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Switch to Forum Live View "Political Islam" - what's that?
2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 1:30PM #1
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

In a thread JAstor just opened, there is a newspaper quote of Ahmed Said, who is identified as the head of the largest liberal party. Mr. Said says, "the constitution of Egypt ... will be drafted by political Islam."


Now, I am asking myself, what do we have to understand by that?


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First, there are a few well-known parties who fly the flag of Islam.


Hassan al-Banna's Egyptian Muslim brotherhood, Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun, founded in 1928.


Abû l-A’lâ al-Maudûdî's party Jama'at-e Islami in Pakistan, founded in 1947.


Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini's political movement, currently giving political structure to Iran.


What is it that makes these parties different from more secular or pan-Arabist parties?


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Second, there are political parties who merely invoke Islam out of a social conservatism and anti-modernist, anti-secular attitude.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AKP in Turkey comes to mind here.


Also Rachid al-Ghannouchi's Ennahda party in Tunisia.


These seem very similar to the "Christian-conservative" parties in Europe, and as such I would see them just "perchance" tied to Islam, but in fact socially conservative (and referencing Islam because it stands for the inherited tradition, not because of primarily religious reasons).


But does that distinction between the former and the latter category really make sense?

tl;dr
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 3:42PM #2
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 15,755

Chari


All Islam is political Islam. There is no separation of Church and State inherent in Islam. There is nothing in Islam which is equivalent to the concept of "render unto Caeser . . ."   That does not mean that it is not possible for a country with a Muslim majority population or even an exclusively  Muslim population to have a secular government. 


The current ruling party in Turkey is Islamist, they are not merely "conservative". The current ruling party in Turkey is trying to dismantle the secular nature of the state.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 4:18PM #3
Ibn
Posts: 4,783

Mar 27, 2012 -- 1:30PM, CharikIeia wrote:


In a thread JAstor just opened, there is a newspaper quote of Ahmed Said, who is identified as the head of the largest liberal party. Mr. Said says, "the constitution of Egypt ... will be drafted by political Islam."


Now, I am asking myself, what do we have to understand by that?


Perhaps they have delegated the task to political Islam.   

I know one thing: There are a billion Islamic people in the world today, and there will be about 2 billion by the time we're dead. They're not going to give up their religion.
(Chris Matthews)
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 4:54PM #4
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Mar 27, 2012 -- 3:42PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


All Islam is political Islam. There is no separation of Church and State inherent in Islam.


There is nothing in Islam which is equivalent to the concept of "render unto Caeser . . ."   That does not mean that it is not possible for a country with a Muslim majority population or even an exclusively  Muslim population to have a secular government. 



As far as I know, there are no such concepts either in other non-Christian religions. And in certain branches of Christianity, the separation also is absent by all reasonable standards. This seems not as important as one may think at first glance.



The current ruling party in Turkey is Islamist, they are not merely "conservative". The current ruling party in Turkey is trying to dismantle the secular nature of the state.



This is at odds with what the EU commission diagnoses. I trust their systematic and bureaucratically fine grained judgment much more than yours, no offence intended. It is good that Turkey is a more participatory, open democracy today than it was thirty years ago, the lower emphasis on secularism notwithstanding.


What exactly is "not merely conservative" here, according to your viewpoint?

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 7:02PM #5
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

Some common features of political Islam:


- no democracy or phony democracy


- brutal security forces


- censorship


- intolerance of others


- second class status for women


- second class status for non-Muslims


- sharia in varying extremes


- incitement against Israel or failure to restrain incitement


- economically oppressed masses


- to be continued...


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 27, 2012 - 11:53PM #6
Miraj
Posts: 5,021

So-called "Political Islam" (another unfortunate prejudicial term) bears no relationship to mainstream Islam.  This is a conversation that non-Muslims are safe to have without the religious knowledge of Muslims.

Disclaimer: The opinions of this member are not primarily informed by western ethnocentric paradigms, stereotypes rooted in anti-Muslim/Islam hysteria, "Israel can do no wrong" intransigence, or the perceived need to protect the Judeo-Christian world from invading foreign religions and legal concepts.  By expressing such views, no inherent attempt is being made to derail or hijack threads, but that may be the result.  The result is not the responsibility of this member.


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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 12:50AM #7
habesor
Posts: 5,650

It seems to me that these are fairly common elements found in many states around the world or back in time, not related to Islam:


Some common features of political Islam:



- no democracy or phony democracy -- Most third world countries and the Communist countries



- brutal security forces  ---  Ditto



- censorship  ----   Ditto



- intolerance of others --- Ditto plus to a degree in many western democracies e.g. Roma for instance.



- second class status for women  ---   Common in the third world -- 19th and early 20th century western democracies



- second class status for non-Muslims  ---  This was Europe in the 19th and twetieth cnturies but for Christians. Also USA in early 19th century.  



- sharia in varying extremes -- All democratic western states are impacted by religious values. (See Tea Party in USA) 



- incitement against Israel or failure to restrain incitement --  This one is not unique to Islamic states. The USSR and the Eatern European states under Communism were pretty good at this.



- economically oppressed masses -- Where do I begin




- to be continued... --- It ought to be interesting.



Habesor

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 2:24AM #8
Mlyons619
Posts: 16,571

Mar 27, 2012 -- 11:53PM, Miraj wrote:


So-called "Political Islam" (another unfortunate prejudicial term) bears no relationship to mainstream Islam.  This is a conversation that non-Muslims are safe to have without the religious knowledge of Muslims.




I dunno - "Political Islam" in Iran is referred to there as the TRUE FAITH and saying otherwise may be hazardous to an Iranian citizen's health...

"No freedom without education"
            --Thomas Jefferson

"NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition"
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 2:42AM #9
CharikIeia
Posts: 8,301

Mar 27, 2012 -- 11:53PM, Miraj wrote:


So-called "Political Islam" (another unfortunate prejudicial term) bears no relationship to mainstream Islam.  This is a conversation that non-Muslims are safe to have without the religious knowledge of Muslims.



I suspected as much.


What is your view on the parties who openly advertise themselves as Islamic / Muslim?
(See, e.g., the brief list of such parties I am aware of, in the opening post.)


Is there a noticeable public discussion in the Muslim world about whether or not this kind of self-advertising indeed is "unfortunate, prejudicial" (as you call it), or legitimate (as I am sure many must think it is)?


What differentiates these parties from other parties?


And what does it mean to say that "political Islam" bears no relationship to "mainstream Islam" when parties of "political Islam" are very much the new "political mainstream" in a country - like Egypt or Tunisia? By sheer mathematical necessity, the people constituting the mainstream should overlap strongly, right?

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 28, 2012 - 4:05AM #10
habesor
Posts: 5,650

It seems to me that this is an example of political Islam and though I may not agree with many of their political stands, there doesn't appear to me to be anything not legitimate about it.


www.oic-oci.org/home.asp 


Given that there are 57 self-defined Islamic states, it also seems to me to be absurd to insist that political Islam does not exist. 


Habesor

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