- Political aspects of Islam
Political aspects of Islam are derived from the
Quran, the Sunna, Muslim history and sometimes elements of political movements outside Islam.
Traditional political concepts in Islam include leadership by successors to the Prophet known as
Caliphs, ( Imamatefor Shia); the importance of following Islamic law or Sharia; the duty of rulers to seek Shuraor consultation from their subjects; and the importance of rebuking unjust rulers but not encouraging rebellion against them. [ Abu Hamid al-Ghazaliquoted in Mortimer, Edward, "Faith and Power: The Politics of Islam," Vintage Books, 1982, p.37] A sea change in the Islamic world was the abolition of the Ottomancaliphate in 1924, which some believed meant an end to the Islamic state both in "symbolic and practice terms". [Feldman, Noah, "Fall and Rise of the Islamic State", Princeton University Press, 2008, p.2]
In the 19th and 20th century a common theme has been resistance to Western
imperialism, particularly the British Empire, and sometimes the racistpolicies that discriminated against some Muslims. The defeat of Arab armies in the Six Day War, the collapse of the Soviet Unionand the end of communismas a viable alternative with the end of the Soviet Unionand the Cold Warhas increased the appeal of Islamismand Islamic fundamentalistmovements, especially in the context of undemocratic and corrupt regimes all across the Muslim world.
The political character of Islam
Fiqh-PolIslam is a religion which has existed for over fourteen centuries in many different countries. As such, diverse political movements in many different contexts have used the banner of Islam to lend legitimacy to their causes. Not surprisingly, practically every aspect of Islamic politics is subject to much disagreement and contention between conservative
Islamists and liberal movements within Islam. Islamistor Islamic partiesexist in almost every democracywith a Muslim majority. This term has many different meanings which this article will explore, along with links to other political trends.
The provocative term Islamofascism has also been coined by some non-
Muslims to describe the political and religious philosophies of some militant Islamic groups. Both terms lump together a large variety of groups with varying histories and contexts. The articles on militant Islamic groups, Islamic partiesand modern Islamic philosophyexplain some of their actual views in detail.
Muhammad, the Medinan state and Islamic political ideals
Islamistsclaim that the origins of Islam as a political movement are to be found in the life and times of Islam's prophet, Muhammadand his successors, the Caliphs(for Sunnis), or the Imams (for Shia). In 622 CE, in recognition of his claims to prophethood, Muhammad was invited to rule the city of Medina. At the time the local Arab tribes of Ausand Khazrajdominated the city, and were in constant conflict. Medinans saw in Muhammad an impartial outsider who could resolve the conflict. Muhammad and his followers thus moved to Medina, where Muhammad drafted the Medina Charter. This document made Muhammadthe ruler, and recognized him as the Prophet of Allah. During his rule, Muhammad instituted the laws of the Qur'an, considered by Muslims to be divine revelation. Medina thus became a state based on Islamic law, which is still a basic demand of most Islamic movements. Muhammad gained a widespread following and an army, and his rule expanded first to the city of Meccaand then spread through the Arabian peninsulathrough a combination of diplomacy and military conquest. This approach and thinking continued with the policies of succeeding Caliphs and by the jurists generally, until the advent of European colonialismand the demise of the Ottoman Caliphate.
The early Caliphate and Islamic political ideals
After death of Muhammad, his community needed to appoint a new leader, giving rise to the title
Caliph, meaning "successor". Thus the subsequent Islamic empires were known as Caliphates. Alongside the growth of the Umayyadempire, the major political development within Islam in this period was the sectarian split between Sunniand Shi'iteMuslims; this had its roots in a dispute over the succession of the Caliphate. Sunni Muslims believed the caliphate was elective, and any member of the Prophet's tribe, Quraysh, might serve as one. Shi'ites, on the other hand, believed the caliphate should be hereditary in the line of the Prophet, and thus all the caliphs, with the exception of only Aliand of his son Hasan, were usurpers. [Lewis, Bernard, "The Middle East : a Brief History of the last 2000 Years," Touchstone, (1995), p.139] However, the Sunni sect emerged as triumphant in most of the Muslim world, and thus most modern Islamic political movements (with the exception of Iran) are founded in Sunni thought.
