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  • Author: Ali Murat Yel
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: THE NAQSHBANDIYYA is perhaps one of the widest-spread Islamic religious brotherhoods due to its active involvement in political affairs. Its 'strength' comes from the fact it could trace the sheiks of the order as far back as to the Prophet of Islam through his companion Abu Bakr. The silsila (the chain of transmission) of the order also contains some very important figures in Islamic history, like Salman al-Farisi and Bayazid al-Bistami. Despite the importance of the order and its worldwide expansion, the published works on the subject could fill only a small shelf. The order also has a great number of followers in Turkey, including some prominent political figures. Since Shah Bahauddin Naqshband, the founder of the order, the succeeding sheiks of the Naqshbandiyya tarikat (religious order) have currently been handed to Sheikh Nazim al-Kibrisi al-Haqqani, a Turkish Cypriot. The Sheikh has been given the task of expanding the order to the West, and as a result of arduous efforts he has been able to establish some centers in various European and American cities, with the biggest one being in London. Author Tayfun Atay studied this center for his Ph.D. thesis submitted to London University.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Britain, America, Europe, Turkey, London
  • Author: Nahed Samour
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: European Journal of International Law
  • Institution: European Journal of International Law
  • Abstract: Overcoming Eurocentrism is one of the self-proclaimed aims of the editors of The Oxford Handbook of the History of International Law. In the following, I shall offer a critique of the Handbook from a largely Islamic international law perspective as (but) one example of a supranational non-European legal system. The depth of the volume covering a variety of times, spaces, and themes provides us with a much awaited tool against the 'gaps' and the 'forgetfulness' of how today's doctrines and practices of international law came about, not shying away from the voices that question the narrative of international law serving peace and justice. The Handbook is therefore laudable for a number of things.
  • Topic: International Law, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Sajjad H. Rizvi
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The Story of Islamic Philosophy You cannot judge a book by its cover – or even its title. Now and then, a work comes along that forces us to take notice of what the author means by giving his work a particular title. Certainly, those who pick up The Story of Islamic Philosophy might expect a conventional history of the philosophical endeavour in the world of Islam, starting with the translation movement and the appropriation of Aristotelianism and ending with the 'eclipse' of 'rational discourse' in medieval mysticism and obscurantism. The study of philosophy in Islam is rather polarised: the traditional academic field of 'Arabic philosophy' starts with the Graeco-Arabica and is very much in the mould of understanding what the Arabs owed to the Greeks and then what the Latins owed the Arabs. This book is a story of Aristotle arabus and then latinus, and hence it is not surprising that the story culminates with the ultimate Aristotelian, Averroes. Many Arab intellectuals, such as the late Muḥammad ʿĀbid al-Jābirī, have been sympathetic to such readings and wished to revive a sort of Averroist Aristotelianism in the name of reason and enlightenment. In particular, they wished to save the Arab-Islamic heritage from its 'perversion' by the Persians, starting with Avicenna and Ghazālī who initiated the shift from reason and discourse to mystagogy and 'unreason.' The models for this tradition of philosophy are the Metaphysics and the Organon of Aristotle. However, the Greek heritage was always much more than Aristotle – Plato and the thoroughly neoplatonised Aristotle were critical. If anything, a serious historical engagement with the course of philosophy in the late antiquity period, on the cusp of the emergence of Islam, demonstrates that philosophy was much more than abstract reasoning, discourse and a linearity of proof.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Timo Behr
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The rise of political Islam in the EU's southern neighbourhood represents a political as well as conceptual challenge to the EU as a foreign policy actor. In the past, the EU reacted to this challenge based on its essentialist perception of political Islam and its overarching interest in regional stability and security. However, the growing salience of 'contingencist' interpretations of political Islam and the resolution of the EU's democratisation-stabilisation dilemma in the wake of the Arab Spring have recently provided an opportunity for greater engagement and cooperation. This has enabled a switch in EU policies from a strategy of containment to a strategy of engagement. Despite this, problems remain as the EU continues to expect Islamist actors to adjust to its own discursive framework and as intra-European divisions revive as a result of the renewal of secular-religious divisions in the neighbourhood. This will complicate EU attempts to build a new partnership with Islamist democracies and will fuel old stereotypes and animosities.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Arabia
  • Author: Erik Jones
  • Publication Date: 04-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Populists argue that Islamic immigrants are fundamentally different from Europeans. As evidence, they point to notions of religious and cultural identity. Such arguments have popular resonance. As more mainstream politicians pick up on these themes, they begin to take on an air of common sense. Nevertheless, they are mistaken. Europe has a long track record of reconciling competing identities. This has happened by focusing on patterns of interaction (solidarity) rather than obvious indicators of distinctiveness. Using the examples of the Netherlands and Turkey, this article illustrates the wide spectrum of European approaches to the challenge of getting different groups to share the same geographic space.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Netherlands
