ASQ Contents & Abstracts Past Issues
Editor’s Note 90
Yeats’s Ireland, Darwish’s Palestine: the National in the Personal, Mystical, and Mythological 92
Five Troops for Every Tree: Lamenting Green Carnage in Contemporary Arab Women’s War Diaries 107
Political Change in North Africa and the Arab Middle East: Constitutional Reforms and Electoral Processes 128
The Arab Spring: A Quantitative Analysis 149
Andrey V. Korotayev, Leonid M. Issaev, Sergey Yu. Malkov and Alisa R. Shishkina
Mustafa Kabha. The Palestinian People: Seeking Sovereignty and State 170
Kazuo Morimoto (ed.). Sayyids and Sharifs in Muslim Societies: The Living Links to the Prophet 173
Books in Brief
Mona Abaza. The Cotton Plantation Remembered: An Egyptian Family Story 176
Aida Essaid. Zionism and Land Tenure in Mandate Palestine 177
Guidelines for Authors 179
YEATS’S IRELAND, DARWISH’S PALESTINE: THE NATIONAL IN THE PERSONAL, MYSTICAL, AND MYTHOLOGICAL
Abstract: William Butler Yeats’s and Mahmoud Darwish’s poetic oeuvres can safely be said to have contributed significantly to building distinct national consciousnesses for their respective nations of Ireland and Palestine. These poets have equipped themselves with unique repertoires, which include the personal, the mystical, and the mythological, not to escape into a more ideal or abstract world, but to create anew their homelands, which have been placed under political, social, cultural, and in Darwish’s case, geographical erasure by oppressive imperialist/Zionist invaders and occupiers. Both poets take on their roles as politician/artist/magician seriously by using hypnotic and other magical techniques in order to focus their people’s psyches on the idea of cultural and national liberation. The poetry of both Yeats and Darwish shows poignantly how a poet can embody the nation and how poetry can indeed make something happen.
Keywords: William Butler Yeats, Mahmoud Darwish, Ireland, Palestine, national, mythological
FIVE TROOPS FOR EVERY TREE: LAMENTING GREEN CARNAGE IN CONTEMPORARY ARAB WOMEN’S WAR DIARIES
Abstract: Stories about “green carnage” often get lost among headlines, which most often emphasize civilian and material costs in times of war. War’s violation of the environment, however, has serious repercussions for the communities who have strong economic, emotional, and sociopolitical ties to the land. Using Ecocriticism as a framework, I provide a close textual analysis of five contemporary war diaries by Arab women, Suad Amiry’s (2004) Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries, Riverbend’s (2005) Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq, Zena El-Khalil’s (2006) “Beirut Update,” IraqiGirl’s (2009) IraqiGirl: Diary of a Teenage Girl in Iraq, and Laila El-Haddad’s (2010) Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything in Between. I demonstrate how these environment-centered diaries engage with contemporary debates about the impact of militarization on the environment and how that environmental impact affects the inhabitants. I argue that these counter-narratives demonstrate an increasingly prominent environmental consciousness among civilians in war-torn countries in the Middle East.
Keywords: war, environment, ecocriticism, blogs, Arab women’s diaries, militarization
POLITICAL CHANGE IN NORTH AFRICA AND THE ARAB MIDDLE EAST: CONSTITUTIONAL REFORMS AND ELECTORAL PROCESSES
Abstract: The aim of this study is to examine, from a comparative focus, the processes of political change, which have come about as a result of the revolutions and upheavals in North Africa and the Arab Middle East countries since December 2010. Previous experiences have shown that democracies tend to emerge in waves. Nevertheless, our hypothesis is that we cannot generalize by referring to a new wave of democratization in this region, but rather, we need to focus on processes of change of a different political nature (the establishment of democracy, political liberalization, and in some cases, the immobility of authoritarian regimes). In this research, we describe the constitutional and legal reforms, and the elections held to date. Finally, we evaluate the scope of these processes and assess their impact on the nature of political regimes in the Arab world.
Keywords: political change, political regimes, political reform, democratization, Arab Middle East, North Africa, Arab Spring
THE ARAB SPRING: A QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS
Andrey V. Korotayev, Leonid M. Issaev, Sergey Yu. Malkov
and Alisa R. Shishkina
Abstract: The quantitative analysis of the Arab Spring events is a rather difficult task. Respective difficulties are related to the variety of factors affecting social instability, and to individual peculiarities of historical, cultural, socio-economic, and political processes in the region. As a result of the research, we found out that the processes of social and political destabilization in the countries of Arab Spring were caused by a complex set of factors. The most significant factors that tended to reduce the scale of sociopolitical destabilization during the Arab Spring have turned out to be the following: the ability of the government to reduce social tensions and the presence of “immunity” to internal conflicts. However, such indicators as structural and demographical characteristics and external influences turned out to be less significant in the context of the Arab Spring. It should be mentioned that the significance of the external influences indicator notably increases when the model is used to account for the death toll resultant from anti-government protests. We also discuss the possibility of applying the developed model of sociopolitical destabilization to forecast sociopolitical upheavals in future.
Keywords: Arab Spring, social instability, elite conflict, Middle East, demographics, forecasting, poverty, inequality, quantitative analysis
Editor’s Note 4
Turkey and Iran: Between Friendly Competition and Fierce Rivalry 6
S. Gülden Ayman
Lost in Non-Translation: Politics of Misrepresenting Arabs 27
Sally Gomaa and Chad Raymond
Egypt’s Age of Transition: Unintentional Cosmopolitanism during the
Reign of Muhammad ‘Alī (1805-1848) 43
Marwa El Ashmouni and Katharine Bartsch
Mervat F. Hatem. Literature, Gender, and Nation-Building in
Nineteenth-Century Egypt: The Life and Works of ‘A’isha Taymur 75
Ariella Azoulay and Adi Ophir. The One-State Condition: Occupation
and Democracy in Israel/Palestine 78
Books in Brief
Dan Tschirgi, Walid Kazziha, and Sean F. McMahon (eds.).
Egypt’s Tahrir Revolution 82
Nur Masalha. The Zionist Bible: Biblical Precedent, Colonialism,
and the Erasure of Memory 83
Guidelines for Authors 85
TURKEY AND IRAN: BETWEEN FRIENDLY COMPETITION AND FIERCE RIVALRY
S. Gülden Ayman
Abstract: The article starts by stressing the distinctive features of Turkish-Iranian relations. It argues that in order to understand the different stages in Turkish-Iranian relations one needs to define the fine line between competition and rivalry, which are usually used interchangeably. It explains the common concerns that united and fostered cooperation between Turkey and Iran as well as the differences that persisted after the US invasion of Iraq. Delineating under what sort of conditions Turkey emerged as a competitor in Iraq, it evaluates the main instruments Ankara and Tehran employed in their efforts to affect the future of that country. In an effort to explain why this competition heightened, carrying the risk of transforming the two countries’ relationship to a rivalry, it elaborates on both countries’ approaches and concerns vis-à-vis Syria and the role of the US in shaping the two countries’ interactions.
Keywords: Turkish-Iranian relations, Turkish-Iranian cooperation, Syrian conflict, Kurdish question, US Middle East policy, future of Iraq
Lost In Non-Translation: Politics of Misrepresenting Arabs
Sally Gomaa and Chad Raymond
Abstract: Undergraduate college students in the USA often encounter the Arab Middle East through novels translated into English. These novels are often presented by instructors and understood by students as stylized but accurate depictions of Arab societies as they currently exist. This article argues that the extremely limited number of translated Arabic novels that have made their way into American classrooms perpetuate stereotypes about Arab societies. These novels present students with themes that are often ahistorical and infused with violence, misogyny, and religious fanaticism. Although students may be highly interested in learning about Arab societies, the literary content they come across encourages affective rather than critical or complex responses.
Keywords: literature, novel, translation, masculinity, war, women
Egypt’s Age of Transition: Unintentional Cosmopolitanism during the Reign of Muhammad ‘Alī (1805-1848)
Marwa El Ashmouni and Katharine Bartsch
Abstract: This article examines cosmopolitanism during the reign of Muhammad ‘Alī whose architectural patronage was intertwined with his political aspirations for independence and reform. The Alabaster Mosque and Shubra Palace were prominent in the image of the nascent state and they serve as potent examples of the Pasha’s openness to diverse ideas (which was highly controlled) and his cultivation of multiple loyalties in the effort to consolidate power. Connecting Muhammad ‘Alī’s “enframing of modernity,” posited by Timothy Mitchell in Colonising Egypt (1988), with Ulrich Beck’s articulation of “unintentional cosmopolitanism,” in The Cosmopolitan Vision (2006), these projects are interpreted as a “side-effect” of the Pasha’s efforts to materialize both national and imperial aspirations. This cosmopolitan lens provides a timely insight into the complex cultural encounters that have shaped Egyptian history, given the recent protests against existing regimes and imperialist forces of global capitalism; forces which, similarly, thwarted ‘Alī’s endeavours in the nineteenth century.
