Presentation on theme: "Charities, and Political Islam Link to syllabus Chapter 12 of R&W – “Solidarism and its Enemies” Chapter 14 of R&W - “Is Islam the Solution?” (this has."— Presentation transcript:
Charities, and Political Islam Link to syllabus Chapter 12 of R&W – “Solidarism and its Enemies” Chapter 14 of R&W - “Is Islam the Solution?” (this has been significantly revised from 2 nd edition) Readings: Clark, Bayat Link to CanvasCanvas
Charities - Islamic Social Welfare Organizations Other names: NGOs, Private Voluntary Organizations. Islamic Charities What: Medical clinics, schools, trade skill centers, banks, day care centers, supermarkets, clubs (mostly urban) Are essential to providing services to poor and to many middle class citizens. Regulated separately from other civil or religious institutions in Egypt, by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Why? Islam has a tradition of charitable foundations, and mosques have often provided basic social services. Why successful? Smaller is better; local is more legitimate. Less bureaucratic. Extensive use of volunteer workers. Parallels in other regions: NGOs, ”Thousand Points of Light,” YMCA, religious schools, hospitals, charities, Ford and Rockefeller Foundations. Christian Science Monitor. “Christian Base Communities.”
From Clark: “Islamic Social Welfare Organizations” [Egypt] “Contrary to the views expressed in much of the prevailing literature, this paper argues that Islamic clinics are neither a reflection of nor a primary cause of a growth in political Islam. Preliminary research shows that they are locally organized charitable associations deriving from a strong Islamic tradition which emphasizes individual charity, and from a perceived need to supplement the overloaded and inadequate government clinics. These clinics demonstrate the good intentions, community awareness, and religious devotion of their sponsors, who tend to be independent local elites. In sum, these clinics and their sponsors, while part of an Islamic religious tradition, tend to be apolitical.”
Examples suggesting Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood “Charities” actually cater to the Middle Class States that the public Al-Bashir Hospital, charges 18 dinar Source: Clark, Islam, Charity and Activism. P. 101 Exchange rate was US$ 1.4 = 1 Jordanian Dinar
More examples from Clark’s book: Exchange rate was US$ 1.4 = 1 Jordanian Dinar Islam, Charity and Activism. These schools are mentioned in an article by Wiktorowitcz
Number of Welfare PVOs in Cairo, by Category Field of WorkNum.Field of WorkNum. Social Assistance3,002Religious, Scientific & Cultural 2,457 Maternity & Child Care 235Family Welfare 150 Prison Inmates’ Welfare 15Old Age Welfare 45 Family Planning41Literacy31 Handicapped Welfare 150Multiple Activities 3,316 Source: Saad E. Ibrahim et al. (1996) An Assessment of Grass Roots Participation in the Development of Egypt p. 66
Study of 40 Egyptian PVOs in 1990, by Saad Ibrahim et al Distribution of PVOs According to Leading Source of Revenues Distribution by Number of Beneficiaries Returns and fees17 < Gov’t Aid ,00015 Donations7 1,000-10,0009 Other private Egyptian organizations 8 > 10,0002 Source: An Analysis of Grass Roots Participation in the Development of Egypt
Saad Eddin Ibrahim Joint US and Egyptian citizenship. Professor of Sociology at American University of Cairo, and founder of Ibn Khaldoun Center Imprisoned by Egyptian government Released after 19 months. Had received significant support from US, and is said to suffer a neurological disorder. Taught Mrs. Mubarak at AUC, & their children subsequently. Web-interviews: PBS (2005), The Connection (2003),PBS (2005), The Connection (2003),
Financing Terrorism Source: Burr and Collins (2006) Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World
Link to article about Hakeem Olajuwon Olajuwon
Terms Islam – the name of the religion Moslem (Muslim) follower of Islam Islamists, Islamic Party: “seek to bring all elements of economic and political life into harmony with what its adherents believe is ‘true Islam’… Minimally, they call for the application of shari’a (Islamic Law).” (R&W 3 rd edition p. 363) A similar term often used is Political Islam It is debatable if the majority of Muslims are Islamists in the sense indicated here. Two other terms are frequently used, not consistently: Fundamentalist: term with unhelpful American Christian overtones. Radical/Jihadi: often applied to those who would use violence. Arguably, most Islamists do not espouse violence. Certainly most Muslims do not espouse violence.
