Remaking Muslim Politics

Remaking Muslim Politics: Pluralism, Contestation, Democratization

Robert W. Hefner Editor
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 408
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7t9jb
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    Remaking Muslim Politics
    Book Description:

    There is a struggle for the hearts and minds of Muslims unfolding across the Islamic world. The conflict pits Muslims who support pluralism and democracy against others who insist such institutions are antithetical to Islam. With some 1.3 billion people worldwide professing Islam, the outcome of this contest is sure to be one of the defining political events of the twenty-first century.

    Bringing together twelve engaging essays by leading specialists focusing on individual countries, this pioneering book examines the social origins of civil-democratic Islam, its long-term prospects, its implications for the West, and its lessons for our understanding of religion and politics in modern times.

    Although depicted by its opponents as the product of political ideas "made in the West" civil-democratic Islam represents an indigenous politics that seeks to build a distinctive Islamic modernity. In countries like Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia, it has become a major political force. Elsewhere its influence is apparent in efforts to devise Islamic grounds for women's rights, religious tolerance, and democratic citizenship. Everywhere it has generated fierce resistance from religious conservatives. Examining this high-stakes clash,Remaking Muslim Politicsbreaks new ground in the comparative study of Islam and democracy. The contributors are Bahman Baktiari, Thomas Barfield, John R. Bowen, Dale F. Eickelman, Robert W. Hefner, Peter Mandaville, Augustus Richard Norton, Gwenn Okruhlik, Michael G. Peletz, Diane Singerman, Jenny B. White, and Muhammad Qasim Zaman.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-2639-1
    Subjects: Sociology, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-viii)
    Robert W. Hefner
  4. NOTE ON TRANSLITERATION
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION: MODERNITY AND THE REMAKING OF MUSLIM POLITICS
    (pp. 1-36)
    Robert W. Hefner

    The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq placed the question of Islam and Muslim politics squarely in the American public’s mind. In bookshops and classrooms, and on radio and television talk shows, Americans were treated to crash courses on the history of Islam, Muslim attitudes toward democracy, the reasons (some) Muslim women veil, and the question of whether the Western and Muslim worlds are indeed fated to a “clash of civilizations.”

    The impact of this heady media brew was decidedly mixed. In February 2002, a half year after the 9-11 attacks,...

  7. Chapter 2 NEW MEDIA IN THE ARAB MIDDLE EAST AND THE EMERGENCE OF OPEN SOCIETIES
    (pp. 37-59)
    Dale F. Eickelman

    The “war in Iraq,” as CNN calls it, is the “war against Iraq” or the “aggression against Iraq” in most of the local and international Arabic print media.Al-Sharq al-Awsat(London) is the only exception, calling it the “war of Iraq” (harb al-‘Iraq) in Arabic, but the “war in Iraq” in English. Other newspapers, such as Morocco’sal-Ittihad al-Ishtiraki,add “No War” in English to the banner of each page of Iraq-oriented news.

    For most people, however, newspapers are lagging behind television (and to a much lesser extent radio, at least in cities) as a source for war news. The...

  8. Chapter 3 PLURALISM, DEMOCRACY, AND THE ‘ULAMA
    (pp. 60-86)
    Muhammad Qasim Zaman

    The question of how Islam and Muslims view democracy, pluralism, and modern understandings of the rights of human beings has been much discussed, with varying degrees of pessimism and optimism (e.g., Esposito and Voll 1996; Mayer 1999; Humphreys 1999; Hefner 2000; Sachedina 2001). Muslim scholars like Abdulaziz Sachedina (2001) have argued vigorously that a careful reading of the Qur’anas a wholeprovides strong grounds for “democratic pluralism” and for a civil society in which Muslims and non-Muslims enjoy equal rights. Sachedina’s argument is premised on a disjunction between the original teachings of the Qur’an and the historical development of...

  9. Chapter 4 THE END OF ISLAMISM? TURKEY’S MUSLIMHOOD MODEL
    (pp. 87-111)
    Jenny B. White

    The radical period is over, predicted Akif Beki, Ankara correspondent for the Islamist television station Kanal 7.¹ Islamism has become “religion,” relegated to the civil realm, found only in religious communities, no longer in the state. “There has been a civil-ization. Islamism has become Muslimhood.” This diagnosis was echoed by Mehmet Aydin, noted Islamic scholar and minister in the new Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The formerly Islamist AKP won national elections on November 3, 2002, with enough votes to form a government.² The party, Aydin insisted, no longer accepts the label “moderate Islamist.” Rather, party members consider themselves...

  10. Chapter 5 DILEMMAS OF REFORM AND DEMOCRACY IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
    (pp. 112-132)
    Bahman Baktiari

    In May 1997, political dark horse Mohammad Khatami surprised his clerical colleagues and international analysts with a landslide win in the presidential race over the establishment candidate, Ali Akbar Nateq-Nouri. Khatami’s election signaled Iranians’ expectations that their new president would ease the Islamic Republic’s restrictions on cultural production and social interaction in the name of religion, execute the rule of law consistently, and strengthen civil society. Four years later, in June 2001, the electorate, skeptical about the pace of these reforms, voted in lower numbers. Nevertheless, Iranians reelected their president by an even wider margin, showing their patience with Khatami,...

