitable, even if it remains unclear what will replace it. This study is part of the 2016-2017 HCSS StratMon.
Contemporary studies on Syria assume that the country’s Ba’thist regime has been effective in subduing its Islamic opposition, placing Syria at odds with the Middle East’s larger trends of rising Islamic activism and the eclipse of secular ideologies as the primary source of political activism. Yet this assumption founders when confronted with the clear resurgence in Islamic militantism in the country since 2004. This book examines Syria’s current political reality as regards its Islamic movement, describing the country’s present day Islamic groups – particularly their social profile and ideology – and offering an explanation of their resurgence. The analysis focuses on: Who are today’s Syrian Islamic groups? Why and how are they re-emerging after 22 years of relative silence as an important socio-economic and political force? How is the Syrian state dealing with their re-emergence in light of Syria’s secularism and ideologically diverse society? Bridging area studies, Islamic studies, and political science, this book will be an important reference for those working within the fields of Comparative Politics, Political Economy, and Middle Eastern Studies.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Arabia was forged in the crucible of the Arab Revolt in 1916, during World War I. Its leader, Sharif Husayn ibn 'Ali, struggled to put together a tribal confedereacy. This study examines Husayn's efforts at state formations, efforts that eventually failed.
The expert essays in this volume deal with critically important topics concerning Islam and politics in both the pre-modern and modern periods, such as the nature of government, the relationship between politics and theology, Shi'i conceptions of statecraft, notions of public duty, and the compatibility of Islam and democratic governance.
“A delightfully original take on…the prospects for liberal democracy in the broader Islamic Middle East.”—Matthew Kaminski, Wall Street Journal As the Arab Spring threatens to give way to authoritarianism in Egypt and reports from Afghanistan detail widespread violence against U.S. troops and women, news from the Muslim world raises the question: Is Islam incompatible with freedom? In Islam without Extremes, Turkish columnist Mustafa Akyol answers this question by revealing the little-understood roots of political Islam, which originally included both rationalist, flexible strains and more dogmatic, rigid ones. Though the rigid traditionalists won out, Akyol points to a flourishing of liberalism in the nineteenth-century Ottoman Empire and the unique “Islamo-liberal synthesis” in present-day Turkey. As he powerfully asserts, only by accepting a secular state can Islamic societies thrive. Islam without Extremes offers a desperately needed intellectual basis for the reconcilability of Islam and liberty.
Islam's relationship to liberal-democratic politics has emerged as one of the most pressing and contentious issues in international affairs. In Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy, Nader Hashemi challenges the widely held belief among social scientists that religious politics and liberal-democratic development are structurally incompatible. This book argues for a rethinking of democratic theory so that it incorporates the variable of religion in the development of liberal democracy. In the process, it proves that an indigenous theory of Muslim secularism is not only possible, but is a necessary requirement for the advancement of liberal democracy in Muslim societies.
This unparalleled Companion provides a comprehensive and authoritative guide to Islamic law to all with an interest in this increasingly relevant and developing field. The volume presents classical Islamic law through a historiographical introduction to and analysis of Western scholarship, while key debates about hot-button issues in modern-day circumstances are also addressed. In twenty-one chapters, distinguished authors offer an overview of their particular specialty, reflect on past and current thinking, and point to directions for future research. The Companion is divided into four parts. The first offers an introduction to the history of Islamic law as well as a discussion of how Western scholarship and historiography have evolved over time. The second part delves into the substance of Islamic law. Legal rules for the areas of legal status, family law, socio-economic justice, penal law, constitutional authority, and the law of war are all discussed in this section. Part three examines the adaptation of Islamic law in light of colonialism and the modern nation state as well as the subsequent re-Islamization of national legal systems. The final section presents contemporary debates on the role of Islamic law in areas such as finance, the diaspora, modern governance, and medical ethics, and the volume concludes by questioning the role of Sharia law as a legal authority in the modern context. By outlining the history of Islamic law through a linear study of research, this collection is unique in its examination of past and present scholarship and the lessons we can draw from this for the future. It introduces scholars and students to the challenges posed in the past, to the magnitude of milestones that were achieved in the reinterpretation and revision of established ideas, and ultimately to a thorough conceptual understanding of Islamic law.
Islam, Politics, and Modernity's Moral Predicament
Author: Wael B. Hallaq
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Category: Political Science
Wael B. Hallaq boldly argues that the "Islamic state," judged by any standard definition of what the modern state represents, is both impossible and inherently self-contradictory. Comparing the legal, political, moral, and constitutional histories of premodern Islam and Euro-America, he finds the adoption and practice of the modern state to be highly problematic for modern Muslims. He also critiques more expansively modernity's moral predicament, which renders impossible any project resting solely on ethical foundations. The modern state not only suffers from serious legal, political, and constitutional issues, Hallaq argues, but also, by its very nature, fashions a subject inconsistent with what it means to be, or to live as, a Muslim. By Islamic standards, the state's technologies of the self are severely lacking in moral substance, and today's Islamic state, as Hallaq shows, has done little to advance an acceptable form of genuine Shari'a governance. The Islamists' constitutional battles in Egypt and Pakistan, the Islamic legal and political failures of the Iranian Revolution, and similar disappointments underscore this fact. Nevertheless, the state remains the favored template of the Islamists and the ulama (Muslim clergymen). Providing Muslims with a path toward realizing the good life, Hallaq turns to the rich moral resources of Islamic history. Along the way, he proves political and other "crises of Islam" are not unique to the Islamic world nor to the Muslim religion. These crises are integral to the modern condition of both East and West, and by acknowledging these parallels, Muslims can engage more productively with their Western counterparts.