Keywords: Egypt, cosmopolitanism, Muhammad ‘Alī, Alabaster Mosque, Shubra Palace, enframing of modernity
Past Issue Contents
Contents & Abstracts
Arab Studies Quarterly 34/4 Fall 2012 Articles
1. Democracy Promotion and Abstracted Sovereignty 205
Dina Jadallah is a PhD candidate at the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies at the University of Arizona.
The United States usually presents itself in exceptional terms. In the last thirty years, it has presented itself as the beacon of democracy. As “leader of the free world,” the United States has taken upon itself the responsibility to spread (an implicitly-assumed) universally desired liberal democracy. While it uses, and has used, war—euphemized as intervention, the global war on terror, or various operations of freedom—the United States also relies on democracy promotion efforts that spread norms, procedures, and methods of pluralist governance. These include free and fair elections, universal adult suffrage, basic individual freedoms, free opposition parties, and rule of law, which ostensibly benefit all people. The narrative also insists that altruism is what drives US interest in seeing “American” values of freedom and “democratic peace” prevail in the international state system.
This article argues that claims of exceptionalism are crucial for constructing the myths necessary for sustaining and expanding American dominance over global capitalism and the international system of states. Democracy promotion is a means of constructing shared values and concepts, structures, procedures, and elites that subdue and channel mass popular demands arising from the socio-economic arena.
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2. Continuity of Change in Turkish Foreign Policy under the JDP Government: The Cases of Bilateral Relations with Israel and Syria 230
Kilic Bugra Kanat
Kilic Bugra Kanat, Assistant Professor of Politics, Penn State University, Erie; Research Fellow, SETA Foundation at Washington DC; Moynihan Fellow, Moynihan Institute for Global Affairs, Syracuse, New York.
Turkish foreign policy has been a popular topic for those who study recent developments in Turkish politics as well as those of the Middle East.
These developments and new initiatives in the foreign policy realm, such as the refusal to allow coalition forces to deploy their troops from Turkish territory before the Second Gulf War, the fostering of ties with Middle Eastern countries, its participation and leadership in international organizations and initiatives, its pro-active diplomacy with neighboring countries, and its willingness to mediate and resolve disputes among the warring parties of the Middle East, have fascinated scholars of Turkish studies as well as foreign policy analysts. Most of these initiatives were innovative endeavors compared to more traditional Turkish foreign policy, whose important pillars include non-involvement and non-interference in regional conflicts, a cautious approach in its relations with neighboring countries, and foreign policy decision making with bureaucratic and military control. These changes that took place in the last ten years and the expansion of foreign policy endeavors of Turkish policy makers have paved the way for the emergence of new scholarship focusing on the JDP government, in particular its leadership, goals, ambitions and the impact of these factors on foreign policy formulation and implementation. Studies in this field have revealed different outcomes regarding the motivations of foreign policy makers, the causes of the change in foreign policy, and the process of change in the foreign policy realm.
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3. Looking for Home in the Islamic Diaspora of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Azar Nafisi, and Khaled Hosseini 250
Rachel Blumenthal is a PhD candidate at Northwestern University Department of English, Evanston, Illinois.
On November 8, 2007, Anglo-Dutch writer Ian Buruma delivered a lecture titled “Isllamist Radicalism in Europe.”[i] His claim: moderate Muslim thinkers are the key to diffusing a potentially explosive politics of radical religious separatism in Europe. A small but powerful minority of Islamic radicals resides in Europe, according to Buruma, and they remain an unassimilated and thus, dangerous force to be reckoned with. He cites the 2004 slaying of Dutch filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, as evidence of this Islamist radicalism. Van Gogh’s 2004 film Submission exposed the psychological and physical violence levied against women in Islamic societies, and it was in response to this production that Islamic-Dutch citizen, Mohammed Bouyeri murdered Van Gogh as retribution for his critique of Islam.[ii]
Buruma suggests two paths for suturing what he reads as an ever-growing divide between mainstream Europe (and the Western world at large) and its radical Islamic minority. The one lies with Ayaan Hirsi Ali (script-writer for Van Gogh’s Submission). A self-proclaimed ex-Muslim, Ali represents for Buruma the radical alternative to radical Islam—renunciation. She is, thus, not the “icon” he would select for keeping what he calls “non-violent Muslim minorities in favor of Western secular democracy.”[iii] Rather, he posits so-called moderate thinker Tariq Ramadan as the optimal symbol of moderate Islamic, pro-Western thought. Buruma argues that it is precisely Ramadan’s embodiment of “moderate” Islam that makes him a sound solution to the increasingly dangerous divide between mainstream Europe and its radical Islamic minority. Where Hirsi Ali is, for Buruma, a risky figure because she renounced Islam, Ramadan represents a “middle road,” a pragmatic alternative that encompasses both Orthodox Islam and a pro-Western politics. Buruma champions him as the salve for an ailing political/religious situation in Europe.
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Remembering Michael Suleiman—1934-2010
Michael Suleiman: A Man from Palestine and Kansas 265
Elaine C. Hagopian
Michael Suleiman and Arab American & Middle East Studies: Memories of a Scholar, a Friend, and a Cheerleader 270
Remembering Michael Suleiman 273
Lisa S. Majaj
Michael W. Suleiman (1934-2010) 277
Janice J. Terry
Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad, Jane I. Smith, and Kathleen M. Moore.
Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today 283
Books in Brief
Adania Shibli. We Are All Equally Far From Love 287
Hamid Dabashi. The Arab Spring: The End of Postcolonialism 287
Fevzi Bilgin. Political Liberalism in Muslim Societies 289
Counter-Militancy, Jihadists and Hypergovernance: Managing Disorder in the “Uncompleted” Postcolonial State of Pakistan 144
Research and Development in the Occupied Palestinian Territories: Challenges and Opportunities 158
Mazin Qumsiyeh and Jad Isaac
Untangling Islamism from Jihadism: Opportunities for Islam and the West after the Arab Spring 173
Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt. What Kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq 189
Lev Luis Grinberg. Politics and Violence in Israel/Palestine: Democracy versus Military Rule 190
Raymond W. Baker, Shereen T. Ismael, and Tareq Y. Ismael. Editors.
Cultural Cleansing in Iraq: Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered 192
Books in Brief
Jon Armajani. Modern Islamist Movements: History, Religion, and Politics 196
Jerome Donovan. The Iran-Iraq War: Antecedents and Conflict Escalation 197
Guidelines for Authors 199
Counter-militancy, Jihadists and Hypergovernance: managing disorder in the “uncompleted” postcolonial state of Pakistan
In April 2009 the “Pakistani Taliban” caused a political crisis in Pakistan when they sought to expand their sphere of military control beyond the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) into Swat Valley. The Pakistani state had for several years attempted to contain Taliban influence through a series of locally brokered agreements, first in Waziristan with Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the supreme commander of the North Waziristani Taliban, and then with Sufi Mohammad and the TNSM (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law)1 in Swat. The expansion of the Taliban into Swat followed a familiar pattern—confrontation with the Pakistani military, brokered ceasefires, military accommodation of expanded Taliban power and imposition of Taliban rule under shari’a law. However, each time the Taliban took advantage of these brokered peace deals to consolidate and expand their influence. The breakdown of the Swat agreement, when the Taliban entered Buner and launched a campaign of terrorist bombings in the major cities, was the catalyst for the Pakistani military to launch a major offensive against the Taliban, but only after intense domestic and international political pressure. The result was a destructive and protracted battle that displaced more than 2 million residents of Swat valley (Amnesty International, 2009).
From the perspective of the United States and NATO, Pakistan is a secular nation-state with an extremist problem. They saw the challenge of the Taliban through the lens of a security and development paradigm. The Taliban’s expansion into Swat from the FATA represented the growing threat of extremism and the weakness of the Pakistani state to contain them and control their own territory. The solution to extremism was to strengthen the state and win back the allegiance of the population, especially the poor. This involved firstly re-establishing military control over national territory through Pakistani military actions against the Taliban, including the use of controversial US remote-controlled Predator strikes to target Taliban leaders and strongholds, and secondly, winning back state legitimacy by making the state present in people’s daily lives through the provision of protection (not producing civilian casualties), care and local development. In the language of state-making, the state needs to recover its territorial sovereignty through the re-accumulation of symbolic power and routinize its presence in everyday life (Loveman, 1998).