  • Author: Younes Nourbakhsh
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Iranian Review of Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Center for Strategic Research
  • Abstract: The relation between the Islamic East and the American and European West is potentially an important concept in discussions about religious coexistence. The domination of a discourse in opposition with coexistence can be a major obstacle in the formation of peace and the relations between the two worlds. The political discourse between the West and the Islamic world, though not always the same during time has been based on three main concepts of authorization, ethnocentrity, supremacy, well after the modernity. In other words, the West has exhibited a different, negative image of Islam, while presenting liberalism as the best model culture. The universalization of such a model has been pursued through modernity and technical ability. The discourse has been the hegemon for a long while. Even the East acknowledged it and developed the center - margin model of coexistence based on Wallerstein's theory, which gradually turned into the Islamic rival discourse. The political Islam tried to improve a social and political identity by rejecting the western discourse. After September 11, both discourses tended towards fundamentalism, and rivalry and confrontation replaced coexistence. In fact, a second Cold War was developed between the West and Muslim World. It seems that such a dialogical, polarized condition would not be apt to maintain any effective discourse. In this article, the elements and processes in the formation of such a discourse, and the effects on the existing challenges would be explained.
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Ahmet Yükleyen
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This collection of essays bridges the gap between arguments that emphasize the role of Islamic communities and the individualization of religious authority in the literature on Muslims in Western Europe. The editors propose to focus on the process by which Islamic knowledge-"whatever Muslims consider to be correct or proper belief and practice"-is produced through the interaction of religious authorities, lay Muslims, and their European context. There are two common themes that connect all the articles: the religious market model and the localization of Islam in Europe.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Pamela Irving Jackson
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Britain, China, Europe, Turkey, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Author: Yahia H. Zoubir
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: In the late 1980s, prospects for Maghreb integration were high; the process of integration reflected the aspirations of Maghreb states and societies. However, analysis shows that the process was merely a response to internal and external events of that period, namely, economic difficulties, 'fortress Europe', and the rise of radical Islamism. Following the Arab Spring, incessant calls for unity have re-emerged. Once again, these calls for unity, after a long period of tense relations, especially between Algeria and Morocco, have resulted from internal and external constraints. The threats to the incumbent regimes and/or the insecurity prevailing domestically and at the borders have compelled the Maghreb states to seek greater cooperation to overcome the hardships with which they are faced.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Algeria, Spain
  • Author: Andrew Bernstein
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: On the morning of September 11, 2001, Mohammed Atta and his minions flew stolen planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, destroying the former and murdering thousands of innocent civilians. What motivated this atrocity? What filled the murderers with such all-consuming hatred that they were willing to surrender their own lives in order to kill thousands of innocent human beings? The clear answer is that these were religious zealots engaged in holy war with their primordial enemy—the embodiment of the modern secular West: the United States of America.In their evil way, the Islamists provide mankind with some clarity. They remind us of what real religion is and looks like—not the Christianity or Judaism of the modern West, watered down and diluted by the secular principles of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment; but real faith-based, reason-rejecting, sin-bashing, kill-the-infidels religion. The atrocities of 9/11 and other similar terrorist acts by Islamists do not clash with their creed. On the contrary, they are consistent with the essence of religion—not merely of Islam—but religion more broadly, religion as such. This is an all-important lesson that humanity must learn: Religion is hazardous to your health. Unfortunately, conventional views of religion hold just the opposite. Many people believe that religion is the necessary basis of morality—that without belief in God, there can be no ethics, no right or wrong. A character in Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov famously expressed this view: “In a world without God, all things become permissible.” In the 21st century, many people still believe this. But the converse is true. A rational, fact-based, life-promoting morality is impossible on religious premises. Indeed, religion clashes with every rational principle and factual requirement of a proper, life-advancing ethics. A proper ethics, one capable of promoting flourishing human life on earth, requires the utter repudiation of religion—of all of its premises, tenets, implications, and consequences. To begin understanding the clash between religion and human life, consider the Dark Ages, the interminable centuries following the fall of Rome in the 5th century AD. The barbarian tribes that overran Rome eventually converted to Christianity, which, in the form of the Catholic Church, became the dominant philosophic and cultural force of medieval Europe. Unlike the essentially secular classical world, or the post-Renaissance modern world, the medieval world zealously embraced religion as the fundamental source of truth and moral guidance. What were the results in human life?
