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McJihad: Islam in the US global order

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Social Text 20.4 (2002) 1-18 On 3 February 1997, a delegation of the Taliban government of Afghanistan visited Washington, D.C. Ten days earlier Taliban forces had won control of the countryside around Kabul, and with the south and east of the country already in their hands they were now making preparations to conquer the north. In Washington the Taliban delegation met with State Department officials and discussed the plans of the California oil company Unocal to build a pipeline from Central Asia through Afghanistan. A senior U.S. diplomat explained his government's thinking: "The Taliban will probably develop like the Saudis did. There will be Aramco, pipelines, an emir, no parliament and lots of Sharia law. We can live with that." U.S. support for the Taliban, who received arms and financial assistance from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia with the agreement of the United States, ended within a year. But the diplomat's reference to Aramco—the American oil company that had financed, sixty years earlier, the creation of Saudi Arabia—was a reminder that the United States was accustomed to working with emirs whose power depended upon strict interpretations of Islamic law. By the end of 1997, Washington was describing the Taliban government as "despicable," but this negative view was not typical of U.S. relations with governments that claimed to rule in the name of a puritanical Islam. In fact, the normal relationship was quite different. As a rule, the most secular regimes in the Middle East have been those most independent of the United States. The more closely a government is allied with Washington, the more Islamic its politics. Egypt under Nasser, republican Iraq, the Palestine national movement, postindependence Algeria, the Republic of South Yemen, and Ba'thist Syria all charted courses independent of the United States. None of them declared themselves an Islamic state, and many of them repressed local Islamic movements. In contrast, those governments dependent on the United States typically claimed an Islamic authority, whether ruled by a monarch who claimed descent from the Prophet, as in Jordan, North Yemen, and Morocco, or asserting a special role as protector of the faith, as in the case of Saudi Arabia. When other governments moved closer to the United States—Egypt under Anwar Sadat in the 1970s, Pakistan under Zia ul-Haq in the 1980s—their political rhetoric and modes of legitimation became avowedly more Islamic. Iran might seem an exception to this pattern. Under the pro-American government of the shah it was a secular state; after the 1979 revolution it became an Islamic republic, opposed to America's ambitions. In fact, however, the shah mobilized conservative religious forces in his support, drawing on a CIA-funded clerical leadership to help overthrow a nationalist government in 1953 and losing power only when the leading clerics in the country turned against him. And many scholars of Iran would argue that the Islamic Republic, the Middle Eastern country most independent of the United States, is one in which appeals to religion are increasingly unable to legitimate the exercise of power. Especially among its youth, the Islamic Republic has created one of the most secular societies in the region. This pattern, once it has been noticed, lends itself to a straightforward, but unsatisfactory, explanation. The United States depends on the support of conservative political regimes, it is often pointed out, and these have tended to rely on religion to justify their power. In contrast, many of the populist or nationalist regimes carried out postindependence programs of land reform, the advancement of women's rights, industrialization, and the provision of free education and health care, and achieved whatever legitimacy they gained through these popular social reforms rather than the authority of religion. This explanation is unsatisfactory because the conservative political morality offered by certain forms of Islam is not some enduring feature of the religion that rulers adopt at their own convenience. Its usefulness reflects the fact that religious conservatism expresses the views of powerful social and political movements. Political regimes enter into uneasy alliances with these movements, depending on a force they do not directly control. The dominant school of Islam in Saudi Arabia...

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States that depend upon oil revenues appear to be less democratic than other states. Yet oil presents a much larger problem for democracy: faced with the threats of oil depletion and catastrophic climate change, the democratic machineries that emerged to govern the age of carbon energy seem to be unable to address the processes that may end it. This article explores these multiple dimensions of carbon democracy, by examining the intersecting histories of coal, oil and democracy in the twentieth century. Following closely the methods by which fossil fuels were produced, distributed and converted into other forms of socio-technical organization, financial circulation and political power, the article traces ways in which the concentration and control of energy flows could open up democratic possibilities or close them down; how connections were engineered in the post-war period between the flow of oil and the flows of international finance, on which democratic stability was thought to depend; how these same circulations made possible the emergence of the economy and its unlimited growth as the main object of democratic politics; and how the relations among forms of energy, finance, economic knowledge, democracy and violence were transformed in the 1967-74 oil-dollar Middle East crises.