mt’s comments: These terms – Political Islam, Islamists, etc. were created and applied by outsiders, not by those who practice it. Many Muslim countries are officially hostile towards Political Islam, so some groups that are Islamist are forced to deny having an Islamist identity. Most western scholars analyze Political Islam as a political movement, which has adopted a religious identity to help it achieve political goals. R&W argue that a defining characteristic of Islamic parties is that they are hostile to Israel and, by extension, to the US. Centuries ago there was close identification of political and religious authority in the Caliphate. Sunni/Shi’a differences are not important on this topic. Don’t forget that Islam does not have a central authority (e.g. Vatican).
Persecution of Islamists
Who are the Islamists? Islamist movements are loose coalitions of three elements: 1)Counter-elite of businessmen and professionals 2)Frustrated intellectuals and under-employed university graduates 3) Mass base of young semi-educated unemployed. (Core of the movement) R&W p One implication is that there is weak coordination among these groups; often small cells composed of friends and relatives. There is often sharp hostility among them. Government policies towards them are similarly diverse. Saudis are very hostile to MB. Islamists harbor deep grievances against the old order, which made grandiose promises, but squalid performance since independence
Muslim countries not following “Islamist” Principles: Indonesia: country praised by R&W for sound economics Malaysia: also has a strong economy; Premier Mahathir often “played the Islamic card” to his people. Pakistan and Bangladesh do not now have strong economies. Many MENA countries, with obvious influence of Islam, many of whose rulers are themselves observant Muslims, have had their regimes questioned by Islamists: Jordan Egypt Morocco Syria Saudi Arabia Algeria Turkey (pre-AKP) Libya
Who Are We Talking About? Iran is an example of a country consciously being run according to principles of the Shari’a since 1979, reversing the secularist orientation from the Pahlavi dynasty. Many Saudis would describe their country as being run according to principles of the Shari’a, and many Muslims would probably reject this. Turkey is currently ruled by a party with very strong religious influence—Islamic not Islamist? Afghanistan under the Taliban, al-Qaida, and Sudan have been said to be Islamist: not helpful classification, due to special circumstances in those cases.
Important cases Egypt Turkey Tunisia Morocco West Bank and Gaza Lebanon Iraq
Muslim Brotherhood Ikhwan The important precedent of the Muslim Brotherhood, started in Egypt in the 1920s; a non- elite civil organization working for the strengthening of the religion in society. Most MENA countries have groups influenced by the example of the Muslim Brotherhood. Most of these groups have suffered political repression. Hassan Al-Banna
Muslim Brotherhood Presidential Candidates in 2012 Kheirat el-Shater 1950 Businessman, #2 in MB 12 years in jail, which may lead to disqual- ification Abul al-Fotouh 1951 Engineer, strong support among youth. Expelled from MB in 2011 Mohamed al-Forsi (1951) Professor Head of the Freedom and Justice Party, which is the MB’s political party. Back- up for el-Shater.
Muslim Brotherhood presidential nominee Khairat al-Shater said Tuesday that the application of Sharia is his ultimate goal. “I will rely on people of experience to help Parliament achieve that goal,” Shater said during a meeting of the Islamic Legitimate Body of Rights and Reformation, a moderate body of Islamic scholars, according to the group’s website, which quoted his remarks in a statement. Shater, however, did not elaborate on the methods he would adopt to apply Islamic legislation. The statement said the four-hour meeting was the candidate’s first since the Brotherhood announced his nomination. Shater denied suggestions that his nomination was the result of a deal with the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. As for the system of government he would establish, he said he prefers a semi-presidential system, but said he would have no problem if existing political parties opt for a parliamentary system. Al Masry Al-Youm
Muslim Brotherhood to launch chain store Al-Masry Al-Youm April 14, 2012 Investors affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood plan to launch a chain store in two months, which they expect to acquire a great share of the retail market in Egypt. Brotherhood sources told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the chain supermarket would be named Zad, adding that presidential hopeful Khairat al- Shater is a prominent shareholder in the project, in addition to other Brotherhood leaders as well as investors who have links to the group. The sources, which asked to remain anonymous, said Shater registered his share under the name of his son-in-law after he announced his presidential run. The sources added that the store bears a trademark similar to the Turkish Zad and expected that the Turkish Zad might have a share, as well, in the project.
