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Islam and Politics week 3

by: Katie Blackmer

Islam and Politics week 3 GOVT 345 001

Marketplace > George Mason University > Goverment > GOVT 345 001 > Islam and Politics week 3
Katie Blackmer
GPA 3.71

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These notes cover what we learned during the third week of class.
Islam and Politics
Heba El-Shazli
Class Notes
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Katie Blackmer on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GOVT 345 001 at George Mason University taught by Heba El-Shazli in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Islam and Politics in Goverment at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
Chapter 3—State formation and the making of Islamism • Ottoman collapse set the stage for debate between two distinct approaches to Muslim political independence: Renewing the caliphate • Pan-Islamism: A system of Islamic political universalism, represented by a renewed caliphate, not just for the middle east but on a larger scale • Nationalism: Prioritization of language, territory, and shared history as the proper foundations of a political order(Marxist popular idea) the masses, the workings, egalitarian view, getting rid of monarchies was becoming very popular Rashid Rida (1865–1935) • Strongly influenced by Afghani and Abduh • Rida is best known for a major work of political theory, The Caliphate, or the Supreme Imamate (1923) • Argument for the desirability, in theory, of a renewed caliphate • Recognition that political conditions did not permit its rejuvenation • Reconciliation to the idea of an Islamic order within a state framework • Importance of relationship between the ulama and political authorities Ali Abd al-Raziq (1888–1966) • Also strongly influenced by Afghani and Abduh. Created a sensation with the 1925 publication of Islam and the Principles of Governance, push the edge of the envelope, to be a just ruler • Two key points: • Nowhere in the Qur’an or hadith is anything like an institutionalized caliphate mentioned • Historically, the caliphate was often maintained and legitimized through force and threat of discord should it fall, rather than in terms of its intrinsic good • For Abd al-Raziq, any form of government that did not violate the core principles of Islam was acceptable Nationalist thought and state formation: Turkey • Mustapha Kemal emerged as one of the leaders of the Turkish Independence movements following WWI • In 1920, Kemal was proclaimed president of a new Turkish Republic • Became known by the honorific Ataturk, or “father of the Turks” • Basically took the country after demise of the ottoman empire and become modern • Putting Islam into a secure box • Believed not to be ruled by a Caliph • Ataturk undertook sweeping cultural, bureaucratic, economic, and military reforms • The language no more was to be written in Arabic • New system for rendering Turkish in Latin script • Elements of “oriental” and Islamic dress banned, no more traditional headdress that elite and so on would wear, dress is a western suit • Impact on women as a well, no veil, • Women got an education • Ottoman and Islamic past de-emphasized, changing school textbooks now new turkey future is going to be industrial and member of the world community • Adoption of Western models of military and bureaucratic organization, military reforms • WWII Turkeys status was neutral • Rapid industrialization • Sought to bring religion under the control of the state • Department is in charge of Imam • Identity of a Turk, idea that every Turk is a soldier • Women have difficult time fitting into masculine society Nationalist thought and state formation: Egypt • In 1952, a coup d’état by Free Officers Movement deposed Farouk, got rid of a monarch • Gamal Abdel Nasser fused elements of nationalism, socialism, and nonalignment in Cold War geopolitics, did not want to be aligned on either side of the cold war • Idea of Egyptian and added socialism Same ideas as Ataturk, Islam is put on the back burner, modern • Nasser’s Pan-Arabism(all the Arab speaking world )downplayed Islam in favor of ethnolinguistic nationalism • Imposing presence • He oversaw the short-lived United Arab Republic, a fusion of Egypt and Syria (1958–1961), did not work out very well • Egypt stood up the British and Israel • Turned against the MB(1928) when it became clear that they would not lend religious legitimacy to Egypt’s post-1952 secular nationalist order, relationship was very bad, imprisoned one of their leaders, Qutb Nationalist thought and state formation: Pakistan • To create an Islamic country • From the 1930s, the idea of a separate Muslim homeland on the subcontinent began to gather momentum, part of India for a long time • Muhammad Ali Jinnah articulated this new stance in his “Two Nations Theory”, • Senior ulama initially argued that nationalism was incompatible with Islam, slowly found some ground to which they could • In 1940, the Muslim League formally resolved to seek a separate homeland for Indian Muslims • Pakistan gained independence in 1947, horrible time, communities