Author: Mohammed Abed al-Jabri
Release Date: 2012-04-30
Throughout the Middle East, and in the west as well, there has been much discussion concerning the notion of Islamic rule and the application of shari‘ah by the state. Central to these debates are the three key themes that Mohammad Abed al-Jabri looks at in this book: democracy, human rights and law. Jabri, one of the most influential political philosophers in the contemporary Middle East, examines how these three concepts have been applied in the history of the Arab world, and shows that they are determined by political and social context, not by Islamic doctrine. Jabri argues that in order to develop democratic societies in which human rights are respected, the Arab world cannot simply rely on old texts and traditions. Nor can it import democratic models from the West. Instead, he says, a new tradition will have to be forged by today's Arabs themselves, on their own terms. Through analysis of contemporary Arab ideology, its doubts about democracy, whether human rights are universal and the role of women and minorities in Islamic society, he expounds on the most pertinent issues in modern political philosophy. This lively interrogation of the building blocs of western conceptions of a modern state is a classic text and is vital for all students of modern Islamic political thought.
The debates on 'Islam and Modernity' clearly include in their analysis notions of the State. Abdelillah Belkeziz here charts the development of the concept of 'the state' (al-dawlah) in Islamic discourse over the last two centuries. The result is a tour de force survey of the most influential Muslim thinkers of the modern era, which encompasses three successive waves: the modernist trends of the early and later reformers like Sayyed Jamal Eddin Al-Afghani; the dogmatism of ideologues like Hasan Al-Bana; and the rhetoric of revivalists like the Ayatollah Khomeini. Through this analysis, Belkeziz argues that modern Islamic political thought succeeded in producing ideologies, but ultimately failed to produce a unified theory of state. This work is an essential encyclopedic resource for all scholars and researchers of Political Islam and will become a standard work in the field._x000D_
British attitudes towards Arab unity have frequently been a source of controversy. Younan Labib Rizk here provides a coherent Arab perspective derived from considerable in-depth research into British archives, focusing mainly on the period 1919 to 1945, while also offering a unique behind-the scenes picture of seminal events such as the Balfour Declaration, the Islamic Conference in Jerusalem and the Arab Conference. Rizk’s analysis reveals not only how British government policy developed in this period but also the different influences on policymaking - from the changing situation on the ground to the state of Anglo-French relations and the concerns of the Cairo and India Offices. He shows how all these factors coincided to produce a policy, repeated across several British administrations, which was consistently hostile towards the notion of Arab unity. While this conforms to traditional Arab views of British policy in the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula, the importance of Rizk’s work lies in his meticulous research through which he documents British attitudes and motivations. As he quotes the internal correspondence between departments and individual officials in the Foreign Office and its Eastern Department, the Colonial Office and several British Cabinets, Rizk demonstrates that divisions within the Arab world - of which there were many-were initially exacerbated by British officials, only eventually acquiring their own dynamic. This book enhances our understanding of how the international politics of the region evolved during a critical phase in the modern history of the Middle East.
Author: Abd Al-Aziz Duri
Release Date: 2011-08-30
Genre: Political Science
The rapid expansion of the early Islamic world is conventionally ascribed to a combination of brilliant military leadership and religious fervour. In this book, Abd al-Aziz Duri demonstrates how the growth, development and durability of early Islamic governance derived from highly sophisticated systems of administration (in which the idea of a Muslim ummah was the central feature) as well as efficient mechanisms for taxation and tax collection. Drawing on in-depth research into the fiscal policies of this period, especially land tax and the tax on non-Muslim populations, Duri shows how different models evolved and renewed themselves. He examines the political systems that accompanied these fiscal regimes, and attitudes towards them. He also scrutinizes the institutions which supported this remarkably coherent mode of governance, offering a new perspective on the relationship between politics and Islam in this formative period.The fact that in such a dynamic period of Islamic history a seamless system of administration could endure for several centuries, from the early Muslim conquests and the later Umayyad era to the end of 'Abbasid rule, is testimony to the political and organisational skills of these early Muslim leaders. Duri’s work makes a major contribution to our understanding of how Islam established itself and flourished as a lasting major force in the development of world history.
