The New Political Islam
Human Rights, Democracy, and JusticeUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
Islamist political parties and groups are on the rise throughout the Muslim world and in Muslim communities in the West. Owing largely to the threat of terrorism, political Islam is often portrayed as a monolithic movement embodying fundamentalism and theocracy, an image magnified by the rise of populism and xenophobia in the United States and Europe. Reality, however, is far more complicated. Political Islam has evolved considerably since its spectacular rise decades ago, and today it features divergent viewpoints and contributes to discrete but simultaneous developments worldwide. This is a new political Islam, more global in scope but increasingly local in action.
Emmanuel Karagiannis offers a sophisticated analysis of the different manifestations of contemporary Islamism. In a context of global economic and social changes, he finds local manifestations of Islamism are becoming both more prevalent and more diverse. Many Islamists turn to activism, still more participate formally in the democratic process, and some, in far fewer numbers, advocate violence—a wide range of political persuasions and tactics that reflects real and perceived political, cultural, and identity differences.
Synthesizing prodigious research and integrating insights from the globalization debate and the literature on social movements, The New Political Islam seeks to explain the processes and factors leading to distinctive fusions of "the global" and "the local" across the landscape of contemporary political Islam. Examining converts to Islam in Europe, nonviolent Islamists with global reach, Islamist parties in Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia, and militant Shia and Sunni groups in Syria and Iraq, Karagiannis demonstrates that Islamists have embraced ideas and practices from the global marketplace and have attempted to implement them locally. He looks closely at the ways in which Islamist activists, politicians, and militants have utilized the language of human rights, democracy, and justice to gain influence and popular support and to contend for power.
PART I. ISLAMIST ACTIVISM AND THE MASTER FRAME OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Chapter 1. The Activism of European Converts
Chapter 2. The Activism of Hizb ut-Tahrir
PART II. ISLAMIST POLITICS AND THE MASTER FRAME OF DEMOCRACY
Chapter 3. The Politics of Islamo-Democracy in Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia
Chapter 4. The Politics of Electoral Salafism in Egypt and Tunisia
PART III. ISLAMIST MILITANCY AND THE MASTER FRAME OF JUSTICE
Chapter 5. The Militancy of Shia Groups in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria
Chapter 6. The Militancy of Sunni Groups in Iraq and Syria
"Karagiannis' The New Political Islam is not only an informative reading. It addresses an issue of immediate interest in modern culture, namely an increasing tension between Western philosophy and Islam. Thus, even readers less interested in learning about Islamist groups around the world may be interested to discover how Islam changes and adjusts to the world of today. Furthermore, it is difficult to overestimate the influence of globalization on different countries. However, applying its principles to for the task of understanding the new Political Islam is innovative. In addition, understanding this religion is the best way to avoid the hostility of politicians depicting Islam as the enemy. The New Political Islam helps broaden the reader's horizons."—Political Theology.
"The New Political Islam examines the phenomenon of political Islam and its transformations using the lens of glocalization, a distinct strand of social theory focusing on the processes through which global ideas are adapted, applied, and transformed in local contexts . . . [T]his is a sophisticated, erudite, and illuminating book. It is a necessary read for anyone who wishes to explore the persistent relevance of political developments in the contemporary Islamic world."—Reading Religion
This book’s publication is supported by the Haney Foundation, a fund established by a generous gift from Dr. John Louis Haney, one-time chair of the English department at the University of Pennsylvania.