However, Pakistan is an “uncompleted” nation-state and not simply a weakened postcolonial state that has lost control over territorial sovereignty and the monopoly over the use of violence. The idea of Pakistan as an “uncompleted” nation has been present since Partition in 1947 when the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir was left outside its borders at the moment of its creation. The political currency of jihadin Pakistan in fact originates with Kashmir, the national project of recovering Kashmir to realize the imagined Muslim community of Pakistan as conceived of at Partition. After the Islamization of the state under the 1973 Constitution it also came to be seen as an uncompleted Islamic nation-state. For jihadist groups such as Lashk-i-Toiba (Army of the Good) Kashmir became a sacred cause worthy of martyrdom.
The theme of Pakistan as an uncompleted state has remained a recurrent one in nationalist politics. The uncompleted territorial state project focused primarily on the recovery of Kashmir, however this was exacerbated by the trauma of the secession of Bangladesh in 1971 as well as the latent threat of Baluchi and Pakhtun nationalist aspirations. The uncompleted religious state project made progress towards the implementation of Islam as a moral and legal blueprint a measure of the progress towards an Islamic state. The uncompleted democratic state project was the desire to create stable democratic institutions, evict the military from government and establish the rule of law and accountability of government and officials. This article argues that the contemporary crisis of the Pakistani state as an “uncompleted” state, in its competing religious and secular versions, needs to be understood as an expression of the more general crisis of the postcolonial state. Ceding sovereignty is not just the product of the incomplete nature of statemaking but increasingly a consequence of the rescaling of sovereignty and hypergovernance, expressions of new empire and transnational governance, as well as resistance to them. What we are witnessing in the crisis of the Pakistani state played out in war on the Frontier and terrorist violence in Pakistani cities is the struggle between two forms of hypergovernance in which the postcolonial state participates through franchising its sovereignty and creating para-statal militias mimicking states in their use of violence and law as the basis of their claim for political legitimacy. Pakistan is a postcolony in crisis where the ambitions for control of the state are not diminished but intensified. While the US and NATO want Pakistan to be a reliable partner (a strong state) in the “good” war against extremism, Pakistan is in reality already “an Islamic state overburdened with political ambitions couched in religious terms” (Eteraz, 2009).
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN THE OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Mazin Qumsiyeh and Jad Isaac
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), Palestinian higher education and research and development (R&D) have a relatively recent history and face extraordinary challenges not faced by other countries. The study presented in this article examined the existing status of R&D, parameters that led to past successes and failures, and prospects for advancement of R&D in the OPT.
Palestinian universities are young by international standards, the oldest being only thirty years old and the youngest less than ten years old. Research was implemented by faculty at these nascent Palestinian universities and by civil society institutions and independent research centers (NGOs) (MOPIC, 1998). In 1977, the Council for Higher Education (CHE) was established to promote cooperation and coordination among Palestinian higher education institutions. In 1990, the CHE came to oversee policy for the whole sector (general, vocational/technical and higher education). CHE was a vehicle for allocating funds to higher education institutions, and creating a unified system of fees for students and salaries for staff. Except for the CHE, there was no official mechanism available to Palestinian universities and colleges for national planning, stable funding, or impartial and systematic decision-making. During the Israeli occupation and the associated absence of a national legal system, Palestinian universities lacked the legal foundation and framework for regulating their operations and providing them with institutional and professional protection (Gerner, 1989; Baramki, 1996).
Following the Oslo accords and the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) in 1994, the Ministry of Higher Education was established and in 2000 was renamed to Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and later reintegrated with the Ministry of Education to form the current Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MOEHE). In a further development, in May 2001, the PNA issued a decree by which the mandate of scientific research was entrusted to MOEHE. In doing this, the PNA also signaled its increased commitment to higher education and scientific research as national priorities, both administratively and financially. The MOEHE was invited to join a number of the international fora dealing with issues of higher education, research, and development. Several international research funding institutions encouraged the participation of Palestinian researchers in joint research projects, leading to a number of activities aimed at supporting “regional cooperation.” On the regional level, Palestine is represented within and receiving support from, among others: ALECSO (Arab League for Education, Culture and Science Organizations), ISESCO (Islamic Society for Education, Science and Cultural Organizations), ESCWA (Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia of the UN), Union of Arab Universities. Research projects or signed cooperation agreements were implemented between Palestinian institutions and such entities as UNESCO, UNDP, European Union, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, Republic of South Africa, Poland, Norway, Italy, and Switzerland.
The establishment of the PNA was accompanied by slow but important changes in areas of education and R&D. Some existing educational and research organizations took on quasi governmental status, others were created specifically by the Palestinian authority (such as Al-Aqsa University and Palestine Technical College). The new Palestinian ministries, such as Agriculture and Higher Education, became engaged in plans to enhance or promote R&D capabilities (MOPIC, 1998). In 1998, the Palestinian Academy for Science and Technology (PAST) was established. The establishment of the Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission (AQAC) and of the Quality Improvement Fund (QIF) with the support of the Ford Foundation, the World Bank and the European Union, has helped universities enhance the quality and relevance of their programs and to establish centers of excellence in various fields.
In MOEHE there is a General Directorate of Scientific Research that was created to support and advance R&D in the OPT. A Science Research Council (SRC) was established to assist this Directorate in its mission. Membership of the SRC includes representatives from Palestinian universities and research centers. In 1999, the PNA issued its developmental strategy in preparation for Palestinian statehood. Regrettably, the strategy outlined in the education component of this document did not include any reference to SETI (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Innovations). However, MOEHE presented a strategy for the coming three years on December 23, 2009. The strategy called for more entrepreneurial learning, advancement of R&D as a component of higher education, and ensuring that higher education meets the needs of the Palestinian society (MOEHE, 2009).
An international conference on “Development of Scientific Research at Palestinian Institutions” was held in Paris on November 4-5, 2007 under the auspices of UNESCO and the “Palestinian-European-Academic Cooperation in Education” (PEACE) program. Participants concluded that much more data on the status of R&D in Palestinian institutions are needed and that better planning and organization would help advance R&D to serve the needs of the Palestinian society. A follow-up PEACE workshop was held on January 16, 2008 at An-Najah N. University, Nablus and expanded on what was discussed in Paris, and this was followed by a meeting in Barcelona in November 2010 (see http://www.peace-programme.org).
The 8th UNESCO-Palestinian Authority meeting convened on March 4-5, 2008 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris identified areas of cooperation among which is the need for developing a policy framework for science innovation and technology in Palestine. As a result of this and subsequent discussion, a more specific call for a consultancy was issued to map out existing R&D efforts in the Palestinian authority areas and to engage stakeholders in discussion about future directions. In 2009, UNESCO and MOEHE asked the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ) to study R&D status and potential for development. Here we report on results from parts of these studies that deal with statistics on science and technology, specifically resources devoted to research and development (R&D) at higher education institutions and research centers (be it governmental, non-governmental, public, and private).
Untangling Islamism from Jihadism: Opportunities for Islam and the West After the Arab Spring
The Middle East since the early twentieth century has been plagued by competing messianic ideologies, be they secular ideas of Arab unity or religious oriented concepts, both revolving around a constant struggle over identity and order. The competition between secular politics and political Islam after the collapse of Ottoman authority and the ensuing processes of colonization and de-colonization have contributed in part to regional instability, and it is during this period that elements of Islamism which fuse the notions of jihad and Salafism began to emerge. The exclusion of religious organizations from political participation in countries ruled by regimes who have historically found their legitimacy to govern challenged not only by those seeking democratic reforms but also Islamists who argue for the inclusion of religion in politics and those who outright reject secular government has contributed to regional instability. Islamic institutions have faced a choice between marginalization, subjugation or radicalization, none of which has allowed Islam to play a significant participatory role in the political process, relegating faith to either a matter of private practice, an extremist discourse or a tool for legitimizing the rule of the political elite. The Middle Eastern regimes are not the sole cause for the rise of Salafi Jihadism and organizations like al-Qaeda, they have however been instrumental in excluding religion from political space, which has resulted in some turning to extremism as an alternative to subjugation or marginalization. What are the prospects for the relationship between the state and religion in the future with the fall of the regimes in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia and potential changes in other parts of the region?