Popular Egypt TV religious figure raises his sights L.A. Times, April 12, 2011 Amr Khaled returns to Egypt, hints at forming a party. Facebook make him one of the site's 75 most popular people. His television show borrows from Donald Trump's. When he appears before thousands of adoring fans, he wears Hugo Boss suits and applies a little black makeup to his scalp to hide the gaps in his thinning hair. Amr Khaled is the Arab world's most successful televangelist, a charismatic guide for millions of Muslims. His TV programs, audiotapes and DVDs have long been ubiquitous. Now, Egyptians are seeing him in the flesh once again after his return from eight years of exile in Britain. The hall was filled with hundreds of young middle-class strivers, his core following. Egypt's revolution had lifted the yoke of hopelessness and apathy, and he had more good news for them: Vodafone was giving millions of dollars to the volunteer arm of his ministry to increase literacy in southern Egypt.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Reassures Washington By: Bisan Kassab Bisan Kassab Published Saturday, April 7, 2012 “No need to fear us.” That was the Muslim Brotherhood’s message to the US in Seven years later, they are trying to offer the same reassurance. Cairo – After the Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) sweeping parliamentary election victory in 2005, Khairat al-Shater wrote an article titled “No Need to Fear Us” in the Guardian. Al-Shater is now the deputy chairman of the MB and the Freedom and Justice Party’s (FJP) candidate for the Egyptian presidential elections. “We acknowledge the very important role of the US in the world and we would like our relations with it to be better than before.” One of [Abu Ismail’s] supporters, Mostafa Abido, told told Al-Akhbar that the US endorses al-Shater against Abu Ismail because the Salafi candidate is committed “to applying sharia and rejects US intervention in Egyptian affairs.” Earlier this week, Reuters had spoken to Sondos Asim, a member of the FJP’s foreign relations committee and editor of its official English-language website. “We acknowledge the very important role of the US in the world and we would like our relations with it to be better than before,” he added. Abdul Mawgoud Dardery, an FJP lawmaker from Luxor, says the party is dedicated to the principle of a “civil state” and the objectives of sharia rather than its specific practice. This could be the reason behind Abido’s claim that al-Shater is not committed to Islamic law. He says the MB candidate does not aim to apply Sharia and “has announced the opposite to appease the clerics who were present.”
More Egyptian Headlines Ahram Online: April 4 One sure thing: A pro-market Egyptian constitution The make-up of the assembly writing Egypt's new constitution may be bitterly contested, but the body's economists are likely to agree on putting business interests and growth ahead of social justice Al-Masry Al-Youm April 9, 2012 Trade union federation declines Shater's request for support, sources say The Egyptian Trade Union Federation has declined a request by Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Khairat al- Shater for support, federation sources said. The sources [said] that most of the federation's members lean toward supporting a non-Islamist presidential candidate.
Current Lessons from Egypt Mubarak was correct when he said that after him, the M. Brotherhood. Initially, the Brotherhood showed great skill in playing the political game. Although the military appeared to allow fair elections, within a few months they threw out Morsi and jailed top MB leadership. While in office, the Brotherhood continued to espouse a neo-liberal economic line. The revolutionary ideals of the initial Tahrir movements were lost. Indeed, liberal/secularists have failed rotundly.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan Born: 1954 Prime Minister March Born in a town in northern Turkey, into a lower middle class family. Previously mayor of Istanbul, where he had a reputation for honesty. Head of AK Party, which Is often described as Islamist.
Fethullah Gülen Born in a small village in Turkey; his father was a preacher in the local mosque. A preacher, author, educator, and Muslim scholar living in self-imposed exile in a compound in Pennsylvania. Gülen teaches an Anatolian version of traditional mainstream Islam, derived from Said Nursi's teachings and modernizing them. (Wikipedia) His “Community” has 2,000 schools in 52 countries, and is especially active in Central Asia, where there are many Turkish speakers. Also has a media empire, Asya Finans, and competes with Müsiad. He is not mentioned in R&W, but evidently is an example of the combination of religion, politics, and big business.
