Islamic Exceptionalism

How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World

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Author: Shadi Hamid

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466866721

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 1978

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.

Islamic Exceptionalism

How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World

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Author: Shadi Hamid

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250061016

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 5920

"From the founding of Islam in the seventh century, there had always been a dominant Muslim empire, or "caliphate." But in 1924, the Ottoman Caliphate was formally abolished. Since then, there has been an ongoing struggle to establish a legitimate political order in the Middle East. At the center of that struggle is the vexing problem of religion and its role in political life. 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. With unprecedented access to Islamist activists and leaders across the region, Hamid argues for a new understanding of how Islam and Islamism shape politics - and how the practice of politics shapes Islam. Despite the hopes of the Arab Spring, ideological and religious polarization has actually worsened. 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. Drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews across the region, Hamid examines different models of reckoning with the problem of religion and state, including the terrifying - and alarmingly successful - example of ISIS. Offering 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, exceptional role in modern politics. We don't have to like it; but we have to understand it, because it will continue to be a force that shapes not just the region, but the West as well, in the coming decades"--

Rethinking Political Islam

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Author: Shadi Hamid,William McCants

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190649208

Category: Political Science

Page: 360

View: 5907

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.

Temptations of Power

Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East

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Author: Shadi Hamid

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199314071

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 5064

In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy--the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power. In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression "forced" Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream of an Islamic state. Meanwhile, democratic openings in the 1980s--and again during the Arab Spring--pushed Islamists back toward their original conservatism. With the uprisings of 2011, Islamists found themselves in an enviable position, but one for which they were unprepared. Groups like the Brotherhood combine the features of both political parties and religious movements, leading to an inherent tension they have struggled to resolve. However pragmatic they may be, their ultimate goal remains the Islamization of society. When the electorate they represent is conservative as well, they can push their own form of illiberal democracy while insisting they are carrying out the popular will. This can lead to overreach and significant backlash. Yet, while the Egyptian coup and the subsequent crackdown were a devastating blow for the Islamist "project," obituaries of political Islam are premature. As long as the battle over the role of religion in public life continues, Islamist parties in countries as diverse as Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan will remain an important force whether in the ranks of opposition or the halls of power. But what are the key factors driving their evolution? A timely and provocative reassessment, Hamid's account serves as an essential compass for those trying to understand where the region's varied Islamist groups have come from and where they might be headed.

Global Political Islam

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Author: Peter Mandaville

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134341350

Category: History

Page: 408

View: 1605

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.

The Inevitable Caliphate?

A History of the Struggle for Global Islamic Union, 1924 to the Present

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Author: Reza Pankhurst

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190257326

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 7145

While in the West 'the Caliphate" evokes overwhelmingly negative images, throughout Islamic history it has been regarded as the ideal Islamic polity. In the wake of the "Arab Spring" and the removal of long-standing dictators in the Middle East, in which the dominant discourse appears to be one of the compatibility of Islam and democracy, reviving the Caliphate has continued to exercise the minds of its opponents and advocates. Reza Pankhurst's book contributes to our understanding of Islam in politics, the path of Islamic revival across the last century and how the popularity of the Caliphate in Muslim discourse waned and later re-emerged. Beginning with the abolition of the Caliphate, the ideas and discourse of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hizb ut-Tahrir, al-Qaeda and other smaller groups are then examined. A comparative analysis highlights the core commonalities as well as differences between the various movements and individuals, and suggests that as movements struggle to re-establish a polity which expresses the unity of the ummah (or global Islamic community), the Caliphate has alternatively been ignored, had its significance minimised or denied, reclaimed and promoted as a theory and symbol in different ways, yet still serves as a political ideal for many.

Militants, Criminals, and Warlords

The Challenge of Local Governance in an Age of Disorder

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Author: Vanda Felbab-Brown,Harold Trinkunas,Shadi Hamid

