Saturday, December 8, 2018

Lee Bollinger: Half a Century of Free Press Now at Risk

International Mustafa el-A‘zamî Symposium

What will happen to Dorothy Day’s former church? (Dec 4 2018)

The Teachers Who Inspired J.D. Salinger and a Generation of American Writers

Nicholas Kristof: Your Tax Dollars Help Starve Children (Dec 7, 2018)

“The Saudi war in Yemen has already lasted three years. Some 85,000 kids have died. And it’s all supported by America.” Oped by Nicholas Kristof of NYT

How Islamic is "Islamic Studies"? Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, Distinguishe...

Friday, December 7, 2018

Abu Dhabi's problem with the Muslim Brotherhood (May 26 2018)

How the United Arab Emirates' broad definition of 'extremism' has impacted regional politics since 2011.

In A First, Emirati Foreign Minister Defends Trump Visa Ban (Feb 1, 2017)

The United Arab Emirates' top diplomat on Wednesday came out in defense of President Donald Trump's order temporarily barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

The comments by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Gulf federation's foreign minister, could help bolster the administration's assertion that the directive was not intended as a ban against Muslims.

The UAE minister said the U.S. was within its rights to take what he said was a "sovereign decision" concerning immigration - the first such remarks in support of Trump's move from the Gulf Arab region - and he voiced faith in the American administration's assurances that the move was not based on religion.

Sheikh Abdullah also noted that most of the world's Muslim-majority countries were not covered by the order, which halts entry for 90 days to citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

"This is a temporary ban and it will be revised in three months, so it is important that we put into consideration this point," he said following talks with his Russian counterpart in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi.

"Some of these countries that were on this list are countries that face structural problems," he continued. "These countries should try to solve these issues ... and these circumstances before trying to solve this issue with the United States."

The Emirates is one of the United States' closest Arab allies. It is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group and hosts American troops and warplanes taking part in the anti-IS campaign. It is also home to a center backed by the U.S. that aims to counter extremist propaganda online.

The seven-state federation prides itself on being a tolerant, forward-looking nation that also embraces its traditional Arab and Islamic heritage. The local population is dwarfed some four-to-one by foreign residents, many of whom are not Muslim.

Trump made a point of speaking with the powerful Abu Dhabi crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and Saudi King Salman in his first calls to Arab allies this week. Sheikh Mohammed is the foreign minister's brother and is likely to be the next Emirati president.

America's largest Arab export market, the Emirates also has commercial connections to the new U.S. president.

Trump has lent his name to a soon-to-open golf course and real-estate project being developed in the Emirati city of Dubai, the Middle East's commercial hub. The Abu Dhabi tourism office is a tenant of Trump Tower in New York.

Sheikh Abdullah and Sergey Lavrov discussed a range of regional issues including the war in Syria during their meeting, which included Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Trump's order also includes a suspension of refugee admissions for 120 days, and bans Syrian refugees from entering indefinitely.

Lavrov expressed a willingness to engage with the new U.S. administration on the establishment of safe zones in Syria, something that Trump has expressed interest in creating. But he suggested more details were needed.
"As I understand it, when the Americans are talking about safe zones, first of all they are interested in reducing the number of immigrants - especially through Syria - from going to the West," he said. 

UAE minister defends Trump travel ban, says not anti-Islam (Feb 1 2017)

Sheikh Abdullah reflects on Zayed’s legacy at British Museum gallery opening (Sept 7 2018)

The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Gallery will house artifacts relating to agricultural development

UAE's concern over the MB in the UK & levering arm sales (Dec 17 2015)