  11. Chapter 6 THWARTED POLITICS: THE CASE OF EGYPT’S HIZB AL-WASAT
    (pp. 133-160)
    Augustus Richard Norton

    What happens when Islamists go against the grain, and declare their commitment to pluralism and their acceptance, if not endorsement, of secular political principles? This is a study of exactly such a party, the Hizb al-Wasat, or Center Party, a remarkable attempt by a group of moderately oriented Islamists to play by democratic rules of the game in Egypt. The initiative was not the product of Western-designed projects of reform; to the contrary, it grew from debates within the Islamictayyar,or current. This is a case in point for the reflexivity in ideology that one encounters routinely in Egypt...

  12. Chapter 7 REWRITING DIVORCE IN EGYPT: RECLAIMING ISLAM, LEGAL ACTIVISM, AND COALITION POLITICS
    (pp. 161-188)
    Diane Singerman

    In January 2000, after a month-long period of controversial, often vitriolic debate and media attention, the Egyptian parliament passed “The Law on Reorganization of Certain Terms and Procedures of Litigation in Personal Status Matters” (Law No. 1, 2000). Personal Status Law (PSL) regulates marriage, divorce, child custody, and inheritance issues, but this law only ushered in procedural changes rather than basic changes in PSL law itself. In short, this legislation was controversial because it provided a woman with the right to initiate a “no-fault” divorce against her husband, in return for giving up her financial claims upon him, including the...

  13. Chapter 8 EMPOWERING CIVILITY THROUGH NATIONALISM: REFORMIST ISLAM AND BELONGING IN SAUDI ARABIA
    (pp. 189-212)
    Gwenn Okruhlik

    The politics of Islam and reform in Saudi Arabia generate enormous interest. Though its internal landscape is rich with nuance, one would think otherwise when viewed through the lens of the mainstream narrative within the United States in the aftermath of September 11, 2001. This narrative has not always been helpful because much of it merely skims along the surface of Saudi Arabia’s political waters, which is a mistake. Internal contests are not simply about a choice between revolutionary theocracy and royal absolutism. Political struggles are more complex than that, reflecting a large and diverse population. My purpose here is...

  14. Chapter 9 AN ISLAMIC STATE IS A STATE RUN BY GOOD MUSLIMS: RELIGION AS A WAY OF LIFE AND NOT AN IDEOLOGY IN AFGHANISTAN
    (pp. 213-239)
    Thomas Barfield

    Few places in the Muslim world present more paradoxes than Afghanistan. The country has one of the most thoroughly Islamic societies in the world, but has no significant institutions of Islamic learning. It has experienced failed governments driven both by radical socialists and puritanical Islamists and yet has a population that has never been moved by ideologies of any sort. It is place where the concept of Islamic politics is little debated, but only because its people assume there can be no other type. It was home for many years to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda training camps, yet almost no...

  15. Chapter 10 ISLAM AND THE CULTURAL POLITICS OF LEGITIMACY: MALAYSIA IN THE AFTERMATH OF SEPTEMBER 11
    (pp. 240-272)
    Michael G. Peletz

    Four weeks after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that occurred on September 11, 2001, the American government began a massive bombing campaign in Afghanistan to dislodge the Taliban and root out and destroy the al-Qaeda network that was believed to be responsible for the September 11 carnage. As was widely expected, the days immediately following the beginning of the U.S. bombing saw major protests throughout the Muslim world. October 12, for example, witnessed a demonstration involving over three thousand people in front of the heavily fortified U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital of...

  16. Chapter 11 MUSLIM DEMOCRATS AND ISLAMIST VIOLENCE IN POST-SOEHARTO INDONESIA
    (pp. 273-301)
    Robert W. Hefner

    When, in another generation, historians look back at the end of the twentieth century in search of historical antecedents to Muslim democratization, Indonesia probably deserves to be given a pride of place on par with countries like post-Khomeini Iran and contemporary Turkey. Although often overlooked in surveys of the Muslim world, the Southeast Asian country of Indonesia is the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, with some 88.7 percent of its 215 million people professing Islam. Equally important, in the final years of the authoritarian Soeharto regime (1966–98; see Elson 2001), Indonesia witnessed the creation of a movement for...

  17. Chapter 12 SUFIS AND SALAFIS: THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE OF TRANSNATIONAL ISLAM
    (pp. 302-325)
    Peter Mandaville

    The nature and character of contemporary transnational Islam defy easy description. Recent coverage of this topic in both the popular media and in academic discourse has tended to emphasize the prevalence of highly radical and militant tendencies at the core of those Islamic movements whose activities cross national borders. Some of the more alarmist voices today go so far as to claim the existence of something like an “Islamic Comintern” set on the destruction of Western society and its allies in the Muslim world. In the wake of September 11, the rush to identify enemies and targets—particularly among policy...

  18. Chapter 13 PLURALISM AND NORMATIVITY IN FRENCH ISLAMIC REASONING
    (pp. 326-346)
    John R. Bowen

    As Muslims create new, stable communities in Europe and North America, they have asked how best to adapt their normative and legal traditions to their new settings. These traditions are central to Islam. The root meaning ofislâmis “submission” to the will of God, and scriptures communicate to humans the norms and forms for that submission. These norms have multiple sources, from the Qur’ân (the revealed word of God), to the collections ofhadîth(the reports of statements and actions of the Prophet), to the decisions of qualified jurists and judges. In Muslim-majority countries they have been the basis...

  19. INDEX
    (pp. 347-358)