As U.S. service members risk their lives to combat violent jihadists abroad, military leaders, both uniformed and civilian, capitulate to stealth jihadists at home. By bending to Islamists’ appeals for religious sensitivity, these leaders ignore the most crucial lesson of the Fort Hood massacre: Political correctness can kill.
This study considers the circumstances under which members of the Muslim American community voluntarily cooperate with police efforts to combat terrorism. Cooperation is defined to include both a general receptivity toward helping the police in anti-terror work, and the specific willingness to alert police to terror related risks in a community. Two perspectives on why people cooperate with law enforcement, both developed with reference to general policing, are compared in the context of anti-terror policing and specifically among members of the Muslim American community. The first is instrumental. It suggests that people cooperate because they see tangible benefits that outweigh any costs. The second perspective is normative. It posits that people respond to their belief that police are a legitimate authority. On this view legitimacy is linked to the fairness and procedural justice of police procedures. Data from a study involving interviews with Muslim Americans in New York City between March and June 2009 strongly support the normative model by finding that the procedural justice of police activities is the primary factor shaping legitimacy and cooperation with the police.
The above report was written by Tom R. Tyler, NYU, Stephen Schulhofer, NYU, and Aziz Huq University of Chicago.
About five thousand women are murdered by their families each year in the name of family honor. A young Muslim girl was murdered in Berlin by her own brother, because she "behaved like a German." Both of them had German citizenship. He was sentenced to nine years of incarceration, and was released after six years. His family celebrated his release from prison. Fatima Sehindel, a Muslim Swedish girl, was a student. She wanted to assimilate in Swedish society. She spoke to the
Swedish parliament. She even had a Swedish boyfriend. She was murdered by her own father. These crimes were committed in advanced western countries.
It is difficult to get precise numbers of “honor killings,” since most cases are not reported. When a woman is murdered in the name of family honor in the country of origin, it is justified by law, since the concept of family honor justifies the killing of women in these societies. The perpetrators of such killings in these societies are considered heroes of their culture. In these societies, the concept of woman as a vessel of the family reputation is prevalent, and this concept is completed and accompanied by the concept of honor killings. The story of Soraya M., which was publicized in a book and a movie, is another example. Her husband wanted to marry a younger woman, so he claimed that she was flirting with a neighbor. She was stoned to death.
This phenomenon is not exclusive to the countries of origin. Many of the women murdered by their families in the name of family honor are murdered in western societies, very advanced western societies that have open-gate policies and are absorbing immigrant populations. Some of the immigrants in these societies come from countries where the concept of honor killing is in common use, is morally acceptable and is legal. Upon settling in their new homeland, the immigrant population continues this accepted practice, as they used to in their homeland.
Reports submitted to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights show that honor killings have been committed in Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, the United States, Germany, France, and other countries absorbing immigrants. Some of these honor killings are perpetrated or assisted by women. The concept of honor killing is considered by most of the immigrants, including women, as part of their culture, which must be preserved. They sometimes rely on Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Honor killings are not the only offenses committed against women in the name of culture.
When the perpetrators are charged in court, they frequently claim the “ignorance of law” defense, since they have been behaving that way for generations, and why would the legal situation be different in their new homeland. In most cases, this claim is rejected, but it is used to mitigate punishments down to ridiculous sentences. Most western countries share this problem. This article argues that the mistake of law defense is irrelevant in relation to culture-based crimes against women. It is further argued that committing an offense on the grounds of preserving a culture in and of itself justifies harsher sentencing.
In the following paragraphs culture-based crimes against women in countries absorbing immigrants will be introduced. Then the relevance of the mistake of law defense shall be examined in relation to culture-based crimes against women. Finally, and on those grounds, the sentencing considerations when punishing such crimes shall be examined.
The above paper is written by Gabriel Hallevy, Ono Academic College.
We seek to establish a dialogue between Islamic and democratic normative political theories. To that aim, we show that the conception of democracy underlying a prominent Islamic political model is procedural. We distinguish proceduralism from a liberal conception of democracy. We explain how bringing together Islamic political theory and democracy alters the meaning of the latter. In other words, we show that democracy within Islam often means democracy within Islamic limits.
"There is far more violence in the Bible than in the Qur'an; the idea that Islam imposed itself by the sword is a Western fiction, fabricated during the time of the Crusades when, in fact, it was Western Christians who were fighting brutal holy wars against Islam." So announces former nun and self-professed "freelance monotheist," Karen Armstrong. This quote sums up the single most influential argument currently serving to deflect the accusation that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant: All monotheistic religions, proponents of such an argument say, and not just Islam, have their fair share of violent and intolerant scriptures, as well as bloody histories. Thus, whenever Islam's sacred scriptures—the Qur'an first, followed by the reports on the words and deeds of Muhammad (the Hadith)—are highlighted as demonstrative of the religion's innate bellicosity, the immediate rejoinder is that other scriptures, specifically those of Judeo-Christianity, are as riddled with violent passages.