Last month the Guardian revealed that the United Arab Emirates, dominated by the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, threatened to block billion-pound arms deals with the UK, stop inward investment and cut intelligence cooperation if Britain did not act against the Muslim Brotherhood, which it regards as a terrorist outfit.
The review was conducted by Sir John Jenkins, Britain’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and it is understood to call for closer monitoring of the Brotherhood and its affiliates. The review’s findings were due to be published in July 2014 but has been long delayed, with no explanation from Downing Street.
It is understood the government will now publish the findings as a motion in parliament – effectively denying the Brotherhood a chance to judicially review the way in which it was published.
A trio of the UK’s closest allies in the Arab world – Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – have all complained that London is a base for the Muslim Brotherhood, which began and was developed in Egypt.
These Arab nations have all outlawed the Brotherhood and accused it of links to terrorism. The Muslim Brotherhood denies this, saying it is a peaceful political movement.
Ali said that Crispin Blunt, the chair of the foreign affairs select committee, had considered his complaint about how the government had been apparently influenced and had said he “intends to run an inquiry into the government’s position towards political Islam which will cover many of the issues raised”.
The revelations in the Guardian exposed the UAE’s widescale lobbying of prime minister and key diplomats as well as Whitehall’s machinery being put at the service of Gulf sheikhs.
In documents seen by the Guardian the UAE offered Cameron lucrative arms and oil deals for British business which would have generated billions of pounds for BAE Systems and allowed BP to bid to drill for hydrocarbons in the Gulf.
Jenkins, on a visit to Abu Dhabi in 2014, had been told that the trust between Britain and the Gulf state “has been challenged due to the UK position towards the Muslim Brotherhood” because “our ally is not seeing it as we do: an existential threat not just to the UAE but to the region”.
The UAE, which is dominated by the oil-rich emirate of Abu Dhabi, had begun raising the stakes with Cameron a day after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi was declared Egypt’s first democratically elected president in June 2012.
Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, met the prime minister at No 10 and was briefed to express the UAE’s concern over the implications of Morsi’s victory.
The plans appeared to be for the UAE to offer a series of carrots for UK business and the country’s military in return for action against the Brotherhood.
Other senior politicians have long wondered why the government is so bothered by the Brotherhood. Last month Paddy Ashdown said the prime minister had ordered an inquiry into the Muslim Brotherhood which ended up concluding the group were not extremists – and that was “unhelpful to the Saudis”.
Downing St said that House of Commons business is posted on the parliamentary website: “We do not comment on anything in advance of its publication.” 

"Holding the Ruler Accountable"

Although Imām al-Nawawī occupied himself in teaching, writing, and worship, he did not isolate himself from society; rather he put himself at the service of the people. He continually made Islam's demands for social justice known to the rulers. The ruler of his time was Sultan Baybars, the powerful Mamluk ruler of Egypt and Greater Syria who crushed the Mongols in the famous battle of 'Ayn Jālūt in Palestine, on Friday 25 Ramadan 658/3 September 1260. 
Baybars also inflicted a devastating defeat on King Louis IX of France, thus ultimately removing the foreign threat of both the Mongols and Crusaders. Toward the end of his reign, Sultan Baybars and Imām al-Nawawī had a famous public disagreement. Sultan Baybars had placed a heavy tax on the people to finance his continued campaigns against the Mongols and the crusaders. He asked the scholars to issue a legal judgment (fatwa) that justified his taxation policy, and all but Imām al-Nawawī acquiesced. Baybars invited al-Nawawī to his palace and asked him to sign the fatwa. Imām al-Nawawī refused to sign the document and said: 
I have heard that you have one thousand slaves and each one of them possesses a large amount of gold. In addition, you own two hundred concubines, and each of them has a vessel full of jewelry. If you donate all these treasures to fund your campaigns, I will give you a legal judgment (fatwa) to collect your taxes from the people. 
[fn 31: al-Diqr, al-Imām al-Nawawī, 108.] 
In his anger, Sultan Baybars ordered the Imām to leave Damascus. Al-Nawawī replied, "I hear and obey" and returned to Nawā. The scholars urged the sultan to reconsider. Later, the sultan wrote to Imām al-Nawawī, requesting him to come back to Damascus. Imām al-Nawawī replied, "I will never enter Damascus as long as Baybars is in it." Within a month of writing his reply, Sultan Baybars died and al-Nawawī returned to Damascus. [fn 32: Ibid.]
--Rafik Berjak, "About the Author" in The Devotion of Imām al-Nawawī: Translation, Introduction and Commentary by Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, (Bristol, England: Amal Press, 2017), pp. 30-31.

