The main intention of this article is to analyze the role of Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan and its utilization in the nation-building and state-building processes. It is argued that Islam in post-Soviet Kazakhstan is a cultural phenomenon rather than a religious one and is an important marker of national identity despite the competition of radical movements in the “religious field.”.
In this article we try to show how revolutionary the idea of sovereignty was and is in the Islamic world, preceding all nationalism. Sovereignty marks the very transition from empire to the central state that the nation state presupposes.Sovereignty made its entrance in the nineteenth century in the Ottoman Empire. It functioned in the centralization policy of the sultan, who needed this central position to realize a top down process of modernization. This policy took apart the Empire’s traditional (...) system of checks and balances. Thus, the nation state does not conserve traditional culture, but is the result and producer of cultural change, in fact, of a process of modernization that involves language and religion .This does not imply that all nation states are homogenized by a globalizing process of modernization. A civil society based on individual freedom and the application of human rights and democracy makes a real difference in the world of nation states. Those ideas prevent the return of empire in the disguise of globalization. In Europe, these liberal ideas mark the limits of sovereignty and preceed the emergence of nationalism; in the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic world, sovereignty and nationalism are used for a top-down process of modernization sometimes at odds with those liberal ideas. The implementation of these ideas in an specific cultural context is necessary and is at the same time a guarantee against cultural isomorphism. (shrink)
This article examines the integration of the Gulen Movement into the neoliberal economy. In spite of the Gulen Movement currently undergoes a severe persecution under President Erdogan and charged as FETO (FethullahTerrorist Organization), Gulen’s success story in the economy is of interest for any Islamic movements to emulate. In contrast to those belong to the revivalist Islam that rejects the neo-liberal economy, Gulen does accept the neoliberal economy. He integrates neoliberalism into Islam, and vice versa. Gulenacceptance of the (...) neo-liberal economy, in turn, encouraged his movement to adopt for further neoliberal principles such as human rights, multiculturalism, cosmopolitanism, etc. Since Gulen willingly immerses in the neo-liberalist system, he could be categorized into a progressive Islam. Nevertheless, Galen shows his critical attitude toward the capitalist economy despite his acceptance of the system. This article argues that Gulen’s adoption of the neo-liberal economy is a method of da’wah. This article calls it as ‘da’wah in the economic field’.As it is the case, Gulen’s adoption of neo-liberal economics does not appear simultaneously once, rather through gradual processes in which it goes through three stages of his da’wah: individual transformation, social transformation, and the state. (shrink)
Shifts to structurally new political formations or at times even governmental changes usually engender new representations of the past. This process generally involves the creation of official national histories or revisions to the existing narratives. These histories are ultimately tied to collective memory engineering and identity building to legitimize the new political formations and to ensure loyalty to them. Public education mostly provides a vital channel for the dissemination and the validation of the collective memory sanctioned by the ruling elite. (...) The rise of the Turkish Republic as a nation-state and the national historiography and educational system it established during the 1930s exemplify one of such cases. The consensus opinion in current scholarship argues that the early official historiography virtually circumvented the Ottoman and Islamic eras by curbing or even repealing their role by favoring strong accent on a remote pre-Islamic Turkish past. Although this view is warranted with regard to the state’s primary ideological emphasis on Turkishness, this approach at the same time misses the intricate subtleties involved in the official national narrative and potentially indicates a total exclusion or denunciation of these subjects. This article aims to assess the new national historical narrative reproduced in the new history textbooks in a more nuanced way with an exclusive concentration on the ideology, religion and history education triangulum. It aspires to unveil what it articulated about the supposedly avoided topic of the Islamic past and especially focus on the officially endorsed view of Islam as a religion. (shrink)
The well-known perception of war-hungry Muslims who had the Qur’an on the one hand and sword on the other offering a choice of either accepting Islam or losing one’s head has easily been created in the literature by the Orientalist scholars. Today the stress on the Jihad controversy by mass media in Europe and America is important and needs to be corrected. That jihad has usually been translated by the Western media as “holy war” is a greatly misunderstood principle (...) in Islam. There is no term in Arabic which means, “holy war”. War is not “holy” in Islam. I would like to divide this study into two parts: In the first part, the issue of conquest and its religious, ideological and theoretical references will be dealt with in reference to basic Islamic sources and the previous Islamic state’s practices. In particular, what are the limits of warfare and the position of civilians in the wars and wartimes according to the Islamic law will be looked for. In the second part, as a typical Islamic state, to what extend Ottoman conquests in the Balkans followed and practiced the legal way that opened up by Islamic law will be analyzed according to the available chronicles. (shrink)
