Muslim Reformers in Iran and Turkey
The Paradox of Moderation
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Texas Press
Series: CMES Modern Middle East Series
Title Page, Copyright
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
PREFACE AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
My interest in the subject of this book has its roots in my high school years in the mid-1990s, when the Welfare Party emerged as the most popular and dynamic force in Turkish politics. I became curious about this force, which remained very enigmatic for me. My college years in Istanbul introduced me to a relatively cosmopolitan atmosphere where I met people for...
CHAPTER 1: Introduction
In the summer of 2002, the headquarters of the Justice and Development Party (JDP; Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi) was hardly a well-known address. Visitors to the newly constructed building located in the Balgat district of Ankara were few in number and had easy access to leadership cadres. The relationships were personal within the party; all divisions worked closely...
CHAPTER 2: From Islamists to Muslim Reformers: A Theory of Political Change
An influential body of scholarship argues that radical parties become increasingly moderate if they are integrated into the legal and electoral system. The origins of this idea, which can be called moderation theory, are found in the work of Robert Michels, who is most well known for his “iron law of oligarchy.” He argues that Socialist parties, committed to bringing about workingclass democracy...
CHAPTER 3: Muslim Reformismin Comparative Perspective
The idea that Islam by its very nature is inhospitable to democracy and pluralism continues to have some broad appeal. It is based on the assumption that Islamic religion, with its distinctive historical self-consciousness and value patterns, is a world set apart from Western civilization, with which it often engages in violent confrontations. Islam is argued to be antisecular by definition, and this implies that Muslims cannot support political secularism because...
CHAPTER 4: Muslim Reformism: Engagement with Secularism and Liberal Democracy
Muslim reformism has its origins in the nineteenth century when superior Western firepower and technological advances began to achieve dominance over Muslim societies. The reformist response involved a comprehensive attempt to identify the causes of Western dominance and Muslim weakness. It sought to reestablish the relevance of Islamic identity in a rapidly...
CHAPTER 5: The Guardians and Elections in Iran and Turkey
This chapter describes the institutional and ideological basis of guardianship and the dynamics of electoral competition in Iran and Turkey. According to the conventional wisdom, the Iranian and Turkish regimes are located on opposite ends of the relationship between the state and religion. While the former embodies the complete fusion of religious and political authority, the...
CHAPTER 6: A Moment of Enthusiasm in the Islamic Republic
The evolution of Islamic political activism in Iran, since the mid-1970s, has demonstrated the elastic influence of Shiite Islam over political thought and behavior. Shiite beliefs, norms, and rituals supplied the vernacular means through which revolutionaries articulated desire for social justice and freedom and mobilized public support. With the consolidation of Islamist rule in the...
CHAPTER 7: Elusive Democratization in the Secular Republic
Islamic political movements in Turkey have been primarily organized as electoral parties. In contrast to Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) in Egypt or the Islamic Da'wa (Hezb-e al-Da'wa al-Islamiyya) in Iraq, they have not had cell-based, clandestine, and vanguard-type organizational structures. The recurrent theme in forty years...
CHAPTER 8: A Tale of Two Elections
The Reform Front in Iran and the Justice and Development Party in Turkey have been the most prominent post-Islamist movements in the Middle East. Neither the RF nor the JDP shared a holistic ideological vision that left little room for pluralism and democratic governance. In fact, the birth of the RF and the JDP followed internal debates and criticism regarding the promises...
CHAPTER 9: Conclusion
This study makes three contributions to the study of Muslim politics. First, it offers the first and only systematic analysis of Muslim reformers in two very important countries, Iran and Turkey. The comparative method adopted in this work clearly demonstrates that Muslim reformism embracing electoral democracy, political pluralism, and human rights can rise and mobilize...
Page Count: 320
Illustrations: 16 b&w photos, 8 charts/graphs, 4 tables
Publication Year: 2010
Series Title: CMES Modern Middle East Series
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