Maydan Podcast: Politics & Society: Peter Mandaville and Shahed Amanullah

We are excited to launch The Maydan Podcast with a discussion between Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University Senior Fellow Peter Mandaville and Shahed Amanullah, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Affinis Labs—one of the most influential Muslim figures in the worlds of technology and social entrepreneurship. Their wide-ranging conversation about Muslims and technology covers a broad set of timely issues, including the impact of the Internet on traditional structures of religious authority in the Muslim world; the little known story of the pioneering role played by Muslims in the Silicon Valley venture capital scene; and how technology, social media, and new apps are changing the way Muslims think about their religious identity and practice.

On Ed Husain

Yemen: inquiry finds Saudis diverting arms to factions loyal to their cause

Yemen ceasefire resolution blocked at UN after Saudi and UAE 'blackmail' (Nov 29 2018)

Matthew Hedges says UAE asked him to spy on Britain

Student who was accused of spying and detained for nearly seven months speaks about his ordeal

Uighur leaders warn China's actions could be 'precursors to genocide'

George Monbiot: How US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain (Dec 7 2018)

That Spiked magazine’s US funding arm received $300,000 from the Charles Koch Foundation suggests a hidden agenda

On Sara Khan, UK Government's appointment of new anti-extremism chief

(Book) A Revolution Undone: Egypt's Road Beyond Revolt by HA Hellyer

Amid the turbulence of the 2011 Arab uprisings, the revolutionary uprising that played out in Cairo's Tahrir Square created high expectations before dashing the hopes of its participants. The upheaval led to a sequence of events in Egypt that scarcely anyone could have predicted, and precious few have understood: five years on, the status of Egypt's unfinished revolution remains shrouded in confusion. Power shifted hands rapidly, first from protesters to the army leadership, then to the politicians of the Muslim Brotherhood, and then back to the army. The politics of the street has given way to the politics of Islamist-military détentes and the undoing of the democratic experiment. Meanwhile, a burgeoning Islamist insurgency occupies the army in Sinai and compounds the nation's sense of uncertainty. 

A Revolution Undone blends analysis and narrative, charting Egypt's journey from Tahrir to Sisi from the perspective of an author and analyst who lived it all. H.A. Hellyer brings his first-hand experience to bear in his assessment of Egypt's experiment with protest and democracy. And by scrutinizing Egyptian society and public opinion, Islamism and Islam, the military and government, as well as the West's reaction to events, Hellyer provides a much-needed appraisal of Egypt's future prospects. 

(Book) Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism: Illiberal Intelligentsia and the Future of Egyptian Democracy (2017)

The liberatory sentiment that stoked the Arab Spring and saw the ousting of long-time Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak seems a distant memory. Democratically elected president Mohammad Morsi lasted only a year before he was forced from power to be replaced by precisely the kind of authoritarianism protestors had been railing against in January 2011. Paradoxically, this turn of events was encouraged by the same liberal activists and intelligentsia who'd pushed for progressive reform under Mubarak.

This volume analyses how such a key contingent of Egyptian liberals came to develop outright illiberaltendencies. Interdisciplinary in scope, it brings together experts in Middle East studies, political science, philosophy, Islamic studies and law to address the failure of Egyptian liberalism in a holistic manner - from liberalism's relationship with the state, to its role in cultivating civil society, to the role of Islam and secularism in the cultivation of liberalism. A work of impeccable scholarly rigour, Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism reveals the contemporary ramifications of the state of liberalism in Egypt.



