Islamic Exceptionalism


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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.

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Author by Shadi Hamid
Genre eBook Social Science
Read Book 256
ISBN Number 9781466866720

Islamic Exceptionalism


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"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"--

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Author by Shadi Hamid
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 320
ISBN Number 9781250061010

Nationalism Language And Muslim Exceptionalism


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Drawing on fieldwork in Iraq, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Nationalism, Language, and Muslim Exceptionalism compares the politics of six Muslim separatist movements, locating shared language and print culture as a central factor in Muslim ethnonational identity.

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Author by Tristan James Mabry
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 312
ISBN Number 9780812246919

Temptations Of Power


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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.

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Author by Shadi Hamid
Genre eBook History
Read Book 288
ISBN Number 9780199314072

Rethinking Political Islam


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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.

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Author by Shadi Hamid
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 360
ISBN Number 9780190649203

Political Islam In The Age Of Democratization


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The continued prominence of Islam in the struggle for democracy in the Muslim world has confounded Western democracy theorists who largely consider secularism a prerequisite for democratic transitions. Kamran Bokhari and Farid Senzai offer a comprehensive view of the complex nature of contemporary political Islam and its relationship to democracy.

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Author by K. Bokhari
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 258
ISBN Number 9781137313492

Are Muslims Distinctive


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Are Muslims Distinctive? represents the first major scientific effort to assess how Muslims and non-Muslims differ--and do not differ--in the contemporary world. Using rigorous methods and data drawn from around the globe, M. Steven Fish reveals that in some areas Muslims and non-Muslims differ less than is commonly imagined. Muslims are not inclined to favor the fusion of religious and political authority or especially prone to mass political violence. Yet there are differences: Gender inequality is more severe among Muslims, Muslims are unusually averse to homosexuality and other controversial behaviors, and democracy is rare in the Muslim world. Other areas of divergence bear the marks of a Muslim advantage: Homicide rates and class-based inequities are less severe among Muslims than non-Muslims. Fish's findings have vital implications for human welfare, interfaith understanding, and international relations.

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Author by M. Steven Fish
Genre eBook Religion
Read Book 408
ISBN Number 9780199792887

Islam And International Relations


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Islam and International Relations: Fractured Worlds reframes and radically disrupts perceived understanding of the nature and location of Islamic impulses in international relations. This collection of innovative essays written by Mustapha Kamal Pasha presents an alternative reading of contestation and entanglement between Islam and modernity. Wide-ranging in scope, the volume illustrates the limits of Western political imagination, especially its liberal construction of presumed divergence between Islam and the West. Split into three parts, Pasha’s articles cover Islamic exceptionalism, challenges and responses, and also look beyond Western international relations. This volume will be of great interest to graduates and scholars of international relations, Islam, religion and politics, and political ideologies, globalization and democracy.

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Author by Mustapha Kamal Pasha
Genre eBook Political Science
Read Book 177
ISBN Number 9781317239079

The Fall And Rise Of The Islamic State


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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.

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Author by Noah Feldman
Genre eBook History
Read Book 232
ISBN Number 9781400845026

Nationalism Language And Muslim Exceptionalism


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In an era of ethnopolitical conflict and constitutional change worldwide, nationalist and Islamist movements are two of the most powerful forces in global politics. However, the respective roles played by nationalism and Islamism in Muslim separatist movements have until recently been poorly understood. The conventional view foregrounds Muslim exceptionalism, which suggests that allegiance to the nation of Islam trumps ethnic or national identity. But as Tristan James Mabry shows, language can be a far more reliable indicator of a Muslim community's commitment to nationalist or Islamist struggles. Drawing on fieldwork in Iraq, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, Nationalism, Language, and Muslim Exceptionalism examines and compares the ethnopolitical identity of six Muslim separatist movements. There are variations in secularism and ethnonationalism among the cases, but the key factor is the presence or absence of a vernacular print culture--a social cement that binds a literate population together as a national group. Mabry shows that a strong print culture correlates with a strong ethnonational identity, and a strong ethnonational identity correlates with a conspicuous absence of Islamism. Thus, Islamism functions less as an incitement, more as an opportunistic pull with greater influence when citizens do not have a strong ethnonational bond. An innovative perspective firmly grounded in empirical research, Nationalism, Language, and Muslim Exceptionalism has important implications for scholars and policymakers alike.

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Author by Tristan James Mabry
Genre eBook Language Arts & Disciplines
Read Book 264
ISBN Number 9780812291018