We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Muslims in Global Politics

Identities, Interests, and Human Rights

By Mahmood Monshipouri

Publication Year: 2009

As Islam spreads throughout the world, Muslims living in their traditional homelands and in the Western world are grappling with shifting identities. These questions of identity are an integral part of national and international politics. In Egypt Islamists clash with secularists over religious and national identity, while in Turkey secularist ruling elites have chosen to accommodate Islamists in the name of democracy and reconciliation. In all cases, understanding the dynamics of identity-based politics is critical to the future of Muslims and their neighbors across the globe.

In Muslims in Global Politics, Mahmood Monshipouri examines the role identity plays in political conflicts in six Muslim nations—Egypt, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and Indonesia—as well as in Muslim diaspora communities in Europe and North America. In each instance, he describes how conservatives, neofundamentalists, reformists, and secularists construct identity in different ways and how these identities play out in the political arena. With globalization, the demand for human rights continues to grow in the Muslim world, and struggles over modernity, authenticity, legitimacy, and rationality become increasingly important.

Muslims in Global Politics deepens our understanding of how modern ideas and norms interact with the traditions of the Islamic world and, in turn, shows how human rights advocates can provide an alternative to militant Islamist movements.

Published by: University of Pennsylvania Press

Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights


pdf iconDownload PDF


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. v-vi

read more

Preface: Muslims’ Struggles for Identities, Interests, and Human Rights

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. vii-xiv

The concerns that led to this book were both academic and personal. My academic interests and involvement in trying to understand the ways in which human rights can be enhanced in the Muslim world date back to the 1980s, when a wave of Islamic revivalism throughout the Muslim world resulted in a profound transformation in perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of many Muslims, living in both the homeland and the diaspora.

read more

1. Muslims’ Quest for Identities, Interests, and Human Rights

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 1-24

The interplay between market forces, transnational flows, and social relations is a complex and evolving process that is fraught with paradoxes. Nowhere are such complexities and contradictions more apparent today than in the construction of diverse and multiple identities in the imagination of people. Indeed, globalization has precipitated global solidarity on the one hand while facilitating fractionalizing, identity-based politics on the other.

read more

2. International Human Rights Norms and Muslim Experiences

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 25-46

Flaws in overly optimistic theories of globalization demonstrate that aside from its pure economic implications, globalization has generated profound social disruption and cultural resistance. The critics of globalization, who see it as a juggernaut of untrammeled capitalism, fear a world ruled by profit-seeking multinational and global corporations.

read more

3. Gender, Identity, and Negotiating Rights

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 47-72

Historically regarded as cultural transmitters and protectors of national values, Muslim women have become a new subject of debate. This impassioned debate on women’s roles in Islam is also seen by many as a source of moral and social disorder. Defying both conventional and patriarchal ideologies, Muslim women today have become a powerful voice for change.

read more

4. Searching for a Modern Islamic Identity in Egypt

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 73-99

Egypt is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations. The vast majority of its people are Muslim, and Islam is the state religion. Although Egyptians’ identity has been shaped by their own distinct geography, history, and cultural traditions, the content of their identity is surely Arab- Islamic. Egypt also has the largest Christian population in the Middle Eastern and North African region.

read more

5. Occupation, Sectarianism, and Identity Politics in Iraq

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 100-120

Thirty-five years of political coercion by the Baath Party did little to diminish a wide split between the Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish populations. The Baath Party acted as an Arab nationalist movement whose pan- Arabism quashed cultural and political pluralism. Given the historical power disparities between these groups, the Shiites and Kurds continue to see themselves as different from the Sunnis.1

read more

6. The Melding of the Old and New in the United Arab Emirates

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 121-138

Known as the trading hub of the Persian Gulf and Middle Eastern region, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is managing to preserve the balance between forces of tradition and modernity. Externally, the country manifests the growing impact of rapid modernization and globalization. But at the same time, the tribal sheikhs continue to play an extremely important role in the country’s political system.

read more

7. Secularism, Turkish Islam, and Identity

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 139-164

Led by Mustafa Kemal Atat

read more

8. The Reemergence of Populism in Iranian Politics: Constructing New Identities

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 165-191

The 1979 Islamic Revolution led, among other things, to a cultural transformation in which the Iranian masses demonstrated their wish to defend their religious and cultural identity. In the course of the revolution, many Iranians took the view that the shah’s Westernizing and modernizing programs posed a threat to Iran’s national and Islamic identity and widened class disparities. The resistance to the shah’s repressive regime indeed became a reaction to what threatened not only Iranians’ religious and cultural heritage but also their economic and personal security.

read more

9. Negotiating Modernity and Tradition in Indonesia

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 192-216

Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago and the fourth largest country in the world. It is also the world’s most populous Muslim country, a major producer of oil, and well endowed with natural resources. Its strategic location allows it to control a major waterway between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The security of these waterways is crucial to the passage of oil tankers and the international shipping trade. Indonesia is home to a blend of indigenous beliefs and a diverse array of cultures and civilizations as well as a variety of different ethnic and religious groups such as Hindus, Buddhists, Arabs, and Europeans. Indonesia’s political and cultural history has been equally influenced by Hindu-Buddhist ideas from India and by Islam.1

read more

10. Construction of Muslims in Europe: The Politics of Immigration

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 217-242

Immigration has become one of the most significant political issues facing Europe, and Muslims have become the most important ‘‘other’’ in European public discourse. To better understand why, it is especially important to put in context the processes leading to the postwar reconstruction of Europe. The dynamics of reconstruction and its economic integration in the postwar period have led not to the growth of genuine ‘‘multiculturalism’’ and a ‘‘model of tolerance’’ but to emerging identity clashes between Europeans and their Muslim immigrants.

read more

Conclusion: Identities, Interests, and Human Rights

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 243-262

Since the end of the Cold War, there has been an upsurge in identity and cultural politics. In much of the post–Cold War debate about culture, Islam has presented a particular challenge to some aspects of Western modernity.1 As Islam has come under closer scrutiny in the post-9/11 period, young Muslims have sought to learn more about their religion and strengthen their sense of identity.2


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 263-314


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 315-320


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 321-325

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 327-328

Many individuals and offices have assisted in the research and writing of this book. Mr. Raouf Mashayekh and Mrs. Taraneh Larijani were generous with their time and ideas in Dubai, arranging several meetings and interviews for me in the United Arab Emirates. Professor Zehra Arat, of SUNY-Purchase, helped me enormously in my trip to Turkey by setting up several interviews and contacts with scholars in the field of international relations and several NGOs in Istanbul and Ankara.

E-ISBN-13: 9780812202830
Print-ISBN-13: 9780812241815

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2009

Series Title: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
Series Editor Byline: Bert B. Lockwood, Jr., Series Editor See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 794702142
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Muslims in Global Politics

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Human rights -- Religious aspects -- Islam.
  • Islam and politics.
  • Muslims -- Political activity -- Europe.
  • Islamic countries -- Politics and government -- 21st century.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access