Considering the communicative and symbolic roles of language in articulating national identity, Yasir Suleiman provides a fresh perspective on nationalism in the Middle East. The links between language and nationalism are delineated and he demonstrates how this has been articulated over the past two centuries.
Straddling the domains of cultural and political nationalism, Suleiman examines the Arab past (looking at the interpretation and reinvention of tradition, and myth-making); the clash between Arab and Turkish cultural nationalism in the 19th and early 20th century; readings of canonical treatises on the topic of Arab cultural nationalism, the major ideological trends linking language to territorial nationalism; and provides a research agenda for the study of language and nationalism in the Arab context.
This the first full-scale study of this important topic and will be of interest to students of nationalism, Arab and comparative politics, Arabic Studies, history, cultural studies and sociolinguistics.
The Contemporary Arab Reader on Political Islam brings together the writings of highly influential figures in the field of Islamism in the contemporary Arab world, many of whose writings have never been available before in English.
Addressing the key issues such as human rights, civil society, secularism, globalisation and ummah, and the impact of the West on the modern Arab world, this is the perfect starting point for students and academics looking to understand 'Political Islam' in contemporary Arab and Muslim societies.
The contributors include such important Islamist thinkers and activists as Abdullah Azzam, central to the spread of Islamism in Afghanistan, Sayyid Muhammad Hussain Fadlallah, a major Shiite figure in contemporary Lebanon and Ahmad Bin Yousuf, a political advisor to Akram Haniyya in Gaza.
Contemporary Arab Thought is a complex term, encompassing a constellation of social, political, religious and ideological ideas that have evolved over the past two hundred years — ideas that represent the leading positions of the social classes in modern and contemporary Arab societies.
Distinguished Islamic scholar Ibrahim Abu-Rabi‘ addresses such questions as the Shari‘ah, human rights, civil society, secularism and globalization. This is complimented by a focused discussion on the writings of key Arab thinkers who represent established trends of thought in the Arab world, including Muhammad ‘Abid al-Jabiri, Adallah Laroui, Muhammad al-Ghazali, Rashid al-Ghannoushi, Qutatnine Zurayk, Mahdi ‘Amil and many others.
Before 1967, some Arab countries launched hopeful programmes of modernisation. After the 1967 defeat with Israel, many of these hopes were dashed. This book retraces the Arab world’s aborted modernity of recent decades. Abu-Rabi‘ explores the development of contemporary Arab thought against the historical background of the rise of modern Islamism, and the impact of the West on the modern Arab world.
A renowned authority on Islamic movements, François Burgat lived for eighteen years in the Arab world, including his time as director of the French Center for Archaeology and Social Sciences at Yemen. He also dedicated many months to fieldwork in North Africa. Bringing Burgat's decades of expertise to the complex dialogues that have marked the post-9/11 world, Islamism in the Shadow of al-Qaeda delivers much-needed clarity and historical perspective.
In Burgat's eyes, most of the West's political and media rhetoric has only fueled al-Qaeda's case, revealing a woeful lack of comprehension regarding the violent authoritarianism that divides the Middle East and creates a breeding ground for terrorism. Islamism in the Shadow of al-Qaeda provides a primer of the three eras of political Islam, from the 1928 founding of the Muslim Brothers to the rise of post-colonial dictatorships and the current radicalization of "Generation al-Qaeda." Offering a new roadmap for stability, Burgat bridges the ideologies—political, religious, and cultural—that must be traversed if the deadly sectarianism is to be superseded.