Graft Inquiry Intensifies Turkish Political Rivalry ISTANBUL — At dawn on Tuesday the police raided the offices of several businessmen with close ties to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as part of a wide-ranging corruption investigation, immediately raising the stakes of an unfolding political contest of wills here between two men who have long held sway over the country’s Muslim masses: an ailing and aging Turkish preacher who lives on a sprawling compound in the Poconos, and Mr. Erdogan. The investigation also threatens to shake Turkey’s political establishment ahead of a series of elections that will determine the future of the country’s Islamist governing party, in power now for more than a decade. But it also figures in the personal battle going on between Mr. Erdogan and the charismatic preacher, Fethullah Gulen. The preacher left Turkey in 1999 for exile in America after he was accused of trying to establish an Islamic state. He presides over a global following in the millions, some of whom have come to fill the ranks of Turkey’s police and judiciary, including a prosecutor said to be leading the latest corruption investigation. NY Times Dec. 18, 2013
Alcohol ban Source : Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Report: October 4, 2009.
Infidel Brands: Unveiling Alternative Meanings of Global Brands at the Nexus of Globalization, Consumer Culture and Islamism Elif Izberk-Bilgin Journal of Consumer Research (2012) 39:1-25 (She’s a prof in UM-D’s College of Business) mt’s initial understanding. Study of how Islamism (the re-articulation of Islamic teachings for ideological purposes) affects consumption among informants in gecekondu around Istanbul. The author’s contribution is identifying three strains of Islamist discourse that regards ‘global brands’ as threats to Islam, and thus ‘infidel brands.’ Much broader than mere rejection of pork and liquor, informants’ identifying considerations are modesty (anti-consumerism; make-up, fancy weddings), halal/haram (e.g. KFC, McDonalds), tyranny (zulm; high profits, anti-Palestinian). Without being judgmental, the author provides a rich discussion of how the infidel critique is informed not only by macro-historical factors, as well as micro-cultural meanings evolving from a belief in a mythical Golden Age of Islam.
Izberk (ii) Heading reads: “People, do not participate in tyranny!”
A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power “Compromise has been in short supply since Tunisia sparked the Arab Spring nearly three years ago. But this small North African nation has once again broken new ground with a political deal between longtime enemies among the Islamists and the secular old guard. The deal, announced over the weekend, promises to put in place an independent caretaker government until new elections [in 2014], marking the first time Islamists have agreed in the face of rising public anger to step back from power gained at the ballot box.” NY Times, Dec. 16, 2013 Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist party Ennahda.
Sheikh Abdesslam Yassine, (with his daughter Nadia) Leader of the Justice and Charity Group (distinct from Muslim Brotherhood. In 1974 he wrote a book “Islam or the Deluge” which led to his confinement for three years. His ‘islamist’ group is described as rejecting violence as a tool. Morocco
What about Iran? Ayatollah Komeini, with very strong popular backing, installed a regime after 1979 often described as a (Political Islam) theocracy. Many people in other Muslim/Arab states use Iran as an example of what they wish to avoid. K&W basically avoid including Iran in their discussion. Ahmadinejad’s re-election in 2009 was accompanied by massive protests against alleged fraud, which in turn were silenced with severe repression. To the surprise of many, the 2013 elections were allowed to happen, seemed relatively fair, and were won by a “liberal cleric” who has changed several aspects of Iran’s external relations. Although it is easy to find numerous examples of policies followed by Ahmadinejad that western economists judge injurious, it is also evident that the sanctions and boycott imposed on Iran by the west have limited that countries options, providing – to some – a ready alibi for bad policies.