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Is democratic transition possible when civil society elite are not committed, in prin- ciple, to democracy? We argue that the failure of Middle Eastern countries to make the transition from authoritarian to democratic government can be at least partially explained by questions about the commitment of Islamic political opposi- tion to democracy beyond a country's flrst free election. In extending Przeworski's canonical model of political liberalization as described in Democracy and the Market (1991), we flnd that transition to democracy is only possible under two conditions. First, uncertainty regarding the preferences of key elite actors is a necessary condi- tion for democratic transition. Second, the repressive capacity of the state must lie above a minimum threshold. Given these conditions, democracy only occurs when two types of political actors meet | regime liberalizers who prefer democracy to a narrowed dictatorship and civil society elite who honor democratic principles.
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The peculiarly American study of the ‘non-Western’ world—going under the rubric of interdisciplinary ‘area studies’—is in crisis. Its origins date back to the postwar and Cold War period and may be best understood as a political and policy-driven scholarly endeavor that flourished in the 1960s, 1970s and well into the 1980s. There have been many critiques from both within and outside the field. This article discusses the impacts of major globalizing trends on the field as well as new directions for the future. It focuses on the ‘Moving Cultures’ project of the School of Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawai'i11The projects website is www.hawaii.edu/moving cultures/. See also Wesley-Smith [41]. that was part of a larger Ford Foundation's initiative to revitalize area studies. This ongoing project utilizes computer-based and other interactive technologies to link students and classrooms across the Pacific divide as part of a pedagogy intending to decolonize area studies. The promises and perils of technology as a beacon for the future of area studies is critically assessed.
Research
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China's involvement in Afghanistan: besides economics lies security.
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Engages critically with the uses of ?culturespeak? in scenarios and related kinds of public usage. What kind of understandings of culture are set forth in the scenarios, what kinds of critical responses have these met with? Starting out from a view of human beings as a learning species, how can we grasp contemporary world culture as an organization of diversity? State, market, movement and consociality are identified as major organizational frames of contemporary culture, and the relation of major scenario writers to these frames is mapped.
Article
The decentring agenda in European Studies has called for turning our gaze from the ‘centre’ towards the ‘periphery’. This essay offers one decentred approach to EU migration governance in the Mediterranean: Studying geopolitical encounters between the receiving and sending spaces as constitutive of the very issues that are otherwise portrayed as autonomously developed. I will do this by adopting Edward Said’s method of contrapuntal reading, which involves ‘thinking through and interpreting together’ narratives from different parts of the world towards recovering ‘intertwined and overlapping histories’ of humankind. The specific case I look at is the 2015 ‘migrant crisis in the Mediterranean’ and the ways in which women’s insecurities were portrayed. While such representations presume women’s insecurities to have developed in the South/east and arrived in the North/west via migration, a contrapuntal reading of Fatima Mernissi’s writings together with everyday portrayals of the ‘crisis’ points to the connectedness of otherwise differentiated experiences. What is represented as ‘before Europe’ (in Bernard McGrane's felicitous turn of phrase) is, at the same time, the ‘aftermath of Europe’ insofar as geopolitical encounters between North/west and South/east of the Mediterranean have been constitutive of women’s insecurities.
Article
Many international conflicts are in some way related to energy, ever since oil became the world's preeminent strategic commodity in the early 20th century. I argue that the most important energy-related variable for international conflict is a state's net oil import position. Oil politics tends to appear in one of three ways in security studies. Some have emphasized resource wars; others have focused on the needs of oil importers; and still others on the pathologies of oil exporters. These disparate approaches, largely isolated from each other, can better be understood as relating to a single explanatory variable. Lots of other variables matter but none are as central as net oil imports. This means that to understand energy and security, a political economy framework is a necessity. For oil exporters, external petro-aggression and internal pathologies of the resource curse are the key mechanisms. For oil importers, energy consumption needs generate a plethora of mechanisms that complicate conflict dynamics. A sophisticated understanding of these mechanisms can improve our understanding of both national and global security.
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[You can download the introduction and, the summary and conclusions sections here; and pass it to any interested friend] [This book is a shortened and simplified version of my PhD thesis, completed in the autumn of 2005, University of Bradford] (https://www.savaskitap.com/Cengiz-Dinc_ar_3223) This study focuses on the Welfare Party elite’s conceptualisation of modernity during the party’s last 4-5 years before its closure in 1998. Since the party was the most important Islamist organisation in Turkey, it was at an important point of interaction between Islamism and modernity. The study tries to determine the significance of the WP discourse on key modernisation issues by answering such questions as how the WP elite conceptualised modernity; how this conceptualisation was formulated, constructed and what was modernity’s relationship with the West in their view. It argues that, the WP elite had a distinct (Islamist) understanding of modernity which, despite its differences in its approach to some basic issues (e.g. secularism) overall remained within modernity by sharing most of its major characteristics. The WP elite, similar to many other Islamist movements, advocated a more Islamic (less secular and less Westernising) route to modernity; and they could not be considered as anti-modernists. The study contributes towards a better understanding of the critical role that a version of Islamism plays in Turkey’s politics and process of modernisation and provides insights about the impact of Western modernity on the sizeable Islamist section. The study employs important concepts such as secularisation, nationalism, the modern state, economic development (science, technology, industrialisation), capitalism and democracy as important components of modernity. An analysis of the views of the WP elite with regard to these concepts and processes serves to better understanding the Islamist stance towards the particular path of modernisation in Turkey, modernity in general, and also the West.
