Religion and Politics in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Jeffrey Haynes

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135262098

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

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In the early twenty-first century, it is now clear that religion is increasingly influential in the political realm in ways which call into question the principles and practices of secularism. The Iranian revolution of 1978-9 marked the decisive ‘reappearance’ of political religion in global politics, highlighting a major development which is the subject of this edited volume. Addressing a highly salient and timely topic, this book examines the consequences of political interactions involving the state and religious actors in Christian, Muslim and Judaist contexts. Building on research, the basic premise of this text is that religious actors – including Islamist groups, the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox churches – pose various challenges for citizenship, democracy, and secularisation in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The key questions on which the book focuses are: Why, how, and when do religious actors seek to influence political outcomes in these regions? Providing a survey of what is happening in relation to the interaction of religion and politics, both domestically and internationally, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of politics, religion, European and Middle East studies.

Religion and Democratizations

Author: Jeffrey Haynes

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317986458

Category: Political Science

Page: 280

View: 9034

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This book examines key debates on religion and democratization from three main perspectives: Religious traditions have core elements which are more or less conducive to democratization and democracy; Religious traditions may be multi-vocal – but at any moment there may be dominant voices more or less receptive to and encouraging of democratization; Religious actors rarely if ever determine democratization outcomes. However, they may in various ways and with a range of outcomes be of significance for democratization. The contributions are divided into two sections: (1) Religion, democratization and democracy, and (2) Secularization, democratization and democracy. Overall, they examine the three assertions in the bullet points above. The book’s starting point is that in general around the world, religions have left their assigned place in the private sphere. This means they have in many cases become recognisably politically active in various ways and with assorted outcomes. This re-emergence from political marginality dates back until at least the 1980s. At that time, the US sociologist, Jose Casanova noted that ‘what was new and became "news" ... was the widespread and simultaneous refusal of religions to be restricted to the private sphere’. This involved a remodelling and re-assumption of public roles by religion, which theories of secularisation had long condemned to social and political marginalisation. This book was published as a special issue of Democratization.

Politics of Religion in Western Europe

Modernities in conflict?

Author: François Foret,Xabier Itçaina

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136636404

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 6693

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Religion is becoming increasingly important to the study of political science and to re-examine key concepts, such as democracy, securitization, foreign policy analysis, and international relations. The secularization of Europe is often understood according to the concept of ‘multiple modernities’—the idea that there may be several roads to modernity, which do not all mean the eradication of religion. This framework provides support for the view that different traditions, societies and groups can come to terms with the components of modernity (capitalism, democracy, human rights, science and reason) while keeping in touch with their religious background, faith and practice. Contributors examine the interaction between EU-integration processes and Western European countries, such as Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Scandinavia, Italy, and the UK, and shine fresh light on the economic and cultural contexts brought about by relationships between politics and religion, including immigrant religions and new religious movements. This volume combines theoretical perspectives from political sociology and international relations to consider the role of religion as a source of power, identity and ethics in institutions and societies. Politics of Religion in Western Europe will be of interest to scholars of politics, religion, the European Union and political sociology.

Culture, Religion and Conflict in Muslim Southeast Asia

Negotiating Tense Pluralisms

Author: Joseph Camilleri,Sven Schottmann

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136163433

Category: Political Science

Page: 216

View: 7087

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By examining the sometimes surprising and unexpected roles that culture and religion have played in mitigating or exacerbating conflicts, this book explores the cultural repertoires from which Southeast Asian political actors have drawn to negotiate the pluralism that has so long been characteristic of the region. Focusing on the dynamics of identity politics and the range of responses to the socio-political challenges of religious and ethnic pluralism, the authors assembled in this book illuminate the principal regional discourses that attempt to make sense of conflict and tensions. They examine local notions of "dialogue," "reconciliation," "civility" and "conflict resolution" and show how varying interpretations of these terms have informed the responses of different social actors across Southeast Asia to the challenges of conflict, culture and religion. The book demonstrates how stumbling blocks to dialogue and reconciliation can and have been overcome in different parts of Southeast Asia and identifies a range of actors who might be well placed to make useful contributions, propose remedies, and initiate action towards negotiating the region’s pluralism. This book provides a much needed regional and comparative analysis that makes a significant contribution to a better understanding of the interfaces between region and politics in Southeast Asia.

