Islamic Political Identity in Turkey (Religion and Global by M. Hakan Yavuz

By M. Hakan Yavuz

In November of 2002, the Justice and improvement celebration swept to victory within the Turkish parliamentary elections. as a result of party's Islamic roots, its electoral triumph has sparked a bunch of questions either in Turkey and within the West: Does the get together harbor a mystery Islamist schedule? Will the recent executive search to overturn approximately a century of secularization stemming from Kemal Atatürk's early-twentieth-century reforms? so much essentially, is Islam suitable with democracy? during this penetrating paintings, M. Hakan Yavuz seeks to respond to those questions, and to supply a finished research of Islamic political id in Turkey. He starts within the early 20th century, whilst Kemal Atatürk led Turkey via a technique of speedy secularization and overwhelmed Islamic competition to his authoritarian rule. Yavuz argues that, due to the fact Atatürk's dying in 1938, even if, Turkey has been progressively relocating clear of his militant secularism and experiencing "a quiet Muslim reformation." Islamic political identification isn't really homogeneous, says Yavuz, yet might be glossy and revolutionary in addition to conservative and very likely authoritarian. whereas the West has regularly visible Kemalism as an engine for reform opposed to "reactionary" political Islam, in truth the Kemalist institution has commonly used the "Islamic chance" as an excuse to prevent democratization and hence carry directly to strength. Yavuz deals an account of the "soft coup" of 1997, during which the Kemalist military-bureaucratic institution overthrew the democratically elected coalition executive, which was once led via the pro-Islamic Refah celebration. He argues that the smooth coup plunged Turkey right into a renewed legitimacy hindrance which could merely be resolved via the liberalization of the political procedure. The e-book ends with a dialogue of the newest election and its implications for Turkey and the Muslim international. Yavuz argues that Islamic social activities could be vital brokers for selling a democratic and pluralistic society, and that the Turkish instance holds long-term promise for the remainder of the Muslim global. according to vast fieldwork and interviews, this paintings bargains a worldly new knowing of the position of political Islam in a single of the world's so much strategically very important nations.

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This approach, however, is overly deterministic because it links oil wealth with authoritarian governments and ignores sociocultural and historical contexts. For example, while the rentier state model may help to explain political liberalization in Iran, Jordan, and Kuwait to a certain extent, it does not explain why people invoke an Islamic identity rather than national or class-based identities when the social welfare safety net of the government no longer is deemed adequate. This approach also overlooks other features of state and society, such as the problem of well-oV and upwardly mobile segments of society whose economic and social success translates not into complacency but rather into increased political frustration.

The expansion of public spaces plays a critical role in the formation and articulation of the competing Islamic identity movements. These identity movements entail a yearning quest for public ethics and justice in Muslim societies. In short, these movements are sites of articulating and bringing a diVerent conception of the “good life” through negotiating with modernity. The constructivist approach to Islamic political identity has three advantages over those just outlined. First, it does not confer agency to a reiWed Islam but rather to living Muslims whose actions are embedded in particular loyalties and networks.

10 This approach maintains that all contemporary Islamic social and political movements are motivated and guided by an Islamic worldview. One aim of this book is to show that the diversity of Muslim beliefs and practices is not compatible with an analysis that regards a monolithic, consistent, and unchanging “Islam” as the foundation of all social and political movements that call themselves Islamic. Furthermore, by employing an ethnocentric and teleological deWnition of modernity, such scholars essentially are claiming that Muslim societies are inherently traditional and unable to modernize.

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