More often than not, this argument puts an end to any discussion regarding whether violence and intolerance are unique to Islam. Instead, the default answer becomes that it is not Islam per se but rather Muslim grievance and frustration—ever exacerbated by economic, political, and social factors—that lead to violence. That this view comports perfectly with the secular West's "materialistic" epistemology makes it all the more unquestioned.
The above article is written by Raymond Ibrahim, associate director of the Middle East Forum.
The conversion of Christians in Europe and the United States to Islam has become a matter of debate in some Western countries. Muslim scholars have called on immigrant Muslims to become involved in summoning non-Muslims to their faith. Indeed, the call on Muslim migrants to proselytize has become central in contemporary Islamic writings, not only in books, but also in sermons—many online on YouTube—and others on DVDs, and Islamic websites. The strategies that the global Islamic media uses to promote conversion of Christians to Islam illustrate both the perceptions of Islamists and can expose themes to defend and promote in cultural and public diplomacy.
The above article is written by Uriya Shavit, Tel Aviv University, and (Name withheld by request).
The debate on the integration of a Muslim minority community in a non-Muslim majoritarian-national context has often been conducted, from an Islamic point of view, in terms of a single discourse of compatibility, or non-compatibility of Islam, with the given majoritarian-national ethos. This paper rejects such a discourse and reflects on the role of Islam(s) in the construction of “self” and “other” and its attended consequences in terms of integration, both in India and in Western Europe. It does so by underlying the plural character of Islam in its two broad dimensions: Scholarly Islam and Everyday Islam. Within the limitation of structure of nation state that burdens the minority community with the idea of proving loyalty, the paper shows that politics of Islamic representation of “self” and “other” primarily belong to the domain of Scholarly Islam. It then goes on to demonstrate the variation in the (Scholarly) Islamic representation of “other” depending upon the context, while asserting the superiority of “Islamic self” in any given situation. By taking examples from contemporary Indian and West European history, the paper concludes how the bi-polarity, totalizing and homogenizing features of Scholarly Islam, including its liberal facet, hamper the prospectof integration, while the multiple, fuzzy, non-ideological character of Everyday Islam promotes the prospect of social and political integration in the society.
The above paper is written by Anwar Alam, Centre for West Asian Studies.
Almost every traditional personality theorist had something to say about religion, but the topic of how religious beliefs might affect individuals’ views of human nature remains largely unstudied. All religions, however, contain certain implicit ideas regarding personality that are likely to impact individual behavior. This article draws on Islamic sources to consider what a practicing Muslim might believe about motivation, personality development, the self, the unconscious, psychological adjustment, and the individual and society. In general terms, understanding these beliefs can be useful in the broader study of how cultural issues affect personality. More specifically, understanding Islamic beliefs related to personality can assist in planning for the provision of psychological services to Muslims, as well as understanding the psychological perspectives of Muslims who are not extremists.
The above article is written by Robert Smither, Rollins College and Alireza Khorsandi, University of Miami.
On February 12, 2009, Muzzammil Hassan informed police that he had beheaded his wife. Hassan had emigrated to the United States 30 years ago and, after a successful banking career, had founded Bridges TV, a Muslim-interest network which aims, according to its website, "to foster a greater understanding among many cultures and diverse populations." Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III told The Buffalo News that "this is the worst form of domestic violence possible," and Khalid Qazi, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council of Western New York, told the New York Post that Islam forbids such domestic violence. While Muslim advocacy organizations argue that honor killings are a misnomer stigmatizing Muslims for what is simply domestic violence, a problem that has nothing to do with religion, Phyllis Chesler, who just completed a study of more than 50 instances of North American honor killings, says the evidence suggest otherwise.
The author of the above article is Phyllis Chesler, Middle East Quarterly Spring 2009.
Jihad (Islamic holy war) is a fundamental foreign policy concept in Islam. Following the 9/11 incident, a considerable number of scholarly works in the West have squarely equated jihad with terrorism. In recent Islamic scholarship as well, the usage of the concept either tends to be avoided or is increasingly being depoliticized. The popular understanding of the concept has made it a necessary evil. This article argues that jihad is not just a war, rather it can be understood from a universal humane perspective and its philosophical moral principles can be used in greater human and social welfare.
The above article is written by M. Moniruzzaman, International Islamic University, Malaysia.
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and subsequent investigations of these attacks have called attention to Islamic puritanical movements known as Wahhabism and Salafiyya. The Al Qaeda terrorist network and its leader, Osama bin Laden, have advocated a message of violence that some suggest is an extremist interpretation of this line of puritanical Islam. Other observers have accused Saudi Arabia, the center of Wahhabism, of having disseminated a religion that promotes hatred and violence, targeting the United States and its allies. Saudi officials strenuously deny these allegations. This report provides a background on Wahhabi Islam and its association to militant fundamentalist groups; it also summarizes recent charges against Wahhabism and responses, including the findings of the final report of the 9/11 Commission and bills relevant to this issue in the second session of the 109th Congress.