Modernizing Islam

Religion in the Public Sphere in the Middle East and Europe

Author: John L. Esposito,François Burgat

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

ISBN: 9780813531984

Category: Political Science

Page: 278

View: 7212

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In recent years, Islam has become a more visible force, not only in North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, but also in Western Europe and the United States. Greater attention to religious observance (prayer, fasting, dress, pilgrimage) has accompanied the creation of new institutions (mosques, finance houses, insurance companies, schools, clinics, and hospitals). Religiously inspired social and political movements have proliferated. Only a few decades ago, Muslims were virtually invisible in Europe and America. Today, increased immigration has changed the religious landscape of the West. Mosques and Islamic centers are found in European and American cities and towns. Muslims are visible in nearly every area of social and political life. A list of major Islamic cities and populations today must include not only Cairo, Tunis, Damascus, and Islamabad, but also Paris, London, New York, and Detroit. This demographic and cultural shift requires that we speak not only of the relationship between the traditional Islamic world and the West, but also about Islam in the West. It has also meant that Islam has been obliged to modernize, to grapple with its status as a minority religion in some parts of the world and a majority one in others. Modernizing Islam speaks to the significance, origins, influences, and implications of Islam's changes, and thus to the various ways in which this religion is becoming a truly global force, shaping such realms as law, politics, education, and ethics, among many others