  • Topic: Health, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe
  • Author: Ursula Wokoeck
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Drawing on contemporary archival and manuscript sources, Marc Baer unfolds the most fascinating story of Sultan Mehmed IV. Although his reign was remarkably long (1648-87), he has almost been forgot- ten or depicted dismissively as weak and foolish. Aiming to retrieve that lost history, the book's central theme is conversion – of Muslims to “proper” Islamic practices, of Christians and Jews to Islam, and of space. Thus, the reader encounters the Kadızadeli movement that first rose to prominence in the 1650s. The movement advocated a revivalist pietism, in the sense that it called for the effective prohibition of unlawful innovations.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Ina Merdjanova
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: In his book, Ion Grumeza ambitiously sets about “to fill a gap with authoritative material on how the process of Balkanization came about, to separate fact from fiction and trace the patterns of ethnic and cultural life that originated fifteen centuries ago.” (p. ix) Furthermore, the book “traces the creation of the present Balkan nations and examines their influence on Eastern Europe.” (p.xiii) With this impressive aim in mind, the author has studied some hundred historical books on the Balkans, or at least this is what we find in his bibliography.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Geoffrey A. Gorham
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Macalester International
  • Institution: Macalester College
  • Abstract: The Netherlands' reputation as a bastion of religious and political toleration has been tested in the last decade by the rise of indigenous anti-immigrant political movements. These movements are fueled not only by simple xenophobia and racism, amplified in the wake of September 11, but also by the seemingly sincere sentiment that the Netherlands, the most densely populated nation in Europe, cannot sustain historical immigration levels: “Holland is full.” But another important component of anti-immigrant rhetoric is conceptual or ideological rather than practical, and trades on the tolerant self-image of the Dutch: toleration does not extend to the intolerant. Muslim immigrants are the usual target of this argument, who are accused of harboring theocratic, patriarchal, homophobic, and anti-Christian or anti-Jewish convictions and designs. Such rhetoric raises important and complex questions about how social and political ideals like toleration, freedom, and equality—as much as idolatry, infidelity, and heresy—are conditioned by the structures of social and economic power in which they historically emerge. That is to say, does the ideal of “toleration” in practice merely reinforce the boundaries of what is “tolerable” within the dominant culture?
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Netherlands, Holland
  • Author: Ayhan Kaya
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article discusses a new social and political phenomenon in Europe, which has become evident along with the visibility of Islam in the European public space. Revealing the current social-political context in Western Europe, which is mainly characterized by a growing drift of securitization of Islam and migration, this paper argues that there are two simultaneously running processes regarding the changing nature of Euro-Islam, which seem to are antithetical: individualization of Islam vs. institutionalization of Islam. Drawing upon the findings of the field research in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, this article shows that while the processes of globalization seem to prompt younger generations with Muslim background to liberate themselves from the constraints of their patriarchal parental and community culture, western states as well as ethnocultural and religious brokers tend to reify, or reinforce, their existing communal and religious boundaries. That is to say that the descendants of migrants seem to have been squeezed between individualization and institutionalization of Islam.
