Religion and Politics in the Middle East

Author: Robert D. Lee
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429974396
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
This innovative book analyzes the relationship between religion and politics in the Middle East through a comparative study of five countries?Egypt, Israel, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Robert D. Lee examines each country in terms of four domains in which state and religion necessarily interact: national identity, ideology, institutions, and political culture. In each domain he considers contradictory hypotheses, some of them asserting that religion is a positive force for political development and others identifying it as an obstacle. Among the questions the book confronts: Is secularization a necessary prerequisite for democratic development? How is it and why is it that religion and politics are so deeply entangled in these five countries? And, why is it that all five countries differ so markedly in the way they identify themselves and use religion for political purposes? The book argues that the nature of religious organization and practice in the Middle East must be understood in the context of individual nation states. The second edition is updated throughout and includes an entirely new chapter discussing the political and religious climate in Saudi Arabia. Earlier introductory analysis has been condensed to make room for new material, and chronologies at the end of each chapter have been added to help students understand the broader context. The second edition of Religion and Politics in the Middle East is a robust addition to courses on the Middle East.

Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics

Author: Yusuf Sarfati
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135098638
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Contrary to the expectations of the secularization theorists, religious political movements rose to prominence in numerous countries across the globe in the past three decades. By examining the conditions that underlie the electoral fortunes of religious actors in democratic regimes, this book contributes to our understanding of this worldwide religious resurgence. Employing a social movement theory framework, Mobilizing Religion in Middle East Politics explores the macro and micro dynamics of successful political mobilization by Sephardic Torah Guardians (Shas) in Israel and the National Outlook Movement in Turkey in the recent decades. In a comparative framework, the book demonstrates how ripe political opportunities, appropriate frames and dense social networks contribute to building popular support in Israel and Turkey. Yusuf Sarfati also assesses the effects of the increasing political power of religious actors on democratic governance and illustrates similarities and differences between two countries. Drawing on empirical data from a range of interviews conducted in both Israel and Turkey, this book provides a comparative study of religious politics in two countries that are often thought of as ‘exceptional cases,’ and are rarely compared. As such, this book is a welcome contribution for those studying Middle East politics, comparative politics, religious politics, democratization and social movements.

Religion Philosophy and Nationalism across the Middle East

Author: Katie Griffiths
Publisher: Cavendish Square Publishing, LLC
ISBN: 1502623595
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
Religion, philosophy, and nationalism across the Middle East are often in the news, and often are depicted as uniform despite the varied cultures in the region. This book examines the historical role religion and philosophy have played in different countries in the Middle East and their influences on political and cultural relations today. Important historical and contemporary figures in religious and nationalist movements will also be examined on a per-country basis.

The G len Hizmet Movement

Author: Christopher L. Miller
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443845078
Format: PDF, Kindle
Download Now
This volume covers the origins, historical development, and ideas of one of the largest and most influential Islamic movements in the world, the Gülen Hizmet Movement (GHM). Founded during the Cold War under the inspiration of M. Fethullah Gülen, the GHM expanded to over 130 countries by the first decade of the twenty first century. The movement’s circumspect activism sheltered it from illiberal secular practices in Turkey and has guided it through the anxious post-Cold War process of globalization. This edited volume covers various characteristics of the movement from Gülen’s unconventional oratory to his educational philosophy. In addition, the book covers Gülen’s ideas on Islam and democracy and the GHM’s indirect political engagement compared to the direct engagement of the Muslim Brotherhood. Other chapters in the book cover the role of women in the movement, the GHM’s creation of an alternative public sphere for pious Muslims, and the tension this creation instills in light of Secularism Theory, which is analyzed comparatively with American religious pluralism. The last two chapters question the effectiveness of interfaith dialogue activities promoted by the movement’s adherents. A concluding section seeks to synthesize this interdisciplinary scholarship in order to assess the GHM’s overall gestalt as a social movement.

Islam Instrumentalized

Author: Jean-Philippe Platteau
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1108509665
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
In this book, economist Jean-Philippe Platteau addresses the question: does Islam, the religion of Muslims, bear some responsibility for a lack of economic development in the countries in which it dominates? In his nuanced approach, Platteau challenges the widespread view that the doctrine of Islam is reactionary in the sense that it defends tradition against modernity and individual freedom. He also questions the view that fusion between religion and politics is characteristic of Islam and predisposes it to theocracy. He disagrees with the substantivist view that Islam is a major obstacle to modern development because of a merging of religion and the state, or a fusion between the spiritual and political domains. But he also identifies how Islam's decentralized organization, in the context of autocratic regimes, may cause political instability and make reforms costly.