Governance in the Middle East and North Africa

A Handbook

Author: Abbas Kadhim

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136959661

Category: Political Science

Page: 502

View: 2325

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Governance in the Middle East is topic of interest to scholars, activists and policy makers. The currently proposed book is intended to present the first comprehensive framework of the question of governance in the Middle East in its various forms and manifestations: political, economic, and government performance. This study will supply the context that is missing in the existing literature on, perhaps, the last bastion of authoritarianism in the world. Proposed Contents This book will be structured into two parts: Part I (Chapters 1-11) provides some theoretical background and analyzes the patterns and challenges of governance in the Middle East, providing some global context; Part II (12-Conclusion) will examine specific cases in selected countries and regions in the Middle East. Part I: Theory and Context Chapter 1 will be an introduction describing the main aspects of the book and highlighting the main points made by the contributors. Chapter 2 will present the theoretical dimensions of governance and review the "state of the discipline" and the latest trends in the literature on governance. The author of this chapter will be an authority in the subject of governance, but does not have to be necessarily a Middle East scholar. Chapter 3 will examine the general political trends in the Middle East and provide a historical background: nation-state formation, colonial and postcolonial experiences in the Middle East and the nature of the Middle Eastern political environment at the present time. Chapter 4 will look into the economic aspects of governance in the Middle East and contextualize the economic challenges and deficiencies affecting the region. Chapter 5 will examine the areas of success and failure in government performance in the region and the aspects of human development. Chapter 6 will look into the role of religion in shaping the governance in the Middle East. After all, most Middle Eastern governments declare Islam as the State religion, while a few consider Islam the source of governance and legislation (e.g. Saudi Arabia and Iran). Chapter 7 will shed light on the sectarian division among Muslims (Shi‘a vs. Sunnis) and the significance of this division for the governance, particularly in countries where the ruling groups belong to a different sect than the governed, such as Bahrain, Saudi, Kuwait and Lebanon. Chapter 8 will examine relation between the state of governance in the Middle East and the progress of human rights, or lack thereof. The Middle East remains one of the most troubling regions on human rights and the respect for human dignity. All of the region’s governments are heavily implicated in very serious violations of the most basic in human rights. Chapter 9 will focus on the status of women in the Middle East and the governmental performance in the region in relevance to women rights and status. The recent years have witnessed many positive changes in this regard, but there remains a lot of work to be done, which is going to be outlined in this chapter. Chapter 10 will look into the role of oil and other natural sources in shaping the economic and political performance of Middle Eastern governments. Also, it will shed light on the various ways these governments distribute the revenues (rents) from these resources and how they use them, or don’t, in the development of their countries or, in most cases, on the military and state oppressive machine. Chapter 11 will examine the role of international organizations and trade agreements on the performance of governments and whether or not such factors influence or shape governance in the region. It is well-known that Turkey has changed many of its laws and social policies in response to the demands of EU members and in hopes of being admitted into the EU. The chapter will elaborate on this and similar cases throughout the region. Part II: Case Studies Chapter 12 will examine the case of Iraq. The country is experiencing perhaps the most dramatic scenarios of governance in the region. This chapter will shed light on the unfolding political process and the struggle of Iraqis to forge a path toward democracy in a region determined to resist any political change within its boundaries. Key issues: Power-sharing, pluralism, federalism, ethnic and sectarian conflict, trust-building, corruption and political violence. Chapter 13 will examine the case of Iran. Thirty years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is entering into a soul-searching phase in its history. The ongoing battle between the reformers and the hardliners is only a sign on the larger problem of governance. A majority of Iranians have no personal recollection of the problems that led to the Revolution. It is vitally important that the government changes its claims to legitimacy from being the force that toppled the Shah to being the provider of prosperity and development of the country and its young population. Key issues: Political reform, human rights, reconciliation with the West, allocation of resources and services. Chapter 14 will examine the case of Egypt. The country is facing an unknown future with President Mubarak reaching advanced age. The debate over his succession is dividing the country in a dramatic way. Egypt is also a country with depleted infrastructure and an ever-shrinking middle class. If the country falls into a violent cycle after the looming departure of Mubarak, the entire region could fall into the abyss. Key issues: Succession of Mubarak, economic performance, services, religious extremism (Muslim Brotherhood) and Nationalism. Chapter 15 will examine the case of Israel. While politically different from its neighbors, Israel is sinking fast into the same problems that plague the Middle East. The country suffers political corruption and many leadership crises. The government is trying to redefine the identity of the state, which is going to create a showdown with the fast-growing non-Jewish Israeli population, and there is the problem of the government’s inability to conclude peace with Israel’s neighbors. Key issues: corruption, violence and security. Chapter 16 will examine the case of Saudi Arabia. The country is perhaps the most authoritarian regime in the world. The lack of individual liberties and abuses of human rights are the main problems. The government’s treatment of its Shia subjects (approx. 