Publisher: Brookings Institution Press

ISBN: 0815731906

Category: Political Science

Page: 192

View: 5901

Conventional political theory holds that the sovereign state is the legitimate source of order and provider of public services in any society, whether democratic or not. But Hezbollah and ISIS in the Middle East, pirate clans in Africa, criminal gangs in South America, and militias in Southeast Asia are examples of nonstate actors that control local territory and render public services that the nation-state cannot or will not provide. This fascinating book takes the reader around the world to areas where national governance has broken down—or never really existed. In these places, the vacuum has been filled by local gangs, militias, and warlords, some with ideological or political agendas and others focused primarily on economic gain. Many of these actors have substantial popularity and support among local populations and have developed their own enduring institutions, often undermining the legitimacy of the national state. The authors show that the rest of the world has more than a passing interest in these situations, in part because transborder crime and terrorism often emerge but also because failed states threaten international interests from trade to security. This book also poses, and offers answers for, the question: How should the international community respond to local orders dominated by armed nonstate actors? In many cases outsiders have taken the short-term route—accepting unsavory local actors out of expediency—but at the price of long-term instability or damage to human rights and other considerations. From Africa and the Middle East to Asia and Latin America, the local situations highlighted in this book are, and will remain, high on today's international agenda. The book makes a unique contribution to global understanding of how those situations developed and what can be done about them. This title is part of the Geopolitics in the 21st Century series.

Christian Hospitality and Muslim Immigration in an Age of Fear

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Author: Matthew Kaemingk

Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN: 1467449520

Category: Religion

Page: 296

View: 8370

An alternative, uniquely Christian response to the growing global challenges of deep religious difference In the last fifty years, millions of Muslims have migrated to Europe and North America. Their arrival has ignited a series of fierce public debates on both sides of the Atlantic about religious freedom and tolerance, terrorism and security, gender and race, and much more. How can Christians best respond to this situation? In this book theologian and ethicist Matthew Kaemingk offers a thought-provoking Christian perspective on the growing debates over Muslim presence in the West. Rejecting both fearful nationalism and romantic multiculturalism, Kaemingk makes the case for a third way—a Christian pluralism that is committed to both the historic Christian faith and the public rights, dignity, and freedom of Islam.

Vying for Allah’s Vote

Understanding Islamic Parties, Political Violence, and Extremism in Pakistan

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Author: Haroon K. Ullah

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

ISBN: 1626160163

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 2056

What is driving political extremism in Pakistan? In early 2011, the prominent Pakistani politician Salmaan Taseer was assassinated by a member of his own security team for insulting Islam by expressing views in support of the rights of women and religious minorities. Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, was killed by gunfire and explosive devices as she left a campaign event in December 2007; strong evidence links members of extremist organizations to her slaying. These murders underscore the fact that religion, politics, and policy are inextricably linked in Pakistan. In this book, Haroon K. Ullah analyzes the origins, ideologies, bases of support, and electoral successes of the largest and most influential Islamic parties in Pakistan. Based on his extensive field work in Pakistan, he develops a new typology for understanding and comparing the discourses put forth by these parties in order to assess what drives them and what separates the moderate from the extreme. A better understanding of the range of parties is critical for knowing how the US and other Western nations can engage states where Islamic political parties hold both political and moral authority. Pakistan’s current democratic transition will hinge on how well Islamic parties contribute to civilian rule, shun violence, and mobilize support for political reform. Ullah’s political-party typology may also shed light on the politics of other majority-Muslim democracies, such as Egypt and Tunisia, where Islamist political parties have recently won elections.

Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty

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Author: Mustafa Akyol

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393081974

Category: Religion

Page: 368

View: 8018

“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.

Image Politics in the Middle East

The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle

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Author: Lina Khatib

Publisher: I.B.Tauris

ISBN: 1848852827

Category: Art

Page: 248

View: 1789

Politics in the Middle East is now 'seen' and the image is playing a central part in processes of political struggle. This is the first book in the literature to engage directly with these changing ways of communicating politics in the region – and particularly with the politics of the image, its power as a political tool.Lina Khatib presents a cross-country examination of emerging trends in the use of visuals in political struggles in the Middle East, from the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon to the Green Movement in Iran, to the Arab Spring in Egypt, Syria and Libya. She demonstrates how states, activists, artists and people 'on the street' are making use of television, the social media and mobile phones, as well as non-electronic forms, including posters, cartoons, billboards and graffiti to convey and mediate political messages. She also draws attention to politics as a visual performance by leaders and citizens alike. With a particular focus on the visual dynamics of the Arab Spring, and based on case studies on the visual dimension of political protest as well as of political campaigning and image management by political parties and political leaders, Image Politics shows how visual expression is at the heart of political struggle in the Middle East today. It's a hard-hitting, enjoyable, groundbreaking book, challenging the traditional ways in which politics in the Middle East is conceived of and analyzed.