Author: Jean Said Makdisi
Release Date: 2014-01-29
Genre: Social Science
Is there a truly Arab feminist movement? Is there such a thing as ‘Islamic’ feminism? What does it mean to be a ‘feminist’ in the Arab world today? Does it mean grappling with the more theoretical elements of the movement? Or does it mean an involvement at the grassroots level with everyday activism? This book examines the issues and controversies that are hotly-debated and contested when it comes to the concept of feminism and gender in Arab society today. It offers explorations of both the theoretical issues at play, the latest developments in feminist discourse, literary studies and sociology, as well as empirical data concerning the situation of women in Arab countries, such as Iraq and Palestine. Arab Feminisms therefore offers valuable theoretical analysis as well as indispensable first-hand accounts of feminism in the Arab world for those researching gender relations in the Middle East and beyond.
Author: Ghaida Khazna Katbi
Publisher: I. B. Tauris
Release Date: 2009-10-27
In this exhaustive survey of the institution of al-kharaj -- land tax in Islam -- Ghaida Khazna Katbi provides a comprehensive and minutely detailed history of a practice which evolved from an exigency of conquest into an essential pillar of the early Islamic state. At the time of the Muslim conquests, al-kharaj constituted a tax on lands owned by non-Muslims. It gradually developed into an instrument of state under Umar bin al-Khattab and reached its most refined and complex form under the Abbasids. Katbi provides a thoroughly documented statistical analysis of the historical materials for each region of the early Islamic world, in the process examining the Byzantine and Sasanian models which the Arab administrators consulted and in some instances adopted. She reveals unprecedented source material including never-before published correspondence from Umayyad functionaries as well as other documents from the Caliphate, Umayyad and Abbasid periods. This book is a unique research tool analyzing Arab primary sources and using Western academic methodologies -- the definitive work on its subject.
Author: Rex Brynen
Publisher: Lynne Rienner Publishers
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Political Science
The Arab world is experiencing a variety of factors - internal and external - that are leading to change. This work examines such factors that are shaping political liberalisation and democratisation in the Arab context, as well as the role played by particular social groups.
Author: Dalia Fahmy
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
Release Date: 2017-01-05
Genre: Political Science
Two years after the Arab Spring had transformed Egypt from a dictatorship under Hosni Mubarak to a democracy under the Muslim Brotherhood, there was a military coup that saw the country return being a police state. In a paradoxical turn of events, this move away from liberalism was aided by the same influential coterie of Egyptian intellectuals and activists who had previously been leaders of civic protest under Mubarak. With contributions from experts in Middle East studies, political science, philosophy, Islamic studies, and law, amongst others, this volume represents the first thorough examination of how Egypt's liberal intellectuals emboldened the return of authoritarianism. Together they form a holistic study of liberalism and modern Egypt, addressing the restrictions placed upon liberal opposition by the structural contours of the state itself, the role of Islam and Islamic activism, as well as issues of secularism, feminism and human rights more broadly following the overthrowing of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.
Author: Rainer Grote
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2016-07-25
Genre: Political Science
Constitutionalism, Human Rights, and Islam after the Arab Spring offers a comprehensive analysis of the impact that new and draft constitutions and amendments - such as those in Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Egypt, and Tunisia - have had on the transformative processes that drive constitutionalism in Arab countries. This book aims to identify and analyze the key issues facing constitutional law and democratic development in Islamic states, and offers an in-depth examination of the relevance of the transformation processes for the development and future of constitutionalism in Arab countries. Using an encompassing and multi-faceted approach, this book explores underlying trends and currents that have been pivotal to the Arab Spring, while identifying and providing a forward looking view of constitution making in the Arab world.