By the 1970s Islamic revivalism was consolidating its position as a powerful political and social force that affected the political thinking of every element of society, not only among the radical fringe and not only in the Middle East. Pan Arabism in the 1950s and 1960s with its socialist ideals and objectives of a unified Arab world kept Islamic dissidents distant from the political arena.1 However, in the absence of any significant unification discourse by the 1980s, the resignation of Arab leaders to privilege internal affairs of state in particular Anwar al-Sadat who promoted an “Egypt first” policy and signed the Camp David Accords to make peace with Israel, coupled with the internal failings of the Arab states both economically and socially created conditions that allowed Islam to became once again a powerful political force in the Middle East. In attempting to make sense of this Islamic revival brought to global attention by the assassination of Anwar al-Sadat in 1981 and the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979, the political discourse and scholarship in the West further aided in attempting to suppress Islam as a legitimate political element. Islamic revival was understood as increased political activity in the name of Islam, compressing the variety of Islams from state-supported Islam, mystical Islam, “radical” Islam and moderate centrist political Islam under a single umbrella in the search for a unitary cause for political upheaval in the region.2 This led to the logical folly of understanding political Islam as absolutely linked with Jihadism. The danger in the present is that this line of thought may well continue to influence the policies of both the West and the new governments that will arise in the recent revolutionary states of the Middle East. It is difficult to dispute that political leaders both Western and Arab have been willing to subvert democratic principles and subscribe to in the case of the former or actively promote in the case of the latter, the lesser of two evils argument that suggests pluralism and the inclusion of religious political actors in governing will lead to inevitable instability. If political Islam in all of its diverse forms is cast under the same umbrella yet again it will be difficult for the West particularly the United States not to repeat the pattern of behavior and policy that has been commonplace since the end of World War II.
What prospects lie ahead for Islam with regime change, particularly in Egypt which houses the center for Sunni Islamic learning the Azhar, and has been the birthplace of institutions such as the Muslim Brotherhood as well as influential Salafi Jihadist ideologues like Sayid Qutb and Ayman al Zawahiri? Some political commentators in the Western media warn of an Islamist takeover emerging in the region which would pose a menacing challenge to global stability, further fueling tensions between the West and the Islamic world. However, this argument is not dramatically different from the logic which was bestowed upon the Western powers by Hosni Mubarak and Muamar Gadhafi during the uprisings, arguing that there is in effect a choice between the regime and stability, and that the absence of strong regimes will lead to an Islamist takeover. Mubarak insisted, “If I resign there will be chaos, and I’m afraid the Brotherhood will take over.”3 As well Mubarak insisted to US President Barack Obama, “You don’t understand Egyptian culture and what would happen if I step down.”4 Gadhafi’s somewhat less sophisticated urgings argued that the rebellion in Libya was inspired by al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, “Bin Laden… this is the enemy who is manipulating the people. Do not be swayed by Bin Laden. It is obvious now that this issue is run by al-Qaeda. Those armed youngsters, our children, are incited by people who are wanted by America and the Western world.”5 Saif al Islam Gadhafi, son of the Libyan leader, also made the connection between al-Qaeda and the uprisings, insisting that they are in fact one and the same. “If you want to support the terrorists and the armed militia, OK, so go and support bin Laden and al-Qaeda and the mafia in Sicily or in Boston and New York.”6
Internally however a different message was drafted for the domestic population. Foreign manipulation was to blame for the chaos, the regime leaders were, like all Muslims, victims of Western imperial aggression. Mubarak attempted to invoke his nationalist credentials using the same theme of a clear choice between security and instability, “The events of the last few days impose on us all as people and as leaders choosing between stability and chaos.”7 In Mubarak’s final address to the Egyptian people the day before his resignation he insisted, “The big shame and embarrassment which I have not done and will never do would be listening to foreign dictations whatever may be the source of pretext.” Appealing to anti-colonial sentiment, which has often resonated well on the Arab street, he noted: “I lived through the days of defeat and occupation. I also lived the days of the Suez crossing victory and liberation. I never succumbed to foreign pressure or dictation.”8 Regimes in the Middle East have since the birth of nation states in the region attempted to position themselves as the only alternative to either foreign hegemony or radical Islam, either of which would bring disaster to their countries. Anti-colonial discourse was at the heart of Ba‘thism and Nasserism. Where Pan-Arab ambitions may have ended when Saddam Hussein chose to invade Kuwait following a devastating eight-year war with Iran, the legacy of colonialism and fears of the influence of Western powers portrayed either overtly or more subtlety is still alive and employed for political purposes. In the view of the rise of Hamas to power in Palestine the message that democracy may not be the best option for the Middle East has found an audience among Western policy makers, and the message of Western meddling and equally the colonial legacy has been influential on the domestic population of the Middle East in legitimizing the rule of the regimes. This delicate balance between the domestic message and the international message despite being fraught with potential failure has demonstrated its resiliency most effectively in Egypt having been essentially ruled by the military since the Free Officers took power from King Farouk in 1952.
The revolutions that led to the downfall of Mubarak in Egypt, Zine el Abidine Bin Ali in Tunisia and Muamar Gadhafi may well demonstrate that both messages have lost their credence. Mubarak’s long-time ally the United States was no longer prepared to support the regime, this was epitomized by the remarks of Barack Obama who praised the drive to bring an end to Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year rule observing that, “Egyptians have inspired us and they’ve done so by putting an end to the idea that justice is best gained through violence.”9
Islam cannot be entirely divorced from politics even if the post-revolutionary states emerge as predominantly secular in nature. Attempts to repress the various Islamic institutions within the country limiting the political space in which Islamic organizations can operate has been a powerful piece of propaganda for the Salafi Jihadist ideologues, particularly al-Qaeda. Mubarak reversed the more inclusive policies that Sadat employed, and the crackdown after the violence of the 1990s most notably the killing of 62 tourists at Luxor by members of al Gama‘a al Islamiyya did help to stabilize Egypt which is heavily economically dependent on tourism. However these crackdowns only managed to shift jihad beyond Egypt’s borders.10 They did nothing to dissuade the notion that violence is the only means for significant political change and the single mechanism for providing a voice for Islam. This continues to be a premier component of the al-Qaeda ideology. However, crucially for al-Qaeda, as Bruce Riedel observes, “the victory of the masses and civil disobedience strikes at the very heart of the al-Qaeda narrative that proclaims change can only come to the Islamic world through violence and terror, through the global jihad.”11
Islam will not be absent from politics in the new Egypt that follows the Arab spring and the manner in which Islam is approached by both the Egyptian state and West will have profound effects on the course of international relations, representing an opportunity for both Islam, the West and the Middle East in general to break with long-standing political difficulties. The role of Islam in the Middle East has largely been relegated to a matter of private faith or been marshaled as a tool of legitimacy by the ruling elite from the Pan Arab period through to the present. This has led to tensions between the state and religious institutions, both radical and moderate, as well as contributed to the current crisis between Islam and the West. In the absence of an effective discourse which insists that Middle Eastern leaders are the puppets of Western interests and where the people of the region find it more difficult to lay the blame for social and political ills at the feet of the West though the colonial prism, what are the opportunities for Islam in this new emerging regional order? It is worth noting that Egyptian civil society is indeed highly developed and interaction with Westerners has been more common than in other Arab states, therefore what took place in Egypt may well not spread to the region at large. However, the Egyptian case may offer insights into what role Islam may play in the future. In this potentially watershed moment the manner in which the West approaches the new realities will likely have a significant impact on the international relations of the future.
One State or Two in Israel/Palestine: The Stress on Gender and Citizenship 70
Gordon A. Babst and Nicole M. Tellier
The Unmaking of a Patriot: Anti-Arab Prejudice in the British Attitude towards the Urabi Revolt (1882) 92
Into the Arab-American Borderland: Bilingual Creativity in Randa Jarrar’s Map of Home 109
Mohammed Albakry and Jonathan Siler
Ziad Fahmy. Ordinary Egyptians: Creating the Modern Nation through Popular Culture 122
Mohammed el-Nawawy and Sahar Khamis. Islam Dot Com: Contemporary Islamic Discourses in Cyberspace 126
Lisa Suhair Majaj. Geographies of Light 128
Marcy Jane Knopf-Newman
Steven Salaita. Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader’s Guide 131
Mejdulene B. Shomali
Books in Brief
Anna Piela. Muslim Women Online: Faith and Identity in Virtual Space 133
Muhsin al-Musawi. Islam on the Street: Religion in Modern Arabic Literature 135
Jordi Tejel. Syria’s Kurds: History, Politics, and Society 136
Guidelines for Authors 138
One State or Two in Israel/Palestine: The Stress on Gender and Citizenship
Gordon A. Babst and Nicole M. Tellier1
As is the case with any of the three great Abrahamic religions, there is considerable ambiguity regarding the status and role of women both within doctrinal interpretations, and between religious and other cultural traditions in the community. These ambiguities are reflected in political practice and condition women’s aspirations regarding what is possible for them to achieve. Nowhere is it more true that understandings of religious imperatives permeate politics and work to make other lines of division all the more intractable than in Israel/Palestine. The proclivity to violence between the two peoples not only victimizes women, but foreshortens attention to their specific political needs and the general issue of women’s rights in the region.