While conventional wisdom points to the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 as the gateway for the founding of the first Arab American national political organization, such advocacy in fact began with the Syrian nationalist movement, which emerged from immigration trends at the turn of the last century. Bringing this long-neglected history to life, The Making of Arab Americans overturns the notion of an Arab population that was too diverse to share common goals. Tracing the forgotten histories of the Free Syria Society, the New Syria Party, the Arab National League, and the Institute of Arab American Affairs, the book restores a timely aspect of our understanding of an area (then called Syria) that comprises modern-day Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. Hani Bawardi examines the numerous Arab American political advocacy organizations that thrived before World War I, showing how they influenced Syrian and Arab nationalism. He further offers an in-depth analysis exploring how World War II helped introduce a new Arab American identity as priorities shifted and the quest for assimilation intensified. In addition, the book enriches our understanding of the years leading to the Cold War by tracing both the Arab National League’s transition to the Institute of Arab American Affairs and new campaigns to enhance mutual understanding between the United States and the Middle East. Illustrated with a wealth of previously unpublished photographs and manuscripts, The Making of Arab Americans provides crucial insight for contemporary dialogues.
According to conventional wisdom, the national identity of the Jordanian state was defined by the ruling Hashemite family, which has governed the country since the 1920s. But this view overlooks the significant role that the "Arab street"—in this case, ordinary Jordanians and Palestinians—played and continues to play in defining national identity in Jordan and the Fertile Crescent as a whole. Indeed, as this pathfinding study makes clear, "the street" no less than the state has been a major actor in the process of nation building in the Middle East during and after the colonial era.
In this book, Betty Anderson examines the activities of the Jordanian National Movement (JNM), a collection of leftist political parties that worked to promote pan-Arab unity and oppose the continuation of a separate Jordanian state from the 1920s through the 1950s. Using primary sources including memoirs, interviews, poetry, textbooks, and newspapers, as well as archival records, she shows how the expansion of education, new jobs in the public and private sectors, changes in economic relationships, the establishment of national militaries, and the explosion of media outlets all converged to offer ordinary Jordanians and Palestinians (who were under the Jordanian government at the time) an alternative sense of national identity. Anderson convincingly demonstrates that key elements of the JNM's pan-Arab vision and goals influenced and were ultimately adopted by the Hashemite elite, even though the movement itself was politically defeated in 1957.
In Radical Arab Nationalism and Political Islam, Lahouari Addi attempts to assess the history and political legacy of radical Arab nationalism to show that it contained the seeds of its own destruction. While the revolutionary regimes promised economic and social development and sought the unity of Arab nations, they did not account for social transformations, such as freedom of speech, that would eventually lead to their decline. But while radical Arab nationalism fell apart, authoritarian populism did not disappear. Today it is expressed by political Islam that aims to achieve the kind of social justice radical Arab nationalism once promised.
Addi creatively links the past and present while also raising questions about the future of Arab countries. Is political Islam the heir of radical Arab nationalism? If political Islam succeeds, will it face the same challenges faced by radical Arab nationalism? Will it be able to implement modernity? The future of Arab countries, Addi writes, depends on this crucial issue.
Published in collaboration with Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University.
From a Western perspective, the Persian Gulf War of 1990–1991 largely fulfilled the first President Bush’s objective: “In, out, do it, do it right, get gone. That’s the message.” But in the Arab world, the causes and consequences of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait and his subsequent defeat by a U.S.-led coalition were never so clear-cut. The potent blend of Islam and Arab nationalism that Saddam forged to justify the unjustifiable—his invasion of a Muslim state—gained remarkable support among both Muslims and Arabs and continued to resonate in the Middle East long after the fighting ended. Indeed, as this study argues in passing, it became a significant strand in the tangled web of ideologies and actions that led to the attacks of 9/11. This landmark book offers the first in-depth investigation of how Saddam Hussein used Islam and Arab nationalism to legitimate his invasion of Kuwait in the eyes of fellow Muslims and Arabs, while delegitimating the actions of the U.S.-led coalition and its Arab members. Jerry M. Long addresses three fundamental issues: how extensively and in what specific ways Iraq appealed to Islam during the Kuwait crisis; how elites, Islamists, and the elusive Arab “street,” both in and out of the coalition, responded to that appeal and why they responded as they did; and the longer-term effects that resulted from Saddam’s strategy.