  • Topic: Islam, Migration
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
  • Author: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article explores the cultural politics of European opposition to Turkish accession to the EU. It argues that the foundations of secularism-the powerful a prioris that structure the debate in Europe regarding religion and politics-make it difficult for Europeans to cope with what is often described as an "Islamic challenge" to Europe, both internally and externally. Turkish candidacy makes these stumbling blocks explicit, as Turkey has become the symbolic carrier of domestic European angst about religion, particularly Islam, and politics. Turkish candidacy highlights unfinished business in the social fabric of the core EU members, including what it means to be secular and how religion, including but not limited to Islam, relates to European identity. These sticking points are what the debate over Turkish membership is really about, and it is for this reason that it is culturally-in addition to economically and politically-so contentious.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Frederick Seiler
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: John Kelsay
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: What can the study of the comparative ethics tell us about the similarities and divergences between the just war and jihad traditions? How can the discipline help locate shared concerns, identify persistent differences, and reveal common narratives?
  • Topic: Islam, Culture
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Hailey Cook
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: When Barack Obama became president of the United States in January 2009, expectations were unprecedented.
  • Topic: Islam, Oil
  • Political Geography: America, Europe
  • Author: Scott M. Thomas
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Religion is on the rise around the world. If the United States fails to confront the implications of this growth properly the potential for religiously motivated violence across the globe may increase dramatically over the next century.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Hugh Pope
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Turkey's ruling party is sometimes criticized for being Islamist or ideological, but its policies remain essentially nationalist and commercially opportunistic.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Europe, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ahmet Yukleyen
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Turkey's membership in the European Union (EU) is contingent on economic, political, and cultural factors. Rather than a geographic area with a particular cultural and religious history, the EU defines "Europe" as a political project that espouses values such as human rights, pluralist democracy, and a liberal economy. However, Turkey's EU accession process highlights the cultural and religious dimension through which "Islam" and "Europe" may be mutually redefined. This article examines how Turkish Muslim immigrants in Europe have become an example of the compatibility of "Islam" and "Europe." It is concluded that opposing Turkey's EU membership based on essentializing arguments of cultural and religious difference is misleading and counterproductive, as it fails to address the shifting boundaries of Europe and of Islam.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: Gonul Tol
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: Despite the general tendency within the literature on Islamism to label all Islamist associations as undemocratic due to a shared Islamic ethos, this article suggests that Islamist groups vary in ideology and methods from one another. They can become a counter-hegemonic force that threatens the democratic order or a potential force for democratization of the Islamic community. The role Islamist associations play in society is determined by the role of Islam within the Islamist discourse that is shaped by the social, economic and political structure within which Islamists operate. By comparing the dominant Turkish Islamist movement Milli Gorus in Germany with its Dutch counterpart based on data collected during field research between the years of 2004 and 2007, this article argues that European states ultimately determine the form Islamism takes within the European public space.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Germany, Netherlands, Dutch
  • Author: Fernando Celaya
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: In reflecting on the extensive literature and research on intelligence failures and particularly that which ensued in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, Indonesia and those in Europe, this analysis concludes that intelligence, and particularly Western intelligence, cannot be completely at fault for the failure to identify appropriately and forewarn about the occurrence of historical discontinuity events. Western policymakers, economic advisers, as well as socio-economic elites' performance throughout the 1980s and 1990s reveals flaws in long-term policy planning and decision-making with serious repercussions for strategic intelligence analysis. The inability to forecast historical discontinuity events is a key element of intelligence and policy which needs further revision.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: José Luis Calvo Albero
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: Existen numerosas experiencias de radicalización yihadista en prisiones, algunas de elias también en España. Este artículo describe en primer lugar la situación de los internos de origen musulmán en las prisiones españolas. Seguidamente analiza los retos y las disfunciones que actualmente afronta el sistema penitenciario español. Se trata de puntos débiles que afectan a la relación entre internos yihadistas y presos comunes de origen musulmán, a la vigilancia y control de la vida cotidiana de los internos, de la posible difusión de documentos radicales dentro de las prisiones y de las comunicaciones entre el interior y exterior de los centros. En conjunto, se advierte la falta de un plan estratégico por parte de la Administración penitenciaria para la prevención de la radicalización yihadista.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Javier Jordán, Humberto Trujillo, Jose Antonio Gutiérrez