Recently, the entire Middle East region and North Africa have been roiled from below by large-scale protest movements aimed at ridding entire states of their autocratic rulers. Some observers sounded an optimistic note, believing that the presence of women among the activists bodes well for the future. Reporting from Cairo Laura King titled her report “Protests raise hope for women’s rights: Gender equality emerges on the front lines” (King, 2011). About 20 days later Bob Drogin also reported from Cairo that “Egypt’s women face growing violence. Sexual harassment is extreme and rampant. For a time it seemed that the protests might point to change” (Drogin, 2011). Carnegie Paper author Marina Ottoway reports that the “struggle for women’s rights and the core struggle to achieve democracy…must be seen as separate processes in the Arab world today” (Ottaway, 2004: 7). All-in-all, then, it is too soon to speculate as to whether these apparently democratic movements will advance the cause of women’s rights in the region, or result in a backlash against women who ventured outdoors.
Debate over women’s rights is heated in reference to the treatment of women in Islamic societies and Arab cultures generally. We seek to investigate this general question within the frame of the debate regarding a one- or two-state “solution” to the conflict between Israel and Palestine.2 Officially, the United States of America encourages a two-state solution on the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, carving a new Palestinian state and altering the borders of the present Jewish State of Israel. Presumably, an autonomous, sovereign Palestinian state will provide a homeland for the predominantly Muslim Palestinians, while Israel would do the same for its predominantly Jewish peoples.3
While the debate over a one- or two-state solution in Israel/Palestine has received considerable attention, it has yet to be done with extensive consideration of the perspective of women’s rights, or with respect to the suitability of a secular or sectarian political regime to advance women’s rights. Our point of view is, it is not obvious that a two-state solution would in fact improve the status of women in the region, if the two states were sectarian, rather than secular. The better solution turns not on which sectarianism predominates in one or two states, but on whether the one state is, or both states are sectarian at all. It is the sectarian/secular dimension that does the most work with respect to advancing the interests of women in the region, not whether one or two states are preferable. Both a Jewish Israeli state and an Islamic Palestinian state could provide relief for the majority of women living in the respective states, such as relief from violence, but would not advance the interests of women as a whole as seen from other perspectives, or so we argue.
When analyzing the gendering of citizenship there are a number of factors that must be taken into account. These include an examination of the distinction between the private and public spheres, the influence of religious law on personal and public matters, and a look at the ways in which women have responded politically to their respective situations. As Israeli, feminist scholar Simona Sharoni has argued, the relationship between gender and politics is crucial in understanding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the prospects for its resolution. Not only must the concerns of women be brought to the negotiation tables, but the contributions of both Palestinian and Israeli women must be recognized for a peaceful state solution to be achieved.
It is our emphasis on the status of women and the sectarian/secular divide that distinguishes our analysis and ultimate preference for a one-state solution from others, such as Benny Morris, who views the one-state solution as a “nonstarter” and holds prospects for a two-state solution as better, even if “very bleak” (Morris, 2009: 193). Given the focus of our attention, we necessarily by-pass examination of contentious issues such as the right of return for Palestinian refugees, and whether it was advisable to pursue a vote in the United Nations General Assembly regarding Palestinian statehood.
This article is organized as follows. First, we present some general theoretical considerations and feminist theory insights we hold to be important, followed by discussions of women’s symbolic role in Israel/Palestine (II), and the history of the conflict and the politics of difference in Israel/Palestine (III). In Section IV we review the contemporary situation of women in Palestine and Israel, respectively, followed by looks at women’s political activism (V) and their rights given the religious context (VI). Finally, in Section VII we offer some closing remarks regarding what might be best for women in Israel/Palestine.
The Unmaking of a Patriot: Anti-Arab Prejudice in the British Attitude towards the Urabi Revolt (1882)
Towards the Urabi Revolt (1882)
The revolt led by Ahmad Urabi in 1881-82 represents a turning point in the history of modern Egypt. As noted by Thomas Mayer,
for the first time in modern Egyptian history a native Egyptian officer took power over the country, challenging the entire sociopolitical order, including the authority of the dynast, the influence of the agrarian aristocracy, and Egyptian foreign relations with the Western powers, notably Britain.1
The origins, development and consequences of the revolt, which set the stage for the invasion of Egypt by British forces in July 1882 and the beginning of the British protectorate on the country, can hardly be summarized in few paragraphs; indeed, since 1882 the revolt has attracted substantial attention from politicians and historians alike, making it probably one of the most studied episodes of the history of nineteenth-century Egypt.2 The revolt was the culmination of a period of political and social turmoil in the country, which had resulted in the late 1870s in the development of a nationalist movement opposed to the foreign interference into Egyptian political and economic affairs. Since May 1880 this movement, whose members came primarily from the native bourgeoisie, was led by an army colonel of humble origins, Ahmad Urabi. The influence of the movement grew in 1881 after a failed attempt to arrest Urabi and other members and in September 1881 the Egyptian Khedive Tewfiq agreed to appoint a Nationalist nominee, Muhammad Sharif Pasha, as prime minister. The publication of the manifesto of the National Party in January 1882 was swiftly followed by a “joint note” by Britain and France proclaiming support for the Khedive against any attempt to subvert his autocratic rule. Between January and June 1882 the crisis rapidly escalated, and in July British ironclads bombarded Alexandria and set the stage for a brief military campaign that ended with the defeat of the Egyptian army in Tel el-Kebir in September 1882. Urabi was then arrested, trialed and exiled. He lived in the British colony of Ceylon until 1901, when the Khedive Abbas II allowed him to return to Egypt, where he died in 1911.
The debate on the causes of the war has attracted significant attention ever since 1882. “Hard” factors, including the dynamics of regional balance of power and the financial concerns raised by the stakeholders of the Canal Company, were immediately seen as crucial determinants of the war. As early as in 1883 Sir Randolph Churchill famously denounced the invasion of Egypt as a “bondholders’ war” and in the House of Commons strongly criticized what he saw as the suppression of a genuine nationalist movement.3
More recently, historians have also highlighted the role of misperceptions and political intrigue in the outbreak of the crisis. John Galbraith and Afaf Lutfi al-Sayyid-Marsot focused on the overall decision-making process in the British government, pivoting around the Foreign Secretary, Lord Granville, and highlighted how the decision-making process was marred with cognitive distortions and stereotypes, making it overall “irrational.”4 Alexander Scholch, on the other hand, attributed significant responsibility to the British “men on the spot” in setting the stage for the invasion.5 These included Edward Malet, British consul-general in Cairo from 1879 to 1883, and Auckland Colvin, the British financial controller-general. Others, like M. E. Chamberlain, suggest that the Khedive Tewfiq was the “real villain” in the events that led to the invasion, and that he, and not Urabi, carries the (albeit indirect) responsibility for the death of European citizens during the first Alexandria riot on June 11, 1882.6
This latter set of interpretations has gone some way towards explaining what Richard Cottam dubs as the “perceptual migration […] away from the complex pole toward the imperial pole” that accompanied the intensification of the Egyptian crisis in the British political debate and on the British press.7 According to Scholch and Chamberlain, the British government and the British public were gradually lured by British “men on the spot,” by the Egyptian Khedive and by Turkish envoys into accepting a depiction of Urabi and of the National Party that, if not utterly untrue, at least dramatically misrepresented what was a much more complex and articulated political and social picture.
