Religion and Politics in the Middle East

Author: Robert D. Lee
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0429974396
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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, Mobi
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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 Education and Governance in the Middle East

Author: Sai Felicia Krishna-Hensel
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317067363
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Middle East is a key geopolitical strategic region in the international system but its distinctive cultural and political divisions present a mosaic of states that do not lend themselves to simplistic interpretations. A thoughtful analysis of the Middle East requires an understanding of the synergism between tradition and modernity in the region as it adapts to a globalizing world. Religious education and activism continue to remain a significant factor in the modernization process and the development of modern governance in the states of the Middle East. This interdisciplinary book explores the historical and contemporary role of religious tradition and education on political elites and governing agencies in several major states as well as generally in the region. The relationship between democracy and authority is examined to provide a better understanding of the complexity underlying the emergence of new power configurations. As the region continues to respond to the forces of change in the international system it remains an important and intriguing area for analysts.

The G len Hizmet Movement

Author: Christopher L. Miller
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN: 1443845078
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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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
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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, Kindle
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“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

The Middle East Peace Process

Author: Ilan Peleg
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780791435410
Format: PDF, ePub
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A comprehensive, interdisciplinary look at the history of and complex issues surrounding the peace process in the Middle East.

Inside Muslim Minds

Author: Riaz Hassan
Publisher: Melbourne Univ. Publishing
ISBN: 0522854818
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A ground-breaking comparative study of contemporary Islamic consciousness, Inside Muslim Minds is an important insight into aspects of the Muslim faith, and its place in the twenty-first century. Using data gathered from more than six thousand Muslim respondents from Southeast, South and Central Asia and the Middle East, Raiz Hassan examines attitudes to issues such as religious commitment; the status of women; the concept of jihad and its alleged links to terrorism; Islamic philanthropy; attitudes towards blasphemy; and Muslim perceptions of the 'other'. Hassan offers a theory of Islamic consciousness by examining its evolution over several centuries. His findings demonstrate the diversity of the Muslim world: the many variations of social, political and religious views. Inside Muslim Minds argues for a new intellectual commitment that honours Islamic heritage yet simultaneously confronts Islamic reassertion and the sense of powerlessness felt by Muslims as they strive to reaffirm their faith in the twenty-first century.