The Trouble with Islam

A Muslim's Call for Reform in Her Faith

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Author: Irshad Manji

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 9781429906937

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 2046

"I have to be honest with you. Islam is on very thin ice with me....Through our screaming self-pity and our conspicuous silences, we Muslims are conspiring against ourselves. We're in crisis and we're dragging the rest of the world with us. If ever there was a moment for an Islamic reformation, it's now. For the love of God, what are we doing about it?" In blunt, provocative, and deeply personal terms, Irshad Manji unearths the troubling cornerstones of mainstream Islam today: tribal insularity, deep-seated anti-Semitism, and an uncritical acceptance of the Koran as the final, and therefore superior, manifesto of God. In this open letter to Muslims and non-Muslims alike, Manji asks arresting questions. "Who is the real colonizer of Muslims - America or Arabia? Why are we all being held hostage by what's happening between the Palestinians and the Israelis? Why are we squandering the talents of women, fully half of God's creation? What's our excuse for reading the Koran literally when it's so contradictory and ambiguous? Is that a heart attack you're having? Make it fast. Because if more of us don't speak out against the imperialists within Islam, these guys will walk away with the show." Manji offers a practical vision of how the United States and its allies can help Muslims undertake a reformation that empowers women, promotes respect for religious minorities, and fosters a competition of ideas. Her vision revives Islam's lost tradition of independent thinking. This book will inspire struggling Muslims worldwide to revisit the foundations of their faith. It will also compel non-Muslims to start posing the important questions without fear of being deemed "racists." In more ways than one, The Trouble with Islam is a clarion call for a fatwa-free future.

Arab Fall

How the Muslim Brotherhood Won and Lost Egypt in 891 Days

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Author: Eric Trager

Publisher: Georgetown University Press

ISBN: 1626163626

Category: History

Page: 296

View: 4059

Despite playing a marginal role in the spectacular 2011 Arab Spring uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's reign, how did the Muslim Brotherhood win power so quickly in Egypt? And why did the Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, the country's first democratically elected president, fall from power only 891 days after Mubarak in the face of widespread protests and then a bloody military coup? In Arab Fall, Eric Trager examines the decisionmaking of the Brotherhood and their political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, throughout this critical period and answers why their time in power was so short. Based in part on interviews with dozens of Brotherhood leaders and cadres including Morsi, Trager argues that the very organizational characteristics that helped the Brotherhood win power also contributed to their rapid downfall. While the organization's hierarchical structure allowed them unparalleled mobilizing capabilities, their autocratic governing style alienated much of the population and united diverse groups against them. Their insularity also left them entirely unprepared for the military coup and crackdown in July and August 2013. Trager concludes the book with an assessment the current state of Egyptian politics and whether or not the Brotherhood will reemerge in the future.

Journey Into Islam

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Author: Akbar Ahmed

Publisher: Penguin Books India

ISBN: 9780670081417

Category: Globalization

Page: 336

View: 2607

Why? Years After September 11, We Are Still Looking For Answers. Internationally Renowned Islamic Scholar Akbar Ahmed Knew That This Question Could Not Be Answered Until Islam And The West Found A Way Past The Hatred And Mistrust Intensified By The War On Terror And The Forces Of Globalization. Seeking To Establish Dialogue And Understanding Between These Cultures, Ahmed Led A Team Of Dedicated Young Americans On A Daring And Unprecedented Tour Of The Muslim World. Journey Into Islam: The Crisis Of Globalization Is The Riveting Story Of Their Search For Common Ground. From The Mosques Of Damascus To The Madrassas Of Karachi And Deoband, Ahmed And His Companions Met With Muslims From All Walks Of Life. They Listened To Students And Professors, Presidents And Prime Ministers, Sheikhs And Cab Drivers, Revealing Muslim Hopes And Frustrations As The West Has Never Heard Before. They Returned From Their Groundbreaking Journey With Both Cause For Concern And Occasion For Hope. Rejecting Stereotypes And Conventional Wisdom About Islam And Its Encounter With Globalization, This Important Book Offers A New Framework For Understanding The Muslim World. As Western Leaders Wage A War On Terrorism, Ahmed Offers Insightful Suggestions On How The United States Can Improve Relations With Islamic Nations And Peoples. Written With Equal Parts Compassion And Urgency, Journey Into Islam Makes A Powerful Case For Forming Bonds Across Religion, Race, And Tradition To Create Lasting Harmony Between Islam And The West. It Is Essential Reading In An Era Of Mistrust And Misunderstanding.