However, while these contributions effectively supplement and redress explanations based merely on “hard” political and economic causes, they leave a series of questions unanswered. It is unclear, in particular, why the British “men on the spot” tried so systematically to influence the British public and the government in Westminster to support such dramatic escalation against the Egyptian nationalist movement and Urabi, and, most importantly, why they succeeded in doing so. Scholch provides a rather convincing answer to the first question by suggesting that, with few exceptions, the British community in Egypt colluded in defending its own interests—which included “finance, trade, investments, and their own position.”8 Scholch’s answer to the second question, however, is less satisfactory. On the one hand, he argues that the few envoys of British newspapers in Egypt were little more than “businessmen” who were integral parts of this collusion.9 He also adds that the most influential “man on the spot” who retained a degree of independence and tried to provide Gladstone with alternative versions of the events, the British intellectual Wilfrid Blunt, was dismissed by the prime minister as a “troublemaker.”10 Yet, the migration away from the “complex pole” was in fact less drastic and univocal, and much more complex and nuanced, than such suggestions would make us believe. Both the parliamentary debates and the numerous letters to newspapers and pamphlets published in the months of the crisis demonstrate that the decision to crush the Urabi revolt was far from uncontroversial in British politics.11
This article will argue that, in the end, the main success of the coordinated campaign orchestrated by newspapers and “men on the spot” was not so much in convincing the public and parliament that Urabi’s agenda was a threat to Britain’s interests, but rather in gradually shifting the debate on the Egyptian nationalistic movement away from the moral high ground it originally achieved with its (apocryphal) political manifesto and back into what was the normal perception of Middle Eastern politics as dominated by untrustworthy, mischievous and blood-thirsty individuals, and political and personal vendettas.
It will do so by following the coverage of the revolt on four leading London-based newspapers—the Times, Pall Mall Gazette, Daily News and Standard—focusing specifically on the period between April and June 1882, which corresponds to the final escalation of the crisis. While most studies have so far concentrated on the June riot in Alexandria and the events that accompanied and followed the British invasion in July, the coverage of the riot in the preceding month reveals a number of important and so far overlooked discursive hints that allow to reconstruct the gradual process through which Urabi and the National movement were stripped of the moral high ground that they enjoyed at the beginning of the year.
This process is particularly revealing as it shows that delegitimizing an Arab self-determination agenda by portraying it as culturally unviable can be more effective than directly attacking it as potentially damaging for the strategic and economic interests of a foreign power. As such, it also highlights the thickness of the predominant anti-Arab discourse on Middle Eastern politics in the late Victorian era, and the problems faced both by local actors and their Western supporters in challenging the frameworks imposed by such discourse.
Urabi’s Moral High Ground
Throughout the first months of the crisis, Urabi’s credentials as leader of an authentic nationalist movement rested on two grounds. On the one hand, his agenda perfectly fitted the standards set by Western (and English) political thought. The aims and purposes of his movement had been summarized in a political manifesto—the “Programme of the National Party of Egypt”—which was published by the Times on January 3, 1882 and, in the following days, reprinted by many other newspapers in Britain and abroad. The program stated clearly that the party recognized the formal authority of the Ottoman Empire and “trust[ed] in the protecting Powers of Europe, and especially in England, to continue their guarantee of Egypt’s administrative independence.”12 It also expressed its “loyal allegiance” to the Khedive Tewfiq, “as long as he shall rule in accordance with justice and law.” It accepted “the European Control as a necessity of their financial position” and declared its “entire acceptance of the foreign debt as a matter of national honour,” while also considering “the existing order of things as in its nature temporary” and promised to “gradually redeem the country out of the hands of creditors.” Finally, and most importantly, it identified itself as a “political, not a religious party,” and vowed not to remedy any of the “evils” mentioned in the manifesto “by violent action.”
The Times seemed to welcome this program and immediately noted, not without some irony, that “Arabi Bey must be the mildest-spoken man that ever headed a military revolt.”13 While it was soon proven to be apocryphal—Wilfrid Blunt admitted that he had “drawn up by himself” the program, and Urabi had “accepted it”14—the January manifesto cast a long shadow over the entire Egyptian crisis. The fact that the National Party was able, also with the help of supportive Englishmen like Blunt, to portray itself as a moderate nationalist movement at the very least exposed the Liberal government to the attacks of the foreign press. By the end of May, when the crisis had already escalated, the New York Times was keen to remark that “Arabi Bey is the nominal representative of the principle of self-government and the freeing of enslaved nationalities—a principle which English Liberals have earnestly contended should be applied to South-eastern Europe.”15
On the other hand, Urabi’s origins and moral conduct were repeatedly considered as the direct proof of the authenticity and popular credentials of the self-determination movement. As Wilfrid Blunt wrote in a letter to the Times, “Arabi’s first boast is that he is a fellah, a son of the black earth of the Nile.”16 Moreover, he continued:
The leaders of the National party have no overgrown harems to support, no slaves, no eunuchs, no stables full of sleek horses, or palaces by the river-side. They are poor men, living poorly. The ministers have decent houses, and no more. The deputies live in the old town in lodgings, the Sheikhs of the Azhar in the little back streets of the University.
Into the Arab-American Borderland: Bilingual Creativity in Randa Jarrar’s Map of Home
Mohammed Albakry and Jonathan Siler
The dominance of English remains at the heart of scholarly study in order to assess its role in various speech communities and communicative situations. Whether Western or non-Western, societies influenced by the global spread of English have received a good deal of academic attention (Bhatt, 2001). In particular, the cultural impact of the New Englishes phenomenon has been the subject of study in different domains such as media and advertising (Kelly-Holmes, 2009), communication within a global context (Seidlhofer, 2009), and language policies (Chua, 2010). Different varieties of New English also appear as a creative medium within various, inventive literatures. Though literature is a distinct field of creative expression, literary discourse and its ability to depict cultural interaction should not be overlooked.
Studies on literature as social discourse stress the concept of language as a cultural force, rooted within an author’s communicative competence that develops from cultural and sociolinguistic influences. Some studies stress awareness within literary communication of the syntactic, semantic, and practical levels deeply rooted in cultural ideology (Joseph, 2005). As Fowler (1981) suggests, authors access various repertoires of language acquired within their speech communities and then materially embody these repertoires within literature. Fowler further argues that treating literature as cultural discourse should include the text as “…mediating relationships between language-users: not only relationships of speech, but also of consciousness, ideology, role and class” (1981: 80). In this analysis, the text ceases to be an object and becomes an action or process. In other words, literature as discourse stresses contact of sociocultural factors within a given speech community. Among the different layers of contact, language contact, in particular, continues to motivate the study of what Kachru (1990, 1997, and elsewhere) calls “contact literature,” i.e. literary discourse that contextualizes cultural factors in the English language in innovative linguistic ways that do not commonly conform to traditional English literature.
Researchers of contact literature primarily analyze literary texts from non-native English speaking regions where English has been institutionalized, such as south Asia, East Asia, and Africa. The study of different works including Indian poetics (Gargesh, 2006), Thai autobiographies (Watkhaolarm, 2005), Chinese and Singaporean fictions (Tan, 1999), etc. has revealed distinct forms of English varieties and thus provides a range of information on their sociolinguistic descriptions, rhetorical and literary style, and cross-cultural intelligibility. Interestingly, however, the literature of borderland narratives has only slightly been explored with any significant attention to linguistic features and varieties (see for example Torres 2007 on Latino/a literature; Martin 2005 on Chicano and Native American literature). More specifically, observations regarding the creative processes behind Arab-American literature and depictions of Arabic and English contact remain underdeveloped. Although the Anglo-Arab and Arab-American experience has been stressed in previous studies (see Fadda-Conrey 2006 on Arab-American fiction as support for minority group interaction), only a few studies have analyzed its literature from a linguistic or cross-cultural perspective (e.g. Albakry and Hancock, 2008; Al Maleh, 2009).
This article presents a linguistic investigation of a single work of Arab-American fiction, namely Randa Jarrar’s A Map of Home (2009a), a novel of semi-autobiographical content regarding the author’s life in pre and post Gulf War periods. The article argues that Jarrar’s use of specific linguistic features within her narrative creates a dynamic borderland space in which the bilingual creativity of the novel mirrors the protagonist’s identity hybridization. In so doing, the language of the book represents an example of contact literature within the contexts of Middle Eastern and American cross-cultural interaction.
The Dynamics of the Amal Movement in Lebanon 1975-90 4
Sectarianism Twisted: Changing Cleavages in the Elections of Post-War Iraq27
Adele Ne Jame. The South Wind 52
Naomi Shihab Nye
Francis A. Boyle. The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law 54
Ghada Hashem Talhami
Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber. Editors.
Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging 58
Elias Khoury. White Masks 60
Books in Brief
Z. Salime. Between Feminism and Islam: Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco 62
S. Salaita. Israel’s Dead Soul 63
Guidelines for Authors 64
THE DYNAMICS OF THE AMAL MOVEMENT IN LEBANON 1975-90
Social and political movements both transformed Shi’ite Lebanon and placed them at the heart of Lebanese politics. But this socio-political “Shi’i transformation” did not start until the 1960s, for the following reasons: primarily, the geographical distance that separates the two main Shi’ite areas in Lebanon (Jabal Amil in Southern Lebanon and the Beqa), was considered an obstacle to combining the Shi’i community of Lebanon into an integral political entity; and secondly, the effect and the power of the Shi’i traditional leadership, al-za‘ama al-taklidiya al-Shi‘iy‘a, which maintained its hegemony over the mass population of the Shi’i community.1 One example presented by Odeh on the Shi’ite zuama is about Ahmad al-As’ad (a Shi’ite Za’im) who “was the most powerful landlord in the south of Lebanon. He, in fact, controlled the south and wielded more political power than anyone else in the regime.”2 Parallel to this “unstable” socio-political environment, the Shi’ites were kept outside the political formation of the Lebanese state in 1943. This kept the Shi’ites in Lebanon, marginalized and deprived of their social and political rights.3 The Shi’ites had not been able to play a momentous role in drawing the path of the Lebanese political system during the National Pact 1943 period and this explains their instability in their political power as well as their unremitting search for various incongruous political forms.4 Beydoun argues that the reason why the Shi’ites were not able to play any significant role during that time was because they were not able to achieve a real form of religious entity (i.e. a Shi’i entity) during the mandate period, like the Sunnis and the Maronites, and thus they came to the independence in 1943 and they were separated and not united in so far as they had various leaderships (zuama) who were busy struggling with one another.5 However, the need for a social and political change was given expression during the late 1950s and in the 1960s when the Shi’ites emerged as an important force in the Lebanese political arena. It was at this time that the Shi’ites became more attracted to Nasserism and to Arab Nationalism and to a variety of political movements and organizations, which included Palestinian movements.
The Shi’ites underwent social and political change from the 1960s onward. This change transformed the Shi’ites’ position from marginal into a significant socio-political power inside Lebanese politics. However, the socio-political and economic conditions affecting the Shi’ites in their rural areas, forced many of them to leave their rural areas of the Beqa and the South and to begin a “forced migration” towards the capital Beirut. This migration increased as a result of the Lebanese government’s neglect of the rural areas of Lebanon (such as the Beqa, Northern and Southern Lebanon) and because of the instabilities of Southern Lebanon. Even in Beirut, the Shi’ites lived in miserable social circumstances in the “Belts of Misery” surrounding the capital and its “urban” population. Moreover, the uneven development of the Lebanese economy, and the rapid growth of Beirut on behalf of the other rural areas of Lebanon centralized the economic power within Beirut and this was one of the major elements in the Shi’ite migration towards the Lebanese capital. Furthermore, the Shi’ite presence was an advantage for the primary residents of Beirut, mainly the upper-class community, who benefited from the Shi’ites’ presence. The Shi’i community who migrated to Beirut bestowed a major benefit to expand many businesses. Beirut became more advanced, and it became dependent on poor Shi’ite inhabitants. Simply, the Shi’ites played the key role in improving the Lebanese economy, which was disturbed rapidly and continuously because of the non-stop Israeli aggressions and incursions against the agricultural areas, mainly the South. On the other hand, the Shi’ites’ presence in Beirut played the main role in introducing the Shi’ites to a new circle of social and political movements, mainly the left-wing movements and the Palestinian organizations. The rise of the radical and left-wing parties during that time gave a new prospect to the Shi’ites who joined these parties vigorously and actively. It is also important to note that the social circumstances, poverty, and misery affecting the Shi’i community influenced many Shi’ites to join these social and political movements. Moreover, the absence of the social and political movements and parties within the Shi’i community formed another dynamic explaining how and why the Shi’ites became active inside these social and political organizations and movements. The Shi’ites’ socio-political revival, and transformation, intersected with the emergence of the Palestinian guerrillas in Lebanon and the Shi’ites were drawn to join the Palestinian militant groups and to experience the practicality of these Palestinian movements.
The “presence” of Israel also laid its effect on the Shi’ite community, who began (after 1948) to suffer from its continuous aggressions. Israel was and still is the main threat to Lebanon. Internally, the potential threat was coming from the right-wing parties supported and backed by Israel, whose objective was to break down the Palestinian resistance, to eradicate its presence and power in Lebanon, and to put an end to the left-wing bloc.6 These factors inspired the Shi’ites to begin a new journey, searching for their missing political identity. This search continued until the arrival of Imam Musa al-Sadr in 1959. The latter’s presence in Lebanon was considered a turning point that marked the Shi’ites’ revival and hastened the change that led to the emergence of the Shi’ite political entity. It is essential to note that there were two important aspects in the Shi’ites’ political mobilization and the rise of the Musa al-Sadr movement: The first aspect was the political nature of Lebanon which affected the Musa al-Sadr social movement in the 1960s. The second aspect is the Lebanese Civil War which fragmented the structure of Amal and its political path.
SECTARIANISM TWISTED: CHANGING CLEAVAGES IN THE ELECTIONS OF POST-WAR IRAQ
Iraq had its third parliamentary election in March 2010. Five elections in seven years since the collapse of the Ba‘thist authoritarian regime might indicate that democracy, based on a multi-party system, had been established in post-war Iraq.
Since the first election in January 2005, however, a large number of scholars have indicated a setback in the US-designed democratic process in Iraq and have pointed out the beginning of “sectarian conflict.” Indeed, the results of the two elections in 2005 showed sectarian inclinations. In addition, the sectarian conflict after the 2005 elections led to violence in the streets of Iraq, although political struggles at parliamentary level had nothing to do with the sectarian conflict.1 Thus, in the analysis of post-war Iraqi politics, the Iraqi political arena is commonly regarded as one of “sectarianism” (Bengio, 2008; Yoshioka, 2007; Bacik, 2008; Wimmer, 2003). However, does sectarianism explain the relationship between political parties and voters in elections? This article casts doubt on the strong presumption of sectarianism as a political entity in the continuing Iraqi conflict.
Historically, sectarian and ethnic differences had not been politically mobilized. Cross-sectarian/cross-ethnic intermarriage existed in Iraq (Cole, 2006: 58). The sectarian identity as a politically mobilizing force had been in decline in Iraq, particularly since the mid-twentieth century (Stansfield, 2007: 162). Even in Saddam’s regime, the ruling elite was not the product of the Sunni community as a whole, but the extended family of one man—Saddam Hussein—and his Tikrit-based clan (Dodge, 2005: 45). Contrary to sectarian mobilization, the structure of the Ba‘thist regime lay precisely in its ability to atomize the population and link each individual vertically to the patron-state (al-Khafaji, 2003: 79). Indeed, politicizing sectarian and ethnic differences was, with few exceptions, taboo in Iraqi society under the Saddam regime (Sakai, 2003: 38).
Nevertheless, sectarian and ethnic differences were politically grounded in the 2005 election. Given that sectarianism had not been mobilized in Iraq before the war, why was it mobilized in the 2005 election? Conversely, as this article clarifies, sectarian and ethnic differences were not mobilized in the two elections in 2009 and 2010. Since sectarianism was mobilized in 2005, why had it not been established as a sectarian institution? In other words, why did sectarianism emerge in 2005, and why had it declined by 2010?
Hence, this article poses the following research question: If party mobilization and voting behavior in post-war Iraq changed in three elections, how and why did it change between the first election and the latest one?
Before proceeding to the analysis, the controversial term “cleavage” should be clarified. Differences in social class, ethnic and sectarian differences, ideological segmentation, and/or political division cannot be identified as cleavage. Rather, social distinctions become cleavages when they are organized as such. Thus, cleavage has to be considered primarily as a form of closure of social relationships, and thus, at the conceptual level, is clearly at quite a remove from any definition of the social-structural base which provides its reference point (Bartolini and Mair, 2007: 200). In other words, in recent arguments, there has been a consensus on the definition of cleavage to mean: social affiliations, identities, and values that are jointly and exclusively possessed and which often mobilize politically (Bartolini and Mair, 2007: 200-204).
In order to tackle the above-mentioned question, the first section of this article clarifies why sectarian differences were mobilized in the Iraqi election of 2005. The second section deals with the impacts of civil war on party politics and voters’ minds, and also contains an analysis of the 2009 provincial election. By analyzing the parliamentary election in 2010, the third section clarifies why sectarianism was not institutionalized after 2005. In conclusion, I argue how and why party mobilization and voting behavior changed.
