This collection focuses on the controversial relationship between religion and the state within the Arab Spring context and the evolving debates on democratic transition. In this book, democracy is not questionable; it is hailed by all those vocal on the political scene. The array of opinions presented here varies from a call for a secular state based on Islamic philosophy to a call for setting democratic institutions before working on solving this religion-state dichotomy. Meanwhile some prefer to have an ambiguous stand on which side to back up, the liberals or the Islamists, despite a detailed criticism of the ossified ways of those calling for a religious state (Al-Majd). The book starts with an analysis and a detailed account of how the sensitive issue of the relationship between state and religion developed in Arab though and society and it goes on to employ less the religious discourse in presenting their positions thus focusing on actual cases of this struggle for power in different Arab countries such as Tunisia and Egypt. The collection also provides insights and analysis of the ongoing debates and views on the role of religion in Libya and provides an analysis of the case of Morocco. In addition to this there is a special chapter that deals with how Muslim communities living in the West adapt to secular state politics. The collection ends with a thorough discussion by a number of Arab intellectuals and activists, Muslims and Christians alike, whereby core issues related to the debate on state and religion are presented. This discussion, in addition to reflecting the Islamist-secular dichotomy, demonstrates the richness of the ongoing debates that extend well beyond the discourse on this dichotomy.
This book is a compilation of articles published in Contemporary Arab Affairs.
1. Introduction (7.1) General 2. The State and Religion in the Fundamentals of Islam and Contemporary Interpretation (6.2) 3. State and Religion in a Revolutionary Era: Perspectives and Demands of the Islamic Awakening (6.3) 4. Approaches to Reforming Contemporary Religious Discourse (6.2) 5. Religion and the State in Contemporary Arab Society: Theoretically, Practically, and Prospectively (6.4)6. Problematics of Political Authority within Islam (6.3) Case Studies 7. The State and Identity: The Relationship between Religion and Politics - Tunisia as an Example (6.3)8. Relationship between State and Religion: Egypt after the Revolution (6.3) 9. Islamist Political Movements in Yemen (6.1) 10. Relationship between State and Religion in Saudi Arabia: the Role of Wahabism in Governance (6.3) 11. The Brothers after the Revolution (6.4) 12. Religion-State Relationship, and the Institution of the ‘Commander of the Faithful’ in Morocco (translation of the title is tentative) (7.1) Comparative Studies 13. Religion in Secular States: Muslim Communities in the West (6.4) 14. Religion and State in Turkey and Iran: A Comparative Overview (7.1) Opinion 15. What Changes have Taken Place in US Foreign Policy towards Islamists? (6.2) Panel Discussion (7.1) Abdessamad Belkabir, Adounis al-‘Akra, Ali Fayyad, Amani al-Taweel, Antoine Messarra, Antoine Seif, Arous al-Zubair, Talal Atrissi, Birgitta Holst- Alani, Darim al-Bassam, Ghassan Ben Jeddou, Hassan Hanafi, Hisham al-Awadi, Jawad al-Khalesi, Mounir Shafiq, Nasif Nassar, Rached El-Ghannouchi, Rifaat Sayed Ahmad, Saadeddin Ibrahim, Al-Sayed Zahra, Youssef al-Sawani