Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: fundamentalism

13 Literature and the Extremism: Case Study on and Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Literature on Extremism in Afghanistan

Authors: Mohibullah Zegham

Abstract:

In conducting a case study to analyze the impact of literature on extremism and fundamentalism in Afghanistan, the author of this paper uses qualitative research method. For this purpose the author of the paper has a glance at the history of extremism and fundamentalism in Afghanistan, as well the major causes and predisposing factors of it; then analyzes the impact of literature on extremism and fundamentalism using qualitative method. This study relies on the moral engagement theory to reveal how some extreme-Islamists quit the ideological interpretation of Islam and return to normal life by reading certain literary works. The goal of this case study is to help fighting extremism and fundamentalism by using literature. The research showed that literary works are useful in this regard and there are several evidences of its effectiveness.

Keywords: extremism, fundamentalism, communist, jihad, madrasa, literature

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12 Normal or Abnormal: A Case Study of Jihadi Salafism in the Middle East

Authors: Yusef Karimi, Masoomeh Esmaeily, Razgar Mohammadi

Abstract:

Following the events of September 11th, one of the most important concerns of governments, politicians and, researchers has been to answer the question that why does an ordinary person become fundamentalism? One of the major controversies in past researches was about as to whether a fundamentalist person is normal or abnormal. In this regard, the purpose of this research is to investigate whether a Salafi-jihadi individual is normal or abnormal. The participants included 6 Jihadi Salafism individuals who were living in the Middle East and had been purposefully selected. This research is a qualitative study which examines these people′s retrospective experience of their lives. The data were collected through collaborative observation and interview. This continued till data saturation. Unlike the introduced concepts of fundamentalist personality in the previous studies such as self-fascination, aggression, paranoid personality and psychopathic, participants in this study had no abnormal symptoms of mental disorders. Hence, in the context of recognizing the fundamentalist personality, we must seek other personality and positional variables.

Keywords: abnormal, fundamentalism, normal, personality, Salafi

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11 Contemporary Arabic Novel Probing the Self and the Other: A Contrapuntal Study of Identity, Sexuality, and Fundamentalism

Authors: Jihan Mahmoud

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This paper examines the role played by Arabic novelists in revolutionary change in the Arab world, discussing themes of identity, sexuality and fundamentalism as portrayed in a selection of modern and contemporary Arabic novels that are either written in English or translated from Arabic into English. It particularly focuses on the post-Naguib Mahfouz era. Taking my cue from the current political changes in the Arab world, starting with 9/11/ terrorist attacks in the USA and the UK, the ‘Arab Spring’ revolutions, the rise of political Islam and the emergence of Isis, the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant, the study analyses the differences in the ways contemporary Arab novelists from different Arabic countries represent the interaction between identity, sexual politics and fundamentalist ideas in the Arab world, with a specific focus on the overlap between literature, religion and international politics in the region. It argues that the post-Mahfouz era marked a new phase in the development of the political Arabic novel not only as a force of resistance against political-religious oppression, but as a call for revolution as well. Thus, the Arabic novel reshapes values and prompts future action.

Keywords: Arabic novel, Islam, politics, sexuality

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10 New Trends in Pakistani Cinema: Muslim Women, Cinematic Struggle and the Global World

Authors: Sana Zia

Abstract:

One of the most important questions for research on Muslim women's representation is the relationship between Islam and women’s situation in Islamic countries. In this context, certain questions can be raised like is it possible to analyze women’s situation in Islamic countries like Pakistan? Or what is the relationship between Islam and patriarchy? So this paper will examine all these questions by analysing Muslim women's representation in Pakistani Cinema. It is also significant to note that despite political and religious constraints in Muslim countries, in particular, Pakistan, women have not only been part of the film industry for long, but they also have chosen films as their feminist tool to question and expose the effects of patriarchy, religious fundamentalism, and gender-specific socio-cultural oppression. The religious-cultural ethos that could include gender-specific restrictions and limitations on their creative expression as Muslim women in an Islamic society. A new wave of Pakistani cinema is pivoting around strong Muslim female characters and opened up a new thought about Islamic women.Their contributions and success through this medium emphasized the need to investigate the significance and effectiveness of contemporary cinema as a tool of resistance and cross-cultural communication in a Muslim society. So this research can also provide a better understanding about Islam that needs to be modernized and reclaimed from the clutches of fundamentalism and extremism. This paper thus investigates the interrelation of women's representation and Pakistani cinema by analysing two films ‘Bol: To speak up’ and ‘Dukhter: Daughter’. The feminist analysis of these films not only helps to understand the new trends and dimensions in representation of Muslim women in Pakistani cinema, but this also helps to raise awareness globally regarding the depiction of Muslim women. So to foreground the above mentioned discussion, the films under study helps to evaluate their significance, the role they play towards activism, resistance, and global awareness in terms of what could be termed as a Muslim woman. The paper thus provides a valuable insight that how and why Islam is being used as a mechanism to merge social, political and economic factors to define the rights and conditions of Pakistani Muslim women and highlight the cinematic struggle of the film maker’s which by using films as an awareness tool are going to highlight the problems and issues of Muslim women in the global world.