Chapter
Egypt has lived under secular military rule since the middle of the twentieth centuary. The only short exception was the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood following free and democratic elections after the 2011 uprising against President Hosni Mubarak. During the brief tenure of the Muslim Brotherhood, under President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian parliament drafted and enacted a new constitution, referred to as the 2012 constitution. This chapter compares the 2012 constitution, which was drafted by a religiously oriented parliament, with the 1971 constitution, which was drafted by a secular parliament, under the rule of President Anwar Al Sadat. In doing so, it pays particular attention to the clauses that pertain to gender equality and women’s human rights.
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The demand related to multiculturalism, has reach significance in the discussion about cartoons. That process appears in Chili, from the importation of the concept of multi-culturalism discussed in the present text. We propose a concept of cultural violence, as a discursive exercise that emerges in the representation of the ethnic or cultural difference.
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Considers the conditions of looking ahead toward what the world may become. Can scenarios predict, or warn of undesirable developments, or imagine what will happen in other ways? Where do scenarios stand between our understandings of fiction and non-fiction, and how are ways of scenario writing affected? Future scenarios are seen as a variety of “subjunctive reporting,” and compared to the genre of “counterfactual history.” The use of three varieties of time perspective—longue durée, conjunctural history, event history—is considered, and stylistic features of scenario writing (catch phrases and metaphors, neologisms, dramatic contrasts etc.) are identified. Finally, there is a discussion of differences between academic writing and journalism.
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PurposeThis chapter analyses the strategies employed by women and youth political activists in Iran in the context of changes engendered by the neo-liberal policies pursued by successive governments since the end of the Iran-Iraq war. Design/methodology/approachThe analysis in this chapter is based on semi-structured interviews conducted by the author with women and youth activists in Iran in 2015. This qualitative data is contextualised within a theoretical discussion of the nature of the Iranian state, the impact of neo-liberal policies, and debates surrounding gender and neo-liberalism. FindingsContrary to the view of politics in Iran as a battle between hard-line religious fundamentalists and moderates, this chapter argues that it is not the religious nature of the state but its neo-liberal policies that have made it more difficult for women and youth activists to mobilise against the exclusionary policies of the state. In response activists in Iran have developed and articulated strategies of resistance to and accommodation with the Islamic Republic’s neo-liberal project. Originality/valueThe chapter breaks with prevailing socio-cultural analyses of women’s rights in Iran and provides a critique of prevalent ideas of women’s rights as innately connected to liberal and specifically neo-liberal forms of politics and governance.
Book
The waves of protest ignited by the self-immolation of Muhammad Bouazizi in Tunisia in late 2010 highlighted for an international audience the importance of contentious politics in the Middle East and North Africa. John Chalcraft’s ground-breaking account of popular protest emphasizes the revolutionary modern history of the entire region. Challenging top-down views of Middle Eastern politics, he looks at how commoners, subjects and citizens have long mobilised in defiance of authorities. Chalcraft takes examples from a wide variety of protest movements from Morocco to Iran. He forges a new narrative of change over time, creating a truly comparative framework rooted in the dynamics of hegemonic contestation. Beginning with movements under the Ottomans, which challenged corruption and oppression under the banners of religion, justice, rights and custom, this book goes on to discuss the impact of constitutional movements, armed struggles, nationalism and independence, revolution and Islamism. A work of unprecedented range and depth, this volume will be welcomed by undergraduates and graduates studying protest in the region and beyond.