More comments Some groups that might describe themselves as Islamists, are described by others--importantly the US--as “terrorists.” Important examples are Egyptian MB, Hamas (Palestine) and Hizbullah (Lebanon). Hamas and Hizbullah have demonstrated enormous popular support, and recently have achieved (some sort of) military victories over Israel. It is not my wish to get into: 1) definition of terrorist, and its sub-themes such as state terrorism, how to label an entire group, some of whose members engage in violence; nor 2) what should be outsiders’ (e.g. US) response to groups described as terrorist (think of Irgun, ANC, IRA). Note the evolution of policy of Arafat/PA, Hamas, Hizbullah. This argues against use of the term ‘terrorist,’ and argues for considering these groups as being led by concrete political goals. mt feels that R&W’s analysis seems oriented toward Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, not more recent contexts like Hizbullah, Pakistan.
Hamas Established in 1987 during the first Intifada by Sheikh Yasin and others, although its heritage extends to earlier Islamist/MB groups. Current leaders are Khaled Mishal & Ismail Haniya At least before the elections of 2006, Hamas opposed the Oslo peace process, did not recognize the right of Israel to exist, and called for a complete withdrawal of Israelis from pre-1948 Palestine. The organization has extensive social welfare programs in the West Bank and Gaza; it has always been stronger in Gaza. In addition, its military wing has carried out a series of armed attacks against Israeli targets. Hamas has been a rival of Arafat’s (and Abbas’s) Fatah. Hamas’s winning the elections of 2006, and subsequent taking control of Gaza are a key junctures. Haniya
Hizbullah. Hizb Allah – the Party of God / Lebanese political organization which coalesced in 1982, following early leadership from Imam Musa Sadr (disappeared in Libya in 1978). Predominantly Shi-a, it is a power in Lebanese Parliament (w/Amal). Effective military presence against Israel, and against troops from US and France. Strongly opposed by certain sectors of Lebanese society. Receives money and inspiration from Syria & Iran. Provides a range of social, health, and community services, especially in southern Lebanon and southern Beirut—Shi’a strongholds. The kidnapping of some Israeli troops in July 2006 led to the attack by Israel; Hizbullah’s ability to hold them off gained them much support in Lebanon and throughout the Arab world. Sheikh Nasrallah
Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr 1931/ influential Iraqi Shi'a cleric, writer, and founder of the Dawa Party. Is the father-in-law of Muqtada al-Sadr and cousin of both Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr and Imam Musa as-Sadr. His father Haydar al-Sadr was a noted Shi'a cleric. He and his sister ‘Alima were tortured and killed by Saddam Hussein’s regime. mt believes that R&W’s discussion of ‘Political Islam’ misses the importance of these imams, and the Dawa Party (of Iraq), because this political movement was led by an important cleric (along with Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim). The Dawa party was opposed to S. Hussein, and remains central in current Iraqi politics. Similarly for Musa as-Sadr in Lebanon.
Islamists in Power: Economic Management R&W: Islamism as ‘neo-liberalism in an Islamic guise.’ Islamists were critical of Nasser’s nationalization of Egyptian property, supported by prosperous small business sector. Islamists seem to favor orthodox economic policy (balanced budget, etc.) Some imposition of Islamic Banking. Zakat more widespread. Existing Islamist regimes rest on coalitions: conservative urban merchants, redistributionist students and youths. These coalitions weaken effectiveness of pro-market reforms. (e.g. Iran) Policymaking never conforms to rigorous theory. We must recognize the importance of the circumstances of Islamist regimes’ coming to power. Inevitably, there will be differences by country. mt believes it is difficult to evaluate the economic policies of Islamists, due to non-religious factors, like boycotts, armed conflict and oil, as well as the difficulty of identifying appropriate case studies.
Islamists in Power: Cultural (religious?) Policies (Apparently not touched directly in R&W. Varies by country) 1)Segregation of sexes at school, businesses, shops 2)Clothing—veiling for women, some influence on men’s attire. 3)No liquor, smoking, gambling. Restrictions on popular music, DVDs 4)Some examples of control of textbooks. Religious open-ness? 5)Divorce laws: some commentators judge an Islamic position to be anti-female. The same could be said about women’s voting and driving, although the significance of these policies is not agreed. 6) Death by beheading & stoning occur in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan. These are Muslim countries, but these practices are not from the religion. Note: a big issue in Turkey today is what sort of cultural/religious policies will the AKP party adopt? Turkish voters recently passed constitutional amendments which some assert will result in more religious control.
