In this qualitative study, Betul Balkan examines the role of the practice of religion on the opinions of Muslim Turkish immigrants living in the Houston metropolitan area about the tension between secularism and Islam in Turkey. Drawing on in-depth interviews and participant observation at various community events, Balkan finds out how the experiences of Muslim Turkish immigrants play out in disproving the universalistic assumptions of secularization thesis.
Secularization is a cement of the Turkish modernization and nation-state building process. Westernization and modernization were accepted side by side with secularization and different from other examples of secularization, Turkey developed an original definition and a process towards secularization. In the Turkish model, Islam was taken under state control as a result of historical and social developments. However, not only being controlled, Islam also has been manipulated by the state to reproduce the hegemonic statist ideology and to maintain the legitimacy of the state’s sovereignty over its subjects. These practices produce a contradictory understanding of laicism and a controversial position of the state in its relation to Islam. The difference between the constitutional definition of laicism and the institutional practices and policies which are non-laic according to the state’s definition of laicism, makes the masses more close to religion instead of secularism. Using only one religion (Islam) and one sect (Sunni-Hannifin) to strengthen the Turkish state’s legitimacy can damage the sovereignty of the state in the perception of the non-Muslim and non-Hannifin subjects.
This collection reframes the debate around Islam and women's rights within a broader comparative literature that examines the complex and contingent historical relationships between religion, secularism, democracy, law, and gender equality.
The author tries to answer the question of whether the state theories in Islam could lead the Islamic societies towards implementation of the democratic values such as political participation, rationalism in legislation, implementation of the International norms and respect for Human Rights or not. In this respect, the author first analyzes the political theories in two big religions within Islam with a historic approach using the new texts and historic documents about the theories of Caliphate and Imamate. Afterwards issues such as,appointing the Muslim rulers, legislating in Islam, implementation of the Sharia law,Hudud and finally respect for the international orders and Human Rights are analyzed. The results of this analysis reveal that the political theories in Islam are not capable of presenting an efficient political system and Islam helped to create autocratic regimes. The other challenge is in the rigidity of Shaira law that led to resist against modern regulations, Human Rights and international orders. This study suggests that moving towards Secular democracy is an answer to solve these obstacles.
When some scholars in the West speak of a clash of civilizations, they usually mean a contemporary conflict between Islam and the West. Both ‘Islam’ and the ‘West” are vastly sweeping categories and tell us little about the actual lives of people. Those who subscribe to the ‘clash of civilizations thesis’ find the distance between a hollow generalization of the sort that Samuel P. Huntington has proposed and the eventual caricature of Islam and Muslims to be a short one. Combined with Orientalist prejudices, they offer equally untenable theories that suggest that Islam is inherently and uniquely resistant to democracy, secularism and liberalism.The truth lies elsewhere.The most substantial majority of Muslims in the world live in two fairly stable democracies, namely India and Indonesia. Pakistan and Bangladesh also add up to a sizeable population of Muslims in the world.In the light of these debates and controversies, it is the South Asian experience that teaches us a significant lesson. It shows that that there is no single linear pattern to define Muslims or Islam in the world.
The conception of secularism has been fragile and flexible; it varies from country to country. Its scope and implication is too difficult to define in most legal systems including Ethiopia. This author, thus, tries to acquaint readers with the basic concept of separation of state and religion. He also tries to demarcate the line between state and religious matters. This book is useful for researchers, lawyers and academicians interested in the issues of secularism in general and particularly in Ethiopia.
In contemporary Turkey, a plethora of Muslim NGOs, spanning the sectarian divide between Sunni and Alevi Muslims, has called into question statist sovereignty over Islam. Muslim Civil Society and the Politics of Religious Freedom in Turkey is an ethnographic study of these institutions and their distinctive, nongovernmental politics of religious freedom.
In On Revolution, published in 1963, Hannah Arendt constitutes a conceptual duality and even an opposition between the French and American Revolutions implying that the French Revolution is not action whereas the American Revolution is an experience of political action and freedom. The book analyzes her interpretation of the French Revolution and modern revolutions in general under the light of her conception of action developed in The Human Condition, published in 1958. It is argued that, the existentialist and romantic definition of action in The Human Condition requires Arendt to consider the French Revolution as an experience of action in contrast to what she implied in On Revolution. This work aims to reveal the different aspects of the tensious and, in certain ways, problematic relation between action and revolution in Arendt’s political thought. For finding out the discontinuities and inconsistencies between her conception of action and her interpretation of the French Revolution, the two primary texts of Arendt (The Human Condition and On Revolution) are analyzed in a detailed manner.