12% of the population) as second-class residents is extremely troubling. The country does not have a meaningful public participation and the Royals who run the government have no accountability to anyone. Key issues: human rights, religious freedom, political reform, public participation. Chapter 17 will examine the case of Bahrain. This small country in the Persian Gulf is facing many challenges. Like Iraq before 2003, it is a country with a clear Shia majority ruled by a small Sunni minority. The Shia are excluded from the government (they were allowed to run for the parliament in the last election for the first time), the military and many other important arenas. The government uses the naturalization of Sunnis as a political tool to change the demographic balance in the country. Key issues: political reform, popular participation, naturalization, human rights. Chapter 18 will examine the case of Yemen. The current struggle over government performance and fairness toward the South has given rise to the calls for separation of the two parts of Yemen. Also, there is the issue of religious freedom, which cases the ongoing war with the Houthi faction that accuses the government of making alliance with the Saudi government and the Sunni extremists in the country to form an existential threat to Shi’ism. Yemen is also a country with many ungoverned spaces and the governance in the "governed" areas is abysmal. Key issues: political violence, human and religious rights, terrorism, tribalism and poverty. Chapter 19 will examine the case of Turkey and its impressive rise as a model for a strong Muslim nation which tries to reconcile Islam and democracy. Turkey’s longstanding problems with social rights, especially of its 12 million Kurds, have always been a formidable challenge to the image of the nation. However, the country’s bid to join the EU has forced many changes that inadvertently helped the government’s international standing. Chapter 20 will examine the case of Syria and the influence of the Arab nationalist ideology on keeping the country as one of the most oppressive regimes in the region. Also examined will be the affect of Syrian-Israeli conflict on the country’s governance. Chapter 21 examines the case of Lebanon. This country which witnessed more governance challenges than any other in the region makes a very interesting case study. The country’s sectarian politics and the client-patron relations and loyalties among the various Muslim and Christian elements of society have undermined the country’s potential to become a fully democratic state. Chapter 22 will focus on the case of Sudan. This country has been in the center of world attention because of the internal conflict and the accusations of serious violations of human rights and the rise of separatist movements that receive much foreign sympathy and support. The country has missed many opportunities to attain social and political reconciliation, but it should not be considered a lost cause. There is a lot of potential in the country, especially when we consider the vibrant politics of government and opposition. Chapter 23 will examine the case of Jordan and the role of the uniqueness of the regime in creating relative social and political stability. Unlike the most of the governments in the region, the Jordanian Monarchy keeps the government as a convenient buffer between the Royals and the people. When popular sentiments turn very negative, the King, acting as the good cop, dismisses the government and orders the formation of a new one. Also, Jordan has achieved some good success in absorbing the Islamist groups into the political system, but not without challenges. The chapter will also focus on the Palestinian factor – Palestinians make more than half of the Jordanian population. Chapters 24, 25 & 26 will examine the Maghreb states (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). These states face many challenges in their governance: separatism, terrorism and the government oppressive history in Morocco; the Islamism challenge, internal war in the tribal areas and ethnic conflict in Algeria; and the stifling of personal freedom and liberties in Tunisia in the name of secularism and the war on extremism are all challenges that need to be highlighted in a chapter about each country. Chapter 27 will focus on governance in Libya. Having ruled the country for forty-seven years, the Libyan president is the dean of Middle Eastern dictators. He has taken his country though all kinds of political adventures. The rule through popular committees is a unique system that gives Col. Mu‘ammar Qadhafi the opportunity to oppress through popular participation and acquiescence. Chapter 28 will focus on the governance in the United Arab Emirates. This confederation of seven emirates has witnessed some excellent success in the economic and infrastructural development, especially in Dubai, which competes with the richest cities in the world, thanks to the energy and vision of its Emir, Muhammad b. Rashid. While it is generally considered much better than its fellow Gulf States, the UAE has its own challenges, especially in light of the absence of unified system of governance, because each emirate has the autonomy to shape its internal affairs. Chapter 29 will examine the governance and, in certain cases, lack thereof in the countries that form the Horn of Africa, i.e. Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti. These countries face some tremendous challenges in the areas of refugees, resources, stability and ethnic & conflict. The failure of these states, as seen in the case of Somalia, can make the problems of security in the whole region much worse than it is now. Famine and anarchy have already led to wars, piracy and the flood of refugees, not to say much about the humanitarian catastrophes in the region. This chapter will highlight the problems of governance in these often forgotten countries. Chapter 30 will be a conclusion and final remarks on the general framework of the regional governance and the way forward. This book is aimed at a wide variety of audience. Policy makers, policy analysts, as well as journalists will benefit from the history and analysis that will be presented in the book. Also, academics will find in the book important materials for research and class work. Professors teaching courses on US Foreign policy, Middle East, International Relations, Comparative Politics and many related fields will find the book a very suitable choice for their students to read. Given the media and general public’s interest in the Middle East and the Middle East, the book will also appeal to a wide range of educated readers in the United States, the United Kingdom and many other countries world-wide.