Some recent state formations are offshoots of religious societies where the elite clothed the state with religious apparel. Diverse communities and their beliefs compel many modern nations to adopt a secular state ideology in order to avoid religious domination of time. Constitutionally, Islam is the official religion in Malaysia, while the state has maintained peaceful co-existence among its religious groups with an emphasis on religious tolerance and improved wealth distribution. Conversely, Nigeria, constitutionally a secular (...) class='Hi'>state with shared populations of mainly Christians and Muslims, is embroiled in yearly religious conflicts. This article aims to show how Nigeria’s secular state status is engulfed in religious bigotry due to institutional inadequacies. This is unlike Malaysia’s state-centered influence on religion, yet its wealth distribution policy makes room for peaceful co-existence in its polity as against more severe challenges of corruption in Nigeria. The paper argues that leadership and institutional failures have exacerbated religious conflicts in Nigeria and hence the state totters in the face of tension. A theoretical debate unveils our proposition on religious practices in both countries. We rely on secondary data and empirical evidence in unveiling issues and conclude with modest recommendations. (shrink)
The article argues that the growth of religious service provision directed at the Muslim diaspora in Europe has led to greater professionalization and pluralism within the Islamstate in Muslim countries. Contemporary Muslim governments have claimed a monopoly over public prayer and religious education and have heavily invested in a network of infrastructure and services – the Islamstate. The recent breakthrough of Islamist parties into governments in Turkey and across North Africa poses a challenge to (...) the continued ‘civilian control’ over religion. What will become of the enormous Islamic Affairs ministries that Islamist parties have inherited – the hundreds of thousands of public servants of stateIslam across the region, the tens of thousands of mosques and thousands of religious schools? Liberals demand the abolition of the Islamstate because it violates the separation of religion and state; Islamists detest it for its repressive qualities. Despite progressive liberalization, governments in the past decade have not sought disestablishment, and have instead increased the resources and policing of state-run religion. I draw on the experience of Muslim governments in the competitive field of state–Islam relations in European countries to explain the modest beginnings of reform of the official religion apparatus in Muslim-majority countries. (shrink)
Islam and End-of-Life Practices in Organ Donation for Transplantation: New Questions and Serious Sociocultural Consequences Content Type Journal Article Pages 175-205 DOI 10.1007/s10730-009-9095-8 Authors Mohamed Y. Rady, Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix Arizona USA 85054 Joseph L. Verheijde, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix Arizona USA 85054 Muna S. Ali, Arizona State University Phoenix Arizona USA Journal HEC Forum Online ISSN 1572-8498 Print ISSN 0956-2737 Journal Volume Volume 21 Journal (...) Issue Volume 21, Number 2. (shrink)
Alfred Stepan’s “twin-tolerations” thesis (2000) is a model for explaining different ways that religious and political authority come to be reconciled. In this paper, we investigate some obstacles and challenges to realizing a reconciliation between religious and political authority in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) that might result in a transition away from a theocratic monarchy to a more consultative form of political authority. Whereas most analyses of religion and politics in KSA focus on geopolitics, the rentier state (...) model, or economic and military aid from the United States, we also consider local factors that emphasize the agency of political and non-political actors within KSA, focusing in particular on education policy and how this policy is a barrier to political reform. Our position is not meant to replace the standard models, but rather to supplement them by offering a multi-variable perspective on the challenges and prospects for meaningful political reform in KSA. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe ideals that gave rise to Daesh are not so much those of pre-modern Sunni Islam, including Salafism, as they are the ideals that post-colonial Arab states have propagated since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In contravention to long-established ideals of Islamic law, post-colonial Arab states have attempted to legitimate their own despotisms through a formal commitment to a certain kind of Islamic normativity. Inasmuch as Islam provides a ready political discourse to resist despotism, it is unsurprising (...) that pan-Arab “Islamist” movements have made resistance to despotism their central concern. Daesh, however, rejects the anti-despotic politics of modern pan-Arab and “Islamist” political movements and instead offers a despotic and apocalyptic religious conception of the political that is as far from the Sunni mainstream as the political despotisms of the post-colonial Arab states. In this respect, there is a deep synergy between Daesh and the despotisms of the modern Arab state, both of which portray themselves as the only alternative to the murderous tyranny of the other. The only long-term solution to Daesh, therefore, is reform of the despotisms of the post-colonial Arab states. (shrink)
Neutrality, liberalism, and islam integration in Europe and America -- Limits of excluding: the French burqa law of 2010 -- Limits of including: Germany's reticence to "cooperate" with organized Islam -- "Reasonable accommodation" and the limits of multiculturalism in Canada -- The dog that didn't bark: Islam and religious pluralism in the United States -- Islam and identity in the liberal state.
