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Islamism and Modernism Cover

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Islamism and Modernism

The Changing Discourse in Iran

By Farhang Rajaee

While many previous books have probed the causes of Iran’s Islamic Revolution of 1979, few have focused on the power of religion in shaping a national identity over the decades leading up to it. Islamism and Modernism captures the metamorphosis of the Islamic movement in Iran, from encounters with Great Britain and the United States in the 1920s through twenty-first-century struggles between those seeking to reform Islam’s role and those who take a hardline defensive stance. Capturing the views of four generations of Muslim activists, Farhang Rajaee describes how the extremism of the 1960s brought more confidence to concerned Islam-minded Iranians and radicalized the Muslim world while Islamic alternatives to modernity were presented. Subsequent ideologies gave rise to the revolution, which in turn has fed a restructuring of Islam as a faith rather than as an ideology. Presenting thought-provoking discussions of religious thinkers such as Ha’eri, Burujerdi, Bazargan, and Shari‘ati, along with contemporaries such as Kadivar, Soroush, and Shabestari, the author sheds rare light on the voices fueling contemporary Islamic thinking in Iran. A comprehensive study of these interwoven aspects of politics, religion, society, and identity, Islamism and Modernism offers crucial new insight into the aftermath of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution fought one hundred years ago—and its ramifications for the newest generation to face the crossroads of modernity and Islamic discourse in modern Iran today.

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Islamism in Indonesia

Politics in the Emerging Democracy

Bernhard Platzdasch

The fall of President Soeharto in May 1998 and the introduction of multi-party democracy by President BJ Habibie have unleashed religious parties (both Islamic and Christian) in Indonesian politics. This study shows that the Islamist agenda of the Islamist parties is overshadowed by their political pragmatism. This book is a must-read account on the rise and failure of the Islamist struggle in Indonesia's emerging democracy. Platzdasch's work is without a doubt a significant and timely contribution to a better understanding of Islamic politics in contemporary Indonesia. - Professor Azyumardi Azra, Professor of History & Director, Graduate School, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta, Indonesia.

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Islamist Mobilization in Turkey

A Study in Vernacular Politics

by Jenny B. White

This ethnography of contemporary Istanbul charts the success of Islamist mobilization through the eyes of ordinary people. Drawing on interviews gathered over twenty years of fieldwork, White focuses on the appeal of Islamic politics in the fabric of Turkish society and among mobilizing and mobilized elites, women, and educated populations.

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Islamist Opposition in Authoritarian Regimes

The Party of Justice and Development in Morocco

Eva Wegner

Wegner traces the party’s choices through an analysis of organizational, ideological, and institutional constraints. Adopting a simple but novel perspective, Wegner distinguishes Islamist parties from other opposition parties because of their connection to a powerful social movement. The author shows how the PJD initially made major progress in electoral politics by building up a strong party organization, sustaining full support of the Islamist movement, and positioning itself as the only credible opposition party. Ultimately, the failure of the PJD to win elections was due to political concessions it made to secure its legality combined with a distancing from the Islamist movement. Based on extensive field research in Morocco in 2003 and 2007 and drawing upon personal interviews with members, candidates, and leaders of the PJD, Islamist Opposition in Authoritarian Regimes presents a meticulous and enlightening case study. Wegner enriches our understanding of electoral authoritarianism in Morocco and throughout the Arab- Islamic world.

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Islamization and Activism in Malaysia

Julian C H Lee

Islamization and Activism in Malaysia examines aspects of the increasing political and social profile of Islam in Malaysia and describes how different kinds of activists in Malaysia have sought to protect fundamental liberties and to improve the state of democracy in Malaysia. In particular, focus is paid to activists who engage with electoral process, the law and the public sphere, and in particular, to movements that cut across or combine these realms of action. Spanning the period of the Prime Ministership of Abdullah Badawi, Julian C. H. Lee's grounded analysis examines the most important issues of that period including the freedom of religion case of Lina Joy, the Islamic state debate, and events surrounding the 8 March 2008 general elections.

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Isma'ili Modern

Globalization and Identity in a Muslim Community

Jonah Steinberg

Led by a charismatic European-based hereditary Imam, Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, global Isma'ili organizations make available an astonishing array of services--social, economic, political, and religious--to some three to five million subjects stretching from Afghanistan to England, from Pakistan to Tanzania. Steinberg argues that this intricate and highly integrated network enables a new kind of shared identity and citizenship, one that goes well beyond the sense of community maintained by other diasporic populations. Of note in this process is the rapid assimilation in the postcolonial period of once-isolated societies into the intensively centralized Isma'ili structure. Also remarkable is the Isma'ilis' self-presentation, contrary to common characterizations of Islam in the mass media, as a Muslim society that is broadly sympathetic to capitalist systems, opposed to fundamentalism, and distinctly modern in orientation. Steinberg's unique journey into remote mountain regions highlights today's rapidly shifting meanings of citizenship, faith, and identity and reveals their global scale.

