Gender and Islamism in the 1990s

by Mervat Hatem
published in MER222

In response to the patriarchal tendencies of the Islamist cultural revolution, a small group of Islamist and other Muslim women have reclaimed Qur’anic and other textual interpretation for their own purposes. The result is a new space for women within the Islamic tradition.

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What Does the Gama`a Islamiyya Want Now?

by Ewan Stein
published in MER254

In the early 1990s, the security forces of Egypt were embroiled in a low-grade civil war with the Gama‘a Islamiyya (Islamic Group), an uncompromising outfit committed to the violent overthrow of the government. The Gama‘a, like the even more radical Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Takfir wa al-Hijra, grew out of study circles reading the works of Ibn Taymiyya and Sayyid Qutb, the intellectual godfathers of jihadi groups across the Muslim world, including al-Qaeda. Qutb taught that jahili (pagan) governments and social elites had usurped the entire realm of Islam.

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Maxime Rodinson on Islamic "Fundamentalism"

An Unpublished Interview with Gilbert Achcar

by Gilbert Achcar
published in MER233

With the death of Maxime Rodinson at the age of 89 on May 23, 2004, one of the last great figures disappeared in an exceptional lineage of Western scholars of Islam --  including Régis Blachère, Claude Cahen and Jacques Berque, to mention only Rodinson’s fellow Frenchmen. Rodinson belonged to this group of writers who pioneered new approaches, reclaiming the field of Islamic studies and bringing it up to the level of other social sciences.

The Bitter Harvest

Sectarianism in Balochistan

by Stephen Dedalus
published in MER251

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Pakistan’s Collateral Damage from the Wars in Afghanistan

Jamaat ud-Dawa and Lashkar-e Tayaba Militancy

by Humeira Iqtidar
published in MER251

Comrades and Brothers

by Hossam El-Hamalawy
published in MER242

Emad Mubarak is a busy man. Director of the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, and a lawyer with the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, the leftist Mubarak cannot hold a meeting without being interrupted by the ring of his cell phone. The calls these days come from student members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the officially outlawed Islamist group that is Egypt’s largest political movement. The students call to report security service abuses against them on campuses, or to request his legal counsel while they undergo interrogation by university administrators.

The Association of Muslim Scholars in Iraq

by Roel Meijer
published in MER237

The October 15, 2005 referendum on the new Iraqi constitution, like other stages in the US-sponsored political transition after the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime, drew fresh attention to the many opponents of that transition and the US occupation who are not directly involved in the ongoing insurgency. In keeping with the pattern in place since the old regime fell, the global media identified this opposition as “Sunni,” implying that political attitudes in Iraq are uniquely determined by religious affiliation. In fact, these opposition forces are not uniformly Sunni Arab, and many are secular nationalist -- not sectarian or even religious -- in orientation and identity.