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: There are many experiences of jihadist radicalization in prisons, some of them also in Spain. This article first describes the situation of Muslim convicts in Spanish prisons. Following, it analyzes the challenges and inefficiencies that the Spanish penitentiary system is currently facing. These are weaknesses that affect the relationship between convict jihadists and common prisoners of Muslim origin, the prevention and control of the prisoners' daily lives, the diffusion of radical documents inside the prisons and the communication between the interior and exterior of the center. Overall, it is noticeable the lack of a strategic plan from the penitentiary Administration for the prevention of jihadist radicalization.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Romania, Spain
  • Author: Howard Adelman
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Human Rights and Human Welfare - Review Essays
  • Institution: University of Denver - Graduate School of International Studies
  • Abstract: When I took my family to France for one of the hottest summers on record, we went to a local municipal pool in Beaune. After paying the en trance fee and entering the pool area, we were informed that my children would not be allowed to swim wearing their North American boxer-style swimming shorts. “Public health” required that they wear speedo-type suits. No reason or evidence was offered to explain the policy. The officials simply said it was French law. The swimming pool administration generously provided washed speedos. My children had a great time. The next day, my youngest son developed an itch in his crotch. When we took him to the doctor, he was diagnosed with a serious skin infection most likely contracted from the borrowed swim suit.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Islam, Nationalism
  • Political Geography: Europe, France, North America
  • Author: Ali Bardakoğlu
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: This article aims to show how exchanges between religion and secularism, Islam and democracy and cross-cultural relations over many years have shaped Turks' perception of Islam and their position towards freedom of religion and co-existence of different faith communities. Muslims are generally attributed a monolithic identity marked by intolerance despite the fact that they have considerable diversity in their understanding of Islam and its practice. The Turkish case challenges such essentialist views by demonstrating that despite some isolated events, Turkey succeeds in managing religious diversity because the perception of Islam has developed in connection with a variety of current and historical events. The perception that emerged in the course of Turkish cultural and political history provides strong grounds for peaceful co-existence within the shared social order. Turkey's achievement in establishing a political culture and a perception of Islam that facilitates religious pluralism can be attributed to factors as such democracy and secularism and Turkey's efforts to join the European Union.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey
  • Author: José Antonio Peña-Ramos
  • Publication Date: 07-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: Madrid and London terrorist attacks in 2004 and 2005, European counterparts to those carried out in New York and Washington during 2001, have steadily increased EU institutions' concern about the phenomenon of violent radicalization, specially that of Islamist nature, as a possible previous step leading to Jihadist terrorism in a context of a continuous and even growing flow of immigration, namely from Muslim origins. The European Council deems paramount to achieve a deeper cooperation between civil society and authorities towards the prevention of these radicalization phenomena.
  • Topic: Civil Society, Islam, Migration, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Gaza, Romania, Spain
  • Author: Nathalie Tocci, Nona Mikhelidze
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Since the late 1980s, research on political Islam has been much in vogue in Europe and the US. This phenomenon is typically viewed as an expression of religion rather than of politics. Precisely because of the assumed "religious" underpinnings of political Islam, most Western attempts to engage with Islamists often remain trapped in an attempt to test their "democratic credentials". By focussing on what Islamists think about democracy, many studies have ignored the political, social and economic contexts in which Islamists operate. Accounting for the political underpinning of Islamist movements can both help understand their political evolution and open up fruitful avenues for comparative analysis. For this reason, attention is turned to Europe to seek best practices of external engagement with domestic opposition movements in authoritarian contexts, such as Western engagement with opposition actors in Franco's Spain, Kuchma's Ukraine and Shevardnadze's Georgia.
  • Topic: Islam, Politics
  • Political Geography: Europe, Georgia
  • Author: Amel Boubekeur
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: When European Muslim citizens are involved in social conflicts or when they contest the place that is given them in Europe, these political claims are often seen as radical and inspired by external influences. If an attempt is made to understand what part the influences of the so-called Muslim "countries of origin" play in the way Muslims contest European models of society and integration, it turns out that the roots of radicalisation are often purely European. The idea that it is the Islamic and communitarian nature of the European Muslim way of life which is at the base of their failing integration has to be challenged. Indeed, the initiatives of religious actors have failed to channel the radicalisation of European Muslims' political demands. The role of the religious variable is of much less importance in political radicalisation than the lack of an institutional response to the demands for greater social and economic integration.