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Jihad Joe

Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam

Berger, J. M.

They are Americans, and they are mujahideen. Hundreds of men from every imaginable background have walked away from the traditional American dream to volunteer for battle in the name of Islam. Some have taken part in foreign wars that aligned with U.S. interests while others have carried out violence against Western interests abroad, fought against the U.S. military, and even plotted terrorist attacks on American soil. This story plays out over decades and continents: from the Americans who took part in the siege of Mecca in 1979 through conflicts in Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, and continuing today in Afghanistan and Somalia.

Investigative journalist J. M. Berger profiles numerous fighters, including some who joined al Qaeda and others who chose a different path. In these pages he portrays, among others, Abdullah Rashid, who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan; Mohammed Loay Bayazid, who was present at the founding of al Qaeda; Ismail Royer, who fought in Bosnia and Kashmir, then returned to run training camps in the United States; Adam Gadahn, a California Jew who is now al QaedaÆs chief spokesman; and Anwar Awlaki, the Yemeni-American imam with links to 9/11 who is now considered one of the biggest threats to AmericaÆs security.

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Journal of Shi'a Islamic Studies

Vol. 5 (2012) through current issue

The Journal of Shi‘a Islamic Studies (JSIS) is a refereed academic journal published quarterly by ICAS Press for the Islamic College in London. The journal provides an international forum for scholars through the publication of research articles in all fields of Shi‘a studies, from the historical to the contemporary and from the theological to the philosophical.

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Journey into America

The Challenge of Islam

Akbar Ahmed

Nearly seven million Muslims live in the United States today, and their relations with non-Muslims are strained. Many Americans associate Islam with figures such as Osama bin Laden, and they worry about "homegrown terrorists." To shed light on this increasingly important religious group and counter mutual distrust, renowned scholar Akbar Ahmed conducted the most comprehensive study to date of the American Muslim community.

Journey into America explores and documents how Muslims are fitting into U.S. society, placing their experience within the larger context of American identity. This eye-opening book also offers a fresh and insightful perspective on American history and society. Following up on his critically acclaimed Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (Brookings, 2007), Ahmed and his team of young researchers traveled for a year through more than seventyfive cities across the United States —from New York City to Salt Lake City; from Las Vegas to Miami; from the large Muslim enclave in Dearborn, Michigan, to small, predominantly white towns like Arab, Alabama. They visited homes, schools, and over one hundred mosques to discover what Muslims are thinking and how they are living every day in America.

In this unprecedented exploration of American Muslim communities, Ahmed asked challenging questions: Can we expect an increase in homegrown terrorism? How do American Muslims ofArab descent differ from those of other origins (for example, Somalia or South Asia)? Why are so many white women converting to Islam? How can a Muslim become accepted fully as an "American," and what does that mean? He also delves into the potentially sticky area of relations with other religions. For example, is there truly a deep divide between Muslims and Jews in America? And how well do Muslims get along with other religious groups, such as Mormons in Utah?

Journey into America is equal parts anthropological research, listening tour, and travelogue. Whereas Ahmed's previous book took the reader into homes, schools, and mosques in the Muslim world, his new quest takes us into the heart of America and its Muslim communities. It is absolutely essential reading for anyone trying to make sense of America today.

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Journey into Islam

The Crisis of Globalization

Akbar Ahmed

Globalization, the war on terror, and Islamic fundamentalism —followed closely by a rise in Islamophobia —have escalated tensions between Western nations and the Muslim world. Yet internationally renowned Islamic scholar Akbar Ahmed believes that through dialogue and understanding, these cultures can coexist peacefully and respectfully. That hope and belief result in an extraordinary journey. To learn what Muslims think and how they really view America, Ahmed traveled to the three major regions of the Muslim world the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia. Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization is the riveting story of his search for common ground. His absorbing narrative and personal photos bring the reader on a tour of Islam and its peoples. Ahmed sought to understand the experiences and perceptions of ordinary Muslims. Visiting mosques, madrassahs, and universities, he met with people ranging from Pakastan President Pervez Musharraf to prime ministers, princes, sheikhs, professors, and students. He observed, listened, and asked them questions. For example, who inspires them? What are they reading? How do the Internet and international media impact their lives? How do they view America, the West, and changes in society? Ahmed's anthropological expedition enjoyed extensive access to women and youths, revealing unique information on large yet often misunderstood populations. Lamentably, he found high levels of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism and a widespread perception that Islam is under attack from the West. But he also brought back reason for hope. He returned from his groundbreaking travels both impressed with the concerned, kind nature of the individuals he encountered and invigorated with the vitality and passion they displayed. Journey into Islam makes a powerful plea for forming friendships across religion, race, and tradition to create lasting peace between Islam and the West.

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