Middle East and North African Immigrants in Europe

Current Impact; Local and National Responses

Author: Dr. Ahmed Al-Shahi,Richard Lawless

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1136872809

Category: History

Page: 298

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Fourteen specialists from across the European Union discuss current issues regarding Middle Eastern and North African immigrants in Europe, focusing on topics such as immigration legislation, assimilation, integration, multiculturalism, community formation, citizenship, political participation, and religious and cultural identities. This book was previously published as a special issue of the journal Immigrants and Minorities.

Islam and the Arab Awakening

Author: Tariq Ramadan

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019997702X

Category: Political Science

Page: 256

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One of the most important developments in the modern history of the Middle East, the so-called Arab Spring began in Tunisia in December 2010, bringing down dictators, sparking a civil war in Libya, and igniting a bloody uprising in Syria. Its long-term repercussions in Egypt and elsewhere remain unclear. Now one of the world's leading Islamic thinkers examines and explains it, in this searching, provocative, and necessary book. Time Magazine named Tariq Ramadan one of the most important innovators of the twenty-first century. A Muslim intellectual and prolific author, he has won global renown for his reflections on Islam and the contemporary challenges in both the Muslim majority societies and the West. In Islam and the Arab Awakening, he explores the uprisings, offering rare insight into their origin, significance, and possible futures. As early as 2003, he writes, there had been talk of democratization in the Middle East and North Africa. The U.S. government and private organizations set up networks and provided training for young leaders, especially in the use of the Internet and social media, and the West abandoned its unconditional support of authoritarian governments. But the West did not create the uprisings. Indeed, one lesson Ramadan presents is that these mass movements and their consequences cannot be totally controlled. Something irreversible has taken place: dictators have been overthrown without weapons. But, he writes, democratic processes are only beginning to emerge, and unanswered questions remain. What role will religion play? How should Islamic principles and goals be rethought? Can a sterile, polarizing debate between Islamism and secularism be avoided? Avoiding both naive confidence and conspiratorial paranoia, Ramadan voices a tentative optimism. If a true civil society can be established, he argues, this moment's fragile hope will live.

Religion and Politics in the International System Today

Author: Eric O. Hanson

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521617819

Category: Political Science

Page: 345

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This book proposes a post-Cold War paradigm based on the interaction between the contemporary globalization of the political, economic, military, and communication systems and the increasing role of religion in influencing global politics. Rapid technological advances have constantly recast politics, economics, armed conflict, and the media. These four systems are thus becoming not just more international, but are also rapidly integrating. Eric Hanson constructs the new global paradigm by explaining the roles of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Maoist Marxism in world politics.

State Formation and Identity in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: K. Christie,M. Masad

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137369604

Category: Social Science

Page: 212

View: 594

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For states in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, the "Arab Spring" has had different implications and consequences, stemming from the politics of identity and the historical and political processes that have shaped development. This book focuses on how these factors interact with globalization and affect state formation.

The Jews of the Middle East and North Africa in Modern Times

Author: Reeva Spector Simon,Michael Menachem Laskier,Sara Reguer

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231507593

Category: History

Page: 432

View: 9706

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Despite considerable research on the Jewish diaspora in the Middle East and North Africa since 1800, there has until now been no comprehensive synthesis that illuminates both the differences and commonalities in Jewish experience across a range of countries and cultures. This lacuna in both Jewish and Middle Eastern studies is due partly to the fact that in general histories of the region, Jews have been omitted from the standard narrative. As part of the religious and ethnic mosaic that was traditional Islamic society, Jews were but one among numerous minorities and so have lacked a systematic treatment. Addressing this important oversight, this volume documents the variety and diversity of Jewish life in the region over the last two hundred years. It explains the changes that affected the communities under Islamic rule during its "golden age" and describes the processes of modernization that enabled the Jews to play a pivotal role in their respective countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The first half of the book is thematic, covering topics ranging from languages to economic life and from religion and music to the world of women. The second half is a country-by-country survey that covers Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Egypt, the Sudan, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco.

Memory and Violence in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Ussama Samir Makdisi,Paul A. Silverstein

Publisher: Indiana University Press

ISBN: 9780253217981

Category: History

Page: 243

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"... constitutes an important and much needed intervention on the themes of memory and violence in Middle East studies." —Lisa Hajjar, University of California, Santa Barbara The Middle East and North Africa form a region united by a common history of armed conflict and repeated international efforts at producing a lasting peace. This interdisciplinary collection explores the connections between memories of past violence and the violence of present memories, the context for all contemporary efforts at conflict resolution and reconciliation. The contributors examine the 1954–1962 Franco-Algerian war, the 1975–1991 Lebanese civil war, and the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict as interconnected struggles that outline national polities, infranational fractures, and transnational political connections. Insofar as national unity has been constructed on the contested claims of sacrifice and martyrdom, the legacy of violence has remained inscribed at the heart of political identity. The case studies point to the failure of current attempts to officially forget past conflicts, at the same time indicating local successes in commemorative actions that forge at least partial peaces between individuals and groups.

War, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God

The Ottoman Role in Europe's Socioeconomic Evolution

Author: Murat Iyigun

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022623228X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 208

View: 1544

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Differences among religious communities have motivated—and continue to motivate—many of the deadliest conflicts in human history. But how did political power and organized religion become so thoroughly intertwined? And how have religion and religiously motivated conflicts affected the evolution of societies throughout history, from demographic and sociopolitical change to economic growth? War, Peace, and Prosperity in the Name of God turns the focus on the “big three monotheisms”—Judaism, Islam, and Christianity—to consider these questions. Chronicling the relatively rapid spread of the Abrahamic religions among the Old World, Murat Iyigun shows that societies that adhered to a monotheistic belief in that era lasted longer, suggesting that monotheism brought some sociopolitical advantages. While the inherent belief in one true god meant that these religious communities had sooner or later to contend with one another, Iyigun shows that differences among them were typically strong enough to trump disagreements within. The book concludes by documenting the long-term repercussions of these dynamics for the organization of societies and their politics in Europe and the Middle East.

Instilling Religion in Greek and Turkish Nationalism: A “Sacred Synthesis”

Author: I. Grigoriadis

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 1137301201

Category: Social Science

Page: 148

View: 1892

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The first comparative study to examine the role of religion in the formation of Greek and Turkish nationalisms, this book argues that the shift to an increasingly religious paradigm in both countries can be explained in terms of the exigencies of consolidation and the need to appeal to grassroots elements and account for diversity.

Faith and Power

Religion and Politics in the Middle East

Author: Bernard Lewis

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199752812

Category: Religion

Page: 240

View: 9458

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Bernard Lewis is recognized around the globe as one of the leading authorities on Islam. Hailed as "the world's foremost Islamic scholar" (Wall Street Journal ), as "a towering figure among experts on the culture and religion of the Muslim world" (Baltimore Sun ), and as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies" (New York Times ), Lewis is nothing less than a national treasure, a trusted voice that politicians, journalists, historians, and the general public have all turned to for insight into the Middle East. Now, Lewis has brought together writings on religion and government in the Middle East, so different than in the Western world. The collection includes previously unpublished writings, English originals of articles published before only in foreign languages, and an introduction to the book by Lewis. Acclaim for What Went Wrong? A New York Times Bestseller "Replete with the exceptional historical insight that one has come to expect from the world's foremost Islamic scholar." --Karen Elliott House, Wall Street Journal Lewis has done us all--Muslim and non-Muslim alike--a remarkable service.... The book's great strength, and its claim upon our attention, [is that] it offers a long view in the midst of so much short-term and confusing punditry on television, in the op-ed pages, on campuses and in strategic studies think tanks." --Paul Kennedy, The New York Times Book Review Acclaim for From Babel to Dragomans "Lewis has long been considered the West's leading interpreter of Mideast culture and history, and this collection only solidifies his reputation."--National Review "For more than four decades, Lewis has been one of the most respected scholars and prolific writers on the history and politics of the Middle East. In this compilation of more than 50 journal articles and essays, he displays the full range of his eloquence, knowledge, and insight regarding this pivotal and volatile region."--Booklist

Gender and Diversity in the Middle East and North Africa

Author: Zahia Smail Salhi

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317989074

Category: Social Science

Page: 200

View: 1329

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The images of women in chadors or burqas as contrasted with images of belly dancers which circulate today as representations of Muslim/Middle Eastern women do not fluctuate from the images propagated by Orientalist paintings and colonial photographs which also offer contrasting representations of the veiled thus secluded and the naked or semi-naked thus eroticised Muslim/Oriental woman. As well as challenging the prevailing stereotypes of the Middle Eastern and North African women, the book aims to highlight the element of diversity which characterises the lives of these women and the regions to which they belong. The sense that most of the Middle Eastern and North African countries are Muslim does confer a common identity, a distinction from others that may serve to bridge wide social, cultural, and economic differences among them. However, it is also important to stress that significant elements other than Islam contribute to the making of MENA societies and women’s cultural identities. This book was published as a special issue of the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies.

