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For over three decades, Islamist politics, or political Islam, has been one of the most dynamic and contentious political forces in the Middle East. Although there is broad consensus on the importance of political Islam, there is far less agreement on its character, the reasons for Islamist's success, the role of Islamist movements in domestic and international affairs, or what these movements portend for the future. This volume addresses a number of central questions in the study of Islamist politics in the Middle East through detailed case studies of some of the region's most important Islamist movements. Chapters by leading scholars in the field examine the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, Hizbullah, Morocco's Justice and Benevolence, the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, the Sunni Insurgency in Iraq and Islamist politics in Turkey and Iran. The topics addressed within this volume include social networks and social welfare provision, Islamist groups as opposition actors, Islamist electoral participation, the intersection of Islam and national liberation struggles, the role of religion in Islamist politics, and Islam and state politics in Iran, among other topics. All of the contributing authors are specialists with deep knowledge of the subject matter who are committed to empirically based research. These scholars take Islamists seriously as modern, sophisticated, and strategic political players. Together, their work captures much of the diversity of Islamist politics in the region and will contribute to the scholarship on a topic that continues to be important for the Middle East and the world.
When Edward P. Djerejian arrived in Beirut for his first Foreign Service assignment, the city was a thriving metropolis, a nexus for a diversity of religious beliefs, political ideas, and cultural practices. More than forty years since, the broader Middle East region is undergoing significant change in the face of a deep-rooted con-frontation between the forces of reaction and modernity in the rapidly growing Muslim populations. Serious deficits in education, political participation, economic progress, and human rights are exacerbated by unresolved conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, and between Arabs and Israelis. Djerejian, an American diplomat who served eight presidents, both Democratic and Republican, from John F. Kennedy to William Jefferson Clinton, publicly shares for the first time intimate details and colorful anecdotes of his service in the Middle East. During his tenure, he developed close professional relationships with many of the region's secular and religious leaders and was a key advisor to Washington's highest-ranking officials and political leaders. He was instrumental in formulating U.S. policy in the region, and participated actively in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations, the release of U.S. hostages in Lebanon, and the formation of the U.S.-led coalition against Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. A leading expert on the Middle East, Djerejian asserts that Americans are confronted with one of the most important challenges of our time: the struggle of ideas between the forces of extremism and moderation in the Arab and Muslim world. Mistakenly assuming that radical political ideologies fell with communism at the end of the Cold War, policy makers are employing insufficient strategies to promote the important political, economic, commercial, cultural, and security interests that the United States -- and the rest of the world -- have in the region. Djerejian explains what has gone wrong with U.S. policy and suggests a way forward for future admin-istrations. The United States must learn to deal with the complex religious, ethnic, and cultural factors at play in the Middle East. We must not impose our own political structure on the Arab and Muslim world, but we can help marginalize the radicals and champion a democratic way of life in conformity with the cultural context of the region's own mainstream values and ideals. In his captivating and illuminating book -- the only one of its kind to address the full scope of issues that U.S. leaders face in the Middle East -- Djerejian outlines specific coherent strategies necessary to respond effectively to the imminent danger and dynamic opportunity presented by the struggle within the Islamic world.
With the fall of communism in the Soviet Union, it was argued that the era of ideological struggles had ended. Professional diplomats and policymakers knew better, but their concerns about the Islamic world and subsequent advice to politicians did not lead to new policies to address the gathering storm. DANGER AND OPPORTUNITY will contain both analysis and personal anecdotes of an American diplomat that bring to life in a narrative manner the issues being discussed. The book will describe the global dimensions and implications of the struggle, the strategic challenge they present to our policymakers, and policy principles necessary to a winning strategy.
This book explores the domestic and international relations of countries in the Middle East and North Africa using the focus of ideas and repeat interactions employed by constructivism. This book incorporates rich history and analyses of political trends and figures of the region to develop a deeper understanding of Middle East politics.
Nearly seven million Muslims live in the United States today, and their relations with non-Muslims are strained. Many Americans associate Islam with figures such as Osama bin Laden, and they worry about “homegrown terrorists.” To shed light on this increasingly important religious group and counter mutual distrust, renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed conducted the most comprehensive study to date of the American Muslim community. Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, placing their experience within the larger context of American identity. This eye-opening book also offers a fresh and insightful perspective on American history and society. Following up on his critically acclaimed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (Brookings, 2007), Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled for a year through more than seventyfive cities across the United States—from New York City to Salt Lake City; from Las Vegas to Miami; from the large Muslim enclave in Dearborn, Michigan, to small, predominantly white towns like Arab, Alabama. They visited homes, schools, and over one hundred mosques to discover what Muslims are thinking and how they are living every day in America. In this unprecedented exploration of American Muslim communities, Ahmed asked challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims ofArab descent differ from those of other origins (for example, Somalia or South Asia)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? How can a Muslim become accepted fully as an “American,” and what does that mean? He also delves into the potentially sticky area of relations with other religions. For example, is there truly a deep divide between Muslims and Jews in America? And how well do Muslims get along with other religious groups, such as Mormons in Utah? Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas Ahmed’s previous book took the reader into homes, schools, and mosques in the Muslim world, his new quest takes us into the heart of America and its Muslim communities. It is absolutely essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today.
From the bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia, a piercing account of how the contemporary Arab world came to be riven by catastrophe since the 2003 United States invasion of Iraq. In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times bestselling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before. In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region’s profound unraveling, tracing the ideological conflicts of the present to their origins in the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 and beyond. From this investigation emerges a rare view into a land in upheaval through the eyes of six individuals—the matriarch of a dissident Egyptian family; a Libyan Air Force cadet with divided loyalties; a Kurdish physician from a prominent warrior clan; a Syrian university student caught in civil war; an Iraqi activist for women’s rights; and an Iraqi day laborer-turned-ISIS fighter. A probing and insightful work of reportage, Fractured Lands offers a penetrating portrait of the contemporary Arab world and brings the stunning realities of an unprecedented geopolitical tragedy into crystalline focus.

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