Volume 33 Number 3 & 4
Guest Editor’s Note: Academic Freedom, Ideological Boundaries, and the Teaching of the Middle East 125
A Brief History of Area Studies and International Studies 131
Contemporary Interdisciplinary Studies and the Ideology of Neoliberal Expansion 143
First Amendment Rights and the Trivialization of Work: The Ward Churchill
and Adrienne Anderson Cases at the University of Colorado 153
Debbi Almontaser and the Problematics of Paranoid Politics 168
The Question of Palestine and the Subversion of Academic Freedom:
DePaul’s Denial of Tenure to Norman G. Finkelstein 179
Who Loves Teaching? Free Speech and the Myth of the Academy as
a Place to Love and Be the Left 204
A Case of Forbidding Academic Engagement of Muslim and Jewish Beliefs
about the Holy Land 217
The Deployment of “Anti-Semitism,” “Controversy,” and “Neutrality”
in Ginsberg v. NCSU 228
Sacked by Bard 244
Academic Freedom and Palestine: A Personal Account 256
Kristofer J. Petersen-Overton
Academic Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right in American
Jurisprudence and the Imposition of “Balance” on Academic Discourse
about the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict 268
Rima Najjar Kapitan
Anthony Billingsley. Political Succession in the Arab World:
Constitutions, Family Loyalties, and Islam 282
Marwan Kraidy. Reality Television and Arab Politics:
Contention in Public Life 282
Books Received 2010-11
Guidelines for Authors 289
Editorial Comment on the Popular Uprisings in the Arab World 76
Displaced Autobiography in Edward Said’s Out of Place and Fawaz Turki’s The Disinherited 79
Seeds of Change: Comparing State-Religion Relations in Qatar and Saudi Arabia 96
Birol Baskan and Steven Wright
Bouthaina Shaaban. Voices Revealed: Arab Women Novelists, 1898-2000 112
Janice J. Terry
Amira El-Zein. Islam, Arabs, and the Intelligent World of the Jinn 114
Rebecca R. Williams
Books in Brief
J. K. Kanj. Children of Catastrophe: Journey from a Palestinian
Refugee Camp to America 117
L. A. Cainkar. Homeland Insecurity: The Arab American and Muslim
American Experience After 9/11 118
Guidelines for Authors 119
DISPLACED AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN EDWARD SAID’S OUT OF PLACE AND FAWAZ TURKI’S THE DISINHERITED
Palestinian autobiographies, unlike those written by other Arab authors, use the text as a document to emphasize their attachments to Palestine, the country they visit by remembering and writing. Various Palestinian experiences of displacement have been expressed in the form of autobiography, conveying the author’s reconnection with his or her past, family, and community. This article illustrates how displacement from Palestine motivates, shapes, and contributes to the Palestinian discourse on the meaning of homeland and identity formation. Edward Said’s Out of Place and Fawaz Turki’s The Disinherited are texts that fit a subcategory I call displaced autobiography, where Palestinian autobiographies overlap between personal experiences and the creative expression reconstructing such experiences. I argue that the Palestinian identity of these autobiographers is challenged by displacement and that their response to such challenge is to write self-narratives reasserting their relationship to their homeland. Even though both of these displaced autobiographies show a facet of constantly shifting locales determined by exile, they still centralize Palestine as the place where their identity was formed and where they still belong.
SEEDS OF CHANGE: COMPARING STATE-RELIGION RELATIONS IN QATAR AND SAUDI ARABIA
Birol Baskan and Steven Wright
Qatar presents an interesting case study on the nature of state-religion relations as despite being of the same Wahhabi and Hanbali branch as neighboring Saudi Arabia, there are stark differences in the role of religion at a political level within the two countries. Indeed, this article argues that at a political level, Qatar has a secular character more comparable to Turkey than Saudi Arabia. The main reason for such differences will be shown through field research to be the lack of an indigenous Ulama class within Qatar. The reasons for this are explained through not only a historical pedigree, which ties in with the role of Britain in the Gulf, but also through a political economy perspective. Indeed, this research sheds new light on the importance of a native Ulama class in explaining how and why religion is promoted by the state and thus has implications for understanding contemporary religiosity and pressures on governmental decision-making. Yet with evidence of an emerging Ulama class within Qatar, the article suggests that there is reason to believe that a more vocal, organized and influential section of society is in the process of developing capacity to press for a greater role of religion at a political and societal level.
Volume 33 Number 1
The Special Tribunal for Lebanon: Emergency Law, Trauma and Justice 4
Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Women in the Muslim World 23
Jacqueline Ismael, Shereen Ismael, and Chris Langille
Success Against the Odds: Palestinian Female Students Outperform their Male Counterparts in Academic Achievement 44
Samar Attar. Debunking the Myths of Colonization: The Arabs and Europe 62
Janice J. Terry
Lee Smith. The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations 65
T. Edward Donselman
Guidelines for Authors 70
Volume 32 Number 4
In Memoriam: Michael Wadie Suleiman (1934-2010) 187
Arab Studies Quarterly Commemorates the Life of
Abbas Abdul-Karim Alnasrawi (1932-2009) 189
Canada and the Middle East Today: Electoral Politics and Foreign Policy 191
State Power and the Constitution of the Individual: Racial Profiling of Arab Americans 218
Dina Jadallah and Laura el-Khoury
Patrick Seale. The Struggle for Arab Independence: Riad El-Solh and the Makers of the Modern Middle East 238
Elaine C. Hagopian
Islah Jad. Nesa‘a ‘Ala Taqato‘ Toroq: Alharakat Alnasawia Alfelastenia Bayn Alwatania Wa Alelmania Wa Alhawia Alislamia 242
Sean Foley. The Arab Gulf States: Beyond Islam and Oil 246
Books in Brief
Joy Gordon. Invisible War: The United States and the Iraq Sanctions 249
Shahid M. Alam. Israeli Exceptionalism: The Destabilizing Logic of Zionism 250
Anne Marie Baylouny. Privatizing Welfare in the Middle East: Kin Mutual Aid Association in Jordan and Lebanon 251
Books Received 2009-10 252
Call for Papers 256
Volume 32 Number 3
Articulating Gender: Muslim Women Intellectuals in the Pre-modern Period 127
“Al-tawteen”: The Implantation Problem as an Idiom of the Palestinian Presence in Post-Civil War Lebanon (1989-2005) 145
The Questionable Nature of Sovereignty in the Arab World
Gokhan Bacik. Hybrid Sovereignty in the Arab Middle East: The Cases of Kuwait, Jordan, and Iraq 163
Nubar Hovsepian. Palestinian State Formation: Education and the Construction of National Identity 171
André Elias Mazawi
Jamal R. Nassar. Globalization and Terrorism: The Migration of Dreams and Nightmares 173
Anthony R. DiMaggio
Books in Brief
Christopher Wise and Paul James. Editors. Being Arab: Arabism and the Politics of Recognition 177
Roberto Mazza. Jerusalem: From the Ottomans to the British 178
Latif Wahid. Military Expenditure and Economic Growth in the Middle East 179
Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt. Editors. Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives 180
Volume 32 Number 2
Decrypting the Palestinian Political Crisis. Old Strategies Against New Enemies: Chile 1970-73, Palestine 2006-09 73
Invisibility, Impossibility: The Reuse of Voltaire’s Candide in Emile Habiby’s Sa’eed the Pessoptimist 92
Stefan August Lutgenau. Editor. Human Rights and a Middle East Peace Process: Analyses and Case Studies from a New Perspective 107
Randa Jarrar. A Map of Home 109
Fadwa El Guindi. By Noon Prayer: The Rhythm of Islam 113
Books in Brief
Yasmin Husein Al-Jawaheri. Women in Iraq: The Gender Impact of International Sanctions 117
Kais M. Firro. Metamorphosis of the Nation (al-Umma): The Rise of Arabism and Minorities in Syria and Lebanon, 1850-1940 118
P. R. Kumaraswamy. Editor. Caught in Crossfire: Civilians in Conflicts in the Middle East 119
Ahmed Mansour. Inside Fallujah: The Unembedded Story 120
Volume 32 Number 1
Editor’s Note 5
The Kitab al-Asrar: An Alchemy Manual in Tenth-Century Persia 6
Revisiting Saddam Hussein’s Political Language: The Sources and Roles of Conspiracy Theories 28
Benny Morris. One State, Two States: Resolving the Israel/Palestine Conflict 47
Ra’anan Cohen. Editor. Strangers in Their Homeland: A Critical Study of Israel’s Arab Citizens 52
Jennifer Heath. Editor. The Veil: Women Writers on Its History, Lore, and Politics 55
Fadwa El Guindi
Books in Brief
Salim Tamari. Editor. Mountains Against the Sea: Essays on Palestinian Society and Culture 61
Laura Guazzone and Daniela Pioppi. Editors. The Arab State and Neo-Liberal Globalization: The Restructuring of State Power in the Middle East 62
Editor’s Essay on Ghada Hashem Talhami’s Palestine in the Egyptian Press 63