Making Islam Democratic: Social Movements and the Post-Islamist Turn

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Stanford University Press, 2007 - 291 pages
Whether Islam is compatible with democracy is an increasingly asked question, but ultimately a misguided one. In this book, Asef Bayat proposes that democratic ideals have less to do with the essence of any religion than with how it is practiced. He offers a new approach to Islam and democracy, outlining how the social struggles of student organizations, youth and women's groups, the intelligentsia, and other social movements can make Islam democratic.

Making Islam Democratic examines in detail those social movements that have used religion to unleash social and political change, either to legitimize authoritarian rule or, in contrast, to construct an inclusive faith that embraces a democratic polity. It provides a fresh analysis of Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution--how it has evolved into the pervasive, post-Islamist reform movement of the early twenty-first century, and how it differed from Egypt's religious "passive revolution."

Focusing on events from the Iranian Revolution to the current day, with a comparative focus on Islamism, post-Islamism, and active religious expression across the region, Bayat explores the highly contested relationship between religion, politics, and the quotidian in the Middle East. His book provides an important understanding of the great anxiety of our time--the global march of "Muslim rage"--and offers a hopeful picture of a democratic Middle East.

 

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Making Islam democratic: social movements and the post-Islamist turn

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What is the relationship between Islam and democracy? Is Islam compatible with democratic norms and practices? These questions have been discussed by both scholars and policymakers in the West for ... Read full review

Making Islam democratic: social movements and the post-Islamist turn

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What is the relationship between Islam and democracy? Is Islam compatible with democratic norms and practices? These questions have been discussed by both scholars and policymakers in the West for ... Read full review

Contents

Islam and Democracy The Perverse Charm of an Irrelevant Question
1
Revolution without Movement Movement without Revolution Islamist Activism in Iran and Egypt 1960s1980s
16
The Making of a PostIslamist Movement Social Movements and Sociopolitical Change in Iran 19791997
49
PostIslamism in Power Dilemmas of the Reform Project 19972004
106
The State and the Fragmentation of Islamism 19922005
136
The Politics of Presence Imagining a PostIslamist Democracy
187
Reference Matter
207
Persian and Arabic Journals Cited
209
Notes
211
Bibliography
255
Index
275
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About the author (2007)

Asef Bayat is Professor of Sociology and Middle Eastern Studies and holds the Chair of Society and Culture of the Modern Middle East at Leiden University, the Netherlands. He is the author of Life as Politics: How Ordinary People Change the Middle East (Stanford, 2009) and Street Politics: Poor People's Movements in Iran (1997).

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