The above report is written by Christopher M. Blanchard.
Using the UK Fourth National Survey of Ethnic Minorities, we explore the determinants of religious identity for Muslims and non-Muslims. We find that Muslims integrate less and more
slowly than non-Muslims. A Muslim born in the UK and having spent there more than 50 years shows a comparable level of probability of having a strong religious identity than a non-
Muslim just arrived in the country. Furthermore, Muslims seem to follow a different integration pattern than other ethnic and religious minorities. Specifically, high levels of income as well
as high on-the-job qualifications increase the Muslims’ sense of identity. We also find no evidence that segregated neighborhoods breed intense religious and cultural identities for
ethnic minorities, especially for Muslims. This result casts doubts on the foundations of the integration policies in Europe.
The above paper is written by Alberto Bisin, New York University, Eleonora Patacchini, University of Rome, Thierry Verdier, and Yves Zenou, Stockholm University.
Are Islam and democracy compatible? A large literature has developed arguing that Islam has all the ingredients of modern state and society. Many Muslim intellectuals seek to prove that Islam enshrines democratic values. But rather than lead the debate, they often follow it, peppering their own analyses with references to Western scholars who, casting aside traditional Orientalism for the theories of the late literary theorist and polemicist Edward Said, twist evidence to fit their theories. Why such efforts? For Western scholars, the answer lies both in politics and the often lucrative desire to please a wider Middle East audience. For Islamists, though, the motivation is to remove suspicion about the nature and goals of Islamic movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood and, perhaps, even Hezbollah.
The above essay is written by David Bukay, University of Haifa.
Sayyid Qutb's experience in Greeley, Colorado, bad haircuts, the anthropology and sociology of tourist behavior, the weirdly colonialist assumptions of post-colonialist scholars, the idea that Arabs can be just as touristically dorky as their American counterparts, the debauchery of Truman-era church sock-hops, Arabic travel writing, Occidentalism, Orientalism, the notion that Americans are emotionally inferior to chickens, Qutb's influence on al-Qaida, culture shock, Otherness.
In a new Carnegie Paper, Carnegie Endowment experts Brown, Hamzawy, and Ottaway discuss the continuing ambiguity amongst Islamists on fundamental democracy and human rights issues. Islamist Movements and the Democratic Process in the Arab World: Exploring Gray Zones seeks to move beyond stark views of the Islamist challenge as either a democratizing force or an extreme threat to democracy and to present a nuanced view of the position of Islamist parties. The authors consider mainstream movements in Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Bahrain, analyzing not only where the movements stand but also where they have yet to develop clear positions. In view of the recent victory by Hamas in Palestine and the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Egyptian elections, understanding the thinking of Islamist movements is more important than ever.
The above paper is written by Nathan Brown, Amr Hamzawy, and Marina S. Ottaway.
This paper is an interdisciplinary consideration of Islam in general, and of Islam within the Islamic crescent in particular. Scholarly approaches to the study of Islam are explored, as well as the unity and commonality of attitudes and sentiments that exists right across the Islamic world. This last point is contrasted with differences within Islamic countries in the crescent, particularly in the context of culture. Indeed, this paper stresses the need to understand the relationship between culture and Islam. The paper concludes with an analysis of Islam and globalization, paying particular attention to modernization and Islamic identity.
Among the four major world cultural traditions—Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity—Islam appears to have the most pervasive role in
contemporary politics. The vast and varied spectrum of the scholarly works that have addressed this distinctive phenomenon started with a tradition that presumed a conflict between Islam and political modernity, while noting the centrality and universality of the faith for Muslims. This conception runs contrary to the admission of the reality of secular politics in historical Islam. If there is, on the contrary, a congruity between Islam and modernity, one still needs to provide an account of the speecificity of Muslim politics. Addressing this issue, another tradition stressed that because of its very survival into the modern era, the great Islamic tradition can play a significant role in political modernization and nation building. While this argument may be true in the cases of the historical experiences of a number of Islamic countries in the early twentieth century, it is not consistent with the overly transnational and other worldly objectives of radical Islamism of late. A third tradition opted for the analysis of the macro social processes in order to account for the rise of political Islam, while a fourth focused on the micro processes of the objectification of religion and the fragmentation of religious authority to explain Muslim politics. These explanations, however, would be incomplete without a serious assessment of the role of the rentier economy in the rise of Muslim exceptionalism. Following a critical assessment of the extant literature, this essay makes several suggestions for future research.
The above essay is written by Mansoor Moaddel, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology, Eastern Michigan University.