The Muslim World After 9/11

The Muslim World After 9/11

Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 564
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  • Book Info
    The Muslim World After 9/11
    Book Description:

    Momentous events since September 11, 2001-Operation Enduring Freedom, the global war on terrorism, and the war in Iraq-have dramatically altered the political environment of the Muslim world. Many of the forces influencing this environment, however, are the products of trends that have been at work for many decades. This book examines the major dynamics that drive changes in the religio-political landscape of the Muslim world-a vast and diverse region that stretches from Western Africa through the Middle East to the Southern Philippines and includes Muslim communities and diasporas throughout the world-and draws the implications of these trends for global security and U.S. and Western interests. It presents a typology of ideological tendencies in the different regions of the Muslim world and identifies the factors that produce religious extremism and violence. It assesses key cleavages along sectarian, ethnic, regional, and national lines and examines how those cleavages generate challenges and opportunities for the United States. Finally, the authors identify possible strategies and political and military options for the United States to pursue in response to changing conditions in this critical and volatile part of the world.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3755-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xvii-xxviii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxix-xxx)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxi-xxxvi)
  9. Glossary
    (pp. xxxvii-xl)
  10. Overview
    (pp. 1-68)
    Angel M. Rabasa

    Events since September 11, 2001 have dramatically altered the political environment in the Muslim world, a vast and diverse region comprising the band of countries with significant Muslim populations that stretches from western Africa to the southern Philippines, as well as Muslim communities and diasporas scattered throughout the world.¹ The United States—through its response to the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the subsequent war on terrorism, and the removal from power of the Taliban in Afghanistan and of Saddam Hussein and his regime in Iraq—has become deeply involved in the affairs of the Muslim world, where religion, politics, and...

  11. CHAPTER ONE The Middle East: The Cradle of the Muslim World
    (pp. 69-146)
    David Thaler

    This chapter assesses the mosaic of Islam in the Middle East. The goals of the chapter are (1) to portray in detail the diversity of Islam in the region, (2) to describe recent trends as they pertain to the development of religious and political Islam and to assess the effect of September 11 on these trends, and (3) to identify challenges and opportunities for U.S. policy, especially in the aftermath of the 2003 Iraq war.

    In the context of this study, the Middle East refers to the predominantly Arab belt of states and territories that extends from Egypt and Sudan...

  12. CHAPTER TWO The Maghreb
    (pp. 147-174)
    Rollie Lal

    The North African countries of the Maghreb encompass a wide spectrum of beliefs in Islam. Since their independence, governments in these countries have not permitted political Islam to expand; instead, they have sought to contain and control Islam in their societies and polities. Nonetheless, in recent years, the growth of Islamic fundamentalism has proved to be a threat to the stability of each of these countries. This chapter addresses the Islamic landscape of the Maghreb, provides an analysis of shifts in religious and political trends since September 11, and identifies challenges and possibilities for U.S. policy in the region.


  13. CHAPTER THREE Turkey: “Recessed” Islamic Politics and Convergence with the West
    (pp. 175-206)
    Ian O. Lesser

    Contemporary Turkey is a key test case for the role of Islam in politics and its influence on external policy. It is also a distinctive, possibly unique, case in several respects. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), led by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, rules a solid majority government, having trounced all rivals in Turkey’s November 2002 elections and further reinforced its position with strong results in 2004 local elections. Thus, unlike most of its recent predecessors, AKP is able to govern outside the shadow of unstable coalition politics and impending elections. This is a novelty in contemporary Turkey, and it casts...

  14. CHAPTER FOUR Iran: What Future for the Islamic State?
    (pp. 207-246)
    C. Christine Fair

    Iran is a country of both regional and international strategic significance. Its population is estimated to be nearly 70 million, and it sits astride the intersection of Central, Southwest, and South Asia, as well as the Persian Gulf. In addition to these geographical and human resources, Iran is also endowed with the world’s second-largest gas reserve (it has 15 percent of the total world gas reserves) and the third-largest reserve of oil (9 percent of the global oil reserve). Despite these natural resources, getting them to market is difficult because Iran is not near the consumer markets and faces stiff...