Muhammad's closest companions, the four "rightly guided" Caliphs who succeeded him, continued to expand the state to encompass
Jerusalem, Ctesiphon, and Damascus, and sending armies as far as the Sindh[http://alcor.concordia.ca/~shannon/201Lec02images_files/image004.jpg] . The Islamic empirestretched from Al-Andalus(Muslim Spain) to Persia under the reign of the Umayyad dynasty. The conquering Arab armies took the system of Sharialaws and courts to their new military camps and cities, and built mosques for Friday jam'at(community prayers) as well as Madrasahs to educate local Muslim youth. These institutions resulted in the development of a class of ulema(classical Islamic scholars) who could serve as qadis (Sharia-court judges), imams of mosques and madrasah teachers. These classical scholars and jurists all owed their livelihood to the expansionary Islamic empire. Not surprisingly, these ulema gave legal and religious sanction to militarist interpretations of jihad. The political terminology of the Islamic state was all the product of this period. Thus, medieval legal terms such as khalifa, sharia, fiqh, maddhab, jizya, and dhimmiall remain part of modern Islamic vocabulary.
Since the scholarly and legal traditions of the ulema were well-established by the time of the
Abbasids, the later Middle Eastern empires and kingdoms (including the Ayyubid, Seljuk, Fatimid, Mamlukand Mongol) had little impact on modern Islamist political ideals.
One Islamic concept concerning the structure of ruling is
shura, or consultation, which is the duty of rulers mentioned in two verses in the Quran, 3:153, and 42:36, and contrasted by Muslims with arbitrary personal rule. It is mentioned by Islamic traditionalists, commentators, and contemporary writers but is not commanded by Islamic law only recommended. [Lewis, Bernard, "The Middle East : a Brief History of the last 2000 Years," Touchstone, (1995), p.143]
One type of ruler not part of the Islamic ideal was the
king, which was disparaged in Quran's mentions of the Pharaoh, "the prototye of the unjust and tyrannical ruler" (18:70, 79) and elsewhere. (28:34) [Lewis, Bernard, "The Middle East : a Brief History of the last 2000 Years," Touchstone, (1995), p.141]
;Electing or appointing a Caliph
Fred Donner, in his book "The Early Islamic Conquests" (1981), argues that the standard Arabian practice during the early Caliphates was for the prominent men of a kinship group, or tribe, to gather after a leader's death and elect a leader from amongst themselves, although there was no specified procedure for this shura, or consultative assembly. Candidates were usually from the same lineage as the deceased leader, but they were not necessarily his sons. Capable men who would lead well were preferred over an ineffectual direct heir, as there was no basis in the majority Sunni view that the head of state or governor should be chosen based on lineage alone. Al-Mawardi has written that the caliph should be Qurayshi. Abu Bakr Al-Baqillani has said that the leader of the Muslims simply should be from the majority. Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘manalso wrote that the leader must come from the majority. [http://www.2muslims.com/directory/Detailed/225505.shtml Gharm Allah Al-Ghamdy] ]
Traditional Sunni Islamic lawyers agree that "
shura", loosely translated as 'consultation of the people', is a function of the caliphate. The Majlis ash-Shuraadvise the caliph. The importance of this is premised by the following verses of the Qur'an:
cite quran|42|38|expand=no|quote=...those who answer the call of their Lord and establish the prayer, and who conduct their affairs by Shura. [are loved by God]
cite quran|3|159|expand=no|quote=...consult them (the people) in their affairs. Then when you have taken a decision (from them), put your trust in Allah
majlisis also the means to elect a new caliph. Al-Mawardi has written that members of the majlis should satisfy three conditions: they must be just, they must have enough knowledge to distinguish a good caliph from a bad one, and must have sufficient wisdom and judgment to select the best caliph. Al-Mawardi also said in emergencies when there is no caliphate and no majlis, the people themselves should create a majlis, select a list of candidates for caliph, then the majlis should select from the list of candidates. Some modern interpretations of the role of the Majlis ash-Shura include those by Islamist author Sayyid Qutband by Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, the founder of a transnational political movement devoted to the revival of the Caliphate. In an analysis of the shura chapter of the Qur'an, Qutb argued Islam requires only that the ruler consult with at least some of the ruled (usually the elite), within the general context of God-made laws that the ruler must execute. Taqiuddin al-Nabhani, writes that Shura is important and part of the "the ruling structure" of the Islamic caliphate, "but not one of its pillars," and may be neglected without the Caliphate's rule becoming unIslamic. Non-Muslims may serve in the majlis, though they may not vote or serve as an official.