Women, War, and the Making of Bangladesh

Remembering 1971

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Author: Yasmin Saikia

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 0822350386

Category: History

Page: 311

View: 7267

Bangladeshi women recall the sexualized violence of the war of 1971, fought between India and what was then East and West Pakistan.

Inside the Brotherhood

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Author: Hazem Kandil

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745682936

Category: Social Science

Page: 240

View: 9981

This is the first in-depth study of the relationship between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and its own members. Drawing on years of participant observation, extensive interviews, previously inaccessible organizational documents, and dozens of memoirs and writings, the book provides an intimate portrayal of the recruitment and socialization of Brothers, the evolution of their intricate social networks, and the construction of the peculiar ideology that shapes their everyday practices. Drawing on his original research, Kandil reinterprets the Brotherhood’s slow rise and rapid downfall from power in Egypt, and compares it to the Islamist subsidiaries it created and the varieties it inspired around the world. This timely book will be of great interest to students and scholars of the politics of the Middle East and to anyone who wants to understand the dramatic events unfolding in Egypt and elsewhere in the wake of the Arab uprisings.

The New Middle East

Protest and Revolution in the Arab World

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Author: Fawaz A. Gerges

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1107028639

Category: History

Page: 522

View: 6134

The New Middle East critically examines the Arab popular uprisings of 2011-12.

Meccanomics

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Author: Vali Nasr

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1780740573

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 7895

Renowned Middle-East expert Vali Nasr combines historical narrative with contemporary on-the-ground research to introduce a Muslim World we’ve never seen. Meccanomics takes us behind the news, so dominated by the struggle against extremists and the Taliban, to reveal a new society, one that is being reshaped by an upwardly mobile middle class of entrepreneurs, investors, professionals, and insatiable consumers. His insights into the true situations in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the crucial bright spots of Dubai and Turkey provide a whole new way of thinking about the troubles and prospects in the region. Nasr’s groundbreaking analysis offers a powerful reassessment of a region where financial might – not fundamentalism – does the talking.

A Rage for Order

The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS

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Author: Robert F. Worth

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 0374710716

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 2165

The definitive work of literary journalism on the Arab Spring and its troubled aftermath In 2011, a wave of revolution spread through the Middle East as protesters demanded an end to tyranny, corruption, and economic decay. From Egypt to Yemen, a generation of young Arabs insisted on a new ethos of common citizenship. Five years later, their utopian aspirations have taken on a darker cast as old divides reemerge and deepen. In one country after another, brutal terrorists and dictators have risen to the top. A Rage for Order is the first work of literary journalism to track the tormented legacy of what was once called the Arab Spring. In the style of V. S. Naipaul and Lawrence Wright, the distinguished New York Times correspondent Robert F. Worth brings the history of the present to life through vivid stories and portraits. We meet a Libyan rebel who must decide whether to kill the Qaddafi-regime torturer who murdered his brother; a Yemeni farmer who lives in servitude to a poetry-writing, dungeon-operating chieftain; and an Egyptian doctor who is caught between his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and his hopes for a new, tolerant democracy. Combining dramatic storytelling with an original analysis of the Arab world today, A Rage for Order captures the psychic and actual civil wars raging throughout the Middle East, and explains how the dream of an Arab renaissance gave way to a new age of discord.

The New Arab Wars

Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East

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Author: Marc Lynch

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610396103

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 6283

Marc Lynch's last book, The Arab Uprising, described the then ongoing revolutionary change and prospect for the consolidation of democracy in key Arab countries that still seemed possible. But Lynch saw dark signs on the horizon, especially in Syria. That book ended with the hope that the Arab uprisings heralded a fundamental change over the long-term, but with the warning that Arab regimes would not easily give up their power. Instead, Egypt’s revolution has given way to a military coup; Libya’s produced a failed state; Yemen is the battleground for a proxy war and will be destroyed; Syria has become a sprawling humanitarian catastrophe that will take a generation to begin to recover from. At the same time, America has less and less reason to want to engage with the region and now has only one functional ally apart from Israel. The New Arab Wars describes how the political landscape of an entire region has been convulsed, with much of it given over to anarchy, as proxy wars on behalf of three competing powers—Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia—scar the region. It is a brutal, compelling story.