Author: Bernard Lewis
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 1994-10-27
Hailed in The New York Times Book Review as "the doyen of Middle Eastern studies," Bernard Lewis has been for half a century one of the West's foremost scholars of Islamic history and culture, the author of over two dozen books, most notably The Arabs in History, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, The Political Language of Islam, and The Muslim Discovery of Europe. Eminent French historian Robert Mantran has written of Lewis's work: "How could one resist being attracted to the books of an author who opens for you the doors of an unknown or misunderstood universe, who leads you within to its innermost domains: religion, ways of thinking, conceptions of power, culture--an author who upsets notions too often fixed, fallacious, or partisan." In Islam and the West, Bernard Lewis brings together in one volume eleven essays that indeed open doors to the innermost domains of Islam. Lewis ranges far and wide in these essays. He includes long pieces, such as his capsule history of the interaction--in war and peace, in commerce and culture--between Europe and its Islamic neighbors, and shorter ones, such as his deft study of the Arabic word watan and what its linguistic history reveals about the introduction of the idea of patriotism from the West. Lewis offers a revealing look at Edward Gibbon's portrait of Muhammad in Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (unlike previous writers, Gibbon saw the rise of Islam not as something separate and isolated, nor as a regrettable aberration from the onward march of the church, but simply as a part of human history); he offers a devastating critique of Edward Said's controversial book, Orientalism; and he gives an account of the impediments to translating from classic Arabic to other languages (the old dictionaries, for one, are packed with scribal errors, misreadings, false analogies, and etymological deductions that pay little attention to the evolution of the language). And he concludes with an astute commentary on the Islamic world today, examining revivalism, fundamentalism, the role of the Shi'a, and the larger question of religious co-existence between Muslims, Christians, and Jews. A matchless guide to the background of Middle East conflicts today, Islam and the West presents the seasoned reflections of an eminent authority on one of the most intriguing and little understood regions in the world.
Author: John L. Esposito
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2016
Genre: Arab Spring, 2010-
The landscape of the Middle East has changed dramatically since 2011, as have the political arena and the discourse around democracy. In Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring, John L. Esposito, John Voll, and Tamara Sonn examine the state of democracy in Muslim-majority societies today. Applying a twenty-first century perspective to the question of whether Islam is "compatible" with democracy, they redirect the conversation toward a new politics of democracy that transcends both secular authoritarianism and Political Islam. While the opposition movements of the Arab Spring vary from country to country, each has raised questions regarding equality, economic justice, democratic participation, and the relationship between Islam and democracy in their respective countries. Does democracy require a secular political regime? Are religious movements the most effective opponents of authoritarian secularist regimes? Esposito, Voll, and Sonn examine these questions and shed light on how these opposition movements reflect the new global realities of media communication and sources of influence and power. Positioned for a broad readership of scholars and students, policy-makers, and media experts, Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring will quickly become a go-to for all who watch the Middle East, inside and outside of academia.
After September 11, Islam became nearly synonymous with fundamentalism in the eyes of Western media and literature. However widely held this view may be, it is at odds with Islam’s rich political history. Renowned Egyptian scholar Nasr Abû Zayd here considers the full breadth of contemporary Muslim writings to examine the diverse political, religious, and cultural views that inform discourse in the Islamic world. Reformation of Islamic Thought explores the writings of intellectuals from Egypt to Iran to Indonesia, probing their efforts to expand Islam beyond traditional and legalistic interpretations. Zayd reveals that many Muslim thinkers advocate culturally enlightened Islam with an emphasis on individual faith. He then investigates the extent of these Muslim reformers’ success in generating an authentic renewal of Islamic ideology, asking if such thinkers have escaped the traditionalist trap of presenting a negative image to the West. A fascinating and highly relevant study for our times, Reformation of Islamic Thought is an essential analysis of Islam’s present and future.