Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Reading List on Muslim Scholars and Politics

*** (Must read) The End of the Arab Spring, the Rise of ISIS and the Future of Political Islam Khaled Abou El Fadl 23 APR 2015


(Also a very important article) “Egypt Killed Islam in the West”: Revolution, Counterrevolution and Western Muslims by H. A. Hellyer


ISIS, Islamophobia and the End of Sunnism JANUARY 10, 2015 by Mohammad Fadel


Ali Gumah: Sisi’s most loyal Islamic scholar by Mohamad Elmasry Saturday 27 June 2015


Religious authority, state power and revolutions Recent events in the Arab and Muslim world are redefining the role of religious scholars. 15 Sep 2013 by Hatem Bazian


Imam Zaid Shakir on Muslim Revolutions Issue 79 April 2011 As protests and defiance spread in Muslim countries, questions are being asked as to whether such conduct is lawful.


The Arab War on Terror Obama's Middle East allies are signing up for the fight against the Islamic State. But it's not for the reason you think. BY JAMES TRAUB SEPTEMBER 22, 2014


The World War Inside Islam Why the United States can do very little to alter the course of events in the Middle East right now. BY JAMES TRAUB FEBRUARY 9, 2015


America Has Abdicated Its Guiding Role in the Middle East to a Sectarian Arab Military Force What could go wrong? BY JAMES TRAUB APRIL 10, 2015


What Were the Ulama Doing in Tahrir Square? Al-Azhar and the Narrative of Resistance to Oppression by Malika Zeghal Author Malika Zeghal February 17, 2011


Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Return to the Authoritarian State AUGUST 15, 2013 by HA Hellyer


"Salafis and Sufis in Egypt" by Dr. Jonathan Brown. Carnegie Paper.


"Discourses of Damascene Sunni Ulama During the 2011 Revolution" by Dr. Jawad Qureshi.


 Islamism has many faces. We must learn to read them all HA Hellyer If we are to understand the role Islamists play around the world we need to move beyond generalisation


Muslim Scholars and Troubling Political Fatwas Mohamed Ghlian / August 25, 2014


Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East (Book) by Shadi Hamid
In 1989, Francis Fukuyama famously announced the "end of history." The Berlin Wall had fallen; liberal democracy had won out. But what of illiberal democracy--the idea that popular majorities, working through the democratic process, might reject gender equality, religious freedoms, and other norms that Western democracies take for granted? Nowhere have such considerations become more relevant than in the Middle East, where the uprisings of 2011 swept the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to power. 
In Temptations of Power, Shadi Hamid draws on hundreds of interviews with leaders and activists from across the region to advance a new understanding of how Islamist movements change over time. He puts forward the bold thesis that repression "forced" Islamists to moderate their politics, work in coalitions, de-emphasize Islamic law, and set aside the dream of an Islamic state. Meanwhile, democratic openings in the 1980s--and again during the Arab Spring--pushed Islamists back toward their original conservatism. With the uprisings of 2011, Islamists found themselves in an enviable position, but one for which they were unprepared. Groups like the Brotherhood combine the features of both political parties and religious movements, leading to an inherent tension they have struggled to resolve. However pragmatic they may be, their ultimate goal remains the Islamization of society. When the electorate they represent is conservative as well, they can push their own form of illiberal democracy while insisting they are carrying out the popular will. This can lead to overreach and significant backlash. Yet, while the Egyptian coup and the subsequent crackdown were a devastating blow for the Islamist "project," obituaries of political Islam are premature. 
As long as the battle over the role of religion in public life continues, Islamist parties in countries as diverse as Egypt, Tunisia, and Jordan will remain an important force whether in the ranks of opposition or the halls of power. But what are the key factors driving their evolution? A timely and provocative reassessment, Hamid's account serves as an essential compass for those trying to understand where the region's varied Islamist groups have come from and where they might be headed.