Rulers, ulama and the traditional Islamic state
One scholar argues that for hundreds of years until the twentieth century, Islamic states followed a system of government based on the coexistence of
sultanand ulamafollowing the rules of the sharialaw. This system resembled to some extent some Western governments in possessing an unwritten constitution(like the United Kingdom), and possessing separate branches of government - two not three, the sultanand ulama- which provided Separation of powersin governance. A symbol of the success of this system is the current popularity of the Islamist movement which seeks to restore the Islamist state. [Feldman, Noah, "Fall and Rise of the Islamic State", Princeton University Press, 2008, p.6]
;Accountability of rulers
Sunni Islamic lawyers have commented on when it is permissible to disobey, impeach or remove rulers in the Caliphate. This is usually when the rulers are not meeting public responsibilities obliged upon them under Islam. Al-Mawardi said that if the rulers meet their Islamic responsibilities to the public, the people must obey their laws, but if they become either unjust or severely ineffective then the Caliph or ruler must be impeached via the
Majlis ash-Shura. Similarly Al-Baghdadi believed that if the rulers do not uphold justice, the ummah via the majlis should give warning to them, and if unheeded then the Caliph can be impeached. Al-Juwayniargued that Islam is the goal of the ummah, so any ruler that deviates from this goal must be impeached. Al-Ghazali believed that oppressionby a caliph is enough for impeachment. Rather than just relying on impeachment, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalaniobliged rebellionupon the people if the caliph began to act with no regard for Islamic law. Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani said that to ignore such a situation is " haraam", and those who cannot revolt inside the caliphate should launch a struggle from outside. Al-Asqalani used two ayahs from the Qur'an to justify this:
cite quran|33|67|end=68|expand=no|quote=...And they (the sinners on qiyama) will say, 'Our Lord! We obeyed our leaders and our chiefs, and they misled us from the right path. Our Lord! Give them (the leaders) double the punishment you give us and curse them with a very great curse'...
Islamic lawyers commented that when the rulers refuse to step down via successful impeachment through the Majlis, becoming dictators through the support of a corrupt army, if the majority agree they have the option to launch a
revolutionagainst them. Many noted that this option is only exercised after factoring in the potential cost of life.
;Rule of law
hadithestablishes the principle of rule of lawin relation to nepotismand accountability [Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 56, Number 681]
Various Islamic lawyers do however place multiple conditions, and stipulations e.g. the poor cannot be penalised for stealing out of poverty, before executing such a law, making it very difficult to reach such a stage. It is well known during a time of drought in the Rashidun caliphate period,
capital punishments were suspended until the effects of the drought passed.
Islamic jurists later formulated the concept of the rule of law, the equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land, where no person is above the law and where
officials and private citizens are under a dutyto obey the same law. A Qadi(Islamic judge) was also not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of religion, race, colour, kinshipor prejudice. There were also a number of cases where Caliphs had to appear before judges as they prepared to take their verdict. [Harv|Weeramantry|1997|pp=132 & 135]
According to Noah Feldman, a law professor at
Harvard University, the legal scholars and jurists who once upheld the rule of lawwere replaced by a law governed by the state due to the codificationof Sharia by the Ottoman Empirein the early 19th century:cite web|author=Noah Feldman|title=Why Shariah?|publisher= New York Times|date=March 16, 2008|url=http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/16/magazine/16Shariah-t.html?ei=5070&em=&en=5c1b8de536ce606f&ex=1205812800&pagewanted=all|accessdate=2008-10-05]
Reaction to European colonialism
In the 19th century European encroachment on the Muslim world came with the retreat of the Ottoman Empire, the arrival of the French in Algeria (1830), the disappearance of the Moghul Empire in India (1857), the Russian incursions into the Caucasus (1857) and Central Asia.