had to leave and go back to India, very difficult separation, moving of people never worked very well • Ongoing debate in Pakistan over just what it means to be an Islamic state • Took 10 years for them to have a constitution • Land reform, industrialization • Jinnah was a secular nationalist The emergence of Islamism • “Islamism” refers to forms of political theory and practice that have as their goal the establishment of an Islamic political order in the sense of a state whose governmental principles, institutions, and legal system derive directly from the shari’ah, from the path of Islamic behavior, going to be nation that follows political system based on religion • Religion is generally viewed as a holistic, totalizing system, its everything from when you wake up to when you sleep • Islamists often differ in their methods and priorities, different levels • Islamism’s political fortunes have varied over the past century, but in one form or another it has been a consistent feature of Muslim politics, all the different types of manifestations of the interactions and intersections between Islam and politics • Islamism becomes more popular Islamist activists and intellectuals: Hassan al-Banna • Hassan al-Banna who was concerned about the secularization of Egyptian society • Individual is very important • You start from the person and you move and how you develop a community • Banna’s message combined rejection of colonialism and Western influence with appeals for greater religiosity • Banna founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928 as a movement advocating a greater role for Islam in public life • Banna sought to reform the state through an emphasis on “social Islam” • Hoped to lead the existing state toward proper Islamic conduct but emphasized a primarily societal locus of desired transformation • Intellectual and activist, he led the organizations Sayyid Abu’l-A’la Mawdudi • Mawdudi was skeptical about nationalism’s compatibility with Islam and suspicious of the secularist tendencies of Jinnah • He founded the Jama’at-I Islami (JI) in 1941 to seek Muslim autonomy within India and propagate his message of Islamic revivalism • Upon partition in 1947, moved JI to Lahore and advocated the Islamization of Pakistan • Mawdudi envisioned the state as a potential agent for the Islamization of society but preferred to Islamize society first The evolution and expansion of the Muslim Brotherhood • Within a decade of its move to Cairo in 1932, the MB would see its base grow to some half million active members across 2,000 branches, branches throughout • Supporters spanned a wide range of social and professional sectors • Politics focused on anti-missionary, anti-colonial, and anti-Zionist efforts • MB sent volunteers to protect Muslims in Israel • Tensions between more gradualist and more confrontational approaches • The Brotherhood needs to be seen as a thoroughly modern entity, communist type • Worked underground Context for the evolution and expansion of the MB • The modernizing state became identified with a shift away from Arab-Islamic heritage • The MB’s appreciation of modern education, science, and technology and its rejection of blind emulation of the West allowed it to tap into a vein of growing concern, to have their own • The legitimacy of the MB, through the end of WWII, lay in its image as a repository of spiritual and cultural authenticity, really wanted to protect their cultural and spiritual life of Muslims in Egypt The evolution and expansion of the Muslim Brotherhood • Organizational structure of the MB: • Family (usra) system: MB “families” composed of 5 to 10 members • Rover battalions: • Traditional scouting skills and athletic training • Conduit for the Brotherhood’s social service projects, charity, network of support(is it going to translate into political support?) • Readily mobilized cadre • Secret Apparatus • Militant wing of the Brotherhood • The MB became more active in countering British interests in Egypt in the 1940s • With the United Nations (UN) partition of Palestine in 1947, the MB sent a battalion of fighters to undertake jihad in Palestine • Egypt dissolved the Brotherhood and cracked down on the “Secret Apparatus” • In late 1948, an MB member assassinated the Prime Minister, and in 1949 Hassan al-Banna was killed by the government’s secret police • After Banna’s death, Hasan al-Hudaybi was appointed as MB “General Guide” • Hudaybi sought to return the MB to the status of a religious organization • He abolished the MB’s Secret Apparatus(tried to abolish military wing) • MB was initially supportive of the Free Officers revolution in 1952 • MB relationship with the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) deteriorated • Clear that the RCC was going to deny the MB public influence • RCC exploited internal MB tensions to discredit Hudaybi’s leadership • Government banned the MB after an attempt on Nasser’s life in 1954 all the way to 2011 and to this day are known as terriost group in Egypt • MB did not operate openly as a political organization for 50+ years Islamist activists and intellectuals: Sayyid Qutb • Sayyid Qutb