1. Egyptian liberals, from revolution to counterrevolution

Daanish Faruqi and Dalia F. Fahmy

Section I: Liberalism and The Egyptian State

2. Egypt's structural illiberalism: How a weak party system undermines participatory politics

Dalia F. Fahmy

3. Nasser's comrades and Sadat's brothers: Institutional legacies and the downfall of the Second Egyptian Republic

Hesham Sallam

4. (De)liberalizing judicial independence in Egypt

Sahar F. Aziz


Section II: Liberalism and Egyptian Civil Society

5. The authoritarian state's power over civil society

Ann M. Lesch

6. Myth or reality?: The discursive construction of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Mohamad Elmasry

7. Student political activism in democratizing Egypt

Abdel-Fattah Mady


Section III: Islam, Secularism, and the State

8. Egypt's secularized intelligentsia and the guardians of truth

Khaled Abou El Fadl

9. The truncated debate: Egyptian liberals, Islamists, and ideological statism

Ahmed Abdel Meguid and Daanish Faruqi


Section IV: Egyptian Liberals in Comparative Perspective Post-2013

10. Conflict and reconciliation: "Arab liberalism” in Syria and Egypt

Emran El-Badawi

11. Egypt's new liberal crisis

Joel Gordon

12. Egyptian liberals and their anti-democratic deceptions: A contemporary sad narrative

Amr Hamzawy


Conclusion: Does liberalism have a future in Egypt?

Emad El-Din Shahin


Dalia Fahmy is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Long Island University. She lives in New Jersey. Daanish Faruqi is a PhD candidate in History at Duke University, North Carolina.


‘Gives useful insights into the history of liberal though and its current situation inside and outside Egypt.'
The Muslim World Book Review
‘What emerges in the reading of the entire volume is a crisis of orientation, in which leading liberal voices in Egypt have seemingly embraced a very binary of secular progress versus religious reaction, while playing a major role in the divisive politics that have characterized the transitional period. This new crisis has led many secular liberals, facing the alleged threat of Brotherhoodization, to a reactionary embrace of the ancient regime. In this perspective, even if the book focuses its attention on Egypt, it begs a more universal question: how can liberalism overcome its current crisis?'
Reset Doc
‘I read Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism with a sigh of relief that understanding one of the most significant events in our contemporary history is in the caring and competent hands of some seminal critical thinkers. Dalia F. Fahmy and Daanish Faruqi have brought together a formidable volume challenging what they aptly call "Illiberal Intelligentsia” and gauge the future of the Egyptian democracy beyond and through their historic failures. What the community of critical thinkers gathered in this volume discover and discuss is no mere indictment of the Egyptian liberal intellectuals and their catastrophic failure at a crucial historic juncture, but something far more deeply troubling in the very nature of unexamined globalized liberalism. The result is a fiercely radical constellation of critical thinking indispensable for our understanding not just of Egypt and the rest of the Arab and Muslim world, but in fact the very legacy of liberalism in the 21st century.'
Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University
‘This edited volume is an essential contribution towards understanding the current state of affairs in Egypt. The different chapters offer a sense of the underlying dynamics at work within Egyptian society (among the military, the Muslim Brotherhood, secularists and the youth). The reader is invited to consider the complexity of the situation and what it will take for Egyptian people to find their way towards freedom and justice.'
Tariq Ramadan, Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies, University of Oxford
‘An extraordinary and wide-ranging exploration of the Arab spring's excitement and reversal in Egypt. Compulsory reading to grasp the role of Islam, secularism, authoritarianism and liberalism in contemporary Egypt.'
Ebrahim Moosa, Professor of Islamic Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame
‘The question of democracy in Muslim societies has generated heated debate on the role of mainstream Islamist parties and democratization. Can they moderate their views? Will they respect electoral outcomes? Are they committed to political pluralism? The same questions, however, have been rarely asked of liberal and secular forces who occupy the same political space. This is precisely what is unique about this book. Focusing on Egypt's Arab Spring democratic transition, it examines the political behavior of Egyptian liberals during the transition period and after the 2013 military coup. In doing so, the editors and contributors make an important and exceptional contribution to understanding both the persistence of authoritarianism in the Arab-Islamic world and the obstacles to democracy. It is a must read volume that challenges stereotypes and deepens our grasp of the politics and societies of the Middle East.'
Nader Hashemi, Director of the Center for Middle East Studies, University of Denver, and author of Islam, Secularism, and Liberal Democracy: Toward a Democratic Theory for Muslim Societies
‘The heroic events of January and February 2011 seemed at first to rewrite the rules of Middle Eastern politics. One of the longest ruling autocrats in the Arab World fell not to a military coup, an assassination, or violent uprising, but to the immovable presence of the people demonstrating in public. The Tahrir Revolution was ‘liberal' in the sense that its demands were for freedom, the rule of law, and social justice. Its promise was that these goals seemed to reflect a shared will uniting the secular and the Islamist, the masses and the middle class. Two short years later that promise was shattered in a supreme act of anti-political, counter-revolutionary violence. How did many Egyptian ‘liberals,' who two years earlier stood side by side with Islamists against Mubarak in Tahrir, and one year earlier voted for Morsi for President, come to side with a return to military dictatorship over constitutional politics? Egypt and the Contradictions of Liberalism brings together many of the best scholars on Egyptian politics to answer just this question.'
Andrew F. March, Associate Professor of Political Science, Yale University, and author of Islam and Liberal Citizenship: The Search for an Overlapping Consensus 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