Keywords: Muslim women, Pakistani cinema, patriarchy, religious fundamentalism

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9 Religious Fundamentalism Prescribes Requirements for Marriage and Reproduction

Authors: Steven M. Graham, Anne V. Magee

Abstract:

Most world religions have sacred texts and traditions that provide instruction about and definitions of marriage, family, and family duties and responsibilities. Given that religious fundamentalism (RF) is defined as the belief that these sacred texts and traditions are literally and completely true to the exclusion of other teachings, RF should be predictive of the attitudes one holds about these topics. The goals of the present research were to: (1) explore the extent to which people think that men and women can be happy without marriage, a significant sexual relationship, a long-term romantic relationship, and having children; (2) determine the extent to which RF is associated with these beliefs; and, (3) to determine how RF is associated with considering certain elements of a relationship to be necessary for thinking of that relationship as a marriage. In Study 1, participants completed a reliable and valid measure of RF and answered questions about the necessity of various elements for a happy life. Higher RF scores were associated with the belief that both men and women require marriage, a sexual relationship, a long-term romantic relationship, and children in order to have a happy life. In Study 2, participants completed these same measures and the pattern of results replicated when controlling for overall religiosity. That is, RF predicted these beliefs over and above religiosity. Additionally, participants indicated the extent to which a variety of characteristics were necessary to consider a particular relationship to be a marriage. Controlling for overall religiosity, higher RF scores were associated with the belief that the following were required to consider a relationship a marriage: religious sanctification, a sexual component, sexual monogamy, emotional monogamy, family approval, children (or the intent to have them), cohabitation, and shared finances. Interestingly, and unexpectedly, higher RF scores were correlated with less importance placed on mutual consent in order to consider a relationship a marriage. RF scores were uncorrelated with the importance placed on legal recognition or lifelong commitment and these null findings do not appear to be attributable to ceiling effects or lack of variability. These results suggest that RF constrains views about both the importance of marriage and family in one’s life and also the characteristics required to consider a relationship a proper marriage. This could have implications for the mental and physical health of believers high in RF, either positive or negative, depending upon the extent to which their lives correspond to these templates prescribed by RF. Additionally, some of these correlations with RF were substantial enough (> .70) that the relevant items could serve as a brief, unobtrusive measure of RF. Future research will investigate these possibilities.

Keywords: attitudes about marriage, fertility intentions, measurement, religious fundamentalism

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8 The Consequences of Regime Change in Iraq; Formation and Continuation of Geopolitical Crises

Authors: Ali Asghar Sotoudeh

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Since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent regime change, internal conflicts between political and ethnic-religious groups have become a hallmark of Iraqi political dynamism. The most important manifestations of these conflicts are the Kurdish-central government conflicts, as well as fundamentalism since 2003. As a result, it seems not only US presence in Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism and expanding democracy has not had a positive effect on controlling fundamentalism and political stability in Iraq, but it has paved the way for the formation and continuation of geopolitical crises in the form of disputes over territory and sources of power. In this regard, given the importance of the study, the main purpose of this study is to examine the process of the impact of US regime-change policy on the formation and continuation of geopolitical crises in Iraq. The central question of this study is, what effect has the US regime change policy had on Iraq's domestic political processes? Findings show that regime change and subsequent imposed federalism have widened the gaps in Iraq's sectarian-ethnic system. As a result, the geopolitical crisis in the context of the dispute over geographical territory and sources of power between ethnic-religious groups has become the most important political dynamic in Iraq since the occupation. The research method in this article is descriptive-analytical, and the data collection method is library and internet resources.