suggested a new approach that called for armed struggle, or jihad, not just the wesern (infidels so to speak) but rulers and other Muslims • Qutb saw the ulama as apathetic and irrelevant and emphasized individual direct engagement with the shari’ah, no middle man or someone to explain what islam is • For Qutb, any specific political system or form of government that conforms to the shari’ah would be acceptable, strict Islamic principles • Qutb’s stay in the U.S. in 1949–50 had a major impact on his worldview, didn’t like culture of America, men and women dancing together, immoral people, didn’t like what the western was doing • Saw capitalist individualism as corrosive to moral character, sense of Uma, community • Saw the U.S. as a case of what happens when a nation rapidly industrializes and embraces secular modernity, case study of what would happen to Egypt if they go down the western path • If America were Egypt’s future, then the crisis required urgent redress(attention) • Upon his return to Egypt, Qutb gravitated toward the MB • Qutb published Ma’alim fi al-Tariq (Signposts) from prison • MB and Nasser's ideas of modernism didn’t fit, promoted armed struggle • Advocated the need to eliminate, by force if necessary, the infidel order(egpytian government) that dominated Egypt • Continues to animate Islamist discourse, particularly among those of a more jihadi persuasion • Upon his release from prison in 1965, Qutb became the MB’s spiritual guide • Arrested for sedition in 1966, Qutb was executed later that year Qutb published Ma’alim fi al-Tariq (Signposts) from prison • MB and Nasser's ideas of modernism didn’t fit, promoted armed struggle • Advocated the need to eliminate, by force if necessary, the infidel order(egpytian government) that dominated Egypt • Continues to animate Islamist discourse, particularly among those of a more jihadi persuasion • Upon his release from prison in 1965, Qutb became the MB’s spiritual guide • Arrested for sedition in 1966, Qutb was executed later that year • Drawing from Mawdudi, Qutb equated jahiliyya (pre-Islamic ignorance) with contemporary social orders that fail to institute the Islamic system • One could either embrace shari’ah as a total way of life, or live in jahiliyya • Incumbent upon the individual believer to actively resist Muslim rulers who fail to uphold shari’ah, each person has a responsibility to resist • Implies the responsibility of Muslims to decide whether those around them were infidels (kaffirun; sing. kafir), or if they were true Muslims • Current prominence of takfir within jihadi Islamist discourse is seen by some as evidence of Qutb’s direct influence, pick things from Qutb’s writings and adopt them The Muslim Brotherhood revitalized: Sadat and beyond • Revival in the MB’s fortunes under Anwar al-Sadat-peace treat with Israel open door economic policy, privatism, done poorer • However, by the late 1970s, Sadat’s Islamization efforts began to backfire • No meaningful Islamic reform • Emergence of militant groups in the 1970s • Unpopularity of Sadat’s foreign policy initiatives- Israel peace, people did not like it • In 1981, Sadat was assassinated by associates of Islamic Jihad, splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood • Under Hosni Mubarak, the MB underwent a noticeable strategic shift, • A greater focus on seeking social influence via professional associations, social and community level, lawyers, journalists, doctors, and engineers, recruiting members • Running candidates with no formal party affiliations, running independent • Seeking alliances with former political foes • Emergence of the Wasatiyya(secular, Muslim, middle ground) current and the breakaway Hizb al-Wasat The MB as an organizational entity vs. the MB “way” • Since its founding, groups and parties sharing the Brotherhood’s values and basic operational method have emerged in a variety of contexts • Minimal, if any, centralized control within the global movement • The methods and politics of MB national chapters and MB-inspired groups vary considerably depending on local circumstances • Important distinction between the MB as an organizational entity and an MB “way” that refers to a basic worldview and a general mode of political organization The MB as a proto-typical Islamist movement • Three key points to take away from our analysis of the MB • Islamism as a thoroughly modern phenomenon, • Material and ideational factors are both crucial to understanding the emergence of modern Islamism ideology, resources, businesses-department stores • The distinction between the MB as an organizational entity and the MB “tendency” Islam and politics • Several key countries where Islam and politics were particularly important in the second half of the twentieth century • Saudi Arabia-the defender of the faith • Pakistan-created as an Islamic state • Iran- no, we are the true Muslim faith o Islam and late Cold War politics • The Iranian Revolution-1979 • The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan-1979 • Emergence of Muslim Politics in Central Asia 9/16/16 10:52 PM 9/16/16 10:52 PM


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