Islamists in Power - Politics Morsi did a lousy job in Egypt. Iran has had several elections, consistent with their constitution. Repression after 2009 elections is widely condemned. In Iran (among some in Iraq, and Hizbullah?) Wilayat al faqih – highest position is given to a cleric. Sunnis (e.g. Saudis) reject this. Saudi Arabia is a version of an Islamist government that certainly is not democratic. The Taliban was an even more extreme example. There are plenty of examples of democracies in Muslim countries: Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh. Iran and Pakistan(?). In 2012, fears of the Tunisian Islamists (An-Nahda) seem mis-placed. For Egypt, see upcoming slides.
Post-Islamic Movements (i) A vision, especially espoused by French scholars (and Bayat), that the movement known as Political Islam is out-of-date; in many countries it has been surpassed by other trends, if not simply reached a dead end. Iran: Khomeini’s movement wasn’t an “Islamic” movement. Evidently there are important mobilization of women’s groups and students, and also the protests after the 2009 Presidential election. Turkey: The AKP party has a strong Muslim identity, but was not elected because it pushed an Islamic platform. Saudi Arabia: the term Political Islam does not apply here. Egypt: the Muslim Brotherhood has been neutralized – co-opted and defanged – and surpassed by other democratic political movements, as well as several violent groups. [ What??]
Post-Islamist Revolutions: Foreign Affairs, 2011 by A Bayat So far, religious rhetoric has been remarkably absent, even though the participants of the Middle East’s many uprisings remain overwhelmingly people of faith. In Egypt the revolution demanded “change, freedom and social justice” and was broadly secular. In fact, the major religious groups… did not initially back the revolution. Sounded good when he wrote it. mt doesn’t agree Note also the armed conflict between Islamist movements.
Further comments Islamic movements are growing in influence throughout MENA and in most other Muslim countries. This challenges US pretensions of working for the spread of Democracy, while rejecting these important social groups with widespread local support. Recall that major movements of the mid twentieth century; Nasserism, Ba’athism, leaders such as the Shah of Iran, Attaturk, and Bourguiba, and the Kings of Jordan and Morocco, were secular--sometimes even strongly anti-religious. The social and economic failure of those movements contributed to the growing attraction of Political Islam. Note also that there is a mixture of acceptance of Islamist orientation amongst the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
Bibliography of “Post-Islamic” Writing Asef Bayat (2009) Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamic Turn Stanford U. Press Stacher, Joshua (2002) “Post-Islamic Rumblings in Egypt: The Emergence of the Wasat Party,” Middle East Journal Henri Lauzière (2005) “Post-Islamism and the Religious Discourse of Abd Al-Salam Yasin,” Int’l Journal of Middle East Studies Olivier Roy (1998) “Le post-islamisme,” Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée Gilles Kepel (2000) Jihad: expansion et déclin de l’islamisme Amel Boubekeur (2007) “Post-Islamist Culture: A New Form of Mobilization?” History of Religions
Social and Institutional Roots of Hamas- Robinson (i) Islamism, including the Hamas variant, is an essentially modern phenomenon. It is strongly urban in its physical orientation; it is led by Western-educated cadres with little clerical involvement. This reality is far different from the popular portrayals of such groups as antimodern movements of rage led by those who are intent on turning back the historical clock to a mythical past… Islamist cadres are more often than not firmly entrenched in modern society. That is, they have modern, secular educations (often having studied in Europe or North America), live in urban areas (usually capital cities) and are young (20s or 30s). Often their studies are in technical fields, such as engineering or medicine. They are almost never students of religious jurisprudence, and most have not studied in religious schools… leaders of the Islamist movements have virtually the same social profiles as... leaders of Ba’thism, Nasserism, and Arab Socialism. Robinson, p 117 Source: Robinson in Wiktorowicz (2004) Islamic Activism