Keywords: Iraq, united states, geopolitical crisis, ethno-religious conflict, political federalism

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7 Islamic State: Franchising Jihad through the New Caliphate

Authors: Janiel David Melamed Visbal

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The Islamic State has become one of the most remarkable threats for international security through their religious extremism and their establishment of a new caliphate by force. The main objective of this organization is to obtain territorial expansions beyond the Middle East and eventually to consolidate an Islamic global order based on their extremist ideology. This paper will conduct an analysis regarding how, over the past year, many jihadist organizations worldwide have pledged their alliagance to the Islamic State, transforming it into the most important jihadist franchise globally.

Keywords: Islamic state, franchise, jihad, Islamic fundamentalism, caliphate

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6 The Philosophical Basis of Democracy: An Islamic Perspective

Authors: Fahimeh Hooshyar, Seyyed Mojtaba Abtahi

Abstract:

Democracy which is, in its greek roots, consisted of “Demo” (People) and “Kratic” (people) is referring to governing of the people or governing by the people. in its widest definition it refers to a common lifestyle in which all the people has the equal potentials for social participating. But in political perspective, democracy is looking for the equal participation right of the citizens in political decision-making process. in this viewpoint, the democracy is solely a political construct or a social-political style in which all the values are relative. In this definition of the democracy emphasis is on equality of the people based on the governing rule and the natural social and political rights of every member of humankind. This notion of democracy by no means is a self reliant idea and the need of an ideological basis for approaching to this idea is inevitable. In this paper we are trying to define the inter-relations of democracy and its philosophical basis to Islamic fundamental ideas. Our approach to this topic would be a philosophical ideological one.

Keywords: Islam, democracy, democracy’s philosophical basis, secularism, fundamentalism

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5 From Cultural Policy to Social Practice: Literary Festivals as a Platform for Social Inclusion in Pakistan

Authors: S. Jabeen

Abstract:

Though Pakistan has a rich cultural history and a diverse population; its global image is tarnished with labels of Muslim ‘fundamentalism’ and ‘extremism.’ Cultural policy is a tool that can be used by the government of Pakistan to ameliorate this image, but instead, this fundamentalist reputation is reinforced in the 2005 draft of Pakistan’s cultural policy. With its stern focus on a homogenized cultural identity, this 2005 draft bases itself largely on forced participation from the largely Muslim public and leaves little or no benefits to them or cultural minorities in Pakistan. The effects of this homogenized ‘Muslim’ identity linger ten years later where the study and celebration of the cultural heritage of Pakistan in schools and educational festivals focus entirely on creating and maintaining a singular ‘Islamic’ cultural identity. The current lack of inclusion has many adverse effects that include the breeding of extremist mindsets through the usurpation of minority rights and lack of safe cultural public spaces. This paper argues that Pakistan can improve social inclusivity and boost its global image through cultural policy. The paper sets the grounds for research by surveying the effectiveness of different cultural policies across nations with differing socioeconomic status. Then, by sampling two public literary festivals in Pakistan as case studies, the National Youth Peace Festival hosted with a nationalistic agenda using public funds and the Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) that aims to boost the cultural literacy scene of Lahore using both private and public efforts, this paper looks at the success of the private, more inclusive LLF. A revision of cultural policy is suggested that combines public and private efforts to host cultural festivals for the sake of cultural celebration and human development, without a set nationalistic agenda. Consequently, this comparison which is grounded in the human capabilities approach, recommends revising the 2005 draft of the Cultural Policy to improve human capabilities in order to support cultural diversity and ultimately contribute to economic growth in Pakistan.

Keywords: cultural policy, festivals, human capabilities, Pakistan

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4 Human Insecurity and Migration in the Horn of Africa: Causes and Decision Processes

Authors: Belachew Gebrewold

Abstract:

The Horn of Africa is marred by complex and systematic internal and external political, economic and social-cultural causes of conflict that result in internal displacement and migration. This paper engages with them and shows how such a study can help us to understand migration, both in this region and more generally. The conflict has occurred within states, between states, among proxies, between armies. Human insecurities as a result of the state collapse of Somalia, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the whole region, recurrent drought affecting the livelihoods of subsistence farmers as well as nomads, exposure to hunger, environmental degradation, youth unemployment, rapid growth of slums around big cities, and political repression (especially in Eritrea) have been driving various segments of the regional population into regional and international migration. Eritrea has been going through a brutal dictatorship which pushes many Eritreans to flee their country and be exposed to human trafficking, torture, detention, and agony on their way to Europe mainly through Egypt, Libya and Israel. Similarly, Somalia has been devastated since 1991 by unending civil war, state collapse, and radical Islamists. There are some important aspects to highlight in the conflict-migration nexus in the Horn of Africa: first, the main push factor for the Somalis and Eritreans to leave their countries and risk their lives is the physical insecurity they have been facing in their countries. Secondly, as a result of the conflict the economic infrastructure is massively destroyed. Investment is rare; job opportunities are out of sight. Thirdly, in such a grim situation the politically and economically induced decision to migrate is a household decision, not only an individual decision. Based on this third point this research study took place in the Horn of Africa between 2014 and 2016 during different occasions. The main objective of the research was to understanding how the increasing migration is affecting the socio-economic and socio-political environment, and conversely how the socio-economic and socio-political environments are increasing migration decisions; and whether and how these decisions are individual or family decisions. The main finding is the higher the human insecurity, the higher the family decision; the lower the human insecurity, the higher the individual decision. These findings apply not only to the Eritrean, Somali migrants but also to Ethiopian migrants. But the general impacts of migration on sending countries’ human security is quite mixed and complex.

Keywords: Eritrea, Ethiopia, Horn of Africa, insecurity, migration, Somalia

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3 Boko Haram Insurrection and Religious Revolt in Nigeria: An Impact Assessment-{2009-2015}

Authors: Edwin Dankano

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Evident by incessant and sporadic attacks on Nigerians poise a serious threat to the unity of Nigeria, and secondly, the single biggest security nightmare to confront Nigeria since after amalgamation of the Southern and Northern protectorates by the British colonialist in 1914 is “Boko Haram” a terrorist organization also known as “Jama’atul Ahli Sunnah Lidda’wati wal Jihad”, or “people committed to the propagation of the Prophet’s teachings and jihad”. The sect also upholds an ideology translated as “Western Education is forbidden”, or rejection of Western civilization and institutions. By some estimates, more than 5,500 people were killed in Boko Haram attacks in 2014, and Boko Haram attacks have already claimed hundreds of lives and territories {caliphates}in early 2015. In total, the group may have killed more than 10,000 people since its emergence in the early 2000s. More than 1 million Nigerians have been displaced internally by the violence, and Nigerian refugee figures in neighboring countries continue to rise. This paper is predicated on secondary sources of data and anchored on the Huntington’s theory of clash of civilization. As such, the paper argued that the rise of Boko Haram with its violent disposition against Western values is a counter response to Western civilization that is fast eclipsing other civilizations. The paper posits that the Boko Haram insurrection going by its teachings, and destruction of churches is a validation of the propagation of the sect as a religious revolt which has resulted in dire humanitarian situation in Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, and Gombe states all in north eastern Nigeria as evident in human casualties, human right abuses, population displacement, refugee debacle, livelihood crisis, and public insecurity. The paper submits that the Nigerian state should muster the needed political will in terms of a viable anti-terrorism measures and build strong legitimate institutions that can adequately curb the menace of corruption that has engulfed the military hierarchy, respond proactively to the challenge of terrorism in Nigeria and should embrace a strategic paradigm shift from anti-terrorism to counter-terrorism as a strategy for containing the crisis that today threatens the secular status of Nigeria.

Keywords: Boko Haram, civilization, fundamentalism, Islam, religion revolt, terror

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2 Religious Discourses and Their Impact on Regional and Global Geopolitics: A Study of Deobandi in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan

Authors: Soumya Awasthi

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The spread of radical ideology is possible not merely through public meetings, protests, and mosques but even in schools, seminaries, and madrasas. The rhetoric created around the relationship between religion and conflict has been the primary factor for instigating global conflicts – when religion is used to achieve broader objectives. There have been numerous cases of religion-driven conflict around the world be it the Jewish revolt between 66 AD and 628 AD or the 1119 AD the Crusades revolt or during the Cold War period or the rise of right-wing politics in India. Some of the major developments which reiterate the significance of religion in the contemporary times include: (1) The emergence of theocracy in Iran in 1979 (2) Resurgence of world-wide religious beliefs in post-Soviet space. (3) Emergence of transnational terrorism shaped by twisted depiction of Islam by the self proclaimed protectors of the religion. Therefore this paper is premised in the argument that religion has always found itself on the periphery of the discipline of International Relations (IR), and has received less attention than it deserves. The focus of the topic is on the discourses of ‘Deobandi’ and its impact both on the geopolitics of the region- particularly in India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan- and also at the global level. Discourse is a mechanism in use since time immemorial and has been a key tool to mobilise masses against the ruling authority. With the help of field surveys, qualitative and analytical method of research in religion and international relations, it has been found that they are numerous madrassas that are running illegally and are unregistered. These seminaries are operating in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA). During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, relation between religion and geopolitics was highlighted when there was a sudden spread of radical ideas, finding support from countries like Saudi Arabia (who funded the campaign) and Pakistan (which organised the Saudi funds and set up training camps, both educational and military). During this period there was a huge influence of Wahabi theology on the madrasas which started with Deoband philosophy and later became a mix of Wahabi (influenced by Ahmad Ibn Hannabal and Ibn Taimmiya) and Deobandi philosophy, tending towards fundamentalism. Later the impact of regional geopolitics had influence on the global geopolitics when the incidents like attack on the US in 2001, bomb blasts in U.K, Indonesia, Turkey, and Israel in 2000s. In the midst of all this, there were several scholars who pointed towards Deobandi Philosophy as one of the drivers in the creation of armed Islamic groups in Pakistan, Afghanistan. Hence this paper will make an attempt to understand the trend as to how Deobandi religious discourses originating from India have changed over the decades, and who the agents of such changes are. It will throw light on Deoband from pre-independence till date to create a narrative around the religious discourses and Deobandi philosophy and its spill over impact on the map of global and regional security.

Keywords: Deobandi School of Thought, radicalization, regional and global geopolitics, religious discourses, Whabi movement

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1 The Hybridization of Muslim Spaces in Germany: A Historical Perspective on the Perception of Muslims

Authors: Alex Konrad

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In 2017, about 4.5 million Muslims live in Germany. They can practice their faith openly, mostly in well-equipped community centers. At the same time, right-wing politicians and media allege that all Muslims tend to be radical and undemocratic. Both perspectives are rooted in an interacting development since the 1970s. German authorities closed the 'King Fahd Academy' international school in Bonn in summer 2017 because they accused the school administration of attracting Islamists. Only 30 years ago, German authorities and labor unions directed their requests for pastoral care of the Muslim communities in Germany to the Turkish and Saudi administrations. This study shows the leading and misleading tracks of Muslim life and its perception in Germany from a historical point of view. Most of the Muslims came as so-called 'Gastarbeiter' (migrant workers) from Turkey and Morocco to West Germany in the 1960s and 1970s. Until the late 1970s, German society recognized them as workforce solely and ignored their religious needs broadly. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 caused widespread hysteria about Islamic radicalization. Likewise, it shifted the German perception of migrant workers in Germany. For the first time, the majority society saw them as religious people. Media and self-proclaimed 'experts' on Islam suspected Muslims in Germany of subversive and undemocratic belief. On the upside, they obtained the opportunity to be heard by German society and authorities. In the ensuing decades, Muslims and Islamophiles fought a discursive struggle against right-wing politicians, 'experts' and media with monolithic views. In the 1990s, Muslims achieved to establish a solid infrastructure of Islamic community center throughout Germany. Their religious life became present and contributed to diversifying the common monolithic images of Muslims as insane fundamentalists in Germany. However, the media and many 'experts' promoted the fundamentalist narrative, which gained more and more acceptance in German society at the same time. This study uses archival sources from German authorities, Islamic communities, together with local and national media to get a close approach to the contemporary historical debates. In addition, contributions by Muslims and Islamophiles in Germany, for example in magazines, event reports, and internal communication, revealing their quotidian struggle for more acceptance are being used as sources. The inclusion of widely publicized books, documentaries and newspaper articles about Islam as a menace to Europe conduces to a balanced analysis of the contemporary debates and views. Theoretically, the study applies the Third Space approach. Muslims in Germany fight the othering by the German majority society. It was their chief purpose not to be marginalized in both spatial meanings, discursively and physically. Therefore, they established realities of life as hybrids in Germany. This study reconstructs the development of the perception of Muslims in Germany. It claims that self-proclaimed experts and politicians with monolithic views maintained the hegemonic discursive positions and coined the German images of Muslims. Nevertheless, Muslims in Germany accomplished that Muslim presence in Germany’s everyday life became an integral part of society and the public sphere. This is how Muslims hybridized religious spaces in Germany.

Keywords: experts, fundamentalism, Germany, hybridization, Islamophobia, migrant workers

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