France: Press UAE Crown Prince on Abuses in Yemen

(Paris) – President Emmanuel Macron of France should raise serious concerns with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince regarding laws-of-war violations in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will visit Paris on November 21, 2018.
The UAE plays a prominent role in the Saudi-led coalition’s military operations in Yemen. Since March 2015, the coalition has indiscriminately bombed homes, markets, and schools, impeded the delivery of humanitarian aid and used widely banned cluster munitions. Human Rights Watch has documented nearly 90 apparently unlawful coalition attacks, some of them likely war crimes. The UAE and UAE-led proxy forces have arbitrarily detained, forcibly disappeared, and tortured Yemenis in southern and eastern Yemen, including Yemeni activists who have criticized coalition abuses.
“As the UAE’s de facto leader and deputy commander of its armed forces, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan could have acted to stop grave abuses in Yemen, but instead war crimes have mounted,” said Bénédicte Jeannerod, France director at Human Rights Watch. “If President Macron is truly concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, he should tell the crown prince that France will stop selling weapons to the UAE if there’s a real risk of their unlawful use.”
Despite Saudi Arabia’s and the UAE’s records of abuse, France, along with the United States and the United Kingdom, continue to sell weapons to both countries. In June, the French newspaper Le Figaro reported that French special forces were on the ground in Yemen, alongside UAE forces.
Macron should press the UAE to investigate alleged serious violations by its armed forces and Yemeni forces it supports, to appropriately prosecute those responsible for war crimes, and to provide reparation to victims of violations, Human Rights Watch said. France should stop supplying weapons and munitions to the UAE if there is a substantial risk that these arms are being used in Yemen to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law or international human rights law.
Despite leading considerable efforts to present the UAE as progressive and tolerant, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan, the nation’s de facto leader, has largely failed to improve his country’s human rights record.
Domestically, UAE authorities have carried out a sustained assault on freedom of expression and association since 2011. In 2014, the UAE issued a counterterrorism law that gives authorities the power to prosecute peaceful critics, political dissidents, and human rights activists as terrorists. UAE residents who have spoken about human rights issues are at serious risk of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, imprisonment, and torture. Many are serving long prison terms or have left the country under pressure.
In March 2017, the UAE detained Ahmed Mansoor, an award-winning human rights defender, on speech-related charges and held him incommunicado for more than a year. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison on May 29, 2018 for crimes that appear to violate his right to free expression.
UAE courts also imposed a 10-year prison sentence in March 2017 on a prominent academic, Nasser bin Ghaith, whom authorities forcibly disappeared in August 2015, for charges that included peaceful criticism of the UAE and Egyptian authorities.
On October 4, the European Parliament adopted a strongly worded resolution calling for the immediate release of Mansoor and all other “prisoners of conscience” in the UAE. The resolution expressed concern that “attacks on members of civil society including efforts to silence, imprison, or harass human rights activists, journalists, lawyers, and others has become increasingly common in recent years.” It said that European institutions should make respect for human rights activists “a precondition to any further development of relation between the EU and UAE.”
In addition, despite some reforms, many low-paid migrant workers remain acutely vulnerable to forced labor. The kafala (visa-sponsorship) system ties migrant workers to their employers. Those who leave their employers can face punishment for “absconding,” including fines, prison, and deportation. A 2017 law extended key labor protections to domestic workers, previously excluded from such guarantees, but its provisions remain weaker than those of the country’s national labor law.
Yet over the past several years, the UAE and France have strengthened their bilateral relations across a range of areas, including security, trade, and cultural exchanges. In 2017, France increased its arms sales to the UAE and opened the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum amid serious concerns regarding labor abuses in building the museum. On October 11, the UAE joined the International Organization of the Francophonie, which promotes the spread of French language and values, as an associate member, although  human rights and democratic principles are at the heart of the organization’s charter.
“By failing to address the UAE authorities’ serious rights violations in Yemen, France risks glossing over a dark reality,” Jeannerod said. “Despite outward appearances, the UAE has repeatedly shown itself to be resistant to improving its human rights record at home and abroad.” 