  • Topic: Economics, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Andrea Coppi, Andrea Spreafico
  • Publication Date: 09-2008
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: The Muslim community in Italy does not benefit from official recognition, which could, among other things, provide it with access to state funding. Nor does its fragmented nature favour a process of aggregation leading to the formation of a single representative body delegated to dialogue with the institutions. The government initiative establishing the Council of Italian Islam (Consulta) sought to encourage an original course in this direction, but it seems that the body is unlikely to solve the problem. The solutions adopted in various European countries and the proposals put forward by experts suggest that legal recognition cannot sidestep the question of representation and therefore calls for a process of cultural mediation.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Italy
  • Author: Melkulangara Kumaran Bhadrakumar
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Insight Turkey
  • Institution: SETA Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research
  • Abstract: The 85-year-old Turkish state finds itself at a crossroads. But the implications of Erdoğan's final choice go far beyond Turkey's borders. Turkey's standing as a regional powerhouse, its strategic location as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, its historical and cultural heritage in the Muslim world – all these are bound to come into play in the coming months. The crucial importance of what is unfolding in Turkey lies in that, to quote former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben-Ami in a recent article, "Engaging political Islam will need to be the central part of any successful strategy for the Middle East. Instead of sticking to doomsday prophecies of categorical perspectives that prevent an understanding of the complex fabric of Islamic movements, the West needs to keep the pressure on the incumbent regimes to stop circumventing political reform."
  • Topic: Islam, Reform
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Jesús González, Andrés Gómez
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: El nombre de "al-Murabitún" remite al menos a tres movimientos o grupos separados temporalmente aunque con un objetivo compartido: la lucha contra el infiel desviado del camino del Islam. El primer referente histórico lo constituyen los Murabitún de Al-Andalus ("hombres de la Ribat"), almorávides de la dinastía bereber - los más temidos guerreros de la época, por cierto- en los actuales Marruecos, Mauritania, Argelia Occidental y España entre 1056/1060 y 1 147 d. C
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Javier Jordán
  • Publication Date: 10-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Athena Intelligence Journal
  • Institution: Athena Intelligence
  • Abstract: Más de tres años después de los atentados del 11 de marzo de 2004, las Fuerzas y Cuerpos de Seguridad del Estado continúan desarticulando redes yihadistas en nuestro país. Durante este tiempo los medios de comunicación han venido prestando atención a las operaciones policiales de cierto calado y, en los últimos meses, también han logrado espacio informativo las proclamas yihadistas a favor de la recuperación de Al-Andalus. Parece claro que España sigue amenazada por el terrorismo yihadista pero la capacidad de real de estos grupos para volver atentar resulta un tanto confusa
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Spain
  • Author: Jean-Paul Willaime
  • Publication Date: 12-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: French Politics, Culture Society
  • Institution: Conference Group on French Politics Society
  • Abstract: Strongly marked by the weight of the past, the French approach to State-Religion- Society relations has distinct qualities, and especially a strong confrontational and emotional dimension. This essay address the evolution of these relations and their tensions by focusing on three subjects that make manifest the relationship between politics and religion in important ways, namely, schools, sects, and Islam. The arena of the school is especially significant in three respects: the link between public and private schools; the question of what should be taught about religion, and the display of religious expression by students. The essay considers these matters within the context of wider transformations in religion (secularization) and politics (disenchantment and changes in the state's role in society). It concludes by situating recent developments in the context of globalization and especially Europeanization.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe, France
  • Author: George Joffé
  • Publication Date: 06-2007
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The International Spectator
  • Institution: Istituto Affari Internazionali
  • Abstract: Europe' reactions to its recently-constituted Muslim communities reflect its implicit self-image of cultural homogeneity, despite a long tradition of endless cultural adaption. This, in turn, is a facet of the persistance of an Orientalist vision which stimulates its opposed mirror-image, Occidentalism or Orientalism-in-reverse, as those communities react with a sense of profound alienation. The two interact to generate the cultural and political confrontation that typifies inter-communal relations today, constructing a new inter-communal socio-political boundary that could harden into a permanent divide of mutual hostility. It is this, far more than globalised salafi-jihadism, that explains the political extremism confronting European states today.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Europe