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.
Peter B. Clarke's in-depth account explores the innovative character of new religious movements and new forms of spirituality from a global vantage point. Ranging from North America and Europe to Japan, Latin America, South Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, it is the perfect introduction to NRMs such as Falun Gong, Aum Shirikyo, the Brahma Kumaris, the Ikhwan or Muslim Brotherhood, Sufism, the Engaged Buddhist and Engaged Hindi movements, Messianic Judaism and Rastafarianism. Charting the cultural significance and global impact of NRMs, he discusses the ways in which various religious traditions are shaping, rather than displacing, each other's understanding of notions such as transcendence and faith, good and evil, of the meaning, purpose and function of religion, and of religious belonging. He then examines the responses of governments, churches, the media and general public to new religious movements, as well as the reaction to older, increasingly influential religions, such as Buddhism and Islam, in new geographical and cultural contexts. Taking into account the degree of continuity between old and new religions, each chapter contains not only an account of the rise of the NRMs and new forms of spirituality in a particular region, but also an overview of change in the regions' mainstream religions.
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.
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.
"Ever since the growth of Islam as a religious and political movement, Muslim thinkers have sought to understand the theoretical aspects of their faith by using philosophical concepts. Leaman outlines this history and demonstrates that, although the development of Islamic philosophy is closely linked with Islam itself, its form is not essentially connected to any particular religion, and its leading ideas and arguments are of general philosophical significance. The author illustrates the importance of Islamic thought within philosophy through the use of many modern examples. He describes and contrasts the three main movements in Islamic philosophy - Peripatetic, Sufi and Illuminationist - and examines the Persian as well as the Arabic traditions. Wide coverage is given to key aspects of Islamic philosophy, including epistemology, ontology, politics, ethics and philosophy of language, providing readers with a balanced view of the discipline. The second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated throughout, including the addition of two new chapters on recent debates surrounding Islam's need for an enlightenment, and on the future of Islamic philosophy."--pub. desc.
The post-revolutionary state in Iran has tried to amalgamate ‘Sharia with electricity’ and modernity with what it considers as ‘Islam’. While sympathetic to private capital, through quasi anti-capitalist politics, the state began to restrict market-relations, confiscate major assets of sections of the Iranian bourgeoisie, and nationalize major aspects of Iran’s industry, including its communications system. Since the end of war with Iraq and the start of the process of ‘reconstruction’, market-driven development and economic policies have been key aims of the state.
Are women benefiting from current changes in the Middle East media? With media all over the world still marginalizing women and trivializing gender inequalities, how does the situation in the Middle East compare? Proliferating satellite channels have increased women’s visibility in the region but visibility does not necessarily confer power. This book explores various ways in which media have been used to open up possibilities for women in the Middle East or, conversely, to restrict them. Having as their starting point the diverse experiences and multi-layered identities of women, the contributors treat media institutions and practices as part of wider power relations in society. By analyzing media production, consumption and texts, they reveal where and how gender boundaries have been erected or crossed. In eleven chapters, Women and Media in the Middle East spans both the region, from Iran to Morocco, and the media, from film and broadcasting to the press and internet. It looks back at women’s journalism in pre-1952 Egypt and forward to future trends in women’s internet use. One chapter shows how Maghrebi women filmmakers achieved a belated symbolic liberation for the ‘colonized of the colonized’. Another reveals how Egyptian political films link the representation of women to nationalist ideals. A study of the women’s press in Iran shows how it forced gender to the forefront of government concerns, while an investigation of Kuwait’s mainstream press uncovers duplicity in the struggle over female suffrage. A chapter on audience reception exposes clashing identity constructions and competing knowledge systems in a rural community. Further chapters explore an experiment in gender awareness programming on Palestinian TV and women’s role on Hezbollah’s television station, Al-Manar. The book begins by considering whether research on women and media in other contexts can be applied to the Middle East. It ends by discussing the careers of seven well-knon Arab women journalists. Rich and illuminating, this highly original book will be useful to scholars, media professionals and general readers interested in women’s studies, media and shifting power structures in the Middle East.
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.