The resurgence of religious movements all over the world, their varying claims to identity and politics , and their success in generating system-transforming effects in both national and world politics have indicated clearly that there is a need to uncover the invisible interconnections between religion and politics. Moreover, the way in which religion has been striking back has taken different forms. From religious and terrorist fundamentalism to multiculturalism, from communitarian claims to the religious state to religion-based civil societal calls (...) for pluralism and freedom, it is possible to see different articulations of the resurgence of religion in the world in which we live. In this context, Turkey constitutes a sociologically illuminating, theoretically challenging and politically timely case study. As a modern republic on the margins of Europe and preparing for accession negotiations with the European Union for full membership, Turkey is both a Muslim society and a strictly secular nation-state. This article suggests, first, that the process of modernization and democratization in Turkey has always faced the problem of establishing a delicate balance between politics and religion, and, second, that in this process the more secularism is used by the state elite to control religion, the less pluralistic and democratic the state has become in governing a society where Islam has always played an important role in the symbolic formation of Turkish identity. What is needed in this context is a ‘democratic secular imaginary’ as a more dialogical, tolerant and accommodating strategy of living with difference, enabling us to understand religious claims to difference in their own right, and to approach them clearly and critically. (shrink)
It would be an anachronism to search for modern democracy in the Qur’an that is the first among the other sources of Islam, i.e. Sunnah, ijma and the qiyas. To deduce the definition of Islam merely on the basis of the primary and secondary textual sources rather than the application of them as Muslim praxis would be an incomplete hermeneutic process in understanding it. We can see that the state and the religious society, which was represented by (...) ulama, were separated from each other in an early stage of Islamic history. The members of ulama were in charge of the intellectual and social life, the law and its application. The values of the modern democracy such as law and order, separation of state authority from the public sphere, observing the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals such as women and religious minorities as the inseparables of democracy were upgraded in Muslim societies. This structure of Muslim society, however, was spoiled by colonialist interventions and the adoption of the modern nation-state concept. (shrink)
Several of the Middle East’s traditional economic institutions hampered its political development by limiting checks on executive power, preventing the formation of organized and durable opposition movements, and keeping civil society weak. They include Islam’s original tax system, which failed to protect property rights; the waqf, whose rigidity hampered the development of civil society; and private commercial enterprises, whose small scales and short lives blocked the development of private coalitions able to bargain with the state. These institutions contributed (...) to features that sustain autocracies and keep democracies unstable: high corruption, low trust, widespread nepotism and high tolerance for law-breaking. (shrink)
The Huntington thesis of the clash of cultures and American foreign policy analysis are both aspects of the legacy of Carl Schmitt's distinction between friend and foe. This article explores Schmitt's political theology as the theoretical basis of modern politics in terms of the concepts of state sovereignty and the idea of a permanent emergency. Within this Schmittian framework, the analysis of Islam as presented by writers such as Huntington, Fukuyama and Barber is critically analysed. Their analysis of (...) fundamentalism and political Islam fails to grasp the complexity and diversity of modern Islam. The article concludes by examining a number of social and economic processes that make the political division between friend and foe untenable. (shrink)
Muslim theologians, jurists, and healthcare workers have been addressing the challenges of modern biotechnology for years. Major textbooks on religion and bioethics cover Islam in one or two articles, offering only a general introduction to these important discussions. The five articles in this issue of the "Journal of Religious Ethics", originating from a conference at Pennsylvania State University, are unusual in the specificity of their topics-brain death, feeding tubes, sex selection, spiritual counseling, and organ transplantation-and in their engagement (...) with complex discussions in the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. In this essay, I introduce the five articles and consider two larger implications: the changing definition of the human person in light of biotechnological advances and the continuing importance of religious traditions, especially Islam, in legitimizing ethical responses to these advances. (shrink)