Robinson (ii) [T]he core cadres of the revolution in Iran were not the ulama but the radical lay Islamists. The social profiles of these cadres was often young, urban and well educated. Frequently, they were followers of Ali Shariati, an intellectual who blended Marxist concerns for social justice with Islamic themes of authenticity. Other examples of the essentially modernist roots of Islamism abound. The Tanzim al-Jihad group of Egypt (responsible for the assassination of Sadat)… In Algeria, nearly every leader of the Islamic Salvation Front came from Algiers, and had a higher degree in a technical subject, such as chemical engineering. Many had studied at the top universities in France. Source: Robinson in Wiktorowicz (2004) Islamic Activism
Robinson (iii) Palestinian Islamism emerged for many of the same reasons.. The failure of secular Arab regimes to build strong economies and open polities, the demonstration effect of the Islamist revolution in Iran, and the regional impact of oil money from Saudi Arabia and other conservative Gulf states, all of which were critical in propelling Islamist thought forward. Causes specific to Israel also helped build Palestinian Islamism, especially the Likud Party’s 1977 rise to power with its strong messianic message…The Likud’s ideology helped frame the conflict in religious-as opposed to nationalist-terms… Israeli policies beginning in the early 1980s assisted the Muslim Brotherhood organization in the West Bank and Gaza..Israel viewed the secular PLO as its main enemy, and followed a ‘divide and conquer’ strategy. Source: Robinson in Wiktorowicz (2004) Islamic Activism
Post-Islamic Movements (ii) Moreover, religious justification is claimed by several political movements whose violent tactics are not supported by most Muslims: Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Algeria’s FIS, several groups in Pakistan, India, and south-east Asia, not to mention those in Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, etc. Reviewer criticizes Bayat’s inconsistent definition of Islamism: is it a protest movement of the marginalized, or an ideology of the powerful? mt notes an alarming looseness in terminology; Hizbullah and Hamas have evolved, so they are “Post-”?? but in an entirely different way than Al-Qaeda is “Post-”. Just as “Political Islam” is a term used by outsiders, so is “Post- Islamic.” The times they are a’changing. Beware of simple labels.
Islamists as providers of charitable services When offering these social services, Islamists are stepping into the vacuum created by decreasing government provision of these services (perhaps due to IMF stabilization programs). Some would say due to inefficiency and corruption of the government authorities. Don’t forget that Muslims provide charitable services whether or not there is an Islamic party to coordinate it.
Shia Politics in Iraq (March, 2008) Moqtada al-Sadr, 1973 Leads Sadr movement, Mehdi. Apparently resides in Qom (Iran). Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, Leader of Dawa party/SIIC, whose militia is the Badr Brigade. Met with Pres. Bush. Succeeded by his son Ammar. The senior Shia cleric in Iraq is Ali al-Sistani, who rejects this involvement in politics and fighting. The army of Iraq, under Prime Minister al-Maliki, fought the Mahdi Army in Basra. These are religious leaders of political movements; seldom called Islamist
Los Angeles Times October 30, 2010 the Shiite Muslim clergy if they embrace Western ideals or oppose President Ahmadinejad's hard-line government, the Islamic Republic could collapse. -- Iran's supreme leader wrapped up an unprecedented 10-day visit to the Iranian seminary city of Qom on Friday that was widely seen as an attempt to bolster support among those in a clerical establishment either indifferent or hostile to his conservative agenda. In a series of meetings, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned turbaned leaders of the Shiite Muslim clergy to avoid becoming excessively enamored of unorthodox, reformist and Western ideas and too unsupportive of the hard-line government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has long aroused suspicion among Iran's clerical old guard.President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Iran's supreme leader demands support of clerics. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warns the leaders of
Islamism as a Social Movement (R&W p. 368 ff.) 1.Islamism should be seen as a ‘modern’ movement, people have above average education, use IT, display awareness of international events, etc. 2. Composed of a counter-elite of businessmen excluded from government favor, frustrated intellectuals, and a mass of unemployed, semi-educated youth (R&W p. 366) 3. React to humiliation at home and abroad. Defeat of nationalist movements of their parents or grandparents. Also, respond positively to the ‘Afghans’ who fought the Soviets, as well as recent models such as Hizbollah. 4. R&W also attribute motivation for these movements to the failure of ISI; broadly in the sense of a weak economy.