The first Muslim reaction to European encroachment was of "peasant and religious", not urban origin. "Charismatic leaders", generally members of the
ulamaor leaders of religious orders, launched the call for jihad and formed tribal coalitions. Shariain defiance of local common law was imposed to unify tribes. Examples include Abd al-Qadirin Algeria, the Mahdi in Sudan, Shamil in the Caucasus, the Senussiin Libya and in Chad, Mullah-i Lang in Afghanistan, the Akhund of Swatin India, and later, Abd al-Karim in Morocco. All these movements eventually failed "despite spectacular victories such as the destruction of the British army in Afghanistan in 1842 and the taking of Kharoum in 1885." [Roy, Olivier, "The Failure of Political Islam" by Olivier Roy, translated by Carol Volk, Harvard University Press, 1994, p.32]
The second Muslim reaction to European encroachment later in the century and early 20th century was not violent resistance but the adoption of some Western political, social, cultural and technological ways. Members of the urban elite, particularly in
Egypt, Iran, and Turkeyadvocated and practiced "Westernization".
The failure of the attempts at political westernization, according to some, was exemplified by the
Tanzimatreorganization of the Ottoman rulers. Sharia was codified into law (which was called the Mecelle) and an elected legislature was established to make law. These steps took away the Ulama's role of "discovering" the law and the formerly powerful scholar class weakened and withered into religious functionaries, while the legislature was suspended less than a year after its inauguration and never recovered to replaced the Ulama as a separate "branch" of government providing Separation of powers. [Feldman, Noah, "Fall and Rise of the Islamic State", Princeton University Press, 2008, p.71-76] The "paradigm of the executive as a force unchecked by either the sharia of the scholars or the popular authority of an elected legislature became the dominant paradigm in most of the Sunni Muslim world in the twentieth century." [Feldman, Noah, "Fall and Rise of the Islamic State", Princeton University Press, 2008, p.79]
The modern political ideal of the Islamic state
In addition to the legitimacy given by medieval scholarly opinion, nostalgia for the days of successful Islamic empire simmered under later Western colonialism. This nostalgia played a major role in the Islamist political ideal of Islamic state, which primarily means a state which enforces traditional Islamic laws. The Islamist political program is generally to be accomplished by re-shaping the governments of existing Muslim nation-states; but the means of doing this varies greatly across movements and circumstances. Many Islamist movements, such as the
Jamaat-e-Islamiin Bangladesh, have found that they can use the democratic process to their advantage, and so focus on votes and coalition-building with other political parties. Other more radical movements such as Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladeshembrace militant Islamic ideology.
In the face of the tremendous poverty, corruption and disillusionment with conventional politics, the political ideal of the Islamic state has been criticized by many espousing
liberal movements within Islamand for example by Ziauddin Sardar, as being utopian and not offering real solutions.
Islam as a political movement in the 20th century
World War Iand the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, and the subsequent dissolution of the Caliphateby Mustafa Kemal Atatürk(founder of Turkey), many Muslims perceived that the political power of their religion was in retreat. There was also concern that Western ideas and influence were spreading throughout Muslim societies. This led to considerable resentment of the influence of the European powers. Resentment of all foreign forces in Arab lands was exacerbated when Hitlerindirectly gained control of Syriavia Vichy Francein 1940. The Baath Partywas created in Syria and in Iraqas a movement to resist and harry the British, using some elements of Nazi, Islamic, socialist doctrines, and anti-Semitic propaganda.
After the Second World War
After the war, this party shifted to the
Soviet Union's sphere of influence. Stalinhad by then become an opponent of Zionism, having like the Arabs initially found it compatible, and then rejected it as bourgeois, racist, and colonial.
Any Arab tendency to
anti-Semitismwas drastically magnified after World War IIwhen Israelwas created, at literally the crossroads of all traditional Arab lands. The fact that the promise made to Arabs had been broken, while that to Jews had been kept, was often ascribed to racism. A religious focus for rhetoric became more common, and more mullahs became involved in politics. The Palestinian Diasporastressed social structures in Arab states, which expelled many Jews. Zionismwas identified as the opponent, and some argued a coherent Islamism was required as a response.