  15. CHAPTER FIVE Islam and Politics in Pakistan
    (pp. 247-296)
    C. Christine Fair

    This chapter explores recent developments in political Islam in Pakistan. To fully understand the effects of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and their sequelae, it is necessary to place the current trends in Pakistan in a historical context. Consequently, it is important to examine key catalytic events and other important historical developments within both the brief history of Pakistan and the deeper history of South Asia, particularly toward the end of the colonial period.

    Because the shape and direction of political Islam in Pakistan are also due to specific political agents who have sought to mobilize aspects of...

  16. CHAPTER SIX Islam in India
    (pp. 297-320)
    Rollie Lal

    India is home to the second largest Muslim population in the world. Muslims constitute the largest minority in India, comprising 12 percent of the population, or 140 million. Of this group, approximately 20–30 million are Shi’a, but the overwhelming majority are Sunni. Kashmir is the only state where Muslims form a majority. The conflict in Kashmir has been the focus of considerable media attention and analysis, and thus observers often assume that Kashmir is the primary issue of interest regarding Indian Muslims. However, Kashmir has a population of approximately eight million and is only part of a vast and...

  17. CHAPTER SEVEN Central Asia: “Apocalypse Soon” or Eccentric Survival?
    (pp. 321-366)
    Cheryl Benard

    Regional experts offer sharply divergent prognoses for the stability of Central Asia and for its potential Islamic radicalization. The region indeed faces significant challenges. The risks already inherent in its geostrategic position are made more dangerous by problems of governance and serious economic and social difficulties. The possibility that radical Islam could gain adherents cannot be dismissed. On balance, however, if the challenges are properly managed, we do not believe that the Central Asian republics are inherently prone to Islamic extremism. Whether extremism becomes a significant vehicle for the expression of political disaffection will depend on the policies of domestic...

  18. CHAPTER EIGHT Southeast Asia: Moderate Tradition and Radical Challenge
    (pp. 367-412)
    Angel M. Rabasa

    This chapter explores the evolution of political Islam in Southeast Asia in recent years. As the title of the overall report suggests, this chapter assesses the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing global war on terrorism, the Bali bombing of October 12, 2002, and the reverberations of the war in Iraq and the removal of Saddam’s government.

    As with other chapters, the framework of this chapter is structured around catalytic events and other political, economic, social, and cultural developments that have given Southeast Asian Islam its particular character and direction. The key developments specific to Southeast...

  19. CHAPTER NINE Islam in West Africa: The Case of Nigeria
    (pp. 413-432)
    Peter Chalk

    U.S. security interests in West Africa have been cast in a new light during the past two years, with policymakers in Washington expressing increased concern over the potential of the area to emerge as a new front for anti-Western extremists in the post–September 11 era. Sizable Islamic populations suffuse the hinterlands of a broad band of regional states, extending from Mauritania, through Cote D’Ivoire, to Cameroon. In many cases, these communities exhibit greater loyalty to the concept of a global Muslimummaand caliphate than to the relatively young nation-states of which they are a part.¹ Although some of...

  20. CHAPTER TEN Muslim Diasporas and Networks
    (pp. 433-478)
    Theodore Karasik and Cheryl Benard

    This chapter examines the characteristics of several important types of Muslim networks (e.g., diaspora, humanitarian, and economic) that are likely to be salient in understanding the globalized phenomenon of political Islam. Notably, although some of these networks may be explicitly Muslim in nature, others may simply be collections of individuals—living in Muslim and non-Muslim-majority countries where political Islam is being debated and is undergoing evolution—who happen to share a common religio-cultural background.¹ Like many other multiethnic, transnational social groups, these networks of Muslims tend to cross ancestry and ethnic lines, clans, communities, and nationalities. Thus, a clear definition...

  21. APPENDIX Muslim Diasporas by Country of Residence
    (pp. 479-490)
  22. Selected Bibliography
    (pp. 491-502)
  23. Index
    (pp. 503-525)