The Islamist Movements in the Occupied Territories

by Lisa Hajjar
published in MER183

Iyad Barghouti, professor of sociology at al-Najah University in Nablus, is the author of The Palestinian Islamic Movement and the New World Order (1992) and Islamization and Politics in the Palestinian Territories (1990). He spoke with Lisa Hajjar on May 5, 1993.

How would you describe the appeal of Hamas and other Islamist groups?

Hamas now is the main competitor of the PLO. This is not because the Palestinian people are more willing to turn to religion per se, but because the current situation in the Occupied Territories has led more and more people to see Hamas as a “nationalist” alternative.

Are the situations different in the West Bank and Gaza?

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Islamist Notions of Democracy

by Gudrun Kramer
published in MER183

Most observers, in attempting to explain why the movement toward pluralism, liberalism and democracy has been relatively weak in the Arab world, have concluded that it must have something to do with culture, and more particularly with Islam. Growing interest and research in the subject have not shaken the widespread notion that there is one single political doctrine of Islam, more or less identical with the historical caliphate and incompatible with pluralist democracy as it first developed in the West. Islam, it is said, has not in the past been democratic and is unable to become so in the future.

"Silencing Is at the Heart of My Case"

by Elliott Colla
published in MER185

When a group of Islamist lawyers filed a suit this summer to divorce a Cairo professor from his wife, against the couple’s wishes and without their knowledge, on the grounds that he was an apostate, the story got attention even in the Western media. But little attention was given to the intellectual work of Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, associate professor in the Arabic Language and Literature Department at Cairo University, which prompted this incredible move.

The Egyptian Regime and the Left: Between Islamism and Secularism

by Joel Beinin
published in MER185

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The Islamic Movement and the Palestinian Authority

by Graham Usher
published in MER189

Bassam Jarrar, a leading Islamist thinker in the Occupied Territories, is a teacher of Islamic studies at UNRWA’s Teacher Training Center in Ramallah in the West Bank and a member of the board of trustees of the Union of Islamic Scholars. He was among the 415 Palestinians expelled by Israel in December 1992 for alleged membership in the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

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Terrorism, Class and Democracy in Egypt

by Joel Beinin
published in MER190

During April 1994, armed actions of the radical Islamist opposition in Egypt achieved a new level of lethal efficiency. One Gama‘a Islamiyya (Islamic Group) hit squad killed Maj. Gen. Ra’uf Khayrat, who was responsible for conducting undercover operations against them; another assassinated the chief of security of Asyout province, the Islamist stronghold in upper Egypt; a third shot at a train transporting tourists to the Pharaonic monuments of upper Egypt; and two or three ordinary policemen were shot each week.

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Islamism and Fundamentalism

by Saba Mahmood
published in MER191

The Fundamentalism Project, directed by Martin Marty and Scott Appleby of the University of Chicago, has produced a three-volume study of politicized religion in the twentieth century. Fundamentalisms Observed, Fundamentalisms and Society and Fundamentalisms and the State collect articles by international scholars from a wide range of disciplines. The contributing authors analyze conservative politico-religious movements in their respective areas of expertise, including the Americas, the Middle East, South and Far East Asia. The project is also accompanied by a three-part PBS/NPR series and its companion volume, The Glory and the Power, which targets a broader audience. Three additional volumes are projected.

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Algeria's Battle of Two Languages

by Abdeslam Maghraoui
published in MER192

As the cancellation of Algeria’s electoral process reaches its third anniversary this January, the conditions for a political settlement between the Islamist groups and the army-backed government are becoming exceedingly complicated. Even if the “moderate” voices within both the established order and the Islamist groups prevail, reconciliation may still not be attainable.

Pakistan, the Army and the Conflict Within

by Pervez Hoodbhoy , Zia Mian | published July 12, 2011

Pakistan’s generals are besieged on all sides. Like never before, they are at odds with their own rank and file. According to the New York Times, the discontent with the top brass is so great as to evoke concerns of a colonels’ coup. The army also is losing support from its domestic political allies and subject to the increasing hostility of the Pakistani public. The generals are even at risk of being dumped by their oldest and most generous supporter, the United States.

Algeria's Crisis Intensifies

The Search for a "Civic Pact"

by Arun Kapil
published in MER192

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