ideology, politicalIslam. The 1967 war, in discrediting secular Arab nationalism, had left an ideological vacuum while the negative side effects of state-building – the corruption and inequality that oil money encouraged – turned those who felt excluded to politicalIslam as an ideology of protest. These factors precipitated revolution in Iran and the attempt of the Islamic republic to export its revolution, leading to war in the Gulf. This was paralleled by the rise of the revisionist Likud party in Israel which similarly led to war in Lebanon
uncertainty and, over time, rife with
contradiction, perhaps best seen in the White House’s responses to events in Egypt
As regimes fought back against protesters, Western governments continued to
support their allies in a triumph of realpolitik over normative concerns. Supplementing
this were arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, in spite of concerns that these
weapons were being used in Yemen against civilians and allegations of war crimes.
Underpinning Western policy towards the uprisings were long-standing fears about
both PoliticalIslam and Iran. These
concept and its application in
Central Asia, see Stuart Horsman, ‘Security Issues Facing the Newly Independent
States of Central Asia: The Cases of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan’, PhD dissertation, University of Sheffield, 1999.
89 International Organization for Migration, CIS Migration Report (Geneva: IOM,
1997), pp. 56–60, cited in ‘Migrations in Kazakhstan’, Eurasian File, 96 (April
1998), p. 7.
90 Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan/TACIS, Uzbekistan Economic Trends
1997, First Quarter (Tashkent, 1998), p. 49.
91 For the relationship between politicalIslam and
Legitimization and limits of Mughal military violence in early modern
. Ahmad, T..abaqāt Akbarī, ed. B. De (3 vols, Calcutta, 1927–40), II,
pp. 214–19; B. De (trans.), The T.ạbaqāt-i Akbarī of Khwājah Niz.āmuddīn Ah.mad (3 vols,
Delhi, 1992), II, pp. 341–8; M. A. Qandahari, Ta’rıkh-i Akbarī, ed. H. S. Muinuddin
Nadwi, S. A. Ali, and I. A. Arshi (Rampur, 1962), pp. 109–15; T. Ahmad (trans.), Ta’rıkh-i
Akbarī (Delhi, 1993), pp. 148–53.
2 Akbar-nāma, ed. Rahim, II, p. 323; Akbarnama, trans. Beveridge, II, p. 475.
3 M. Alam, The Languages of PoliticalIslam in India, c.1200–1800 (Delhi, 2004), p. 61.
4 Ibid., pp. 81–114, 141–89.
periodically cracked down on individuals and publications too openly sympathetic to the Kurdish cause. 92
Islamic activists were also victimized by the state. Despite sanctioning and even, to a degree, encouraging the growth of politicalIslam, the Turkish authorities, extremely sensitive to the threat politicalIslam posed to the country’s secular identity, took, when necessary, appropriate action – or as the State Department would have it, inappropriate action – to frustrate it. The State Department’s 1999 report noted and strongly criticized the ten
-state ideology, politicalIslam, which, like Arabism, conditioned regime legitimacy on defence of regional autonomy against Western domination.
De-colonisation and the Cold War
De-colonisation and the bi-polar Cold War between the USA and the USSR transformed the terms of international penetration in the Middle East. To be sure, given the exceptional concentration of Western interests there – oil, transit routes, and the protection of Israel – the Western great powers had no intention of leaving the region in the wake of Arab
resigned in protest of Ozal’s close alignment with the US against Iraq, the military was too divided to act. While it is usually the military that is united and the politicians divided, when the opposite is the case, the military can be restrained (Ahmad 1993: 213–18; Mufti 1998).
By the mid-1990s, however, the more usual situation had been restored: weak civilian governments faced a more politicised military seemingly united against perceived threats from the Kurdish insurgency and the rise of politicalIslam. The military not only carried out a
Numerous studies have used the Turkish example,
in particular, in support of these arguments to explain the rise of
politicalIslam and its successes. The conclusion is appropriate,
however, for the entire region.
For an early account of these conditions, see
Michael Hudson’s seminal 1977 book Arab Politics
damaging impact of structural adjustment on marginal populations and by the Westward foreign policy alignments and accommodations with Israel which accompanied economic liberalisation. Egypt’s Mubarak, whose government’s IMF-imposed structural adjustment was reversing the populist social contract and who portrayed his fight against politicalIslam as a stand on behalf of the Western world, could hardly afford democratisation and reversed his previous halting steps toward it. Intense though peaceful domestic opposition to Jordan’s separate peace with Israel forced King
. Indeed, the vacuum left by the decline of Arabism was filled by heightened identification with either smaller sub-state identities or with the larger Islamic umma , especially after the Iranian Islamic revolution endowed politicalIslam, an alternative supra-state ideology, with enormous new credibility. Both tendencies were manifest in the Lebanese civil war in which, over time, nationalist movements fragmented into sectarian or regional factions or were displaced by the rise of Hizbollah, a trans-national Islamic movement.
While stronger states