Muslim societies are in evidence in the international media today due to many conflicts and social movements. In recent decades, Islamism has been one such movement that has interfered in these societies’ sociopolitical spheres, and consequently in their populations of women. This book focuses on the study of Muslim women and their presence in Islamist movements, understood here as fundamentalist movements whose political ideology is centered on the defense of the traditions of Islam and the criticism of the West. The main objective is to investigate to what extent these movements may be contributing to (or blocking) a possible emancipation of Muslim women, with such emancipation being defined by criteria such as autonomy in social and political participation and presence in public spaces. In this sense, the research is proposed from the perspective of social history, making a comparison between post-80s Egypt and Turkey, and is structured around three main issues: a) Islamism and its impact on the social and political live of women; b) the presence of women in Islamist movements; and c) modernity in Islam: women and Islamism.
The entry of Islam into Ghana and among the Akan people is seen in the context of its development and spread in West Africa.From the beginning therefore, Muslims established an inner nexus between Islam and the indigenous culture.Through the intensive missionary ventures of Muslim reformers, Islam became dominant and influential religion in the social,political and economic structures of Ghana and the Akan states.
After 7/7, there was a concern that some individuals could exploit the religious background of the bombers as an excuse for racist attacks and abuses against members of Muslim communities in British. The report confirms that in the immediate period after the attacks there was a temporary and disturbing increase in suspicion, discrimination, criticism and faith hate crimes across the UK. Understandably, this made British Muslims feel vulnerable and fear for their safety. The strong stand taken by political and Muslim community leaders both in condemning the attacks and defending the legitimate rights of Muslims saw a swift reduction in such incidents. As a result of the strong stand by Muslim political, Islamic scholar and community leaders there was a largely positive response from the media across the UK. In addition, Muslim community leaders reacted immediately and unequivocally by condemning the bombers. These factors together were decisive in countering incidents and prejudice against minorities, and preventing a trend of incidents and attacks from taking shape. The real test will be whether this initial encouraging response translates into effective long-term action that addre
This book is based on the Ph.D. thesis of the author aims to examine the transformation of the basic notions of post- modernity in the exhibition space is basically discussed in terms of cultural policy, Turkish art historiography, changing representation strategies in the body of the international exhibitions. The dual narratives in international art and heritage exhibitions were articulated in three different transformations namely: cultural policy, Turkish art history writing, and representation of national identity. Under the effect of globalization, the theme and structure of the Turkish international exhibitions shifted from national to international.This study aimed to show the transformation in the presentation of the cultural identity of Turkey, reconstructed in accordance with the tension between the global and local cultural concerns.Turkey’s new visual representations in international exhibitions are related to the new social, economic, and political formations in which the country finds itself. Being contemporary and being culturally different still seem to be the guiding principles of cultural representation in Turkey.
In the face of increasingly evident religiously driven conflicts around the globe, a necessity arises to understand the nature of such conflicts. This necessity emerges not only from pure scientific curiosity but also from practical concerns regarding the crucial question of how to manage and resolve these conflicts. This study is an attempt to explore such issues by focusing on political Islam in the Middle East. Three cases are examined, Turkey, Egypt, and Algeria, where political Islam has challenged, sometimes quite seriously, the secular state structure. Even though a three-case study is not sufficient enough to reach generable results, many policy implications, nevertheless, can be drawn from the study in terms of more effectively managing the religious challenge in the twenty-first century.
This book depicts how religious tolerance and tension gets worth in countries like Ethiopia where its people have been renown for worshiping Judaism, Christianity, and Islam since the remote past in harmony.Therefore, this work is,to my belief,a valuable one in the contemporary world where conflicts and terrorism are being undertaken under the guise of religion.Scholars who study about the horn of Africa and more specifically Ethiopia can benefit a lot from it.
The discussion of group rights, while always a part of the human rights discourse, has been gaining importance in the past decade. This discussion, which remains fundamental to a full realisation by the international community of its international human rights goals, requires careful analysis and empirical research. The present volume offers a great deal of material for both. It makes a strong case in favour of a multidisciplinary approach to human rights and explores the origins and social, anthropological and legal/political dimensions of human rights and internationally recognised group rights. It explores legal issues such as the reservations to international treaties and methodological questions, including the question of deliberative processes which allow seemingly absolute requirements of human rights to be reconciled with culturally sensitive norms prevailing within various groups. The discussion continues by looking at specific contexts, including the situations of women, school communities, ethnic and linguistic minorities, migrant communities and impoverished groups. The final part of the volume examines the 'state of play' of human rights and group rights in international law, in international relations and in the context of internationally sponsored development policies. Here the authors offer a meticulous and critical presentation of the legal regulation of human rights and group rights and point to numerous weaknesses which continue to exist and which call for additional work by legal thinkers and practitioners.