Innovation in Islam

Author: Mehran Kamrava
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520266951
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
Download Now
“In a clear and historically incisive argument, Kamrava and the other contributors indicate how the Islamic concept of innovation (Arabic, bid ‘a) is an essentially contested and adaptive concept. Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad, Muslims have vigorously argued about its meaning and how to apply it. This incisive collection of essays range far beyond the confines of theology and jurisprudence, integrating ideological concerns with the exigencies of mundane ones, as well as crossing the sectarian divide of Sunni and Shia.” —Dale Eickelman, author of Muslim Politics "The economic and political underdevelopment of the Islamic world is commonly attributed to conservatism rooted in Islam. This splendid collection of provocative essays addresses the issue from several different perspectives and in various contexts. Collectively, the essays provide a broad introduction to the topic of innovation in Islam, both through what they teach and what they invite the reader to pursue." —Timur Kuran, author of The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East “Muhammad brought new ideas and practices to the monotheistic tradition, but Muslim scholars interpreting the Qur’an and ahadith sought to squelch ideas that smacked of innovation. Such is the conventional wisdom. But Mehran Kamrava leads a stable of distinguished scholars in demonstrating persuasively that innovation has never ceased to mark the Islamic tradition. Indeed, the greatest modern innovators may be those Islamists who denounce innovation! These powerful essays overwhelm the conventional wisdom.” —Robert D. Lee, author of Religion and Politics in the Middle East: Identity, Ideology, Institutions, and Attitudes

Religion and State

Author: L. Carl. Brown
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231529376
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
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.

Religion Identity and Politics in Northern Ireland

Author: Ms Claire Mitchell
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN: 1409476928
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Has conflict in Northern Ireland kept political dimensions of religion alive, and has religion played a role in fuelling conflict? Conflict in Northern Ireland is not and never will be a holy war. Yet religion is more socially and politically significant than many commentators presume. In fact, religion has remained a central feature of social identity and politics throughout conflict as well as recent change. There has been an acceleration of interest in the relationship between religion, identity and politics in modern societies. Building on this debate, Claire Mitchell presents a challenging analysis of religion in contemporary Northern Ireland, arguing that religion is not merely a marker of ethnicity and that it continues to provide many of the meanings of identity, community and politics. In light of the multifaceted nature of the conflict in Northern Ireland, Mitchell explains that, for Catholics, religion is primarily important in its social and institutional forms, whereas for many Protestants its theological and ideological dimensions are more pressing. Even those who no longer go to church tend to reproduce religious stereotypes of 'them and us'. Drawing on a range of unique interview material, this book traces how individuals and groups in Northern Ireland have absorbed religious types of cultural knowledge, belonging and morality, and how they reproduce these as they go about their daily lives. Despite recent religious and political changes, the author concludes that perceptions of religious difference help keep communities in Northern Ireland socially separate and often in conflict with one another.

Middle Eastern Terrorism

Author: Mark Ensalaco
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812201876
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Selected by Choice magazine as an Outstanding Academic Title Since the first airplane hijacking by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in September 1970, Middle Eastern terrorists have sacrificed innocent human lives in the name of ideology. From Black September to the Munich Olympics, to the embassy bombing in Beirut, to the devastating attacks of September 11 and beyond, terrorism has emerged as the most important security concern of our time. "Where did this come from?" Inspired by a student's question on the morning of September 11, 2001, Mark Ensalaco has written a thoroughly researched narrative account of the origins of Middle Eastern terrorism, addressing when and why terrorists started targeting Americans and American interests and what led to the September 11 attacks. Ensalaco reveals the changing of motivations from secular Palestinian nationalism to militant Islam and demonstrates how competition among terrorists for resources and notoriety has driven them to increasingly extreme tactics. As he argues, terrorist attacks grew from spectacle to atrocity. Drawing on popular works and scholarly sources, Middle Eastern Terrorism tells this story in rich detail and with great clarity and insight.