However, Islam was still not the dominant trend in resisting colonialism or even Zionism. During the 1960s, the predominant ideology within the Arab world was
pan-Arabismwhich deemphasized religion and emphasized the creation of socialist, secular states based on Arab nationalismrather than Islam. However, governments based on Arab nationalismhave found themselves facing economic stagnation and disorder. Increasingly, the borders of these states were seen as artificial colonial creations - which they were, having literally been drawn on a map by European colonial powers.
from Cairo to Tehran, the crowds that in the 1950s demonstrated under the red or national flag now march beneath the green banner. The targets are the same: foreign banks, nightclubs, local governments accused of complacency toward the West. The continuity is apparent not only in these targets but also the participants: the same individuals who followed Nasser or Marx in the 1960s are Islamists today. ["The Failure of Political Islam" by Olivier Roy, translated by Carol Volk, Harvard University Press, 1994, p.4]
Some common political currents in Islam include
*Traditionalist fundamentalism, which accepts traditional commentaries on the Quran and Sunna and "takes as its basic principle imitation (taqlid), that is, refusal to innovate", and follows one of the five maddhah legal schools or
Madh'hab(Shafiism, Malikism, Hanafism, Hanbalism) and, may include Sufism. An example of Sufi traditionalism is the Barelvischool in Pakistan. [Roy, "Failure of Political Islam", (1994) p.30-31]
*Reformist fundamentalism, which "criticizes the tradition, the commentaries, popular religious practices (maraboutism, the cult of saints)", deviations, and superstitions; it aims to return to the founding texts. This reformism generally developed in response to an external threat (the influence of Hinduism on Islam, for example. 18th-century examples are
Shah Wali Allahin India and Abd al-Wahhab(who founded Wahhabism) in the Arabian Peninsula. [Roy, "Failure of Political Islam", (1994) p.31] A modern example may be Salafism("Salafiyya").
Islamismor political Islam, both follows and departs from reformist fundamentalism, embracing a return to the sharia, but adopting Western terminology such as revolutionand ideologyand taking a more liberal attitude towards women's rights. [Roy, "Failure of Political Islam". (1994) p.35-7] Contemporary examples include the Muslim Brotherhoodand the Iranian Islamic Revolution.
Liberal movements within Islamgenerally define themselves in opposition to Islamic political movements, but often embrace many of its anti-imperialist elements.
Once the common opposition to
colonialism, corruption and racismwas established as a focus, debates on political Islam became generally focused on several core questions through the 1970s:
* The status of women and integration of priorities of
feminisminto a renewed fiqh
Islamic economicsand the role of debtin oppression and stagnation of Muslim states
Zionismand the response to the formation of the state of Israel and the question ofstatehood
* Self governance in Muslims nations or in nations with significant Muslim minorities
* Control of oil revenues in the Middle East
United Nationscooperation was pivotal in this view - as was cooperation with secular forces and allies. The agenda of secular and Islamist movements during this period was all but indistinguishable. However, some rural movements were finding progress made here to be symbolic and unsatisfactory. In 1979 the political situation drastically changed, with Egyptmaking peace with Israel, the Iranian Revolution, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan- all three events had wide-ranging effects on how Islam was perceived as a political phenomenon.
To understand this, consider the variety of attitudes Muslims with a fervent belief in
Islamas a universal solution to political problems, took to the events of the 1980s and the 1990s:
Perception of persecution
Some Muslims place the blame for all flaws in Muslim societies on the influx of "foreign" ideas including debt-based
capitalism, communism, and even feminism; a return to the principles of Islam is seen as the natural cure. This is however interpreted in very many ways: socialismand Marxismas a guide to adapting Islam to the modern world was in decline by the 1980s as the USSR invaded Afghanistanand polarized attitudes against Communismand other secular variants of socialism. Capitalismwas often discredited by plain corruption.
One persistent theme that both proponents and opponents of Islam as a political movement note is that Muslims are actively persecuted by the West and other foreigners. This view is of course not distinguishable from a critique of
imperialismincluding oil imperialism, since many Muslim nations are sitting on relatively vast oil reserves. Colonialismis often identified as the force which is 'against Islam', and seems to neatly encompass British Empireexperiences as well as those of modern times - the long Ottoman domination being more or less forgotten.
It was largely through reactive measures that the movement that is labeled Islamist came to be visible to the West, where it was labeled as being a distinct movement from
Islam, pan-Arabismand resistance to colonization. The legitimacy of this kind of distinction is very much in doubt. Olivier Royholds that the primary motive of all of this activity is resistance to colonialism and control of the Islamic Worldby outsiders. In this view, the movement called Islamist is wholly reactive and incidental, just a convenient rationale used to justify what is in fact resistance of a cultural and economic sort.
