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Remaking Muslim Politics: Pluralism Contestation Democratization

by Robert W Hefner Princeton University Press
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Pbk 384 pages
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There is a struggle for the hearts and minds of Muslims unfolding across the Islamic world. The conflict pits Muslims who support pluralism and democracy against others who insist such institutions are antithetical to Islam. With some 1.3 billion people worldwide professing Islam, the outcome of this contest is sure to be one of the defining political events of the twenty-first century. Bringing together twelve engaging essays by leading specialists focusing on individual countries, this pioneering book examines the social origins of civil-democratic Islam, its long-term prospects, its implications for the West, and its lessons for our understanding of religion and politics in modern times. Although depicted by its opponents as the product of political ideas 'made in the West' civil-democratic Islam represents an indigenous politics that seeks to build a distinctive Islamic modernity. In countries like Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia, it has become a major political force. Elsewhere its influence is apparent in efforts to devise Islamic grounds for women's rights, religious tolerance, and democratic citizenship. Everywhere it has generated fierce resistance from religious conservatives. Examining this high-stakes clash, Remaking Muslim Politics breaks new ground in the comparative study of Islam and democracy. The contributors are Bahman Baktiari, Thomas Barfield, John R. Bowen, Dale F. Eickelman, Robert W. Hefner, Peter Mandaville, Augustus Richard Norton, Gwenn Okruhlik, Michael G. Peletz, Diane Singerman, Jenny B. White, and Muhammad Qasim Zaman. Robert W. Hefner is Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, Boston University. His recent books include Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia (Princeton). Endorsements: '9/11 not only drove home the magnitude of the threat of global terrorism but also brought into sharp focus and contention the question of Islam's compatibility with pluralism and democracy. Robert Hefner's Remaking Muslim Politics assembles a group of scholars who provide insightful case studies that shed new light on the process of democratization as witnessed in the experiments and experiences of diverse countries across the Muslim world: from Egypt, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia to Iran, Afghanistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.'--John L. Esposito, University Professor and Professor of Religion and International Affairs, Georgetown University, author of Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam 'Remaking Muslim Politics makes a compelling case for both a far more nuanced and variegated understanding of Islam and politics than is conventional and a more sanguine view of the prospects for a pluralist, even democratic, politics in the Muslim world. Given the high-decibel debates about Islam and politics these days, it should find a wide readership--but unlike many of the books on the market today, it will deserve this.'--Lisa Anderson, Columbia University, past president of the Middle East Studies Association

Acknowledgments vii

Note on Transliteration ix

Contributors xi

CHAPTER 1: Introduction: Modernity and the Remaking of Muslim Politics by Robert W. Hefner 1

CHAPTER 2: New Media in the Arab Middle East and the Emergence of Open Societies by Dale F. Eickelman 37

CHAPTER 3: Pluralism, Democracy, and the 'Ulama by Muhammad Qasim Zaman 60

CHAPTER 4: The End of Islamism? Turkey's Muslimhood Model by Jenny B.White 87

CHAPTER 5: Dilemmas of Reform and Democracy in the Islamic Republic of Iran by Bahman Baktiari 112

CHAPTER 6: Thwarted Politics: The Case of Egypt's Hizb al-Wasat Augustus by Richard Norton 133

CHAPTER 7: Rewriting Divorce in Egypt: Reclaiming Islam, Legal Activism, and Coalition Politics by Diane Singerman 161

CHAPTER 8: Empowering Civility through Nationalism: Reformist Islam and Belonging in Saudi Arabia by Gwenn Okruhlik 189

CHAPTER 9: An Islamic State Is a State Run by Good Muslims: Religion as a Way of Life and Not an Ideology in Afghanistan by Thomas Barfield 213

CHAPTER 10: Islam and the Cultural Politics of Legitimacy: Malaysia in the Aftermath of September 11 by Michael G. Peletz 240

CHAPTER 11: Muslim Democrats and Islamist Violence in Post-Soeharto Indonesia by Robert W. Hefner 273

CHAPTER 12: Sufis and Salafis: The Political Discourse of Transnational Islam by Peter Mandaville 302

CHAPTER 13: Pluralism and Normativity in French Islamic Reasoning by John R. Bowen 326

Index 347

Robert W. Hefner is Professor of Anthropology and Associate Director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs, Boston University. His recent books include ''Civil Islam: Muslims and Democratization in Indonesia'' (Princeton).