Article
The subject of this book is a new "Islam." This Islam began to take shape in 1988 around the Rushdie affair, the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989, and the first Gulf War of 1991. It was consolidated in the period following September 11, 2001. It is a name, a discursive site, a signifier at once flexible and constrained-indeed, it is a geopolitical agon, in and around which some of the most pressing aporias of modernity, enlightenment, liberalism, and reformation are worked out. At this discursive site are many metonyms for Islam: the veiled or "pious" Muslim woman, the militant, the minority Muslim injured by Western free speech. Each of these figures functions as a cipher enabling repeated encounters with the question "How do we free ourselves from freedom?" Again and again, freedom is imagined as Western, modern, imperial-a dark imposition of Enlightenment. The pious and injured Muslim who desires his or her own enslavement is imagined as freedom's other. At Freedom's Limit is an intervention into current debates regarding religion, secularism, and Islam and provides a deep critique of the anthropology and sociology of Islam that have consolidated this formation. It shows that, even as this Islam gains increasing traction in cultural production from television shows to movies to novels, the most intricate contestations of Islam so construed are to be found in the work of Muslim writers and painters. This book includes extended readings of jihadist proclamations; postcolonial law; responses to law from minorities in Muslim-majority societies; Islamophobic films; the novels of Leila Aboulela, Mohammed Hanif, and Nadeem Aslam; and the paintings of Komail Aijazuddin.
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. Pivoting on the process of reserve replacement undertaken by key oil transnationals in Canada as a spatial fix for capital, the article considers how individual firms employ formal review processes to project their strategic interests. The proponent firm shapes, through its own participation, the regulatory terrain on which competitors will subsequently operate. In Alberta's tar sands, the oil industry's reserve replacement process serves as a spatial-temporal fix for capital, and the review process and tribunal acts as a complementary socio-ecological fix - restricting social/affective claims, including First Nations resistance, to an official tribunal setting. In seeking formal approval to replace declining oil and gas reserves with unconventionals, proponent firms claim investor security, while social movement opponents emphasize risk and insecurity arising from carbon-intensive, frontier extraction. In the case of the contested Shell Jackpine Mine Expansion Joint Review Panel, as in other environmental assessment processes in Alberta, the proponent firm and state representatives employ the oxymoronic term resource sterilization' to describe ecological protection. Resource sterilization' offers a discursive representation of how capital's spatio-temporal fix in unconventionals is facilitated through the terms of the formal review process, in which social claims are muted.
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In the post-Cold War era, why has democratization been slow to arrive in the Arab world? This book argues that to understand support for the authoritarian status quo in parts of this region--and the willingness of its citizens to compromise on core democratic principles--one must factor in how a strong U.S. presence and popular anti-Americanism weakens democratic voices. Examining such countries as Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, Amaney Jamal explores how Arab citizens decide whether to back existing regimes, regime transitions, and democratization projects, and how the global position of Arab states shapes people's attitudes toward their governments.
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This book focuses on how globalization is impacting contemporary Israel. it is a concise and originally argued introduction to Israel, but the author, Uri Ram, is careful to frame his analysis in a broader discussion of Israeli history and broader social currents. Focusing in particular on two defining – and conflicting – contemporary trends; one toward advanced liberal democracy with a cosmopolitan edge, and the other toward ethno-religious traditionalism and rejection of the secularism associated with market driven globalization. The cosmopolitan, high-tech driven city of Tel Aviv represents the former trend, and Jerusalem – a city increasingly dominated by orthodox Jews – represents the latter. Using Benjamin Barber's Jihad versus McWorld thesis to good effect, Ram's book will stand as an ideal introduction to contemporary Israel and its place in the world.
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This article develops two propositions: multiculturalism has gone global and identification has become flexible. Multiculturalism is a global arena, yet most treatments still conceive of multiculturalism as a national arena. In contemporary global multiculture far-off conflicts become part of multiculturalism arenas; this is illustrated with a discussion of two multicultural conflicts, the Danish cartoon episode and the murder of Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam. Muslim women's headscarves from Istanbul and Cairo to Tehran and Lyon display a wide register of meanings, but in the French national assembly have been signified in just one. Multiculturalism means global engagement and to engage with the world is to engage with its conflicts. Multiculturalism is not no man's land. Multiculturalism is not consensus. There is no consensus in Britain about the war in Iraq and there is none among immigrants either. The securitization of cultural difference confirms the interplay between global and multicultural frictions. Multiculturalism is one of the faces of globalization and globalization, at its Sunday best, is human history conscious of itself, which by the way is not always nice. Contemporary global multiculture represents a new phase of globalization.