However, there are many overt similarities. Those militants who follow a version of
shariabased on the classical fiqh(" jurisprudence") as interpreted by local ulema(" jurists"), were the most prominent of several competing trends in modern Islamic philosophyin the 1970s and 1980s. It was at this time that they became visible - and a concern - to the West, as they challenged the modernist dictators that the West had generally put trust in.
militant Islamfor a detailed review of some modern movements that are often labeled Islamist by their opponents. This article is only about the reactive definition of the West, leading to the label. Trends which led to this are summarized by Ziauddin Sardar.
Cold War exploitation
But such cross-cultural exchanges, polite activism and moderate views were very often suppressed by the funders of more militant strains who sought to exploit them against the
Soviet Union. The United States, for instance, in the 1980s supplied university-authored textbooks to the mujahedeenof Afghanistanthat encouraged militant attitudes and even taught arithmeticusing examples involving hand grenades and "dead infidels".
There was also pressure against secular
socialismin the Islamic World, and especially in Iraq, Syriaand Iran, until the Iranian Revolutionof 1979 proved it could well be counter-productive and lead to a backlash that put regimes in place that would be hostile to the Western, secular, world.
Role in terrorism
Some militant Islamist forces have been implicated in
terrorismand have become targets in a series of military initiatives justified by the US rhetoric of " War on Terrorism", which has been adopted by Russia, Israeland other countries. This has led Muslims and the opponents of these initiatives (in the peace movement) to characterize it sometimes as actually a War on Islam.
As part of this war, they claim, literally every political interpretation of Islam, from classical fiqh to
Marxistto such moderate views as those of Dr. Shakir, are all being classified as part of one "enemy" movement.
Movements described as 'Islamist'
What these groups have in common tends to be opposition to the
United Statesand Israel. They vary widely in terms of the form of Islamic Lawthey prefer: Hamas for instance is close to secular in tone. Some include Saudi Arabia's dominant ideology, Wahhabism, on this list, but, interestingly, not the nominally Islamic governments of Pakistanor Turkey. This appears to be largely motivated by geopolitics, and a purely Western idea of "who we can work with, and who not."
Another profound bias of such classifications is that it is quite rare to include nominally Christian or Jewish or Buddhist guerillas in any analysis of those faiths' views of politics, but quite common if it is Islam under discussion—and likely being criticized.
Along with many other cultural phenomena, Islamic political thought has undergone its own globalization as adherents of many different strains have come together. Even in such strictly controlled, secretive groups as
Al-Qaida, there were believing Muslims of drastically varying backgrounds coming together, some of whom accepted the tactics and priorities of the group, and some not. While violent fanatics deployed by cynical leaders make highly visible attacks on Western interests and even on 'homelands', this is thought by many to be no more than backlash for an entire 20th century full of cynical attempts by German, British, and American Empires to deploy Islamic idealists as a mere tactic.
Russiajoined the Council of the Islamic Conferencein 2003, it emphasized that it had a long history of successful co-existence with Muslims, and a large integrated population of Muslims (few of which are in any sense Islamist). President Vladimir Putin, despite a long and bloody confrontation with rebels in Chechnya, offered to act as a bridge or neutral broker in dealings between Muslims and NATO, the EUand USA. This was a quite different rhetoric, a more pragmatic one likely reflecting the reality that the ex-Soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijanhad substantial Islamic political movements - similar to those in Turkeyand Pakistan, relatively modern in tone and willing to participate in the US War on Terrorismto some degree, although not as direct combatants.
Some analysts believe that the old Cold War battlelines have been redrawn, with Russia choosing new allies - those with a record of success in forcing US withdrawals from strategic territories (
Beirut, Somaliaand - depending on interpretation - Afghanistanand Iraq) with Muslim populations. In this view, the old Marxist alliance against colonialism is the dominant rhetoric.
Others accept the Russian pledge as sincere, and believe that Islamist movements of all stripes will eventually come to accommodation with domestic secular forces, and Islam as a global anti-corruption, anti-colonialism, and anti-racism movement, less focused on
Zionismand Palestine. George W. Bushfor instance has noted the real need as economic development in Muslim countries, to break the cycle of povertythat tends to feed into extremist movements. In Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkeyand Iraq, the Bush administration has worked closely with nominally Islamic forces and ruling political parties in government. It denies intensely that it is involved in a War on Islam. However, polls of Muslim nations indicate these denials are not trusted. Any accommodation will not be quick in coming.
Hizb ut-TahrirIslamic political party
Tanzeem-e-IslamiIslamic revolutionary party working for establishing khilafah.