Human Rights Watch on the UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) arbitrarily detains and in some cases forcibly disappears individuals who criticize the authorities. The UAE plays a leading role in the Saudi-led coalition which has carried out scores of unlawful attacks in Yemen, some likely war crimes. The UAE was implicated in detainee abuse at home and abroad. Labor abuses in the UAE persist. Migrant construction workers face serious exploitation. Domestic workers’ rights are now enshrined in law, but some provisions are weaker than those accorded to other workers under the labor law. The UAE has denied activists and international human rights organizations’ access.

Channel 4: UAE accused of torture and running secret prisons

"'Ulama' and Modernity: A Reappraisal"

Western discourse on the status of clergy and religious functionaries in the three monotheistic creeds reflects a clear divide between their position in the premodern period and in modern times. As the custodians of learning and molders of communal identity in the premodern period, they were viewed as central to the functioning of society. In modern times, by contrast, in the face of the abandonment of religious conventions and norms by both the individual and the state, they were perceived as relegated to the margins of society. Terms such as "Promethean passion" and "metaphysical revolt" were widely used in research literature to express the religious upheaval in which the Kingdom of God was replaced by the human kingdom. The groundwork for this upheaval was attributed to the "triple revolution" in Christian Europe between 1600 and 1800: enlightenment, industrialism, and nationalism. [1]
fn 1:  David Ohana, The Promethean Passion: The Intellectual Origins of the Twentieth Century from Rousseau to Foucault; Anthony D. Smith, The Ethnic Origins of Nations, pp. 154-59. The term "metaphysical revolt" is attributed to Albert Camus, who in his essay "The Rebel" (L'Homme revolte, 1951) defied God's legitimacy because He condemned humankind to suffering and death. Camus, The Revel: An Essay of Man in Revolt, chapter 2.

--Meir Hatina, 'Ulama', Politics, and the Public Sphere: An Egyptian Perspective (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2010), p. 1.

Armstrong's 3 sentences on Kierkegaard

"These old doctrines about God were increasingly condemned as flawed and inadequate. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55) insisted that the old creeds and doctrines had become idols, ends in themselves and substitutes for the ineffable reality of God. True Christian faith was a leap out of the world, away from these fossilized human beliefs and outmoded attitudes, into the unknown." 

From chapter 10 "The Death of God?" of Karen Armstrong's A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, (1993), p. 354.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

"The European invasion of the Islamic world was not uniform,

but it was thorough and effective. It began in Moghul India. During the latter half of the eighteenth century, British traders had established themselves in Bengal, and at this time, when modernization was still in its infancy, the British lived on a par with the Hindu and Muslim merchants. But this phase of British activity is known as as the 'plundering of Bengal', because it permanently damaged the local industry, and changed its agriculture so that Bengalis no longer grew crops for themselves but produced raw materials for the industrialized Western markets. 
Bengal had been reduced to second-class status in the world economy.
Gradually as the British became more 'modern' and efficient themselves, their attitude became more superior, and they were determined to 'civilize' the Indians, backed up by the Protestant missionaries who started to arrive in 1793. But the Bengalis were not encouraged to evolve a fully industrialized society of their own; the British administrators introduced only those aspects of modern technology tat would reinforce their supremacy and keep Bengal in a complementary role. The Bengalis did benefit from British efficiency, which kept such disasters as disease, famine and war at bay, and the population increased as a result; but this created new problems of overcrowding and poverty, since there was no option of migration to the towns, as in the West, and the people all had to stay on the land. 
The plundering of Bengal economically led to political domination. Between 1798 and 1818, by treaty or by military conquest, British rule was established throughout India, except in the Indus Valley, which was subdued between 1843 and 1849. In the meantime, the French had tried to set up an empire of their own....
--Karen Armstrong, Islam: A Short History, 126-127.

