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Unformatted text preview: Lecture Notes 12/1/08 Islamism - Terms: - Lashkar-E-Taiba - Al-Aqaeda jr. - Fedayeen - Arabic word for a guerilla attack - Young, expendable guys - Not directly suicide attacks, but some sort of suicidal assault - Wahhabi 1. Islam and Islamism - Daniel Pipes quote - Demands manʼs complete adherence to the sacred law of Islam - Rejects outside inﬂuence - Antagonism towards non-Muslims and hostility towards the West - Attempts to turn Islam, a religion and civilization, into an ideology - Islam and Islamism DIFFERENT - Islam is religion - Not identiﬁed with Islamist fundamentalist movements - Islam: stands for peace and submission to God - Islamism is a branch group - Islamism: political movement - One interpretation of the Koran and Islamic scriptures - Goals and methods are primarily political rather than religious - Ideological and intellectual battle over how Koran and Islamic scriptures should be interpreted - Particular partisan effort to turn the religion into a political movement - Bin Laden: example of a leader without religious authority, but more of a political ﬁgure who has adopted some religious authority - Draw from part of scriptures about Muslims being superior and should attack others - 2 sides of Islam, just depending on interpretation - Primarily Middle Eastern rather than Islamic phenomenon - Islamism: an Islamic revivalist movement that seeks to replace secular governments with theocracies, to replace secular law with traditional shariʼa, and to enforce Islamic values in all spheres of life. - Shariʼa: Islamic law governing most aspects of day-to-day life, including political, economic, and social issues. - Want to impose Medieval laws - Against modern, Western ideas - Violent and hostile towards Western world - Al-Qaeda poster-child for Islamism since 9/11 - Common goals: - 1) Pull-out of all American and Western forces from sacred territories of Islam - Areas around Mecca, Madena, Jerusalem - American presence is a return of the Crusader forcers (analogous) - Extension of Western colonialism - 2) West ends support of Israel - 3) Change the way political and economic organizations treat Muslim world - Oftentimes, W will give money in return for some political or social reform - They believe weʼre trying to Westernize Muslim society - 4) Want creation of some Pan-Islamic Superstate, encompassing all Middle East, parts of Africa, parts of Asia - 1.2 billion Muslims, about 20% worldʼ populations - India and Indonesia largest Muslim Democracies 2. The Sources of Islamism - Harking back to Islamic caliphate - Movement itself is fairly new, originating in 1950s - 1980s: movement started to play a role in the international stage - 1990s: Islamist conﬂicts erupted around the world - Al-Qaedaʼs brand of militant Islamism develops, coming out of Saudi Arabia - In Afghanistan during war against Russians, and later under Taliban rule - In general, these movements claim ancient roots/history - However, theyʼre rather contemporary movements rising up after period of decolonization - 1) Reaction to relative decline of Arab-Muslim world - For a while, it was the center of civilization - During that time, Islam was seen as being the source of the empireʼs greatness - Recent decline in power of middle east has been attributed to the movement away from the principals of true Islam - Motivates these movements - Middle East has a much greater sense of having fallen from historical greatness, more so than, for example, Indonesia, which was never a great power - 2) Reaction to contact with Western world - Deﬁne themselves in opposition to the West - Attempt to modernize and Westernize has been a failure - Appealing to second generation immigrants who fail to integrate and feel isolated in Western culture - Borrow ideas from nationalism or Marxism - In general, people who have had some contact with the West - Most Islamist leaders come from educated elites 3) Reaction to Western colonialism - Fractured traditional unity by dividing across ethnic lines - Fragmentation of Arab world - Seen as extension of Western colonialism - Responsible for ½ million deaths of starvation and sickness during embargo on Iraq that followed the ﬁrst Gulf War - Reﬂecting our lack of concern for people of Middle East - Treatment of Palestinians: shows our lack of concern 4) Response to political alienation in Middle Eastern countries - Grows out of poverty - No evidence with correlation between poverty and Islamism - More correlation with alienation - Often grow out of countries with some foreign aid and wealth - Wealth allowed governments to impress people with impunity - Huge gap between rich political leaders and poor - Governments arenʼt responsive to people - No investment - Money from foreign aid isnʼt seen as a good thing, but is widely resented - Oil companies exploit heritage of local population - People can participate in politics by joining Islamist movements - Even oppressive regimes have trouble putting down these movements - There would be a terrible backlash - Security from government oppression - Western countries and aid indirectly prop up oppressive governments - Rise of post-Islamist parties - Want secular government - Work within political system - Supported by non-Islams, such as in Turkey ...
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2009 for the course GEOG 21 taught by Professor Acker during the Fall '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.
- Fall '08