Religion and State

The Muslim Approach to Politics

Author: L. Carl. Brown

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231529376

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 6884

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If Westerners know a single Islamic term, it is likely to be jihad, the Arabic word for "holy war." The image of Islam as an inherently aggressive and xenophobic religion has long prevailed in the West and can at times appear to be substantiated by current events. L. Carl Brown challenges this conventional wisdom with a fascinating historical overview of the relationship between religious and political life in the Muslim world ranging from Islam's early centuries to the present day. Religion and State examines the commonplace notion—held by both radical Muslim ideologues and various Western observers alike—that in Islam there is no separation between religion and politics. By placing this assertion in a broad historical context, the book reveals both the continuities between premodern and modern Islamic political thought as well as the distinctive dimensions of modern Muslim experiences. Brown shows that both the modern-day fundamentalists and their critics have it wrong when they posit an eternally militant, unchanging Islam outside of history. "They are conflating theology and history. They are confusing the oughtand the is," he writes. As the historical record shows, mainstream Muslim political thought in premodern times tended toward political quietism. Brown maintains that we can better understand present-day politics among Muslims by accepting the reality of their historical diversity while at the same time seeking to identify what may be distinctive in Muslim thought and action. In order to illuminate the distinguishing characteristics of Islam in relation to politics, Brown compares this religion with its two Semitic sisters, Judaism and Christianity, drawing striking comparisons between Islam today and Christianity during the Reformation. With a wealth of evidence, he recreates a tradition of Islamic diversity every bit as rich as that of Judaism and Christianity.

Women, Politics, and Power

A Global Perspective

Author: Pamela Paxton,Melanie M. Hughes

Publisher: Pine Forge Press

ISBN: 1412927420

Category: Social Science

Page: 379

View: 1891

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Women, Politics, and Power provides a clear and detailed introduction to women’s political representation across a wide range of countries and regions. Using broad statistical overviews and detailed case-study accounts, authors Pamela Paxton and Melanie Hughes document both historical trends and the contemporary state of women’s political strength across diverse countries. There is simply no other book that offers such a thorough and multidisciplinary synthesis of research on women’s political power from around the world.

The Middle East and Islamic World Reader

Author: Marvin E. Gettleman,Stuart Schaar

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 0802194524

Category: Religion

Page: 416

View: 881

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“The many facets of Middle Eastern history and politics are admirably represented in this far-ranging anthology” (Publishers Weekly). In this insightful anthology, historians Marvin E. Gettleman and Stuart Schaar have assembled a broad selection of documents and contemporary scholarship to give a view of the history of the peoples from the core Islamic lands, from the Golden Age of Islam to today. With carefully framed essays beginning each chapter and brief introductory notes accompanying over seventy readings, the anthology reveals the multifaceted societies and political systems of the Islamic world. Selections range from theological texts illuminating the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, to diplomatic exchanges and state papers, to memoirs and literary works, to manifestos of Islamic radicals. This newly revised and expanded edition covers the dramatic changes in the region since 2005, and the popular uprisings that swept from Tunisia in January 2011 through Egypt, Libya, and beyond. The Middle East and Islamic World Reader is a fascinating historical survey of complex societies that—now more than ever—are crucial for us to understand. “Ambitious . . . A timely work, it focuses mainly on sociopolitical texts dating from the rise of Islam to the debates concerning U.S. foreign policy in the post-9/11 world.” —Choice

Women, the State, and Political Liberalization

Middle Eastern and North African Experiences

Author: Laurie A. Brand

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 9780231112673

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 6926

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Pre-Code Hollywood explores the fascinating period in American motion picture history from 1930 to 1934 when the commandments of the Production Code Administration were violated with impunity in a series of wildly unconventional films—a time when censorship was lax and Hollywood made the most of it. Though more unbridled, salacious, subversive, and just plain bizarre than what came afterwards, the films of the period do indeed have the look of Hollywood cinema—but the moral terrain is so off-kilter that they seem imported from a parallel universe. In a sense, Doherty avers, the films of pre-Code Hollywood are from another universe. They lay bare what Hollywood under the Production Code attempted to cover up and push offscreen: sexual liaisons unsanctified by the laws of God or man, marriage ridiculed and redefined, ethnic lines crossed and racial barriers ignored, economic injustice exposed and political corruption assumed, vice unpunished and virtue unrewarded—in sum, pretty much the raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled. No other book has yet sought to interpret the films and film-related meanings of the pre-Code era—what defined the period, why it ended, and what its relationship was to the country as a whole during the darkest years of the Great Depression... and afterward.