Obituary of George Makdisi (1920-2002)

George Makdisi, 82, of Upper Providence, died September 6 at his residence. 
Born in Detroit, Michigan Mr. Makdisiwas the son of the late Abraham G. and Sophie Chater Makdisi. 
Mr. Makdisi recieved a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1947, a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University in 1948, a M.A. from Georgetown University in 1950 and Docteur es-lettres from University of Paris, Sorbonne in 1964. 
Mr. Makdisi was Professor Emeritus, University of Pa from 1990-2002, formerly a Professor at University of Pa. 1973-1990, formerly a Professor at Harvard 1963-1973, formerly an associate professor at harvard 1961- 1963, formerly a lecturer at Harvard University 1959-1961, formerly an associate professor at university of Michigan 1957-1959, formerly an assistant professor at the University of Michigan 1953-1957. 
His research Fellowships included: Guggenheim Fellow 1957-1958, Guggenheim Fellow 1967-1968, Ford Foundation, Fulbright Hays, Chaire d'Etat at the College de France, Paris (1969). 
He served as President of American association of Teachers of Arabic 1963-66, Middle East Studies association of North American 1976-77, American Oriental Society 1987-88. Honorary Degree Doctor of Human Letters- Honoris Causa from Georgetown University. The Giorgio Levi Della Vida Award for Excellence in islamic Studies, 1993. 
A veteran of World War II, having served with the U.S. Army. His hobbies included walking, gardening, travel and languages. Professor Makdisi was one of the most famous scholars in Islamic Studies in the world. In his specialty in Medieval education, he discovered the origin of the scholastic method. His writings span half a century with over 75 articles and 12 books that changed the field in a revolutionary way. 
In particular, his trilogy on The Rise of Colleges and The Rise of Humanism and Ibn ' Aqil have become so well read that they are now being translated into other languages. 
Professor Makdisi just finished his seven- volume edition of the Wadish of Ibn 'Aqil in April of 2002. 
He is survived by his wife Nicole R. Guillemette Makdisi, sons John Makdisi of weston, Fl., Thomas Makdisi of Richmond,Tx., daughters Catherine Viscusi of Chapel Hill, N.C., Theresa Walsh of Indianapolis, In., Ann Mazur of edgewater Park, N.J., Jeanne makdisi of Philadelphia, Pa. sister; Mary Fayad of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mi.; 10 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren. Interment Private. 

Something Foreign: George Makdisi on the Rise of Conflict

Weber on charisma vs. patrimonialism

The first shift pertains to the transformation of Qāsimī structures of rule from their initial charismatic style into dynastic and patrimonial modes of domination.
footnote 3: The concepts of charisma and patrimonialism are drawn from a Weberian typology of forms of authority (cf. Max Weber, Economy and Society (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978), vol. I, pp. 101f., 1111f.). Weber defines charisma as 'a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as leader'.  
Weber also saw the charismatic leader as disrupting tradition. The Zaydī imam fits certain aspects of this definition, and it is apt to use the concept to define those among the imams who fulfilled the institution's rigorous qualifications.  
Patrimonialism, by contrast, was defined by Weber as a form of political domination in which authority rests on the personal and bureaucratic power exercised by a royal household. This power is formally arbitrary and under the direct control of the ruler. Domination in patrimonial states is secured by means of a political apparatus staffed by mercenaries, conscripts, slaves, administrators and, as is our case, jurists and scholars. These groups do not have an independent power-base and are therefore at the mercy of the ruler's whim.
Bernard Haykel, Revival and Reform in Islam: The Legacy of Muhammad al-Shawkānī (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 2-3.

Podcast with Alexander Bevilacqua, author of The Republic of Arabic Letters Islam and the European Enlightenment (Harvard University Press 2018)

دروس الشيخ عبدالله سراج الدين15 المغفرة ومضاعفت الثواب