How Sanctions Fail to Contain a Saudi Mogul Glenn R. Simpson. Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition). New York, N.Y.: Aug 29, pg. A. ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Yassin Qadi is a well-known multimillionaire, founder of a large supermarket chain here and a close friend of the Turkish premier. "I trust him the same way I trust my father," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on national television last year. But the Saudi businessman also is a major financier of Islamic terrorism with close business associates who are members of al Qaeda, according to the U.S. Treasury and the United Nations Security Council. At Washington's request, the Security Council ordered Mr. Qadi's assets frozen a few weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S. The asset freeze has largely crippled Mr. Qadi's international business empire.
Comments relating to recent events (early 2011) Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood emerges from recent events as much more peaceful and democratic than it had been described. This therefore represents a loss of credibility for Mubarak, many Israelis officials, and others who described the MB as terrorists. It is not known what direction the Muslim Brotherhood will take, as they have been repressed and persecuted in most countries. For example, in Egypt they are typically described as led by old men who are very cautious and basically old-fashioned and out of touch. Have these movements in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, etc., been secular or religious-led?
Egyptian Presidential Candidates, April 2012 Independents/LiberalsMubarak/NDP/ Military Islamists: FJP, Salafi: Al-Nour Amr Moussa Ayman Nour (?) Khalded Ali NOT: M. Al-Baradei, Nabil Al-Araby, not Kefaya, nor any serious candidate from the Tahrir Square movements. Ahmed Shafiq Omar Suleiman Not declared, but with a strong support group: Tantawi NOT: H. Mubarak nor G. Mubarak Abdul Monem Abul Fotouh Khairat el-Shater (?) Selim al-Awa Hazem Abu Ismail (?)
US reaction, as reported in NY Times (April 1, 2012) … Mr. Abu Ismail’s surge raises the prospect that the winner might not be a more secular or liberal figure, but a strident Islamist who opposes the Brotherhood’s pragmatic focus on stable relations with the United States and Israel and free-market economics... [Israel is particularly concerned about the 1979 peace treaty] [I]n a remarkable inversion, American policy makers who once feared a Brotherhood takeover now appear to see the group as an indispensable ally against Egypt’s ultraconservatives, exemplified by Mr. Abu Ismail. On Sunday, speaking on condition of standard diplomatic anonymity, State Department officials said they were untroubled and even optimistic about the Brotherhood’s reversal of its pledge not to seek the presidency. The Brotherhood’s candidate, Khairat el-Shater, a millionaire businessman considered the most formative influence on the group’s policies, is well known to both American diplomats and [to] their contacts in the Egyptian military. Mr. Shater has met with almost all the senior State Department officials and American lawmakers visiting Cairo. He is in regular contact with the American ambassador, Anne Patterson … An Israeli official … called the nomination worrisome. “Obviously this is not good news,” the official said. “The Muslim Brotherhood is no friend of Israel’s. They do not wish us well.”
Egypt’s Election, the MB and Al-Shater Egypt’s Salafists tell Israel they will keep the peace Wednesday, December 21, 2011 Muslim Brotherhood works to implement 'renaissance project‘ (FDI) Publishing Date: Sat, 24/12/ :24 Imams Syndicate warns Brotherhood of exploiting mosques to promote Shater Publishing Date: Wed, 04/04/2012 Published Thursday, April 5, 2012 The Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for the Egyptian presidency, Khairat al-Shater, declared that introducing sharia law would be his "first and final" objective if he wins elections in May and June…. However, he denied he had struck a deal with the military on his candidacy, announced last Saturday, even though it may help candidates close to the old order of ousted President Hosni Mubarak by splintering the Islamist vote.
Parties Agree on Leader Ahead of Vote in Tunisia CASABLANCA, Morocco — Tunisia’s political parties agreed on the selection of a new prime minister late Saturday, breaking months of political deadlock between the Islamist-led government and secular opposition parties. The current minister of industry, Mehdi Jomaa, will take over as prime minister and lead a caretaker government until elections next year. No date for the elections has been set. Mr. Jomaa, 50, is an independent technocrat who joined the current government in March after a career in the private sector. A mechanical engineer, he was a general manager at Hutchinson Aerospace, a subsidiary of the French company Total, according to Tunisian news reports. NY Times December 15, 2013