Ayatollah Mohamed Hossein Kazemini BorujerdiIslamic activist for separation of politics from Islam
The following sources generally prescribe to the theory that there is a distinct 20th century movement called Islamism that exists independently of Jewish/Christian observers and motivations:
* "Children of Abraham: An Introduction to Islam for Jews" Khalid Duran with Abdelwahab Hechiche, The American Jewish Committee and Ktav, 2001
* "The Islamism Debate"
Martin Kramer, 1997, which includes the chapter [http://www.geocities.com/martinkramerorg/Mismeasure.htm The Mismeasure of Political Islam]
* "Liberal Islam: A Sourcebook" Charles Kurzman, Oxford University Press, 1998
* "The Challenge of Fundamentalism: Political Islam and the New World Disorder" Bassam Tibi, Univ. of California Press, 1998
However, the following sources very strongly challenge that assertion:
Edward Said, "Orientalism"
Merryl Wyn Davies, ""
G. H. Jansen, "Militant Islam", 1980
Hamid Enyat, " Modern Islamic Political Thought"
These authors in general locate the issues of Islamic political intolerance and fanaticism not in Islam, but in the generally low level of awareness of Islam's own mechanisms for dealing with these, among modern believers, in part a result of Islam being suppressed prior to modern times.
Democracy in the Middle East, the role of Islamist political parties, and the war on terrorism:
*Marina Ottoway, et al., [http://www.ceip.org/files/publications/HTMLBriefs-WP/20_October_2002_Policy_Brief/20009536v01.html Democratic Mirage in the Middle East] , Carnegie Endowment for Ethics and International Peace, Policy Brief 20, (
October 20 2002).
*Marina Ottoway and Thomas Carothers, [http://www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=2705&print=1 Think Again: Middle East Democracy] , "Foreign Policy" (Nov./Dec. 2004).
*Steven Wright, "The United States and Persian Gulf Security: The Foundations of the War on Terror", Ithaca Press, 2007 ISBN 978-0863723216
*Chris Zambelis, [http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/05autumn/zambelis.htm The Strategic Implications of Political Liberalization and Democratization in the Middle East] , "Parameters", (Autumn 2005).
*Adnan M. Hayajneh, [http://www.alternativesjournal.net/volume3/number2/adnan.htm The U.S. Strategy: Democracy and Internal Stability in the Arab World] , "Alternatives" (Volume 3, No. 2 & 3, Summer/Fall 2004).
*Gary Gambill, [http://www.meib.org/articles/0407_me2.htm Jumpstarting Arab Reform: The Bush Administration's Greater Middle East Initiative] , "Middle East Intelligence Bulletin" (Vol. 6, No. 6-7, June/July 2004).
*Remarks by the President at the 20th Anniversary of the National Endowment for Democracy, United States Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C., [http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/11/20031106-2.html President Bush Discusses Freedom in Iraq and Middle East] ,
6 November 2003.
*Robert Blecher, [http://www.merip.org/mero/interventions/blecher_interv.html Free People Will Set the Course of History: Intellectuals, Democracy and American Empire] , "Middle East Report" (March 2003).
*Robert Fisk, [http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article9888.htm What Does Democracy Really Mean In The Middle East? Whatever The West Decides] , "
The Independent", 8 August, 2005.
*Fawaz Gergez, [http://yaleglobal.yale.edu/display.article?id=5622 Is Democracy in the Middle East a Pipedream?] , "Yale Global Online",
April 25, 2005.
* [http://www.pakislam.net/ Meanings of Islam]
* [http://www.salafimanhaj.com/pdf/SalafiManhaj_Terrorism_In_KSA.pdf The Ideology of Terrorism and Violence in Saudi Arabia: Origins, Reasons and Solution]
* [http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0994/9409021.htm Evaluating the Islamist movement] - written by Greg Noakes, an American Muslim who works at the Washington Report
* [http://www.washington-report.org/backissues/0695/9506017.htm Muslim scholars face down fanaticism] - written by Aicha Lemsine, an Algerian journalist and author.
* [http://www.boutiquebrighton.info/mdp.html Muslims for Dawah through Peace - Islamic peace movement manifesto]
* [http://desicritics.org/2007/01/17/070633.php Islam: The Greatest Colonizer Of All Time]
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