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T he politics of Islamist dissent in Saudi Ara-bia have come under intense scrutiny since September 11. This is hardly surprising. Osama bin Laden is Saudi Arabian by birth and upbringing. Suspicion existed for some time that Saudis, both private citizens and public officials, had sent financial assistance to bin Laden after his exile to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia was one of only three states (along with Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates) to recognize the Tal-iban as Afghanistan's legitimate government. Per-haps most alarmingly, 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudi Arabian citizens. Ties between the events of September 11 and Saudi Arabia reinforce the need for serious reform in the kingdom. Political, economic, and social problems in the country have provided a fertile field for dissent—dissent that can no longer be managed from above. If these problems are addressed in a meaningful manner, the attraction of the radical flank of Islamists is likely to diminish in the pres-ence of credible alternatives. But if serious struc-tural reforms are not implemented, the call from the most radical flank will almost certainly find an audience among the population. The internal and external grievances of the Islamists resonate broadly. The former involve authoritarianism and repression, maldistribution and inequity, the absence of representation in the political system, and the seemingly permanent sta-tioning of United States military forces in Saudi Ara-bia. The latter involve American backing of Israel, United States–led sanctions on Iraq, and American support for repressive regimes in the region, partic-ularly Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and Jordan. Contentious politics in general and social move-ments with Islamist lineages in particular are a sig-nificant part of the landscape of the contemporary Middle East. The Saudi case is especially interesting because Islamist movements, even under the con-straints of an authoritarian political system, have been able to forge effective, amorphous underground networks throughout the country. We have only begun to debate what political dissent inside Saudi Arabia might mean for the future of the country and its ruling family, the al-Saud. A start is to understand the historical context, inner workings, and impact of the Islamist movement in Saudi Arabia.
Book
Here is a devastating expose of what, according to Mr. Rand, is the most powerful conglomerate of wealth in America: the oil industry. Mr. Rand, a Persian and Arabic expert as well as a former oil industry employee who has lived in the Middle East, combines research with knowledge acquired firsthand. His analysis shows that the oil crisis, far from being a recent phenomenon, was years in developing. For the first time we learn just how energy is provided for--or withheld from--the public. Armed with facts, figures, and case histories, Rand divulges the full story behind Aramco, SoCal, Exxon, and the other oil producers. He uncovers the political ramifications of ''oil diplomacy'' in both the Arab world and in America, revealing the Executive Branch's reluctance to intervene as well as Congress's inability to do so. And he discusses what we can expect in the future, including suggestions about how we might cope with the problem. ''Making Democracy Safe for Oil,'' startling, timely, is a critique no one can afford to ignore, for the explosive situation continues to affect each one of us directly. (From book jacket)
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Book InformationUnholy Wars@ Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism. By John K. Cooley. Pluto Press. London. 1999. Pp. 282. Hardback, £20.00, 0–7453–1328–0.
Why I Turned Wahhabi
  • H St
  • B John
  • Philby
H. St. John B. Philby, "Why I Turned Wahhabi," Egyptian Gazette, 16
McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World Ballantine, 1995), 4. Barber discusses a "dialectic" of Jihad and McWorld, but means only that the forces he labels Jihad must be understood as a reaction to modernity
  • R Benjamin
  • Jihad Barber
  • Vs
Benjamin R. Barber, Jihad vs. McWorld: How Globalism and Tribalism are Reshaping the World (New York: Ballantine, 1995), 4. Barber discusses a "dialectic" of Jihad and McWorld, but means only that the forces he labels Jihad must be understood as a reaction to modernity, not a relic of the past (157).
The Making of an Unfriendly WorldThe Shah, Not Kremlin, Touched off Afghan Coup
  • Jonathan Kwitny
  • Endless Enemies
  • Selig S Harrison
Jonathan Kwitny, Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World (New York: Congdon and Weed, 1984), 215; Selig S. Harrison, "The Shah, Not Kremlin, Touched off Afghan Coup," Washington Post, 13 May 1979; Fred Halliday, Soviet Policy in the Arc of Crisis (Washington, D.C.: Institute for Policy Studies, 1981), 84-90.
  • John K Cooley
  • Unholy Wars
John K. Cooley, Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America, and International Terrorism, 2d ed. (London: Pluto, 2000);
Le nouvel obser vateur The interview was not included in the abridged edition of the magazine sold in the United States
  • Brzezinski
niew Brzezinski," Le nouvel obser vateur, 15-21 January 1998, 76. The interview was not included in the abridged edition of the magazine sold in the United States. This translation is by Bill Blum.
The Texas quota system was reinforced by the federal Connally Act, known as the "Hot Oil" Act The American Petroleum Industry
  • F Harold
  • Williamson
The Texas quota system was reinforced by the federal Connally Act, known as the "Hot Oil" Act, of 1935 (Harold F. Williamson, The American Petroleum Industry [Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1959-63], 2:543
gov/emeu/cabs/opec.html. Surplus capacity is defined as oil production that can be brought on line within thirty days and sustained for at least ninety days
  • See Doe
See www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/opec.html. Surplus capacity is defined as oil production that can be brought on line within thirty days and sustained for at least ninety days.